What began with two fathers teaming up to create a hand-build BMX track (like the tracks they grew up riding)has grown into a stellar regional hub. And it’s about to get a major expansion. The Crown Mountain BMX Track will soon become a world-class bike park.
By Jared McDermott
Ground-breaking begins later this Fall with completion in Spring / Summer of 2020 – just in time for next year’s BMX season to heat up.
Bigger and Better
The facility will expand from the current BMX Track and Tyke Track (for littles on push-bikes) into a multi-activity bike park. When construction is complete, you’ll find: a paved pump track and dirt jumps, a beginner bike zone, a competition pump track and a big-air jump. It will elevate youth bicycling at the park, offering summer programs, more coaching and clinics. Competitions will include a pump track challenge summer series/ dirt jump series. It will also be home to the Crown Mountain Devo Bike Team.
When Heath Johnson and Paul Viola started this project six years ago, the area where they built their track was a dusty vacant backlot at Crown Mountain Park. Now the BMX track’s demonstrated community engagement is a big part of the move for expansion. It has proven itself as a popular center for the Valley’s BMX community. It is also a great training ground for mountain biking – raising up national-level competitors and other kids who simply love to pump.
Little Racers, Big Fun
It’s truly never too early to learn how to ride a bike. Some kids learn to balance a push-bike as soon as they learn to walk. The PBR CUP welcomes “Push Bike Racers” starting at age two. They compete on a short track designed to build confidence. As if the almost-big-kid fun isn’t motivating enough, there’s also a prize for the little racer who shows up for the most competitions – a pedal race bike at the end of the season.
BMX Racing is the newest Sanctioned olympic sport, the hottest show to watch next summer in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Local riders master techniques you’ll see at the games, including big jumps on the 1000-foot-long course that takes around 45 seconds to lap.
BMX racing is a young sport, with competitors like this one who raced for four years by age seven. It’s a challenging, high-energy, fast sport that requires athleticism, focus and a no-fear attitude. When kids start young, they learn how to manage their bike and the terrain before they’re old enough to doubt whether they’ll land a jump or not. They just go for it.
Here is a technical move that is mastered on the small rollers found on straight sections of track. Rather than jumping, the rider wheels up to gain momentum before charging ahead. Other features found on Crown Mountain’s track include: doubles, tabletops, step ups, and three paved bank turns.
The local Saturday competitions attract riders from all over the Western Slope, from Grand Junction to Eagle. Racers form friendships that they’ll grow with in years of competition ahead. Crown Mountain’s new facilities will provide a place for higher-level competition, plus clinics, coaching and a platform for training the next big BMX athletes.