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4themasses
A group of us, mostly former 80's BMX racers, are getting ready to submit a proposal to our local PD to support/build a ABA sponsored BMX track. This would be located about 60 miles So. of Chicago. off of I-57 at the Kankakee area.

Although this is the beginning phase, we do have a few land owners interested in going private as well. So regardless whether the PD approves or not, we think we will get this done within the next year or so. A few major resouces have already been lined up such as heavy machinery and dirt/clay. With the private owners their main concern is liability isurance.

My question to the forum is what design would most in the midwest be interested in racing? I've tried to research this and came up with some ideas such as Black Mountain, AZ, Rad Canyon and a few others. What other "things" would make a new track desirable to travel to? We figure we have one good shot to do this, we want to make it right.

Our area had three track in the late 80's and they were closed. Not due to participation, just the owners were ready to move on and no one picked up the torch. It's time to get a track back to the area. The closest tracks are 90 miles away.
joelwitte
flow... and jumps, not rollers... don't have to be huge, just need to be fun
we have rockford if we want to ride rollers
SirMarco
Take a page out of what Portage, In out door track did. Outside of the turns needing to be redone it was a great track to ride. The track has flow and keeps you wanting to ride more. Have a variety of jumps, not just doubles and tables. Build a rythem section that flows well and has more then 1 line through it.
Brandon002
A steep starting hill, a LONG first straight and a lot of flow. Maybe a decision maker so there's a little something for everyone.
LeeHill
Great accessibility to racers from the north, a majority of the racers. Good/safe parking and Pit areas. Great restrooms/facilities for the families. Good and various spectating locations. Lights are always nice. Safe borders at sides of tracks, accidents happen.

Always keep something different from the other regional tracks. Uniqueness. Proper spacing between sections, and within sections/jumps.

And of course coming from me, (Mr. "Live on the hill, not in a bowl") - Site Drainage!!!

And plenty of room for the ambulances that will be needed since so many of the Ol' dudes from the 80's may start racing again. LOL, crunch, ouch!
ILBMX
Tunnel and Bridge
Brandon002
QUOTE (ILBMX @ Oct 7 2011, 01:56 PM) *
Tunnel and Bridge


FUNWAY!!!
4themasses
Great stuff! Thanks guys. I really want input from the racers that are in the local area that may want to check it out when completed. Obviously and input is helpful as well.

One of the things I was really interested in was a split straightaway after the first berm similar to Black Mountain. Thoughts??

Trhe outdoor track from Steel Wheels is pretty nice. My son has raced it, I haven't "YET". But does look like a nice smooth flow.

Racing has changed so much since I stopped in the late 80's so this is very helpful.
SirMarco
Here are my thoughts on a split straight....

No matter where you place a section like this, it must be done right!! If not you will have a section of the track that will rarely be use and eventually have grass growing over it.
If it comes out of the first turn it should be split between "amateur" BMX track jumps and "pro style" jumps. "Pro style" jumps typically should be a bit faster and set up as jump only jumps. The "amateur" side while normally slower, the better riders could flow it just as fast. This would give for a great side by side action.
If done, say down the 3rd straight of a 4 straight track would follow the same structure. One side would be a rhythm section with great flow to keep you at full speed throughout the whole section. The "split" would be a series of "pro style" jumps. Again the jump section should typically be a bit faster. The rhythm, with a skilled enough rider, could be just as quick.
Both sections would have to keep riders on point in order to try and benefit from the side they take.

Just my thoughts
4themasses
QUOTE (ILBMX @ Oct 7 2011, 12:56 PM) *
Tunnel and Bridge


That would be very cool! Saw that on one of the Olympic qualifires. I rememer BITD, maybe Oklahoma or Arizona (Tempe?) had a track laid out like that.
4themasses
QUOTE (joelwitte @ Sep 29 2011, 06:50 PM) *
flow... and jumps, not rollers... don't have to be huge, just need to be fun
we have rockford if we want to ride rollers


Speaking of Rockford.....I know from what I've read that they had a great facitlity. How many people are racing there on any given summer race night? I wanted to make it up there this summer to check it out but just couldn't fit it in.

And touching on that....what MAKES Rockford such a great track/facitlity to race at?

We're meeting this Monday (10/24) to present the proposal to the local PD so we'll see what happens from here. Any advice?
Brandon002
QUOTE (4themasses @ Oct 21 2011, 08:37 AM) *
Speaking of Rockford.....I know from what I've read that they had a great facitlity. How many people are racing there on any given summer race night? I wanted to make it up there this summer to check it out but just couldn't fit it in.

And touching on that....what MAKES Rockford such a great track/facitlity to race at?

We're meeting this Monday (10/24) to present the proposal to the local PD so we'll see what happens from here. Any advice?



