PORT ANGELES — More than 500 BMX riders from around the state will pour into Port Angeles this weekend for the Washington state BMX championships, showcasing both the refurbished Lincoln Park BMX track and the growing cycling scene on the North Olympic Peninsula.
The renovated BMX track already hosted a state qualifier this summer, which was a big event in of itself with nearly 350 riders.
Track operator Sean Coleman said that with spectators and visitors, the track is expecting about 1,500 people this weekend. He said the work done on the track that took five months and was completed in April was a big part of Port Angeles attracting this major event. The $75,000 project — with $50,000 of that coming from city lodging tac funds — redesigned the start hill and added a safer starting gate.
“We would not have been able to do it last year,” he said.
The state championships were originally slated to be held at the Peninsula Indoor Track in Port Orchard, but that track was deemed as being too small, so the Lincoln Park track stepped in. Coleman said the Lincoln Park track has a good relationship with the Peninsula Indoor track.
Last year’s state event attracted 489 riders, so around 500 can be expected this year, Coleman said.
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s kind of exciting at the same time,” he said.
With the Northwest Cup downhill mountain-biking series holding two races in Port Angeles this summer and now the state BMX championships being held locally, the North Olympic Peninsula is becoming more and more a mecca for BMX and mountain-biking.
Coleman said the track’s membership and average rider count has doubled since last year.
There will be three days of racing: The Friday single-point races, Saturday double-point and the Sunday state championship triple-point races.
For Friday’s single-point races, the cost is $10 per rider. Signups will also be taken from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on that day.
For Saturday’s double point races, the entry fee is $25 and $15 for practice. Signups and practices will take place at track from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Registration for the triple-point state finals to be held Sunday will end on Saturday. There will be no signups taken on Sunday for the finals so if you’re racing Sunday, make sure to sign up Saturday.
The cost for the finals on Sunday is $35 per rider. The races begin at 9 a.m. with a flag lap at 8:50 a.m. Races will continue until about 3 p.m., with the awards ceremony taking place roughly an hour after the races are over.
Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected]