Successful BMX season wraps up

Successful BMX season wraps up

Local riders find the podium at provincials, will head off to nationals over Thanksgiving weekend

The Cranbrook BMX Society has wrapped up a successful season of raising the profile of the local club through events both at home and abroad.

Most recently, Luke Niehaus raced at the B.C. Provincials at the end of August, picking up a bronze medal. The young rider will be joined by two other local competitors to participate in the Canadian finals in Chilliwack over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Over the course of the summer months in Cranbrook the BMX track has held 27 races, including a provincial qualifier, which drew riders from across the Kootenays and and as far away as the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. The track also hosted a Race for Life, which raised $600 for the B.C. Children’s Hospital.

Other events included an Olympics race on Canada Day that featured special guests such as Tristen Chernove, a highly decorated cycling paralympian who has medaled at the paralympics and on the World Cup circuit.

Other events were simply showcase races to demonstrate to the community what BMX is all about. One featured 130 riders, of which 45 were local kids who tried racing for the very first time and were encouraged by Ken Cools, a Olympian BMX racer.

With weekly events on Wednesday evenings, the club has maintained a steady consistent core of 35 racers, while 52 more have come out to give the sport a shot since the season began in early May.

Though the season is wrapped up, Laura Niehaus, who heads up the Cranbrook BMX group, says she is looking forward to growing the membership next year.

While the future of the track itself isn’t quite clear at this stage due to ongoing discussions for a proposed Indoor Sports Facility at Balment Park, the BMX group is carrying on business as usual.

“We are excited to continue to offer free trial races which allows anyone kids or adults to come out and try BMX racing anytime throughout the season,” said Niehaus. “We are looking forward to hosting both regional and provincial races which will bring riders from all over to our City.

“During the winter months we will be working on obtaining grants and funding to improve the track and its features such as a safer gate, power and an improved storage shed. We are unsure where things will go with the soccer dome project and as such are focusing on improving the track so everyone can continue to enjoy riding it as an option for cycling in our city. The track has been such a great improvement to Balment park complementing the neighbouring skate park allowing kids for a safe environment for active living in our community. “

Niehaus notes that the BMX season wouldn’t have been successful without sponsors that provided financial support and in-kind services for things like jerseys, loaner bikes, helmets and additional dirt and tools for track maintenance and upkeep. Those sponsors are: Murlee Inc, Crushed Rock Supplier, Great Canadian Oil Change, BE Civil Projects, Elevate Airports, Sandor Rentals, Days Inn and many more.

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Successful BMX season wraps up

Successful BMX season wraps up

Successful BMX season wraps up