Rockford was averaging 30 motos (above/below) over the summer. State race gets around 80 and the Midwest nats around 200+ each day.

The good things about the facility are the fact that it's well organized, which makes things run smooth. The track is always in top shape as well. You can tell that Jake dedicates a lot of time and effort to keeping the track one of the best in the country.
joelwitte
QUOTE (4themasses @ Oct 21 2011, 08:37 AM) *
Speaking of Rockford.....


seemed to average normally low to mid 40's on sundays, i haven't made it to a weds night race in years so couldn't tell you how they do during the week... elkhorn, jake's winter track seemed to average upper 40's unless there was a national... i didn't do a good job of it this year, but the last few years i tried to post here in the local thread regarding weekly moto/rider counts

Brandon002
Build something, anything so that we have another option to race at. Sounds like one of our failing local tracks is going to continue on it's failing path. I know of a large group of riders that would love somewhere else to race on Saturdays.
4themasses
QUOTE (Brandon002 @ Nov 18 2011, 11:56 AM) *
Build something, anything so that we have another option to race at. Sounds like one of our failing local tracks is going to continue on it's failing path. I know of a large group of riders that would love somewhere else to race on Saturdays.


We've presented one park district and have heard they were looking for possible locations. The other PD in the area has told me that the ideal location I'd like, is def. possible....but nothing in writing yet.

I'm at the waiting stage right now. I told them I cannot apply for grants until a location is determined and a non-profit organization formed for the track.

So I'm confident this project will happen, just not sure at what location or what PD will host it. For now I am concentrating on possible track designs to incorporate this track. I REALLY dig the tunnel/bridge concept.

Whats your opinion in track layout as for as berms. I mean should it be a standard snake pattern design with tight 90 deg. berms or something different? I also like the seperate straights in one of the runs. If so should it be in the last leg of the track or maybe sencond leg? I trying to figure out a layout for the tunnel/bridge to work. I don't want to dig down for tunnel due to drainage concerns so I'd have to build up for bridge.

If you would like to follow this track progression, please join my FB page: Support Kankakee Area BMX Racing.

Thanks for the input!
Brandon002
One thing I miss about the old Elgin was the first turn. It was a 90 degree, then a huge roller, then another 90 degree to form a 180 turn, but with an obstacle between the two. The first 90 degree was really wide, the second was tight like a bowl. It made the first turn as challenging as any jump on the track.

joelwitte
wow, i don't remember that, what year? 92/93 maybe?
Brandon002
QUOTE (joelwitte @ Dec 3 2011, 08:14 AM) *
wow, i don't remember that, what year? 92/93 maybe?



Yeah, it was around that time.
SirMarco
The old 90-roller-90 was awesome. I remember between the motos and mains, they would do dirt jumping using the side of that big ass roller. I have a picture of me in a pretty tall manual through the bigger doubles they had right after the 2nd 90. If you remember me back then, I was super short for a 9 year old.
SirMarco
As for a actual layout, the typical snake would be best if you have the land for a larger layout. If space is a little tight and it's a shorter track, U in a U would be good.
Jradical
I have never ridden on a down hill track that was not fun, so if you could build something that slightly drops in elevation, you will at least have the fun factor.
Examples: Louisville KY, Evansville IN, Pittsburgh PA, Morristown (outdoor) TN.

The bridge/tunnel idea sounds cool but I feel it would be very difficult to pull off, we had a track like that years ago and it wasn't great, it had an up hill section and all turns were Left / no Rights...

My $.02 smile.gif
SirMarco
I tunnel would be cool but the safety factor is not so high. I know the track in AZ got rid of theirs.
Down hill is great because of the speed you get. THE HILL was like that until a last season. I'm hoping to help get that back for 2012.
Another great downhill is Bumps & Burms BMX in York, PA. Only down side to that track is the hill you need to walk up in order to get back to the gate.
TuftyBMX
What did they do to Elgin? Is it not downhill anymore?
ILBMX
QUOTE (TuftyBMX @ Dec 12 2011, 08:55 PM) *
What did they do to Elgin? Is it not downhill anymore?


Uphill. With two loopty loops.
Brandon002
QUOTE (TuftyBMX @ Dec 12 2011, 08:55 PM) *
What did they do to Elgin? Is it not downhill anymore?



It's still downhill, just a lot slower then it used to be. A lot of speed scrubbers.
joelwitte
the outdoor morristown track is awesome, i have in-laws a few miles away and contemplated moving there just to have constant access to that track... the last complete rebuild was built by 2 guys with shovels and a wheel barrel, it's kind of amazing how the hill went wrong after seeing morristown honestly
D-C
all it takes to ruin a good track is acouple of guys that choose to make the track so they can ride it instead of learning how to ride.
Brandon002
QUOTE (D-C @ Dec 15 2011, 09:50 PM) *
all it takes to ruin a good track is acouple of guys that choose to make the track so they can ride it instead of learning how to ride.



