Cyclists get ready!


As Hesperia BMX Double Points Race is set to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at Hesperia BMX Park, track operator Dan Dalton says contestants will have the opportunity to earn double points for each race, something that only happens once a year. Trophies also will be awarded to those with the most points in each class, which is determined by a racer's age, gender, proficiency and wheel size.


"This race is leading up to USA's BMX Championship Race at the end of the summer where riders will compete from all over California," said Dalton. "Many of our riders will go to that race and the number of points they have will determine where they finish."


According to Dalton, new riders must begin in the novice class. Upon winning 10 races, they will be moved to the intermediate class. After 20 wins, competitors move into the expert class.


"BMX racing is a sport for kids of all ages and everyone is matched against riders that are their own age and skill level," Dalton said.


All riders in the competition must be members of USA BMX, which costs $60 per year. Membership in the organization allows riders to race at any track in the nation.


The entry fee for Hesperia's BMX Double Points Race is $25. Additionally, contestants may practice at the track from 6 to 8 p.m. on Fridays for $5.


Dalton says he is expecting a big turnout for the upcoming race, which will include nine male riders under the age of 18 who are in the expert class. He also anticipates a large number of female competitors, some as young as 7.


"We have so many talented kids that are members here," said Dalton. "And we offer a lot of programs to help keep them motivated, such as an instructional clinic on Monday nights. We teach them everything from how to increase their speed to ways to maintain their fitness level."


Hesperia BMX Park re-opened about a year ago after several years of being shut down, according to Dalton. The long-time High Desert resident partnered with the Hesperia Recreation and Park District to bring BMX racing back to the High Desert. His track is staffed by volunteers and funded through donations from local businesses.


In addition, Dalton holds periodic fundraisers, such as spaghetti dinners and bake sales. He says the money raised pays primarily for track maintenance.


Hesperia BMX Park's next spaghetti dinner will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $7 for presale and $8 at the door. There also will be a bake sale during the dinner featuring cookies, brownies, cupcakes and other treats for $1.


"We have really grown tremendously since we re-opened last year," Dalton said. "There's still people out there that are just finding out about us and we're getting new members all the time. Sometimes we'll sign up six riders in one night. It's pretty awesome."


Hesperia BMX Park is at 17427 Live Oak St. For more information, call 760-678-5792 or visit www.usabmx.com.