The Oceanside BMX track is undergoing final preparations for the 2014 season, which kicks off next Tuesday (April 29) at the Erik Goetzinger BMX Park in Qualicum Beach.
There will be a new riders clinic on Monday, April 28 with sign up from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Riders can check out the track, get some info on racing and generally have fun before the season kicks off.
The track is run completely by volunteers and donations from various local businesses like Highway 4 Rentals and Mayco Mix. All the money goes back into the facility, which is completely renovated for the 2014 season, complete with grading and help from some of the members of Cycling B.C.
“It doesn’t require much to get started,” said Rod Spencer, one of the many volunteers. “A BMX race bike is preferable but a quality kid’s bike or mountain bike is completely acceptable. Most bike shops in the Oceanside area carry race bikes and there are plenty of good used race bikes available for sale. If a bike is kept in good condition, quite often it can be sold for the same price it was purchased when the rider grows out of it.”
Oceanside BMX also holds various training clinics with certified coaches throughout the season. The dedicated volunteers are always ready to give pointers and lend a hand.
“There are a lot of parents that come out to watch and help out. They’re out here cheering or grabbing a rake or hosing down the track when it’s needed,” Spencer said. “Everyone involved really gives a lot into this park and it’s nice to see the result here.”
Racers range in age from three to 40, with tons of different skill levels and divisions for riders of all sizes. For Spencer, it’s especially great because he still races from time to time along with his 10-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son.
“Having the chance to come out to the park and have a family night on the race track is great,” Spencer said. “It’s hard to beat it, especially watching them grow right in front of your eyes. You see so many kids out here, from the little guys who are just starting out to the older kids who’ve been doing this for years, it’s pretty cool.”
BMX racing was introduced to the Olympics in 2008. With four tracks on the Island (QB, Cumberland, Nanaimo, Victoria), 15 tracks in B.C. and almost 400 tracks across the continent, BMX racing is fast becoming a mainstream sport.