Archive for December, 2012

The Dirty Jumps

Posted: December 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

What was once an avenue, outlet for the younger generation of residents surrounding the northern section of the city of Reno is now a barren wasteland of emptiness and shattered ideals.
This past November, The City Council of Reno set in motion the destruction of what has been talked about in recent years and that is the demolition of the outdoor BMX dirt jump track near McQueen High School.
“Was it really that big of a deal to take it down?” said Tre Warren, a high school senior at McQueen High School.
“I feel like that it was just wrong but you gotta do what you gotta do. It undermined the integrity of what we did as far as pulling together to make this happen.”
The course Warren, 18, was referring to is the collection of dirt jumps and ramps built over the last 10 years, in a northwest Reno neighborhood off of Springwood Drive.
BMX enthusiasts are split into two sides, some were in praise of the dirt course and others were against the course, which was settled in the middle of a housing development on city owned land.
“It’s kind of a fine line,” said Mary Leaming, Track operator at Edmonds Sports Complex in Carson City.
“When my kids tried building a track in their backyard it wasn’t built to code, it was nasty, it was dangerous. There’s a lot of liability issues, to be frank, I’ve taken my kids to the hospital several times because of their bikes.”
The dirt course near McQueen was essentially a series of dirt ramps and jumps, not resembling an authentic BMX course.
While parents, students and people active with the BMX sport were in support of the dirt course near McQueen, safety issues and liability was always a concern. “You wanna know why the dirt course was taken down? Liability,” said Greg Proctor, Track operator at Big Horn BMX.
Although the dirt course was demolished, there may still be hope for the BMX riders without a home.
Reported by Suzanne Adams, of the Daily Miner, The Mohave County Fairgrounds Association is in the process of constructing a new outdoor BMX track by February of 2013.
The Fair Association has to get permission from the Board of Supervisors in order to build the course, but that is a possible alternative for BMX riders.
There are also sanctioned courses around Reno, Carson City, Fernley and Truckee people can go to and some have already made the transition.
Leaming, offers riders the opportunity of free practice at Edmonds Sports Complex on Wednesdays.
As well as presenting various courses based on skill and experience, Leaming also said there is a strict list of safety requirements.
There is other dirt jumps and BMX courses spread across Reno area and greater parts of the country as well.
“People will find other places to go to,” said Proctor. “I know there are kids who to the dirt jumps out in Fernley. The thing is it’s not a real BMX course, but people will build these dirt jumps and get their runs in.”
The ingenuity of building self-made courses around the community seems to be part of the culture of BMX riding, at least with the youth contingency of the group.
“There used to be a “hell track” here in Carson City,” said Leaming. “It used to be something kids worked on, it was trails and stuff the kids built it but it was actually on private property and because of the liability and safety the owner of the private property tore it down.”