Arkansas has become quite a hotspot for BMX (Bicycle motocross). “We actually have a vibrant scene here in Arkansas,” said Alex Kienlen, managing editor of BMXer Magazine and operator of the Bonzai BMX in North Little Rock. “We have a track here, a track in Cabot, a track in Northwest Arkansas in Lowell. So if you are into BMX racing you can do a lot of it here. Especially when the season is up and
going you can BMX in Arkansas pretty much 7 days a week.”
The state has had as many as 5 tracks but right now 3 are open: Bonzai BMX at Burns Park, Mudtown BMX in Lowell and Cabot BMX Complex. Kienlen said California and Florida are still the meccas for BMXing but Arkansas can compete.
BMX motocross bicycle racing ( which became an Olympic sport at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing) is similar to its motorcycle counterpart. Courses are set up with steep turns and jumps. Riders compete in three different races, or motos, with a winner for each moto along with an overall winner. The overall winner is the rider with the best finishing average of the three events.
Kienlen, who lives in Conway, said the most misunderstood aspect of the sport and racing is that people confuse it with the X-games type riding. “Not only do we get no points for tricks but it’s all based on who crosses the finish line first,” he said.
Kienlen added that people might be surprised to find out how broad of a selection of classes are offered in the sport. “We have classes for all ages and experience levels,” he said.
If you are interested in starting in BMX, Kienlen said all you need is long pants, a long sleeve shirt, a bicycle with working brakes (important!),no freestyle pegs, and a helmet.
The Bonzai BMX track can be found by taking the 150 exit (Burns Park exit) from I-40.
The Cabot BMX Complex is at 2301 Willie Ray Drive. More details can be found at: www.cabotbmxcomplex.com/
The Mudtown BMX can be found at Ward Nail Park in Lowell. More details can be found here.
More details about the sport can be found via the American Bicycle Association (the sanctioning body of BMX) at: www.ababmx.com/.
Photos by Z. Clift.