When I met Kim in 1995, I had no idea what BMX was. To explain it, he took me to the now defunct Crooked
Board Trails located in Slaterville Springs, NY. It was seriously one of the coolest things I had ever seen. By the
spring of 1996 I had myself a 24 inch Elf cruiser and was hanging at the trails, too. As often happens, the Crooked
Board Trails were shut down and that's when Kim started digging new trails at his dad's house. They were christened
the Field of Dreams or FOD. His theory was, if you build them they will come. And, boy did they! It wasn't long
before Kim and his brother Kelly, had some of the best trails on the east coast in their back yard. Unfortunately, due
to drama, Kim and I decided to avoid the trails and start racing BMX.
To the left you can see a portion of the series we participated in.
At one point, Kim was the reigning five time State Champion in
NY. We never asked for sponsorship and we provided solely
for the Baker Designs team. We had a good ten year run before
we decided to scale back due to burn out.
Throughout, our BMX careers, the one thing I could never
understand was the lack of attention given to adult riders. If you
weren't pro, you weren't shit. In fact, I had heard the words, "It's
all for the kids." so many times it made me livid. An entire group
of people were completely discounted. For a sport that replicates
itself after Motocross, it was nothing short of insulting. Week
after week, Kim and I, would dump money into racing and, week
after week we heard the same line of bullshit. By 2006, we'd had
enough. There was no recognition or
appreciation for adult riders so we bailed after 10 years and
thousands upon thousands of dollars spent in travel and
race fees. Despite the disappointment, that didn't squelch
our love for the sport. I, for one, will never race BMX again.
But, this doesn't stop me from wanting to encourage others
to try it. BMX is a great sport for kids. Racing provides an
alternative to school/team sports. Not every child is a team
player and BMX gives those kind of kids an opportunity to
participate on their own terms. The draw is never having to
share a success and never having to lose due to a team mate.
For some of us, that's a win-win. Also, in my opinion,
watching a kid wear themselves out on the track is a good
enough reason to get them involved.
So, Saturday morning, Kim and I, packed our children up in the
car and took them to Horseheads BMX track to check out their
first state qualifier of the season. We were thrilled to pull in and
see all the activity. There were more participants in this state
qualifier than there were at our last state championship. This is
most likely due to the up swing in the economy and the hand
over of the track to new directors, Gary and Sarah Bliel. I can't
really say enough good things about this duo. They have taken
one of the worst run tracks in the history of NY BMX racing and
completely turned it around. It looks fabulous! Those shitty,
rutted up berms, are a thing of the past. Between the new Track
Directors and their dedicated crew of volunteers, this is one of
the best tracks in NY.
For those interested in checking it out, here is my list
of top tracks to check out in our area:
Grippen Park BMX- Endicott, NY. The only covered
track I'm aware of.
CNY BMX- Bridgewater, NY
Tri-City BMX- Rotterdam, NY
Cedar BMX- Cedar Point, PA
Kingston Point BMX- Kingston, NY
Shoreham BMX- Shoreham, LI
For a complete listing of New York State BMX tracks
check out the USABMX website.
The next state qualifier we will be covering is
Grippen Park's in July. Maybe, we will see you there!