BMX Track action hits next gear |

BMX Track action hits next gear

Sarah Gonser

Lauren Thomaselli wants a BMX track in South Lake Tahoe – and apparently, she’s not alone.

Thomaselli, who competes in national BMX competitions along with her two sons and husband, received dozens of signatures last week when she placed sign-up sheets in bike rental shops around town, requesting support for a sanctioned BMX trail.

Now, representing the South Lake Tahoe BMX committee, Thomaselli is petitioning both the city and El Dorado County to make it happen.

“You can drive down almost any neighborhood street in South Lake Tahoe and find a dirt jump and a berm or two built on someone’s vacant lot or yard,” Thomaselli told the South Lake Tahoe City Council last week. “This activity is only going to continue until a safe and legal facility is provided.”

BMX track riding, or bicycle motocross, takes place on a dirt track approximately 15 to 25 feet wide, and 900 to 1,200 feet long. Tracks are usually constructed in a snake-like pattern, Thomaselli said, over an area about 150 by 250 feet. A single track can be designed to accommodate and challenge many ability levels.

“I realize that the City Council can’t just wave a magic wand and grant us property,” Thomaselli said. “What we are asking is that you support this endeavor and embrace our committee and its goal by appointing a staff subcommittee to work with us.”

Accordingly, Mayor Judy Brown said she intended to have the issue put on the City Council agenda for future discussion.

“I think we definitely need to look into this,” Brown said. “I think it’s a terrific idea and I will be very supportive of it. It’s just a matter of finding space.”

Brown said issues of land coverage would have to be examined, but that preliminarily, Bijou Park seemed like a possibility for a BMX track.

Steve Yonker, chairman of the El Dorado County Recreation Commission, said that although building BMX tracks had never been addressed by the commission, options could be explored.

“At this point I don’t know where in the basin we’d put it – maybe Meyers Landfill would be a possibility,” Yonker said. “Our first priority is a ball field, but of course we’d be interested in discussing this. There doesn’t seem to be too much going against it.”

Thomaselli said she planned to introduce the issue at the July 16 El Dorado Parks and Recreation meeting.

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