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Full Version: Michigan 80's racing, stories, people and pics > VintageBMX Talk > The Tracks We Raced
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Tom Erickson
Well I am from Minnesota originally but call Michigan home now. Every time I go to a track peolpe ask me about this track and that track which tells me that SE Michigan had a huge BMX community BITD. Who are the riders, where were the tracks, who is still racing.

Deanna can help I'm sure.

All I remember was 1982 Great Lakes National as an A Pro and getting totally Moto'd. Ted Carl and I traveled the 12 hours on Friday and drained all of my energy. Waterford was great then and is even better now.

Tell your stories, post pictures if you've got em. Maybe this thread will get to 100 pages too.

Sorry to my old friends in Minnesota but these guys in Michigan used to race as much as we did with more tracks.

[ September 22, 2006, 09:46 PM: Message edited by: Tom E ]
My first ever experience with BMX was way back in the early to mid 80's I met a kid that raced. He told me to show up and watch sometime. There was this track in Grand Blanc on Dort HWY near Maple road. (It's a mini-storage now) I went and watched. It was probably the coolest thing I ever saw. I didn't own a bike at the time so I never got to ride it. But I used to go and watch all the time for a couple of summers. I never knew what that track was called. Or what sanction it was. I would love to know more about that track if anyone has any info on it.
I raced at a track near Plainwell which was 15 miles north of Kalamazoo. I raced there between 77-80. It was a great place to race,even got a chance to run with Stu.
I never knew what that track was called.
Stadium BMX, ABA, I believe this correct.

Ya know, just 10 minutes before logging in tonight I thought to myself, I should start another Michigan thread, them Minnesota guys have a thread a mile long...

I'll pull out the photos soon, for now lets compile the track master list, add what I missed.

Traverse City
Traverse City indoors
Sault Ontario
Lansing, Jack Pine
Battle Creek
Benton Harbor
Kalamzoo, Nettle Downs
New Baltimore
Bogie Downs/Bogie East

28 and counting....
I raced from 1981 - 1984. Local to southeast Michigan only. Bogie Downs, Bogie East, Mt. Grampion, Waterford, Endless Summer.

My favorite track (maybe because it was the closest track for my parents to take us to) was Bogie East. I also enjoyed Endless Summer, but I can never remember for the life of me where that track was located. I want to say it was in Fraser or Roseville off Utica Road? Maybe Masonic?

I remember not liking Mt. Grampion at all. Only raced there a handfull of times.

My family has misplaced all photographs from that time period, so I have nothing to post, but I hope this thread takes off. Randy and Deanna have a wealth of information and pictures to share.

me racing at Kinross:


some more Kinross:

The boys at Dafter:

I'll scan more this week. I've got tons more

adding to the track list:

Stadium BMX in Inkster (ABA Track). This was an old furniture store we raced around twice for a longer track.

Crossroads indoor (ABA Track) and outdoor (NBL Track). Does anyone remember their outdoor track on the other side of US23? An Nbl national was held there back in the 80's. The outdoor track is now a miniature golf course and strip mall.

Endless Summer (ABA Track). I remember spending time there watching the RC cars race and riding in the skatepark.

USA BMX (ABA Track). It was at the corner of Dequinder and I696. It's turned into a industrial park now with a Bob Evans in front. I spent a lot of money playing their video games. Fun place to race and hang out.

Challenge Indoor down at exit 1 at the Michigan/Ohio border. The Wahl's used to run it and it was ABA.
Me caring the flag @ Bogie Downs, 1-81

More flag waving, Stadium BMX, 2-82

David Fisher [who I wished was here] #68 and I #2 up in da UP/Marquette, 9-83

Ludington, 1982

[ September 23, 2006, 11:57 AM: Message edited by: Randy ]
What would a Michigan thread be if not to show off snowbank endos?

OMG I forgot about snowbank endos. Plant front wheel in snowbank and flip over handle bars,WHAT A BLAST.My freind broke a kneecap when he planted his front end into what he thought was a snowbank and it turned out to be a snow covered dirt pile.OWWWW
Challange 1 andlater 2 in Ottawa lake ,Fox medow farm NBL in Lambertvile indoor, Milian at the drag strip ,Adrian ,believe two,Hillsdale,Morenci and Saugatuct,forget the spelling.
Kelly B
Oh man what a great topic. I'm not from michigan but I'm a big fan of it. One of my favorite riders and person is from michigan. I can hardly wait till he chimes in.
Joe Dunn
Sorry for the poor quality of pics, I think I had a kodak 110.

First pic from Crossroads.

Next is from Stadium.

Next is also from Crossroads.

Last pic from USA.

