On Oct. 13, the Eagle Bike Park--formerly known as the Idaho Velodrome Cycling Park--celebrated the future addition of a new racing track to its considerable grounds. Bicycle Motocross, or BMX, is a competitive racing sport for pedal-powered transport. Kids of all ages on smaller bikes take jumps on dirt tracks, gunning for the inside in time-trial races. If you've ever ridden on the Greenbelt past the Veterans Memorial Bridge, you've probably seen a smaller version of what's in store for Eagle.
About six months ago, Edward Newgen stepped forward to take the reins on bringing a BMX track to the already established Eagle Bike Park.
"They've talked about putting a BMX track out here for four or five years," said Newgen, whose son participates in the sport. "I always thought somebody else was leading it up, but nobody was."
Working with the community, Newgen and the bike park helped push for the track, and this month it's anticipated to become a reality. The new track will help kids from Eagle to compete on a local or national level.
"It can be as competitive as you want it to be," said Newgen. "You can just race local races ... or you can go for district points."
Those district points can add up to both regional and national championships for intrepid cyclists and offer the opportunity for riders to prepare to go pro at the age of 17.
Concerns about the lease agreement, which is separate from that of the Eagle Bike Park, brought by former Idaho Velodrome president Dave Beck temporarily put a kink in the chain. Without a signed lease, the American Bicycle Association couldn't send a builder to sculpt the track to specifications for free.
But Newgen doesn't foresee any permanent hold up.
"I've been working with the ABA and the city to come up with an agreement so they can send a builder up sooner."
Newgen and the park had an ABA builder headed out to Eagle last week. The plan is to have the track built five days after he arrived, and they hope to be race-ready about a week later. We'll keep you posted.