The BMX track at the Prince William County Stadium Complex might be the best-kept secret in the county.
Run by the Northern Virginia BMX Parents Association, in cooperation with the County’s Department of Parks and Recreation, the track is host to bicycle racing for those who are inclined to competitiveness and practice for those looking to improve their bike riding skills.
Tracy Hannigan, the Recreation Services Division Chief for the Department of Parks and Recreation, said BMX racing becomes a family affair for those who find their way to the track. “It’s one of the coolest things we have in Prince William County. It’s fun to see all of the young people enjoying it. It’s a safe healthy activity. It’s fun to see families participating.”
Jennifer Helmick, the president of the non-profit parents’ association, which keeps the track open for about eight months of the year, said the first visit to the track is free “After your first time, if you decide that you want to continue, you would actually have to get a membership through USA BMX for $60 a year. With that membership, you can ride anywhere in the U.S. because the sanctioning body of all the tracks in the United States is USA BMX.”
The parents’ association experts will check the bicycles of first-time visitors for safety, and they will even loan full-face helmets to visiting riders who don’t have one. Full-face masks, long-sleeved shirts and long pants are required to ride at the track, Helmick said.
Practices at the track are held on Mondays and Wednesdays with races on Saturdays. Daily fees to ride the track are $3 on Mondays and $5 on Wednesdays when the starting gate is in operation.
Hannigan said the track works for people of all levels. During race days, riders are classed according to age and skill as novice, intermediate or expert riders. “Any age can participate – anyone who can ride on two wheels, beginner to expert. If you want to come into a competitive environment, you can race other bikers. They put you in categories with age and proficiency. You can ride with people in your local community to state and national riders.”
The Prince William Board of County Supervisors recently approved a Memorandum of Understanding between Prince William County government and the parents’ association to operate the BMX track behind G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium where the Potomac Nationals play baseball. The last memorandum with the association needed to be renewed for the operations at the track to continue. The memorandum increases the amount of public liability carried by the parents’ association in accordance with County policy.