BMX racing back on track
Last updated 7/8/2020 at 2:03pm
Bike riders will be pleased to know that local BMX tracks have reopened for business.
As USACycling.org describes BMX, "In its simplest form, it is very similar to the motorcycle style of racing, just without the motor." BMX racers wear protective clothing and ride specially built bikes over dirt tracks which have various twists and bumps. The sports became a summer Olympic sport in 2008, and national races have contestants in a wide age range (anywhere from 5- 65 years old, according to USA Cycling).
Cross Creek BMX, located in Cross Creek Park (8115 Parkglen Drive) and active since 2010, had its first race of the season on June 13. Practices (which cost $3) are on Wednesday from 6-8:30 p.m. Races (which cost $10) are on Saturdays from 2:30-3:30 p.m. To learn more, contact the track's operator Damian Gomez III by calling (719) 799-0568 or emailing [email protected] You can also look up the track's Facebook page for more details.
Gomez has operated the Cross Creek track for two seasons now. He first got into BMX racing in 2013, after his son got interested in the sport. Gomez now rides in USA BMX National races (41-45 expert class) across the country. The farthest away race he's competed in took place in Rockford, Illinois. Gomez says he enjoys seeing how people progress as they take part in the sport, especially teenagers as they progress to more advanced bikes. He also noted that BMX is a very inclusive sport.
"Nobody sits on the bench," Gomez said. "No one says you're not good enough or you're not qualified. Everyone has the opportunity to ride from age two and up. You can be special needs, you can be Paralympic, you can be autistic, you can be any age. No one's going to tell you you're not good enough. That's what I really like about BMX, everybody's a part of it."
Meanwhile, Pikes Peak BMX in Colorado Springs is also open again. Pikes Peak BMX has operated out of Rampart Park (Park (8270 Lexington Drive) since 1991, but also frequently hosts events at the Cross Creek track. Practices (which cost $3) are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Regular races (which cost $8) take place Sunday through Friday, 10a.m.-4 p.m. Cost is $8. To schedule a spot, call (719-447-7013) or message the Pikes Peak BMX Facebook page. Pikes Peak also hosts Tuesday evening races (which cost $7) starting every year in June after school lets out. Riders can sign up on Tuesday from 5:30-6:15 p.m. In addition to these events, on Saturdays there are singe point races (which cost $10) from 11-12 p.m. in winter and spring, 9-10 a.m. in summer and fall. Riders must be USA BMX members to take part in this event. Volunteer Shane Maher says Pikes Peak is actively looking to get more Fountain residents involved in their events.
"Just finding something for kids to do that gets them outside is great," Maher said.
Bubba Hayes is the Pikes Peak BMX track operator, and has been racing in BMX events since 1976. During the 1980s he raced bikes in Factory SE events, and continues to race on the USA BMX National Circuit (51 & over expert class). His twin daughters, Ashley and Emily Hayes have been racing in BMX events for years. Emily earned first place and Ashley earned third place at the 2019 USA Cycling BMX National Championships. Both sisters are aiming to get into the 2020 BMX Olympic event. Like all 2020 Olympic events, this has been postponed to summer 2021.