J&R Bicycles National Team Rider of the Month
Team Manager Nick Jones
- Name: Nick Jones
- Nickname: Stickwithnick, Pickles, Greg
- Nickname Origin: “Stickwithnick I gave myself. I started saying it to prove a point that I was always right with my wife Jill. I did it to annoy her and it stuck. Pickles, because when I was little my brother would say Nicholas Pickolas, so Pickles it was. And Greg because when my nephew was a toddler he couldn’t say Nicholas so he just called me Greg.”
Ok, so he isn’t a rider, but to kick off this new blog feature we would like to highlight the best in the business, the team manager of our National Team, Nick Jones. When asked about his BMX riding history Nick explains, “I don’t ride. I’m terrible at it and much better at team sheets. I have been a track operator and team manager for 7 years.” Like many he started out as a BMX dad, taking his boys to the track for the first time 8 years ago, then began volunteering, and soon the whole family was hooked.
Nick became J&R Bicycles Team Manager in August of 2020 and we couldn’t be more thrilled. His thoughtfulness and dedication to his riders seem to be limitless and he is a natural strategist on top of it all. “I am a competitive person by nature, and since I don’t ride, being the team manager helps to fuel that competitive part of me. I like the strategy of completing a team sheet. There are different reasons to use different riders at certain races and it always keeps me on my toes,” he says. Of course, managing a championship team has all sorts of challenges but Nick states the toughest part has been choosing the right riders. “Our team is comprised of some of the best riders in the country, and I am confident that they are some of the best people/families in the sport,” he says, “Being able to find that balance of a competitive rider and family atmosphere to give everyone the best possible experience that they will remember when they are my age.”
Not only is he a dedicated BMX coach, Nick also manages the track at Cape Coral BMX in Cape Coral, FL. While this track is obviously his number one, another favorite track of his is Rock Hill in South Carolina due to their welcoming staff and amenities. Coach Jones is also a big fan of High Springs BMX track, a fellow Florida track. “The Pringle family does a phenomenal job, there is plenty of shade, the track is perfectly groomed. They have fantastic concessions. They have A-plus volunteers that are very welcoming,” he says.
He may be slightly biased, but when asked who his favorite BMX rider is, he stated that it is his kids. And while she isn’t pro yet, his daughter is “working on it”. Nick’s favorite pro rider is Nick Long, who Coach Jones appreciates for his heart and strength. “His love for the sport is pure and gives back to the kids and sport like no other, it reminds me of my son Brady,” Jones observes. “When you sit back and think about what happened to Nick at the Olympics it was heartbreaking and he had every reason to walk away and cash in but has instead done the exact opposite. I admire that.”
Nick Jones has coached the J&R National Team to a multitude of wins, and of course this is a huge source of pride for all of us. But the accomplishment Nick is most proud of is the connection he has with the team riders and kids at the track and the positive impact he can make in their lives. “Every time I am at my track in Cape Coral and one of the riders says Hi Mr. Nick! or gives me a hug. Sometimes they make me cards or tell me about their recent successes,” he beams. “Same goes with the riders on our team. The thank-yous, the texts, calls from all of them. As much as running a team or track fuels my competitiveness, it is about the kids and riders. Sometimes being competitive you can lose sight of that; I have for sure. But in the end knowing that I have made friends for life is better than any on track accomplishment for me.”
Thank you for all you do, Nick!