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Canyon Country "Monster"
Ranked Nation's Number One BMX Racer
August, 2010 - Issue #70
"Monster" Madison Martinez
"Monster" Madison Martinez
Don't be fooled by the thin frame, the braces-filled smile complete with dimples, or her quiet demeanor. When you are looking at 10-year-old Madison Martinez, you are looking at a BMX world champion. And while she's on the track, that's Monster Madison to you.

"One day she won, and then she just all of the sudden kept on winning," says Madison's mom, Valerie.

With the way her riding career started out, Valerie and her husband Larry never imagined their daughter would be winning national titles with ease or that sponsors would come calling.

At first, Madison didn't even want to ride a bike.

Not that her parents Larry and Valerie cared all that much. The Canyon Country residents simply wanted to give the 4-year-old Madison something to keep her occupied while her older brother Anthony rode around on the dirt track in Santa Clarita, which is now closed.

"At first I was like, 'Uh, I don't think so,'" Madison says with a smile."I was kind of scared."

In fact she was so set against it, Larry and Valerie sold the bike.

Shortly afterwards - in fickle 4-year-old fashion - Madison decided she did want to ride. So they bought her a new one.

A year later, she placed second at the BMX Grand Nationals in Tulsa and has been nearly impossible to beat since. Grand Nationals determines your rankings for the year by gender and age group, so as a 6-, 7-, 8- and 9-year-old, Madison left Tulsa with the number-one national ranking.

In 2007, three years after trying BMX for the first time, she pulled off the trifecta by winning the state title, the number-one national ranking at Grand Nationals, and then taking first at the world championships in Canada.
She's been so dominant in her BMX career, fellow competitors called Madison on June 10 with ulterior motives: in addition to wishing her a happy birthday, some of them thanked her for moving out of their age group.

But age is of little obstacle to Monster Madison.

When the BMX Grand Nationals happen Thanksgiving weekend of this year, Madison will be racing with her 20-inch BMX bike and the Cruisers category too, which is a bigger bike. She will not only be trying to defend her national title for the fifth straight year, she may have enough points to be the top-ranked girl in the country regardless of age. In mixed open races, the boys are often left in her dust, too.

"It's one of my favorite parts," Madison says with a grin.

She's not afraid to take on the boys, but there is another side to her. Monster Madison, or her accomplishments at least, stays on the dirt track. Most of the 10-year-old's classmates, friends and teachers don't even know that she can ride a BMX bike, let alone that she's a world champion. Every once in awhile she will mention to a teacher that she's going out of town, and if the teacher asks just the right questions, the truth comes out.

"I don't know. I just like hanging out. playing with friends and just not really talking about it," she says. "I don't really like it when people are like, 'Oh my gosh! That's so cool!'"

"In addition to wishing her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY,
some of her competitors thanked her for
moving out of their age group."

In early June in Roseville, Madison earned the Top Gun Jacket: an honor bestowed on a BMX rider who has won four main events (finals) within their age group, four open main events (all ages) and four cruiser main events. Larry couldn't be at the race, so Madison decided to get the jacket in her dad's size, and give it to him as a Father's Day gift.

Well, it's hard to disagree with anyone who might see her accomplishments that way. And now that BMX is an Olympic sport, Monster Madison may have some more cool things to hide from people in her future.

"Yeah, I'm planning to win the worlds again. But when I grow up I want to try and do the Olympics, too," Madison says. "But it's going to be kind of hard; I want to do gymnastics and track and field, too."

On top of trying to squeeze time in to ride her bike at the tracks in Simi Valley or Lancaster - the closest dirt tracks to Santa Clarita - Madison also does gymnastics twice a week and runs track with the Running Warriors.

But there's only once place where she's known as Monster Madison.

Otherwise, she's the girl who doesn't really tell her friends what she's up to on the weekends, the girl who gave her Top Gun jacket to her dad, and the girl who still occasionally gets nervous before races.

"Sometimes right before I get in the gate, I think, 'What's going to happen,' because I'm kind of scared," she admits. "But then when I'm in front, I'm like, 'I've got this.'"
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