A lot of buzz had been generated over the winter by an unknown track being put together in Lumberton Township, NJ. Well this past Saturday, June 2nd that place had its opening ceremony. It was small but it was probably one of the biggest things to happen in NJ for BMX in the last 10 years. Lumberton, under the guidance of The Murrays, you may know Jim from hitting up the tracks in NJ and the Lumberton Recreation Director Maryann Regn got the township to approve use of land behind the municipal complex for a BMX Freeride Track. The layout is pretty simple and it is not a true “BMX racing track” but more of a place for the local kids to come work on jumps hang out and basically stay out of trouble. It also gives the locals something other than your typical “sports” to do for activity. Ribbon cutting went down at about 11:30, prizes were given out and refreshments, (you can’t beat Philly Soft Pretzels) and the local kids got to shredding.
The mornings festivities could have come out of any typical gathering of kids riding BMX bikes in vacant lots over the years. The only difference this time was that this was authorized use of an area by the township, Awesome. Dude, let’s race! No starting lights, cadences, clips, just…ready, set, go and a bunch of kids push off and have fun. Get some air! The young dudes were already pushing themselves, the older kids were kicking it out and jumping and everyone was respecting each other. Some of the young dudes were already talking, man there’s too many ruts there or this jump needs some work, but the spark was ignited, all they had to do was bring a shovel and a rake and the destiny of that little piece of dirt and jumps was theirs. Joe Murray, Jim’s dad was already setting up plans to have a couple work nights a week to keep the place running smooth and looking good and with the involvement of all the kids who rider there that don’t have the dogma of sanctions working against them I think there will really be an awakening of interest in areas like this all over New Jersey. I spoke to Maryann about how they went about getting this together and about getting insurance on it and it basically boiled down to getting a few people on the board of the town to go along with the idea and approve, a small donation of equipment to get the jumps together and the locals took over most of the rest of the building. As far as insurance, the towns insurance company gave them a basic outline of what needed to be done, jump heights, no organized racing, sign postings, safety gear and that was it. No more risk than your average soccer field. Speaking of soccer, over the course of the day between 25 and 40 kids were hanging out and riding, laughing and having a good time, how often do you see kids just pull up to a soccer, baseball or football field and just have at it without the entanglement of rules and regulations… Just a thought.there. Mark your calendars BMX wackos, June 2nd 2007 marked a turning point for BMXers in the state of NJ. I hope this gives all you riders and parental units out there ideas on what you can do to push BMX into the minds of people in your towns. Get out there and make it happen, cause only you can. Ride on.