Carlos Perez Announces Retirement From BMX
After long consideration, I have decided to retire from BMX Racing. It has been one heck of a run! About 12 years ago I decided I wanted to get involved in the BMX team aspect of the sport and started a team with some friends called Pedal Militia. There were only three riders on the team which included my son Dylan. The Pedal Militia team grew in the next two years and we competed for the NBL Bike Shop team title against the mighty HBR team run by my friend Todd Hines. He beat us that year handily and I was determined to come back the following year with a bigger and stronger team and that’s when we started CMR Racing. I would love to say that we were able to beat HBR that year but unfortunately, we fell one point shy and lost again to HBR!
At this point, the team and sponsorships had grown to a point where we were able to pick up a sponsorship from Felt Bicycles. It was in South Park when I was introduced to Alan Foster who saw what we had going on and gave us a shot at representing one of the leaders in the bicycle industry, and we started the Factory Felt National Team. At this point the team exploded into the NBL National series with riders like Justin Posey, Bob O’Gorman, Cole Tesar and Krista Fournier which led us to winning the 2011 NBL National title.
The team continued its winning ways until 2013 when Felt pulled their BMX line. Those Felt teams were the most talented and united bunch of riders and families in all of BMX! This post is probably too long already but I would like to personally thank those riders for giving me the opportunity to develop lifelong friendships and relationships with some incredible families.
In 2014 I came on board to BlackCrown Products. To the credit of my riders, they all followed me there to form one of the most talented teams in USA BMX. We went on an incredible streak where we won 7 straight factory races and were in the money just about every race we entered. I made a goal for myself that we would be a top-five team going into the Grands and with the help of my riders we came close to accomplishing that sitting 6th just a couple of points out of 5th.
At this point I felt my job was done and thoughts of retiring started creeping into the back of my mind. It wasn’t until this past Veterans Day weekend, when my son was home from Fort Drum that I sat down with him to discuss the 2015 plans, that he said to me “dad, how about next year you, mom and I just go to the races and sit in the bleachers and watch me race?” That’s when I made the decision to retire from BMX team racing. You see my son Dylan is scheduled for deployment next summer and I realized that he has been sharing me with 15 other families for the past 12 years. It’s time for me to focus on the most important thing in my life—my family. He deserves it, and has patiently waited for me all these years.
There are so many people I would like to thank that have made the last 12 years some of the most memorable years in my life. Starting with my friend Mike Horner, who was the original founder of Pedal Militia, thanks my brother for starting on this journey. My good friend Mark Perry who was not only the sponsor (Prudential Financial) but a good friend and fishing partner. Lou Roberti who took us to the next level with Felt Bicycles and taught me never to take no for an answer. Alan Foster at Felt Bicycles who took a chance on an unknown team manager and handed me the reigns to one of the most prestigious positions I could have ever dreamed of as the team manager of Factory Felt. My long time friend Greg Habib who came on board 7 years ago and has been my right hand man through all the winning, losing and otherwise. My brother from another mother Sam Walsh who has to be the most competitive SOB I have ever met! Thanks Sam for all you have done for me, my team and especially my family! As much as I would love to mention every rider that has ever ridden for me here that would be impossible mostly because I’m getting old and my memory isn’t what it used to be. I will give special thanks to two of the oldest standing riders on my team and they are Coleman Habib and Jeremy N Cynthia Thompson. Thank you guys for your loyalty and love throughout all these years! Also a special shout out to the #FFF Factory Felt For Life moms, Lori Christopher, Ellen Habib, Pamela Walsh, Heather Wolfe Parker, Misty Fields Castro!
Last but certainly not least I would like to thank my beautiful wife who had as much vested in this anyone. She set up the food table. She handed out hugs for wins and losses. She applied first aid on many occasions. But most importantly she supported me during the highs and lows…thank you babe I LOVE YOU!
To Dylan Christopher I watched you grow from that little 5 rookie trying to balance in the gate at Bethel Supercross to the man and soldier you are today. There aren’t enough words to describe my love for you! You have made me proud in every way possible. I promise that next year it will be you, mom and I sitting in the bleachers watching you race.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!