Or a bunch of guys that have never even ridden a track calling all the shots on track design. Jumps might look killer from the sidelines, but you don't know until you hit them at full speed.
ILBMX
QUOTE (Brandon002 @ Dec 16 2011, 04:44 PM) *
Or a bunch of guys that have never even ridden a track calling all the shots on track design. Jumps might look killer from the sidelines, but you don't know until you hit them at full speed.


Is this the Hill you are talking about? I don't want anybody to misunderstand you.

SirMarco
Guys you all really need to move on from this BS still.
Bitching back and forth about what really happened and pointing fingers WILL NOT FIX THE PROBLEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You know what will help, getting together to talk about a solution and ideas that will help in a respectful way.
I had a meeting with 2 people from the track last Friday and it was very constructive and helpful. I will say this was the most progress I have seen in a while. I can actually see things going well next season. I laid out good ideas and a very helpful structure plan to help move things forward.
Now enough with crapping in this dudes thread about a possible new BMX hours from a current one.
Brandon002
Talk is Cheap Marco... There was a ton of it last year at the winter meeting and absolutely none of it happened. Sorry, but seeing is believing and I'll believe when I see.

Also, let's not talk about respect after the nonsense that spewed from Paul's huge mouth on the hill website not too long ago in the form of personal attacks and attempts to belittle someone. Respect has to be given to be received and I gave last year the benefit of the doubt and it turned out horribly. At the end of the season I decided to voice my opinion and I was attacked from every direction possible. So I give up, until I see all these promises and discussions actually turn into something. Been there, done that and the result spoke for itself. I refuse to help people that won't take criticism or opinions without getting defensive and initiating personal attacks. Sorry.

Hell, someone even donated a ton monetarily and got burned. Bridges need to be rebuilt. This whole "let's put the past behind us" nonsense is a nice way to scapegoat saying "I'm sorry guys, I was wrong, let's try to fix my mistakes"
ILBMX
QUOTE (Brandon002 @ Dec 20 2011, 01:41 AM) *
Talk is Cheap"


I agree, talk is cheap. When you feel better you'll be able to put more into it.

You have some serious challenges ahead of you right now in your personal life. I'm not sure everyone knows the gravity of the situation, but I hope it all works out for you.

Take care.
Brandon002
QUOTE (ILBMX @ Dec 20 2011, 07:24 AM) *
I agree, talk is cheap. When you feel better you'll be able to put more into it.

You have some serious challenges ahead of you right now in your personal life. I'm not sure everyone knows the gravity of the situation, but I hope it all works out for you.

Take care.


Thanks George...


I put as much into it last year as I could. The year before that I was even able to do more (sweeping straights on race days etc..) I really hope you guys can bounce the place back, I just don't feel like putting in any more effort then I already have until I see some sort of proof that it's actually going to happen and that things are going to change (not just track wise either). Also, an apology for a certain personal attack would have been nice.
NOClips
QUOTE (Brandon002 @ Dec 20 2011, 08:41 AM) *
Talk is Cheap Marco...
...Hell, someone even donated a ton monetarily and got burned. Bridges need to be rebuilt. This whole "let's put the past behind us" nonsense is a nice way to scapegoat saying "I'm sorry guys, I was wrong, let's try to fix my mistakes"


That's a very PC way of putting it...but well said! I can't stomach it when I hear that "let's put the past behind us" nonsense. It completely belittles the individuals who may have been wronged for someone elses neglect or failure. Part of being a leader or a "stand up guy" is to accept accountablility for successes AND failures.

In contact with my attorney this week to look at possible options on this topic...
BREEZY110
QUOTE (4themasses @ Dec 1 2011, 08:01 AM) *
We've presented one park district and have heard they were looking for possible locations. The other PD in the area has told me that the ideal location I'd like, is def. possible....but nothing in writing yet.

I'm at the waiting stage right now. I told them I cannot apply for grants until a location is determined and a non-profit organization formed for the track.

So I'm confident this project will happen, just not sure at what location or what PD will host it. For now I am concentrating on possible track designs to incorporate this track. I REALLY dig the tunnel/bridge concept.

Whats your opinion in track layout as for as berms. I mean should it be a standard snake pattern design with tight 90 deg. berms or something different? I also like the seperate straights in one of the runs. If so should it be in the last leg of the track or maybe sencond leg? I trying to figure out a layout for the tunnel/bridge to work. I don't want to dig down for tunnel due to drainage concerns so I'd have to build up for bridge.

If you would like to follow this track progression, please join my FB page: Support Kankakee Area BMX Racing.

Thanks for the input!

