Feb 9, 2024 - News

Des Moines cyclists fundraise for indoor BMX park

BMX bikes rendering

What an indoor BMX park could look like. Renderings: Courtesy of Neumann Monson Architects

A group of local cycling advocates are working to bring a "world-class" public indoor BMX bike race track and dirt jump park to West Des Moines.

Why it matters: Our area is already known for cycling trails that attract riders nationwide.

Details: BMX bikes are smaller and used for performing tricks, racing and off-road riding.

State of play: When Kennedy moved to Des Moines, he noticed that while there are outdoor places like Ewing Park for riders, there's nowhere to ride BMX during the winter.

Between the lines: Kennedy and several groups like Iowa Central BMX are raising $40K to conduct a feasibility study for how to build something similar here.

  • Through discussions with West Des Moines, Kennedy says they've identified land near the RecPlex as a potential spot.
  • The feasibility study would explore building an indoor venue that includes a race track, pump track and a jump line, as well as a bike shop and concessions.

What they're saying: Like many in Des Moines, John Lickteig, Iowa Central BMX's board president, is an avid road cyclist.

  • But after going to an "adventure park" in Colorado in 2020, his son got into BMX riding and has been racing at Ewing Park ever since.
  • The closest track for him to go in the winter is more than four hours away north of Minneapolis — a challenge that keeps him from training year-round.
  • "You're teaching kids skills they're going to use the rest of their lives," Lickteig tells Axios. "Next thing you know, you're riding RAGBRAI 30 years later."

What they're saying: West Des Moines needs the results of the study, but "we're always open and intrigued by these facilities that … would add something new to the area," Ryan Penning, WDM Parks and Rec director, tells Axios.

What's next: The group is fundraising for the study and is accepting donations through Iowa Central BMX.

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