The family-run Peninsula Indoor BMX track in Port Orchard hosted an open house recently with the hopes of exposing youth to the sport and putting old stereotypes to rest.
Up to 40 young riders showed up with their parents to the only indoor BMX track in the state, which to the plain eye would just be another shed off the rural streets of town. Co-track operator Joel Moore, along with his wife Erin, said the hiddenness of the track is similar to how BMX remains a hidden sport.
“It’s one of those things that you don’t really know it exists unless you know it exists or unless you accidentally happen upon it,” he said. “This is an opportunity or an effort to try to normalize it a little bit.”
BMX also faces the obstacle of drugs, smoking and bad attitude being attached to the sport. Joel said that a lot of people think that, but “there’s a whole other component that’s actually racing and athletics and just good clean competition and fun, and I think that’s what kids will get benefit out of.”
During the two-hour beginner lesson, families were educated on the basics of the sport and how to ride on the track. The track provided bikes and full-head helmets for participants and lets them try out the course at a slower, guided pace.
Helping guide the riders was Jacy, the Moores’ daughter. She and brother Trenton, who also helped with the open house, have been riding BMX from a young age and are using their skills and knowledge to help coach the younger kids.
“When I was younger, we never really had anybody to help us out, so we kind of just had to learn on our own and ask questions where we could,” she said. “I wanted to give back to all the riders, all the younger boys and girls, that wanted to learn about this.”
They also help maintain the track, which can be used year-round since it’s indoors. Track maintenance can range from basic prep and dust-offs to complete restructures.
Jacy said: “It’s a lot of maintenance, especially when we rebuild it and make different obstacles. You have to make sure everything is where you want it to be.”
The preparation and maintenance, along with the coaches, keep the kids as safe as possible. Parents like Jessica Ellison were thrilled to see their kids ride the track. “He’s done this before, but never like this.”