Editorial: Calling All BMX’ers

In March 2007 you May recall an editorial I wrote describing how my almost 40-year-old, almost 200-pound body was almost knocked out cold when I crashed at a BMX park in Louisiana.

I guess I’m looking for more punishment. The Spokane Parks Department is on the cusp plan- ning the city’s first public BMX park at Joe Albi stadium and they need help to make it happen. Even if you, personally, don’t think bicycle moto- cross is something you’re into I urge you support this effort. Our kids are fatter than they should be and need more cool outdoor things to do.

Now is the time to get involved. If everyone who comes to the upcoming planning meeting insists the BMX course be lined with purple rhododen- drons it might happen. Seriously. Spokane Parks own Mike Aho has asserted to me that anyone showing up for the three planning meetings this fall could have enormous input on the final BMX park plan. They’ve already had successful public meetings for the Albi skate park.

And they need the help. So far no one at parks or the project contractor have been able to see the state’s most successful BMX parks (Walla Walla, Tri-Cities, or Riverside BMX in Sumner) to crib ideas. They need input from local BMXers so that this dirt track doesn’t end up being a bike version of the failed Under-the-Freeway skate park.

(Speaking of the Under-the-Freeway skate park: the Spokane Parks Foundation assures me that a “Phase II” of this much-maligned facility is being looked at for next year. Skaters; get organized and make it happen.)

Aho feels the potential for the park is big because of the Albi location. They have huge amounts of parking and could likely handle camp- ing for a major regional or national BMX event. (Hello, Spokane Regional Sports Commission?)

The whole project, which would include a dirt track, bleachers, and maybe a rental concession for bikes could be completed by June 2009. So if you are a neighbor, a BMXer, or just BMX curi- ous please help Parks make this the best possible recreational bike facility. Please contact Mike Aho at MAho@SpokaneCity.org, to get on a list to be notified for the first meeting in October. I don’t want to have to go all the way to Louisiana the next time I need to wreck on a BMX jump.

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