Ride as a Family at Your Local BMX Park

By Rich Kimpel

Cover photo courtesy of Spokane BMX

BMX: Bicycle Moto Cross. For some of us, a BMX bike was our first experience with cycling. These simple machines with one gear and 20” wheels were some of our first tastes of freedom and adventure. BMX racing has grown from its humble beginnings in the early ‘70s to become a full-fledged Olympic sport today.  

Spokane is fortunate enough to have a national class BMX track located in the Lilac City. Founded in 2010, Spokane BMX is a 501c3 nonprofit organization operated exclusively by volunteers in partnership with the Spokane Parks Department. The facility is in the southwest corner of the Dwight Merkel sports complex. Spokane BMX is sanctioned by USA BMX, who provides event insurance and score keeping. The track facility is open seven days a week, weather permitting, from 9 a.m. until dusk, mid-April until the end of October. Much like a public baseball diamond, unless there is an event, the track is open to the public to enjoy.  

Courtesy of Spokane BMX

BMX racing offers a huge amount of fun for the entire family. The positive vibes and the feeling of fun, camaraderie, and a high level of stoke is undeniable and infectious. Spokane BMX offers racing for boys and girls, men and women of every age, and riders of any proficiency. From the two-year-old balance bike racers up to the 60+ “cruiser” racers and everyone in between, there is race action to be had for all. Not a racer? Spokane BMX is powered by its volunteers and offers many fun and rewarding opportunities to participate as a volunteer. 

BMX is a great way for both kids and adults to build their bike skills and move those skills into other areas of cycling.  Some of the best cyclists in the world in nearly every cycling discipline have a background in BMX racing. BMX is a sprint, with a “moto” typically lasting around 45 seconds or so. BMX racing demands efficiency. With every pedal stroke, pump, or carve, the sharp bike handling skills learned at the track all cross over into other disciplines of cycling. Many racers at the track are also mountain bike riders.  

Courtesy of Spokane BMX

Interested in getting your kids involved in BMX racing? Spokane BMX offers the BMX Racing League. This is a five-week program that includes coaching, racing, a jersey, a number plate, an award party at the end of week five, a one-year USA BMX membership and five free “open” races. Kids are grouped by age and only race other kids who are also just starting out. The program also includes loaner bikes and helmets for anyone that needs them. At $149, it’s a value that can’t be beaten in youth sports. Sessions are offered in spring, summer and fall. Find more info at facebook.com/SPOKANE.BMX/.  

Visit Spokane BMX and experience for yourself what BMX racing is all about. Racing is on Thursday and Saturday from mid-April through the end of November. Bring your appetite, as Spokane BMX has a top-notch snack shack with goodies and snacks for everyone, all priced right for an affordable family night out. Racing starts at 7 p.m., always under the stadium lights. Once at the track, experience the feeling of fun and excitement, the action, and the stoke. You’ll be hooked before you know it!  

Rich Kimpel is a BMX rider, racer, coach, organizer, administrator and has been an all-around purveyor of two-wheeled stoke since 1978. 

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