I haven't had a chance to use this pic in awhile. I'm sure this rider will post some cool pics.

[ September 23, 2006, 09:56 PM: Message edited by: All Dunn ]
Tom Erickson
This is great. Wow!! I can't believe how many tracks we used to have in Michigan. Great to see Tom O post as well as Randy. We should get you guys out and race sometime.

Love the pics. Keep em coming!!!
Jeff V
In Southwest Mich there was also tracks in Benton Harbor, and a downhill track in Buchanan AKA Redbud. It was where their night MX track is now.
Jeff V
All Dunn, do you have any better pics of Solan Foster on that red DY?
I'm from SE MI. never got into racing, just side kicking my buddies at the park lol. after seeing this thread, kinda makes me want to start. ive done that endo thing into a snow pile too lol.
1982 Waterford, ABA State finals, 2nd 17x. My taveling pal Mike Wells took 3rd, 11x I think.

Jumping out of the frame at the tire lined Kaleva track, 1983.

1982 Grand Rapids, Me, Scot Towne and Kevin Nowack

[ September 24, 2006, 07:51 PM: Message edited by: Randy ]
Yo! Randy, I love that photo! I'm riding a brass-plated CW cruiser in that photo and when I started racing again in '98 a dude brought it to the Wyoming (RIP) track to show me. It was part for part, identical to when I had it. I wish I had it now, but homie was not giving it up. Redripper, who are you? I'm from Plainwell. Born and raised, knowsayindog?
sorry for spelling your name wrong, is nowack right, or nowak/nowac?

didn't I pass both of you in that next corner?
Unfortunately I don't have much to add except I raced at most of the above tracks. Did anyone mention the sand pit in Marquette? This entire thread is deja vu, even the pics. It is cool to see all the Michigan stuff, but I feel like we already did it.

The highlight last time was Randy's Bogie Downs story where he drove down on a school night from Traverse City.
I didn't move here to Michigan till 98 so I don't know anything about any olf tracks except one.

A neighbor recently told me about a old track here in Lapeer located north of town on M24. Not sure of the name but its behind some softball fields. I went to check it out and found the track is still there but is grown up with heavy weeds and small trees. The starting hill is still there and what appears to be the first turn birm. The old office building is currently used for storage and all of the bleachers are piled up in the woods near by.

Has anyone ever heard of this track?

I'll spin my yarn again but I rather see and hear from some others before I monopolize another Michigan thread.
I'll scan some more pics today.

My favourite track was Charlevoix and it's super fast downhill. It made the first corner a little hairy!

My most memorable race was the Northern State Championships in Traverse City.

Northern Michigan was a great place to race bmx back in the day.

Hey Scott Towne? I was born and raised in Otsego(GO BULLDOGS:)) I raced at the Plainwell track from 77-80(bike got stolen:() And I quit racing after that.
Oh yea Scott my name is Scott Dalrymple
How about the shoot outs that they used to have in Mich? Start on Friday afternoon and go through sunday and race what maybe ten times? Waterford, Crossroads, Boggie East, Challange, USA?, And i know there were others. Racing was a blast back then. Anyone remember the Mich indoor champonships that were held outdoors? There were so many others, maybe the BMX Professor will be able to remember! Keep them comming!
Lapeer was an ABA track in the 80's. I'm not sure when it shut down but I have plenty of pics from the nationals held there. Very flat/long/dust bowl track. I have driven by it plenty of times but could never figure out exactly where it sat on M-24.
maybe the BMX Professor will be able to remember!
Who is the BMX Professor?

I remember racing from track to track like you listed.

We just had a memorial race for Kelly Burnette the old gate starter out at Waterford.

Some of the people that attended that you guys may remember are:

Solan Foster
Heather and Shevona McKenzie
Debbie DeBacker (Gary's Mom)
Tom McMillan (Announcer BITD)
Melanie Cline
Rita Martuscelli (Frank's Mom)
Ed Burnette
Baird's (Another gate starter from Bogie Downs/Very Tall guy)
Tushis (Colony Bike show owner)
Bob Chadwick (80's State Commissioner when the state went NBL)
Wally and Sherry Borczka (Their dad ran the Tracker bike team)
Bart and Brad Childers
Jack "The Snake" Kern
Tom Charavelli (Colony bike shop rider)
DesJardins, Gary and Robyn
Tammy Spaven
Jamson Hendler (Schwinn and Slingshot Factory Rider)
Johnny Tomac. I talked to him, he is doing well and donated his jersey for the memorial race.

We are going to have a banquet sometime this winter. More than likely at a hall that Waterford can get for us. I'll start another thread when the time is near.

