Brian Deem, right, and Gina Grether race on the BMX track at Howelsen Hill on Tuesday evening. The track will play host to its first race of the summer season Thursday.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Brian Deem, right, and Gina Grether race on the BMX track at Howelsen Hill on Tuesday evening. The track will play host to its first race of the summer season Thursday.

BMX racing back for 3rd summer on new track in Steamboat

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— Between a Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race Series event, the opening of Steamboat Ski Area’s downhill mountain bike park and the debut this weekend of the Enduro X race series on Mount Werner, it’s a crazy weekend of bicycling activities in Steamboat Springs, and it doesn’t end there.

The Howelsen Hill BMX track will be playing host to its first night of racing this season Thursday night, that action launching a series of eight regular events this summer.

The event begins with registration at 5 p.m. at the track, and the racing gets underway at 6 p.m.

“It’s a great program. We get quite a few spectators out, some parents and just a lot of people,” said Gina Grether, one of the track operators.

This marks the beginning of the third summer of racing for the track, and Grether and co-series director Brian Deem said they’ve seen significant growth since they debuted the refurbished course in 2011.

In addition to the eight regular series races, there will be a Race for Life event Aug. 22 that will help raise money to fight leukemia. The entry fees will be donated, and the points earned by racers will be doubled.

The races cost $10 each to sign up for, and there’s a once-annual $60 registration fee to join USA BMX for all riders hoping to compete in Steamboat.

“Its growing fast,” Grether said. “We’ve had racers from 3 years old to more than 50 years old. It's constantly growing. We’re seeing kids who aren’t a big of a fan of riding their bike uphill, and they can do this from a young age. They get to race their peers, and they have a lot of fun.”

The schedule this year includes two dates in June, the first Thursday and the next June 27. Races also will take place July 11, 18 and 25 and Aug. 1, 8 and 15.

Grether and Deem again this year will offer BMX classes through the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

There will be two four-week sessions, most of the classes coming the morning before a Thursday evening race, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The cost is $60 per four-week session.

For more information about the classes, contact the Winter Sports Club at 970-879-0695.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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