The Cortez BMX track on Empire Street has received a face-lift thanks to a professional designer and donated dirt from Jaynes Construction.
The upgrade is a significant improvement, and the most comprehensive in 20 years, said track operator Mark Baxter.
“The whole track is elevated, and the rhythm section is improved,” he said. “It is a much nicer track.”
The Cortez BMX organization paid track designer Lance Maguire $4,000 to upgrade the track with 2,000 yards of dirt donated by Jaynes from the nearby courthouse construction project. S and S Construction donated the hauling of the dirt.
“Lance is one of the nation’s premiere track builders, and having that much dirt donated allowed for full-track improvement,” Baxter said.
Every obstacle was torn down and rebuilt. The track was then carefully raked by hand, watered down, and packed down with ATVs and Jeeps. The course pattern is essentially the same, but every obstacle has been upgraded.
“Redesigns are needed to counter erosion and make sure the track is comparable to other competition tracks,” Baxter said.
“We’re keeping up with the trends to keep riders interested.”
The improved rhythm section was needed to keep local kids competitive.
“We never really had that, so now our riders will be able to learn that skill and be ready to compete at other tracks that have rhythm sections,” Baxter said.
The redesign is ready for the May 15 race. Practice will be held the morning of May 13.
The organization was very grateful for the donated dirt, Baxter said, a cost savings upwards of $10,000. The plan is to use dirt not used for the main track for a smaller pump-track nearby.
“We are very thankful, without the local community’s generosity and support we would not be able to have this,” Baxter said.
The Cortez BMX track is used by more than 200 local riders, and is sanctioned by USABMX. The local season runs from the middle of May to the end of September each year.
Racing is held every Monday night, and every other Saturday.
BMX Rider Davian Pawlicki, 10, said the new track was “more interesting.”
“My brother and I race, my dad races, and I’m having a lot of my friends come over and race,” he said.
For more information, go the Cortez BMX website at http://www.cortezbmx.org