Port Angeles BMX track president and operator Sean Coleman, left, talks with track design assistant Colby Groves, 17, at the track. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Angeles BMX track president and operator Sean Coleman, left, talks with track design assistant Colby Groves, 17, at the track. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

BMX season begins Thursday with rebuilt track

Facility to host top state and Gold Cup races through fall

PORT ANGELES — Today, a newly refurbished, rebuilt and refreshed BMX track at Lincoln Park in Port Angeles is ready for its fourth season in what is expected to be its first full season since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

The Lincoln Park BMX track has been wildly successful in its previous three years, though last season was a little truncated due to the pandemic.

It’s not just the only USA BMX track on the North Olympic Peninsula, it’s one of the premier BMX tracks in western Washington.

It will host major state and Gold Cup qualifiers in August.

Lincoln Park BMX opens today with practices from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for its first full season since 2019. The season will run through Nov. 14.

Practices are planned on Thursdays each week, and races will be conducted on Saturdays or Sundays and Tuesdays, with the races beginning in earnest on May 2. For a race and event schedule at the track, see www.tinyurl.com/ LincolnParkBMX and click on “schedule,” or check www.facebook.com/ LincolnParkBMX.

Over the past several weeks, track operator Sean Coleman and volunteers have been rebuilding and resurfacing the track to get it ready for the season.

The track also has a new aluminum finish gate, funded by a grant from the Port of Port Angeles and put together with the help of a welding class at Peninsula College.

The class put together more than 900 feet of welds on the finish gate.

The infield has been hydroseeded with grass.

The recent warm and sunny weather has been great for doing refurbishing work on the track, Coleman said, although rain is actually good for a BMX track.

“The last two weeks, the track could use a little rain. We’re having to soak it,” he said. “In July, we’re adding a glue to the track that will allow us to run later into the year.”

Coleman said the opening hill of the track has been made a little bit wider, the first corner of the track has been repaved, and a straight between the second and third corners has been rebuilt.

“All the material and equipment for the work was donated,” Coleman said.

Coleman said the Lincoln Park track is opening a week or two ahead of other major tracks in the Puget Sound area, including Bellingham, Everett and SeaTac.

“We’re the first outdoor track open in the western Washington,” he said. “We have better ridership counts than those other tracks in western Washington.”

When races begin, the track attracts riders from all over the Puget Sound, not just the Peninsula. The Race for Life fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will be held June 20.

The big state and Gold Cup qualifiers that attract top riders from all over the state are planned Aug. 13-15.

Coleman said the track will operate under Phase 2 guidelines for now, meaning everyone at the track needs to wear a mask and each child can have only one parent as accompaniment. He’s hoping the track can move to Phase 3 later in the year in which children could have both parents.

The track is open to youth of all ages, as young as 2, and to adults. Due to COVID-19 protocols, people still need to sign up online much like last year.

A limited supply of 50 bikes and 60 helmets are available at no charge.

In addition to the Lincoln Park track, plans are in place for a “pump track” at Erickson Playfield in Port Angeles.

A pump track is different from a standard BMX track in that it is designed for bike riders to use rollers and momentum to propel them rather than their pedals.

Coleman said work is now being done on the permitting, and construction is set to begin in August.

“It will be one more reason to come to Port Angeles,” he said.

________

Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be reached at [email protected]

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