[ September 25, 2006, 09:14 PM: Message edited by: Deanna ]
The BMX Professor is Ken Spring Nicknamed "Super K" back then, by Kevin Collins (sp) Dad! He ran for Power Rider and Reggies out of Toledo and then Bandito.
Boy I can remember some of those old tracks. I usually just read the posts but I can think of a few to add. Here are some more and maybe some repeats?

Cascade - GR
Jenison - GR
Astro Speedway Skatepark - GR

Cascade also had some indoor cement races and one with kitty litter on the ice rink and wooden jumps. That race was unique.

Kalamazoo fairgrounds indoor cement
Wayland 80s
Flashpoint Wayland 90s
Big Rapids
Mount Pleasant

Mason indoor just south of Lansing

Does anybody remember the indoor track at the old bumper factory in Flint on Dort Hwy?

Does anybody remember the indoor track at the old bumper factory in Flint on Dort Hwy
Stadium BMX it was ABA. Randy answered that question on the first page.

I still can't remember a Ken Spring and I rode for Reggies. The name just doesn't ring a bell. Where was he from in Michigan?

The only person I remember riding for Bandito Factory was Heather McKenzie.

Could he have been on their Co-Factory team?

I'm just drawing a blank I think.
Tom Erickson
Is this the Ken Spring that races for Kappa today? 30-34 class and Cruiser?

He lives in Either Tennessee or somewhere South East of Michigan now. Ken we need you to chime in!!

[ September 26, 2006, 10:05 AM: Message edited by: Tom E ]
Hey Guys, I can't help but chime in, I know Buds was in Indiana, but only by a couple miles! I couldn't say that we had a majority of MI riders, but we had a pretty good percentage. lets see, I know I will miss a bunch
Scott Towne
Brent Walk
Randy Eason
Gary Payne
Richie Dressen
The Armstrongs
Jeff Starbucks
These were some of the regulars, then at the special events we saw
John Tomac
Kevin Collins
Tony Luke
Everybody I missed, Shout out and remind me.

Scott, I remember you. That's awesome. As for the Lapeer track, I raced there one time at the ABA Nationals in '84. I somehow made the pro cruiser main and was in third behind Brent and Brian Patterson, with "U No" way back in fourth after some kind of NorCal related tangle up earlier in the lap. On the last straight, ol' Crazy Ronnie passed me like my chain came off and I missed out on the $50 or whatever. I really needed the money, too, because earlier in the weekend Jeff Venekamp threw his helmet through the window of my Subaru. Remember that, Jeff? I remember Kevin Nowak coming over to break the news to me "Uh, Scott....".
I'm sorry I missed the Kelly Burnette Memorial. He was a great guy and it would have been good to see all those folks.
One more thing, John Keirnan, we are still planning a Buds BMX reunion, but it looks like it's going to have to be in early '07.
Yes it is the same Ken Spring that now lives in Nashville and races 30-34 for KAPPA. Deanna, Ken rode for Reggies when they first started their national team. Along with Danny Kunkel, and I think, Kelly Merriman was also on that team. He did ride for factory Bandito along with JD Finny and Matt Hadden. He traveled lot with the Wahl's and the Merrimans in caravan. He is a few years younger then you,
Ha, that is funny. I know Ken Spring or atleast I think I know who he is if I'm thinking about the right guy. Never knew his ties to Michigan or Reggies.

I'll have to chat with him about it next time I see him.

Scott, The event turned out real good considering there was only a week to plan for it. We missed you! I'll let you and everyone know if we get something together during the winter. Many expressed an interest to doing this.

Wildman, another to add to the list would be Troy Raatz. I've been chatting with him the last few days, sounds like we may have him back on the BMX track soon!
Thanks Deanna, add Bob Cote, and of course Jamson Hendler, There were two brothers from Edwardsburg that were fast, can't remember their names. WM
Bmx Prof
I will certainly come back to a gathering of these old school riders. A flash from the past indeed.

Clarifications... same Ken Spring, rode for Power Rider, co-jmc, then for the Reggies national team with Kevin Collins, Kelle Meeriman, Rich Garcia ... list goes on... we have a pic of use with the trophy somewhere around my folks house. Then on factory Bandito for a year and a half (almost two) years. And man do I miss factory sponsorships like that. I used to get a box of goodies atleast every other week, sometimes once a week. I mean Kappa is great and all, but...

Back then when you would come off the track at the nationals kids would take your number plates, pad sets, visors... so bandito would keep us in a steady supply, along with grips, t-shirts, goggles. It was crazy fun.

I've run into a bunch of the Michigan riders in the last couple of years, some that I remember and others that were at all of the same races but I was younger. I'm living in Nashville now, my folks are still in the toledo area.

