When Christian Young of Pasco arrives in Tulsa, Okla., today, it will mark his first appearance at the ABA Grand Nationals.
And despite the pandemonium he's sure to encounter and witness at the event he will begin by sizing up his main challenger -- the track itself -- with a yardstick which has proven invaluable at venues throughout North America.
"Making sure my tire pressure is right," he said of his first step toward enlightenment. "For every different track I use different tire pressure. It can feel different on the track."
But that doesn't mean he keeps the bike on the ground at all times.
"I jump a lot," he said of his racing style. "That's just me."
A sky-rider, sure, but you could also say he is something of a connoisseur of race courses, finding something to appreciate about each one.
Young, 14, said that he enjoys the Horn Rapids track's "friendly environment" but that his favorite track is the Greater Victoria BMX track in Canada.
"The layout of the track is really nice," he said.
He began his racing career at neither Victoria nor Horn Rapids but rather at the Walla Walla Valley BMX track.
"When he was five we used to live in Walla Walla, they have an amazing track," said Christy Young, Christian's mother, who is no stranger herself to bicycle motocross having competed in the past in Women's Cruiser class races.
Christian, who finished second overall in September at the state finals in the 20-inch race bike category, explained his first introduction to the sport was the result of a simple question posed to him by his father, Andran Young.
"One day my dad asked me if I wanted to try it out, I didn't know anything about it before then," Christian Young said.
Christian took to the sport quickly and received encouragement not only from his family but also Diablos Racing based in Mt. Vernon.
"If not for Diablos I wouldn't be where I am now," said Christian, who noted that the organization helps almost literally with the nuts and bolts of the enterprise, not only with the acquisition of needed parts for his RPM-framed bike but also getting to races outside the state, including the nationals.
"Diablos is paying for the hotel," he said.
Christian, who at 6-foot-2 is stepping up to play post this season for the Pasco JV basketball team, has given back to the sport as much as he has received and each summer assists in a BMX camp for kids
"The little kids are coming out and enjoying it," he said. "When you're younger it's easier to get into the sport."
But the opportunity to pass on hard-earned knowledge is its own reward.
"Just knowing you gave back to the track and helping kids out," he said of the dividends of instruction.