Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News

SPORTS: Free day for BMX racers, even new riders

PORT ANGELES — Hey kids, if you ever wanted to give BMX racing a try, this may be the weekend to do it.

Adults can give it a try, too.

“It’s a free day for everybody,” Geri Thompson, owner of Port Angeles BMX Track, said.

That free day would be Sunday’s Olympic Day, which is being celebrated around the world as well as the North Olympic Peninsula.

As an Olympic sport, BMX — also called bicycle motocross — is a sport for all ages and skill levels.

Even toddlers can ride in BMX now with the introduction of the tiny Strider bikes that have 12-inch wheels.

More than 300 USA BMX tracks around the country are giving free days Sunday in conjunction with Olympic Day.

Activities start Sunday with sign-ups from noon to 1 p.m. at the Port Angeles BMX Track, which is located just west of the city, and just west of Lincoln Park and south of Clallam County Fairgrounds with the entrance on South L Street.

Festivities begin with Port Angeles Mayor Cherie Kidd leading a ceremony and giving an Olympic Day proclamation at the track starting at noon.

Racing starts soon after the final registration at 1 p.m.

All new riders need to participate in the racing is a bicycle, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and a helmet.

The track has a few helmets to loan out but riders are on their own in the bike department.

“All pedal and push bikes are welcome,” Thompson said.

Be forewarned, though, that the bikes will be checked to be sure they’re safe.

That means no plastic parts that can fall off and no kick stands that could cause injury if a rider takes a tumble.

“We will be checking the bikes for safety,” Thompson said.

“If something falls off a bike during a race, someone can get hurt.”

This is a good weekend for parents to bring their children out to the track to watch the racing, and to give the sport a try. Thompson said.

“Get the kids out here, and see if they like the whole thing,” she said.

There are about 60 riders currently competing at the Port Angeles BMX Track, including grandparents down to toddlers for a good whole-family activity and sport.

Now because of the little Strider bikes — which were introduced this year — children as young as 2 can participate.

Cash Coleman, who will be 6 in August, has been racing for two years, his father, Sean Coleman of Port Angeles, said.

“Cash started racing at the same time a friend of his started,” Sean Coleman said.

Cash’s older sister, 8-year-old Taylor, just started racing this year.

“It took her longer to warm up to it,” Sean Coleman said. “She’s doing well.”

Both children are riding 20-inch bikes now. Cash started out with a 12-inch machine.

In Tuesday’s Ten Series competition at the Port Angeles track, Cash captured third place in the 5 and younger Novice category while Taylor claimed fifth in the 7-8 Open classification.

So, is the whole Coleman family taking part in this sport?

“I’ll leave it to the kids,” Sean Coleman said.

Whether you want to leave it to your own kids or give BMX racing a shot for yourself, this would be a good weekend to show up at the track and give it a try for free.

Contact for more information.

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