BMX state qualifiers hit Eagle on Sunday
IF YOU GO:
What: BMX state qualifiers
Where: Eagle County BMX, 1700 Bull Pasture Road in Eagle
When: Registration is from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., racing starts after
EAGLE — If you want to see how the local BMX track is supposed to be ridden, then bring the family out to the park on Sunday.
Eagle County BMX will host their annual state qualifying race, where BMX riders of all ages can attempt to make it through the ranks to this year’s state championship competition in Grand Junction in October.
New for this year, a pro-am event will take place alongside the regular age division racing. Track operator Jay Lucas said college riders and fully sponsored athletes will be taking to the track in the pro-am, attempting to advance to finals in a bracket-style competition.
“These guys ride the track a little differently than the amateurs,” Lucas said. “It will be something to see, for sure.”
BIGGEST LOCAL BMX EVENT
The annual state qualifier is the biggest event of the summer at the Eagle County BMX track in Eagle. Over the last decade, the park near Eagle’s Pool & Ice Rink has blossomed from an empty lot into a popular mountain biking trailhead with an official BMX track hosting weekly races and a large pump track practice area adjacent to it. Every fall, the state championship mountain bike races are hosted there by Colorado’s high school cycling league.
The BMX track had always been a dream for the area for Lucas, who saw a way to make that dream a reality in 2010 with the help of other locals, the town of Eagle and the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District. Now a major fixture in a town that prides itself on its biking attractions, the BMX track became a little more permanent last year with the advent of a large paved turn which will cut down on track erosion. This year, picnic tables and a shade canopy have been added for the families who frequent the track for racing on Mondays and practice on Thursdays throughout the summer.
The canopy was installed as part of the town of Eagle’s trail maintenance and improvement program, a summer job currently being held by Lucas’ son, 18-year-old Halsey.
“Now all we need out here is Rocky Mountain Taco for these busy nights during dinner time,” Halsey Lucas said from the canopy.
A lifelong sport for many, BMX racing is an age-division event, with riders competing against others who were born within a few years of one another. Becoming an official track where qualifying can occur can be a difficult proposition for some operations, so when Eagle County BMX became certified with USA BMX, it was a big deal for a lot of locals.
Lucas said one summer he put more than 8,000 miles on his vehicle driving Halsey, his brother Nash and their mother, Sari Lucas, to different events where they all would compete.
Now a place where families spend a couple nights per week together, the track puts on events for toddlers learning to ride a balance bike, racers old enough to be their grandparents and everyone in between.
“If anyone is curious what this is all about, Sunday will be the perfect time to come by and see how fun this BMX scene is in Eagle,” Lucas said.
Registration will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and racing will start shortly thereafter.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.