Motocross project back on track

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Plans for a dirt bike track near Hayden are rolling once again.

The town of Hayden is partnering with a group of parents to apply for a Routt County conditional-use permit to build a small track near Stokes Gulch across from the Hayden Speedway.

Hopes for a convenient and legal place for children and teenagers to ride dirt bikes have stagnated for several years since a group of Hayden High School students first pursued the idea.

The students got through most of the permit process, but -- as they graduated and went their separate ways -- were unable to satisfy various permit requirements, parent Jill Altman said.

She and other parents tried to pick up where the students left off but were overwhelmed by logistical details in the permit process.

That's when Altman and Sherry Dunckley, members of the Hayden Recreation Board, approached Hayden Town Manager Russ Martin to see whether the town could help.

Martin and town officials agreed to apply for the permit to build a track on the town-owned land.

The established relationship between the town and county should help expedite the permit process, Altman said.

"We are just relieved the town was willing to take it on with us," she said.

A popular sport, dirt biking in Hayden has caused problems, including illegal riding on public streets by riders with nonstreet legal bikes and riders not of driving age. In turn, some students try to ride on private property and roads, Altman said.

Currently, the closest track is a large motocross track in Craig, which requires a membership fee.

The Hayden track would not be large enough for sanctioned events but would provide riders a less intimidating and less costly track and give parents and children a convenient place to ride for just an hour or two, Altman said.

"It could be really exciting, I think," she said.

The town is hoping to come before Routt County Board of Commissioners with the proposal in September. Building would start soon after approval.

The track -- dubbed the Stokes Gulch Motocross Track -- ideally would be ready to ride next summer. A subcommittee within the Hayden Recreation Board will oversee track operations when it is complete.

In the meantime, the town is looking for volunteers to help with labor, materials and funds for the project. Projects include designing the track, building a bridge and assisting with a reclamation plan and other requirements in the permit process.

"We're looking for a little bit of everything," Altman said.

Anybody interested in helping with the project should call Altman at 276-3068 or 276-3285 or Martin at 276-3741.

-- To reach Tamera Manzanares, call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com

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