New track a hit with riders

New track has Penticton BMX riders excited about a challenging course

Josh Holland led the charge for the men’s cruiser class moto with Patrick Buchanan behind him and Chris Danby (22) next to Buchanan with Corey Brown trailing.  Below

Josh Holland led the charge for the men’s cruiser class moto with Patrick Buchanan behind him and Chris Danby (22) next to Buchanan with Corey Brown trailing. Below

The Penticton BMX track is now a 920-foot challenge for riders.

The track is now 300 feet longer than before.

A project that began on Thanksgiving of 2011 and expected to be finished (final tweaks) by next year was done to make the track more competitive. Penticton BMX Club president Pat Buchanan said they were losing kids and they didn’t want that to happen.

“We had to make something that was more fun,” he said. “The only problem is, all the kids that come out and ride it, we don’t get enough of them racing. It’s a track for the community.”

Buchanan’s first impression of the track wasn’t good.

“I hated it,” he said of his first ride on it. “I didn’t want anything to do with it. Once we got it all smoothened out, I rode it, it’s a fun track to go on. It’s fast, it’s got nice flow to it and really enjoy it now. The kids love it, can’t keep them off.”

Buchanan said that kids adapt fast, which they have all done. His son’s first trials on the course resulted in four crashes but since then he has fallen in love with it.

Josh Holland is among the fans because it’s much longer, a little tighter but it will make locals be more competitive. Holland has discovered parts of it to be challenging. He also admitted he doesn’t like the second corner as he finds it a little too tight.

Rhys MacDonald, nine, said it’s really good.

“We’re going to be insane pumpers by the end of the year,” he said. “It’s just amazing.”

Two things he looks forward to this season are winning a trophy and “not crashing all the time,” as he had a few wipeouts.

Construction of the track started with six days of machine work done over two weekends. The tweaking involved is to smooth out areas and they have had drainage issues to deal with despite having irrigation to fix that.

Buchanan said the actual width of track is wider and corners are banked a bit more. The club has utilized the space more with the help of Westhills Aggregates Ltd. on board with dirt they gave the club to make obstacles higher.

“That will make our kids a lot more competitive,” said Buchanan. “It’s not such an out and back like a lot of tracks are.”

Along with having race days on Thursdays at 6 p.m., they also have Learn to BMX clinics on Wednesday, which will take place until May 23 from 6 to 7 p.m. For details, check www.pentictonbmx.com.