Where was the USA track...utica?

I haven't heard anything mentioned about the adrian track... my dad announced there and at challange. I remember a very long table top there.

I always dug the ypsi track, had a funky layout with a 90 degree turn almost out of the gate. Lisa Motley and I were talking about that at evansville. Rob Tatro rode her brother up the wall at the ypsi track, and later that night when we raced at challenge, her brother punted Tatro into the cow pasture in the first turn (they would occassionally open up the doors) ... funny stuff.

Which track had the bridge, you rode over, then cam back through... was that Lansing?

I think I rode all of the tracks mentioned, with the exception of the U.P.

But I raced every week at:

bogie (east and downs)

Those were fun times. My father would pick me up from school, I'd do my home work on the way to the track, race, then sleep in the car on the way home. We have lots of picks from those days, but none are scanned... perhaps the old man will get one and do it.

[ September 27, 2006, 02:17 PM: Message edited by: Bmx Prof ]
Bmx Prof
Anybody recall the indoor championships

that were held at some state fairgrounds outdoors?

Two straights, one turn, some wooden jumps?
Does a Prof have more knowledge than a Teacher? Just kidding, last time I saw Ken was at Lay Indoor. How are you, Ken? I think that some memories we all share from those days. Remember the Tom Debois(Matt & Chris Cook's dad) short cuts, they always took longer. A couple of other tracks were: Fenton Lakes, Otsego County, Hobby Track in Ironwood, Newberry to name a few we hit on any given weekend. 3 Tracks on a Saturday was and every week event. Some names from the past: Rodney Freeman, Matt McCullach, Gary Debacker, Brian Lippens, John Tomac, Tammy Balaz, Darcy Ainsworth, Wendy Winters, Kristine Miller, Heather McKenzie. All of these names helped to make Michigan Bmx in the 80's Great fun. Thanks for the trip. Tommy
Anybody remember March 1981 Pontiac Silverdome Race? I remember the snow and that Stu Thomsen designed the track for the NBL.. What a great race. There were over 10000 people in the stands at all times. Anthony Sewell and Harry Leary won the Pro races. I think that Darcy Ainsworth, from Mich, won the girls classs (Powder Puff), and Keven "Special K" Collins won his class. I can't think of anybody from the area who won. Just another memory from Michigan Racing. Tommy
I'm pretty darn sure that Darcy was in my class. I ended up winning the 10-11 girls class that weekend. Can't remember how Darcy finished. Sure would be good to catch up with her and her family. Her brothers name was Lance.

I have tracked down many of the names you spoke of Tommy. We just had somewhat of a reunion during Kelly Burnette's memorial race a few weekends ago. I posted something earlier in this thread.

We were trying to track down Kelly and You but no one had any contact information.
I grew up in Haslett and went to school with two brothers that raced Jim and Jon Cain. would be about 45,46 today
Don't forget, there were two Silverdome races. I attended the 2nd one in October 1981. I know that Stu designed that track, did he do the one in March too?

Greg Hill won the pro class in his debut for GT.

1st turn, me leading my cruiser class.

Bmx Prof
I don't know about any 'short-cuts', but I do recall him driving like 90-100 as a result of us being late to races. All of those names were blasts from the past.

We would show up at the races pop open the trunk and have like 6 kids and 8 bikes in the back of the ranchero. funny stuff.

Tommy, I heard that you occassionally show up at races and kill it. Nice. How is Doc? What is Kelly up to these days?
Remember how Doc had like 6 bikes in the trunk of the Caddy? Every thing was taken apart and we had to put it back together like a puzzle. He is doing well, thanks for asking. Yes the rumors are true, I have justed showed up at some race and rode. I just ride a cruiser now, don't know about "kill it", but I do OK. I drug Kelly with me last time. She ended up racing the 16 year olds. She didn't do so bad. No dirt samples went home.
In an earlier post, I tried to remember brothers from Edwardsburg, They were the Hoovers, one of them was Brett. WM
BMX Prof, I believe the "outdoor state championship" you are thinking of was at the Kalamazoo fairgrounds, where the indoor track was. The track was kind of goofy, but that was a fun race. It was spring of 1983.
TedR, I can't believe you mentioned the Cascade indoor race on the ice with kitty litter. that was a wild one. Apparently the kitty litter almost destroyed the Zamboni and "never again" was the law laid down from the ice arena. Brett Hoover. All these names. Being from the West side, I didn't race or see all the East side people as much, but I traveled enough to interact with them. This website is amazing in that we are all reunited in a way. I still can't get over John "Wildman" Keirnan being on this board!
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