South Tahoe BMX rips it up |

South Tahoe BMX rips it up

Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Dirt flies as riders of all ages zip across the BMX track near the Al Tahoe Learning Center.

“It is fun and exciting, and you get to hang out with your friends,” Dylan Allgor said. “It keeps you away from drugs and alcohol and all that bad stuff.”

The South Tahoe BMX Association has new days of operations this year, with races on Thursday nights instead of Sundays. The track is open for practice Tuesdays.

“The summers are short in Tahoe, and families have a lot going on in the summertime,” the association’s president, Lauren Thomaselli, said. “We saw our rider count drop dramatically in the last couple of years because of our changing community. We thought we would try weekday racing in hopes that we can attract more of our local families to the sport and those people who are here Monday through Friday anyway. Then that leaves their weekends free to go do camping or boating or any of the other things we have to offer in Lake Tahoe.”

The track is sanctioned by the American BMX Association, which offers insurance and liability coverage to the track operators, volunteers and landowners.

The course is free for a one-day trial. After that, riders must become ABA members, Thomaselli said. A 30-day membership costs $25, while a year is $45. Members also have to pay an additional dollar for practices and $10 for races, according to the association’s Web site.

“It is really inexpensive to get involved,” Thomaselli said. “Probably one of the cheapest sports kids can get involved in.”

She said there are options for people who cannot afford to join.

“We have a scholarship program,” Thomaselli said. “We ask them to help out around the track, stay in school and have appropriate behavior in school and on the track.

“What that does, is get them their ABA membership. We also work with other organizations in town who get bikes for kids who want to participate and don’t have the equipment.”

An ABA membership comes with a one-year subscription to BMX magazine.

Tuesday’s practices begin at 5:30 p.m. Races start at 7 p.m. Thursdays. The track is open June 1 to October 1.

Patty Metzger who has been riding for more than 10 years said she got started when her son brought home a flier advertising BMX.

She said she encourages more people to check it out.

“You are going to have a great time,” Metzger said. “Grab a bike, any bike, get a helmet and give me call and I will ride around with you and get you started.”

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