Biking

For the first time in 20-plus years, the Treasure Valley will offer indoor BMX racing

For the first time in more than 20 years, Treasure Valley BMX racers will have the opportunity to compete indoors locally thanks to a racing collective.

Idaho BMX, also known as Eagle Park BMX, Inc., oversees racing at three outdoor BMX tracks in Eagle, Caldwell and Mountain Home from spring into fall. But in the winter, outdoor tracks freeze or become fields of mud, according to Danny Adair, development director for the Eagle Park nonprofit.

For years, Adair said, local BMX racers have traveled to indoor courses in places like Seattle and South Jordan, Utah, during the winter. Starting Friday, Feb. 1, the indoor option will return to the Treasure Valley at the Canyon County Fair building.

Local BMX racer Andy Andree said the last time an indoor track existed here was in 1994.

“When you ride a bicycle in the dirt, one drawback is the winter,” Adair told the Statesman in a phone interview. “We’re able to run races through the outdoor season, so we’re taking those profits to give back to the community at a different time of the year.”

Idaho BMX will rent the Canyon County Fair building, 111 S. 22nd St. in Caldwell, from Feb. 1 through Feb. 10 and again the following month from March 1 through March 10.

Adair said volunteers have already moved 1,700 yards of dirt into the building — and they’ll move it all out and start the process over again in March.

“It’s very labor intensive, but at the same time, [other indoor tracks] do this every single weekend,” he said.

Each 10-day block will offer six USA BMX-sanctioned races, including four Treasure Valley qualifiers and an Idaho state qualifier. Idaho BMX also will host public practices during each period, as well as clinics for new racers or those hoping to improve their skills. Find a full indoor schedule here.

Spectators can attend for free, and race registration varies from $15 to $35.

The schedule includes single-, double- and triple-point races; riders accumulate points for each race, and the points correspond to their standing in the national league.

Adair said the addition of a track that operates in the winter will keep local riders in shape and competitive on a national or possibly even Olympic level.

“Having the winter riding ability here helps keep our guys tip-top when they’re going to these bigger events against people with no weather barriers,” he said.

It’s also a potential economic boon for the area, Adair said. Idaho BMX partnered with Best Western Plus Caldwell Inn & Suites to offer discounted rates for BMX riders who travel to race in Canyon County. A collection of sponsors helped fund the rental cost for the building.

Adair said the indoor opportunity was prompted by the growing popularity of BMX racing in the area.

“Last year was a record year for the BMX community,” Adair said. “It’s just indicative of the growth of the Treasure Valley itself.”

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