Following rain, closed BMX track torn up by riders at Bear Creek Park
MEDFORD, Ore. —
The BMX track at Bear Creek Park suffered damages following a rainy weekend.
The track, which is cared for by a non-profit organization called Rogue Valley BMX, is always closed after a storm. Yet, volunteers with RVBMX said that doesn't stop riders from using the course.
They say evidence of the riders-- tire tracks and holes dug into the dirt-- create big problems if left untouched.
"Usually after it rains we'll find that somebody's tore it up, and we have to get out here pretty soon and get it all smoothed back out," said Zeb Tivnan Sr., Race Director for RVBMX. "And it's so wet that they track it all up and make big divets, and if we don't get out here and fix that before the sun comes out, they end up getting hard and staying."
Tivnan Sr. and his son spend hundreds of hours a year prepping the course for races that attract riders from all over southern Oregon.
When it comes to keeping the track in shape, riders who use the course when the ground is wet make the job much harder. Tivnan said RC car racers are also a nuisance to the track, and aren't allowed on the course even during dry conditions.
"We do put signs up, but nobody really listens to us. They just come in here and thrash it," said Tivnan Jr. "Then it becomes unsafe when it becomes slippery like that. Kids start crashing and hurting themselves, and that's the last thing we want."
The hard work of the Tivnans and other volunteers has made this the first season the track has been able to stay open year-round.
But they said their hard work is taken advantage of when riders ignore closure notices.
"They don't come our here hours before race to come prep it, so they don't know time and work it takes to get it how it is," said Tivnan Jr.
Rogue Valley BMX has several goals to improve their track in the future. Those goals would only be made possible by private donations and sponsorships.
Improvements would include installing a fence around the perimeter of the course and paving the starting hill.
They are also hoping to thin out the trees surrounding the track. According to Tivnan Sr., doing so would help to alleviate the number of transients in the immediate area.