Northwoods Adventure: Lakes Area BMX Going Strong In Its 35th Year
“No one gets to sit on the bench,” Justin Barnhart, Lakes Area BMX’s President, said. “Everyone gets to participate and play.”
That’s why Barnhart, the Track Operator at Lakes Area BMX, loves the sport. Everyone who wants to ride gets a chance to hit the track.
“It’s not all for guys, even though there are probably more guys that do it than girls; if you’re a girl and you like a sport that’s rough, join it, because it’s a good sport to do,” BMX racer Cecelia Callahan said.
It doesn’t matter if you are an expert rider or just starting out – there is a spot for you on the track.
“Our youngest rider a couple years ago was 18 months on a balance bike,” Barnhart said. “So, 18 months is our youngest and 65 is our oldest.”
This is the 35th year for Lakes Area BMX, and if you don’t have a bike or helmet, don’t worry – they’ve got you covered.
“Several years ago, we got a donor to donate funds for helmets for the track, so we can give them out as loner helmets; they cost nothing for the kids,” Bill Roehl, Lakes Area BMX’s Treasurer, said. “Same with the bikes: they are there to use on a first-come-first-served basis.”
The race on Sunday was about more than just crossing the finish line.
“All of our funds that we raise today from registration go back to USA BMX, which is our sanctioning body out in Arizona,” Barnhart said. “All that money goes into a scholarship fund that our riders that are seniors throughout the nation can apply for.”
On top of helping with the Bob Warnicke Scholarship fund, the Lakes Area BMX crew is all volunteers.
“We are a non-profit organization; we are here for the kids, trying to keep kids on the right track,” Barnhardt said. “We have a chili cook-off fundraiser and a bake sale going on today to fund us through the winter.”
It’s fundraisers like that and a lot of support from local businesses that keep the track at Lakes Area BMX open, and after 35 years, there is no sign of slowing down.
Lakes Area BMX holds races every Sunday through the end of October, weather permitting.