Hampton BMX rider overcomes loss, now the nation’s best

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – Andrew Towsend has spent almost every day on a BMX bike for the last 14 years. Ask the 18-year old how much he thinks of his father. His answer, “every day.”

Towsend is not only one of the best BMX riders in the country, he’s the best. Towsend is ranked number one nationally for the 17-18 year old amateur age group. But just like the many tracks he’s ridden up and down the east coast to reach the top spot, his life’s journey has taken him through some high ups and low downs.

Towsend’s father passed away, when he was only 8 years old. “He was a good dude. He had a good heart,” Towsend said, while slightly choking up, “He would come here (Hampton BMX) right after work, work on the track and make sure it was good for everyone to ride on.”

Facing the grief, Towsend decided to take a break from riding for one year. Since then, he’s been back on the bike with a symbol, a reminder, and an inspiration tattood on him. The tattoo reads “Just Imagine.”

“When I was younger, he used to tell me ‘Just imagine…you can do anything if you put your mind to it'”

Towsend has the chance for his first ever national championship when he travels to the BMX Grand Nationals in Tulsa Oklahoma at the end of November.  And the dream won’t stop there, considering BMX is now an Olympic sport.

“At the end of the day, that’s everybody’s dream,” said Towsend.

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