Posted on May 18, 2024
Loaders and excavators are at work on renovations of the Supertrak BMX Club in Prince George's Carrie Jane Gray Park to widen the corners and build up the hills to make it a faster ride thanks to $100,000 which the Rotary Club of Prince George Downtown and the Prince George Community Foundation contributed. The donation will cover the entire cost of redeveloping the track by early June to better enable the club to host provincial and national events in Prince George. -- story courtesy of the Prince George Citizen story by Ted Clarke
“It’s huge for us for the BMX community, for Prince George, for people of all ages, not just kids, to really put a track together that is at a level that allows us to compete across B.C., across Canada and prepare riders to go to either the worlds of the Olympics in the longterm,” said Sam Dean, Supertrak BMX Club vice-president.
BMX riders in Prince George start early learning how to ride the track. They soon will have a new place to play once Supertrak BMX Club finishes its track redevelopment in June
“We’ve been working with Tom Ritz Designs; he’s designed the Olympic tracks in London and Rio, and he’s designed a track for us at that type of level that gives us an amateur area and a pro area.
He said the new track will challenge the likes of local pro rider Brady Anderson, but at the same time it won’t intimidate younger riders, and it will better prepare local riders to ride any track in North America.
Dean, 39, is getting back into racing this year after 15 years away from the sport. His 11- and 13-year-old kids are also involved in racing and they can’t wait to test out the new track.
“We had originally awarded them just over $76,000 with the Rotary Club of Prince George and the majority of those proceeds was from the proposed mega park,” said Mindy Stroet, director of development for the Prince George Community Foundation.
Caden Fanshaw, of, interviews Rotarian Mindy Stroet, of the Prince George Community Foundation, Gary Wilson, President, Rotary Club of Prince George Downtown, Sam Dean, Vice President of supertrak bmx, Kylen Dean, bmx rider since age 2 (length 6:22)
“We understand that Phase 1 of the BMX club project was $100,000, to complete the entire track rebuild, so after we awarded the $76,000, Rotary and the Community Foundation decided why don’t we just fund it all. Hopefully this leverages that second phase of their campaign and it encourages a higher level of athlete and races in our community.”
The second phase plan is to construct a roof over the track to allow year-round racing for local riders.
“We are looking to put a dome or bubble or roof of some sort over the track,” said Dean. “Our season typically runs from the May long weekend until Halloween and there’s six month in between there where riders across North America are still able to ride.
“That’s a huge disadvantage for riders in the north. We’re the only track north of Kamloops and we need to be able to ride indoors. A roof overtop would draw people from all over North America and would bring some business to the city and really expand the sport in Prince George.”
The estimated cost of covering the Prince George track with a bubble-type enclosure is $1.8 million.
The only indoor BMX track in B.C., at the Agriplex in Abbotsford, operates only for three months in the fall, Dean said.
BMX Canada has added a dirt jumper class for mountain bike riders and he is hoping to see more riders who frequent the trails at Pidherny and Cranbrook Hill consider joining the BMX club.
On hand for the $100,000 cheque presentation were, from left, Samuel Dean, vice-president, Supertrak BMX; Megan Wickes, Supertrak BMX Club treasurer; Zahid Islam, president, Prince George Community Foundation (PGCF); Gary Wilson, president, Prince George Rotary Club Downtown ; and Mindy Stroet, the PGFC’s director of development.
The season registration fee is $75. The club currently has about 500 members. Dean said membership has doubled over the past two years.
The club practices Monday evenings and has races Tuesdays and Thursdays. That switches to Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays once school is out. The first provincial meet is set for July 5-6.