Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Youth Sports

Pasco BMX rider Tyler Heinrichs heading to Australia with Team USA

Tyler, who has been riding for two years, is ranked 12th in the world in the 20-inch BMX racing category.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Tyler, who has been riding for two years, is ranked 12th in the world in the 20-inch BMX racing category.

LUTZ

Two years ago, Tyler Heinrichs was a kid who liked to ride his bike. These days, he's competing at world championships. Heinrichs practices at the Tampa BMX Raceway in Lutz where his father, Art Heinrichs, is president of the track. Over the span of two years, he has improved from a beginner to a top rider in his age class and is competing for Team USA. "I thought when I started riding my bike that this was just going to be something I did for fun," Tyler, 13, said. "After I got into racing though, I started traveling across the state and then the region, and eventually, I had a lot of friends across the country. I've just enjoyed it so much. It's become something I really want to continue being successful at." Tyler feels the key to his success has been a combination of practice and the people he knows. Also, it didn't hurt that his father became the president of the raceway once Tyler started riding.

"My dad being president of the track allows me to be here and be involved with every aspect of racing," Tyler said. "I've got a lot of good friends and trainers that have helped me a lot over the last few years and getting to know how to race at a facility like this makes it easy to improve."

His hard work has taken Tyler around the world. He is ranked 12th in the world in the 20-inch BMX racing category and recently earned a place on Team USA, which heads to Australia in July for the BMX World Championships.

Tyler's trainer, M.J. Peters, says Tyler's success has come from his work ethic and fearless approach to biking. After meeting Tyler at the track, the 24-year-old Peters began traveling to other countries, including China, and around the United States with Tyler.

"What drew me to Tyler is that he is naturally strong for his size and age," Peters said. "He has the assets to be a very powerful rider — he just has to work on his skills. From a year ago to now, Tyler has improved incredibly fast, and I think it's because he is never afraid to try anything. I always say, 'Go big or go home,' and that's how he is, too."

For the Heinrichs family, BMX has become a serious undertaking.

"He took to the sport like a duck to water and that got me involved in it," Al Heinrichs said. "I love putting all this together for the kids. You don't have to be a millionaire to ride a bike, so it's one of those sports where there are people from all walks of life. It's really a family sport because you see families where brothers and sisters and their parents all ride."

For Tyler, BMX is more than just a sport he competes in. It's a much valued social network as well.

"Going to places like China and Australia is amazing, but it's traveling around with teammates and the friendships you create that make it special," Tyler said.

"Meeting all these people as I've gone around makes you realize that BMX is one big family. When you're racing, it's hard because you're friends with everyone off the track, but it's a lot of fun competing against your friends at the same time."

Submit feedback, story ideas to [email protected]

Tyler Heinrichs

Age: 13

School: Martinez Middle School

Grade: Seventh

Favorite sport: BMX racing

Note: To qualify for Team USA, Tyler had to compete in DeSoto, Texas, in March. The event has been called the Super Bowl of BMX and brings the best riders from around the country to compete. Tyler competed in both the 20-inch BMX race and the cruiser division winning the 20-inch division to qualify him for team USA. He is sponsored by DNA energy drinks and AS*I*B Clothing.

Pasco BMX rider Tyler Heinrichs heading to Australia with Team USA 04/16/09 [Last modified: Monday, April 20, 2009 7:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  2. Lightning journal: Tighter defense fuels hot start

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — See what happens when you keep the crease clean, limit the traffic in front of G Andrei Vasilevskiy and limit Grade A scoring chances.

    BUZZER BEATER: Yanni Gourde gets the hugs with a goal with less than 1 second left in the first. 
  3. Red-hot Rowdies win playoff opener

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies entered Saturday night's United Soccer League playoff opener as the league's hottest team. First-round opponent FC Cincinnati did nothing to cool them down.

    Marcel Schafer carries a Rowdies teammate on his back after scoring his second goal against Cincinnati in Saturday night’s USL playoff game at Al Lang. Up next: another home game, Oct. 28 against New York Red Bulls II.
  4. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Those wide-open, end-to-end, shoot-at-will games are a lot of fun to watch, especially when those shots are going in the net. But if the players had their druthers, they would rather have a more controlled pace, one with which they can dictate the action.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Lightning-Penguins game

    Lightning Strikes

    Man, is Nikita Kucherov fun to watch. He has a goal in all but one game this season and points in all nine. You have to watch him each time he is on the ice because he is going to do something you do not want to miss: a goal, a shot that requires a tough save, a nifty pass to set up a linemate for a goal.