DO SOMETHING WITH SOME OLD SCHOOL STUFF JUMPS LIKE FUNWAY IN BATAVIA IL AND SOME STEP UP AND OFFS ALSO GOOD FOR THE LITTLE GUYS
4themasses
Quick update...

The PD is trying to purchase an existing structure that already has mini-golf, a driving range, go cart racing course plus a ton of indoor recreational areas. The director has been telling me since Feb that they have something "in the works" but cannot say what that is yet.

This area has property to build the track on, lots of available parking, easily accessible from I-57 with lots of restaurants, a mall and hotels. Absolute prime location!

See this from their website: http://www.btpd.org/pdf/BTPD%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf
Read the second page, third bulletin.
"Youth organized sports programs. The Park District currently rents space from local schools and at the three-year-old Sportplex to offer youth sports programs; the new facility would add efficiency and cost-effectiveness. In addition, the Park District envisions a robust youth intramural sports programs to offer an alternative avenue for healthy activity for students not on school sports teams.

The local paper reported last month that the PD had planned on buying this property. Of course people started complaining about property taxes etc. which in turn resulted in this purchase possibly going up for public voting for the purchase. Needless to say I haven't contacted the PD about this since I'm sure they are being pounded on about the purchase alone. If they do not purchase this, that particular PD will probably pass on the track since it sounds like this was the only place they could put it, but maybe not. They still have another area by Manteno that could suffice as well though parking would be a ways from the actual track. That's if they still want to keep this project.

If not, we still have options. I have another individual that I'm in contact with as of this weekend that is interested in the track. Word is out down here and I know a lot of people so eventually something will happen.

That's all I have for now.
4themasses
Just to add to this thread real quick the reasoning behind wanting this track in this area.

First and foremost is to introduce kids from our area to BMX racing which has been absent since the very early 90's. We all now what goes along with that in the form of competition, family outings etc. Secondly is because even if kids here WERE interested, for most families it is not within their budget to drive 1-1/2 hours in any given direction to compete.

From Kankakee:
Steel Wheels (indoor or out) and Farmer City: 1-1/2 hrs.
Elgin, Waukegan, Peoria = 2 hrs.
Rockford: 3 hrs.
Statistically sad since this area had three tracks at one time in the 80's.

I talk frequently with a woman from Grant Park (just north-east of K3) at the IN track and she has all kinds of kids and parents really wanting to get their kids into this sport but don't want to drive that far to do so. She's a teacher at the school and her kids all race. I'm sure once they get into the sport they would want to travel to check other tracks out.

Not that it was needed to clarify, I just wanted to state what our motivation was for this.

BIRD6961
cool make it happen
4themasses
Well we waited a whole year for a decision from one of the local park districts. The whole project was contigent on the purchase of a sportsplex along the interstate. In November the citizens voted down the proposal of this purchase thus killing a BMX track in the Bradley-Bourbonnais IL area at this time. I'm told that this was not the only project killed since voters are not interested in investing in their area.

I'm am in discussions with the Kankakee Valley Park District right now with some positive feedback. I have a proposal meeting with their board Jan. 14th. I'm told by their President there is plenty of land available as well as dirt/clay (3000 truck loads available...NOW). I think it would be a "$$ how much do we need $$" to get it started kind of debate right now. I emailed Ed to see IF he still has the gate and was if it's still available so that way I got a line on one and a cost.

I was in discussions last year with them and a few "things" were misconstrued thus causing an issue internally so we let it lie for awhile. Figured it was time to reopen discussions to see if there was interest. I had talked to a board member over the summer who was very in favor of this as well.

For updates I can be found on FB at 'Support Kankakee Area BMX Racing'. I will also open a new thread labled 'Kankakee BMX' and start updating there.

I'll keep all up to date.
4themasses
So thru a few different threads this is what I have:
1. Opinion: "The snake style design is seemingly more mainstream thus becoming boring". Personally I want a very unique layout.

2. Suggested: Flows and jumps, not rollers.

3. Suggested: Have a variety of jumps, not just doubles and tables.

4. Suggested: Rhythm section that flows well and has more than one line through it.

5. Suggested: Steep starting hill with long first straight, possible "decision maker" for everyone in it.

6 .Suggested: Tunnel/bridge (over/under) (Funway - Batavia) Can't find any info on this older track, only Cape Cod BMX.

7. Suggested: Split straights. One side "pro style" the other for the intermediate/beginner riders or for fast flow. Side by side action.

8. Suggested: First straight into a 90, a roller on the middle short straight to another 90.

I've seen some great reviews of Okeeheelee in Florida. Read several threads on tracks people liked and Black Mountain comes up a lot.

Also what are the thoughts/opinions of the blacktopped berms?
BIRD6961
definately black top berms....but maybe after a year or so after all the dirt settles.
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