Kevin Riedemann is back as track operator, and the starting gate has already been buzzing this year with boys and girls of all ages and skill levels. While there is plenty of practice times offered throughout a given week (usually 6-8 p.m. Monday and Thursday), races typically follow the 6-7 p.m. registration time on Tuesdays.
Special races and events for the whole family are planned on various days throughout the summer, as well. On Tuesday night, June 18, for instance, the Isanti track will hold its Tribute to Dad race. Registration is from 6-7 p.m., with racing to follow. Cost is $10, but spectators watch for free.
Rum River BMX track operator Kevin Riedemann displays a Strider balance bike, which is intended for smaller youngsters and those not comfortable with the traditional pedal bike. The Isanti track offers a special course for balance bikes to help keep the whole family involved in the sport.
Rum River BMX, ranked in the top 10 out of 450 tracks nationwide for the past two years, offers a few changes this year. The track is located near the soccer fields and Bluebird Park in Isanti.
The Strider track program is for younger riders and those not comfortable with pedaling yet. Riders use balance bikes on a smaller track that sits next to and resembles the larger course.
While these races cost $5, which goes toward trophy costs, families can take advantage of a special membership and watch their kids practice for free.
“It’s good to get kids used to it,” Riedemann said. “With 42 practice nights a year, it reflects our dedication to get kids on bikes and be healthy.”
New mentor program for youth
Also new this year is the youth mentor and training program, which matches some of the older, more experienced riders with younger riders looking to improve their skills. These clinics run 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays, but participants must sign up ahead of time to ensure there are sufficient mentors available.
As for the cost, those with Platinum memberships get two free class sessions, then every session after that is $5. Standard USABMX members will be able to attend the two-hour classes for $10 per class.
Each class will have at least a senior and junior mentor and an adult supervisor, though more instructors may be involved depending on class sizes. Riders can have classes tailored to their individual needs, and parents can join in the fun, too.
It’s good for beginners and experienced riders, as it gives them all a chance to grow, Riedemann explained.
Don’t have a BMX or balance bike? No problem. By visiting the track, families will find a few loaners on hand for kids to try out, and networking with the veteran BMX folks there won’t hurt either. Otherwise, “any bike will work out here,” Riedemann said. “And we’re always looking for demos and loaners.”
Under the race program, participants don’t have to start with a class, though that route is available. For instance, a BMX for Beginners Clinic is scheduled Wednesday, June 12. Registration starts at 5:30 p.m., followed by the class 6-8 p.m.
All riders are encouraged to come on practice nights when they can. For beginner and novice riders, they can transition through the youth mentor program to become more comfortable and acclimated to the sport, Riedemann said.
Participating in the sport of BMX is not that expensive, according to Riedemann, as a night of practice is $4 per rider and races are typically $10 an entry. Season practice passes for singles and families are available and so are multiple-rider discounts. Spectators can watch for free.
Racers and families also can look into the new Premium Platinum packages, which include more deals and benefits than any other offer yet at Rum River BMX.
“We’re trying to get people to understand that we’re not just an X game; it’s racing, and we’re affordable,” Riedemann said. “There’s something here for everyone, and the schedule is flexible for families to take their summer vacations.”
And if the weather looks wet or threatening, participants can find out if an event is canceled by signing up for the Rum River BMX Association text alert program. They also can call the race hotline at 763-444-5429, which contains the latest information.
For more about Rum River BMX – from memberships to classes, how to get started to the bikes and gear – visit www.rumriverbmx.com or email Riedemann at firstname.lastname@example.org. Racers can keep updated, too, by subscribing to the association’s newsletter; just drop an email to email@example.com.
The Rum River BMX Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization sanctioned by the USABMX. It consists of a team of volunteers providing area residents a family-oriented activity to teach the value of hard work, dedication and perseverance. Rum River BMX also attempts to instill a sense of community involvement in its activities and provide a structured reward system for riders as they achieve success.