Bellingham BMX :: Bellingham, WA
This is a long-term project to create one of only three permanent cyclocross courses in the country currently, and the only one in the great Pacific Northwet! Alternate sections will be added with varying degrees of skill required: sand pits, bridges, whoop sections, etc. We're still just getting started on customizing this amazing piece of land for the cyclocross racing and mountain biking public and have worked our tails off to get it ready. We truly hope you enjoy it and look forward to more challenges in the future!
This 30-acre private venue is a former 9-hole golf course called New World Golf. It was abandoned for over five years and reclaimed by Cisco Rodriguez to convert into a top-notch USA BMX sanctioned race course called Bellingham BMX. After two full years of hard effort obtaining permits, upgrading buildings, and countless hours of moving dirt, his family was able to reintroduce this family-friendly sport of BMX to Bellingham! Many locals have taken advantage of the opportunity since racing started in late June 2013. However, he only needs about 5 of those 30 acres, so...
We were invited to come in and turn the remaining 25 acres into a permanent cyclocross and mountain bike venue. So here's the history of the CX track development:
March 2013: started scouting the land when it was pretty wet and very overgrown, found a line that could be conditioned in time for fall (with a lot of weekends, equipment, & help). We began by trying to restore the existing grass into a smooth, fast surface but by late July determined it would be too lumpy and wound up just roto-tilling & scraping off the top layer with heavy equipment. On our first run, with record rains in September 2013, we had very good early season mud conditions! Or very difficult, depending on your perspective.
In 2014: with a wonderful grass-growing season and a relatively dry summer, we had a nice new layer of green to play on and went from nearly unrideable in Sept. '13 to no dismount sections. So we added some! A custom sandpit 70' long and a set of Belgian steps (spaced just right to tempt you to bunny hop them).
September 2015: additions were trail grooming after winter impacts, sand weeding & fluffing, new compact gravel on the steps, storm clean-up (i.e. fallen trees), touched up bridges over swampy sections, and a brand a new section of trail in the forest!
July-Sept 2016: the sand section was inadvertently demolished and replaced by a new compact gravel road. A new twisty, rolling section was cleared through the woods which punches out into one of the main fields. Tractors who came out to dig pits for the WonderMud event smoothed out existing parts of the course and cut in a whole new loop in this back field. Hotshot volunteer crews spent six different weekends doing the final clearing, tamping, smoothing, and staking with the finish product debuting in several clinics in mid-September. The space is made available for practices two weeks before the opening event.
Oct 2016: FLASH FLOOD! After four months without rain, we received 1.5” of glorious wetness on race day, and all that hard work grooming the course over the previous weeks to make it fast & smooth was obliterated within a few hours! Afternoon racers were navigating a creek bed with at least foot of water in it and running the new sections due to how deep the mud got. It was fun in the sense of the welcome change from the dusty, summer riding, but also extremely challenging and hard on the course!
2017 outlook: We hope for more stable conditions in 2017 - a bit wet but not crazy! With any rainfall of substance leading up to the race, the clay will get greasy fast and fill up your knobs, making it slippery & fun. The track will be still quite fast with approx. 7 minute lap times for top riders. If you're a singlespeeder, you might also want to gear down from your usual roadie set-up. One would not call this course “mountain bikey” but it's hilly and harder to keep the momentum rolling, especially when it gets muddy. That clay is sticky!
We also have two work parties and clinics scheduled in September if you want to come help get the course ready and practice for the long season ahead!
The fastest lap time on Strava so far was set by was Spencer Paxson with a 5:59 on a dry, fast day on a shorter course in October 2014. He won the Mens A by doing 9 laps in 52 minutes. This year will likely be 7 laps or less for the Men A, and 4 laps max for the beginners.
Here's an image of our interactive Google Map for the 2017 layout, along with all the extra course details (team tents, registration, parking, etc.).
NO BMX TRACK ACCESS ON RACE DAY IN 2017. During the summer, you can watch or experience top-notch BMX racing right inside the same venue on Friday night, 5pm-Dark, with practices on Tuesday evenings all summer long. With USA BMX, everyone gets a one-day free membership to try out the track. Kids love this sport and it's great for their future leg speed, bike handling, and racing confidence!
Food & Beer vendors:
Bring cash for beer as a fundraiser for the non-profit Bellingham BMX, aka paying the rent!
There will also be a taco truck from Tapatio!
Neutral Mechanical Support:
Brought to you by Kona Bikes. Also includes demos of Private Jakes and Major Jakes. You can even race on them!
is not yet open on BikeReg.com, but when it is we highly encourage using it! It will assist us in getting faster results out of our chip timing system, and you save a few dollars.
Chip Timing & Results: by our good & reliable friends at Red Tent Timing. They do not ask for a deposit on their chips if you return them right after your race (they clip them for you at the finish line).
The cyclocross course may be ridden ONLY when the facility is open for a BMX race or practice. See their schedule, some dates are canceled due to weather, so also check their Facebook page. Please pay $5 at the window to help cover the costs of leasing this property. This is private property, not a public park! You may also practice during our work parties which are announced on our Facebook page as they are needed.
Bellingham BMX is at 5022 Guide Meridian (map) just north of Kelly Road and south of Smith Road. Look for a long chain link fence and white buildings painted with orange trim. It is across the road from Giggles The Clown Fun Park with flags & banners out front.
On a big weekend like this, we require some creative solutions to fitting everyone inside the venue. In 2016, we would like to park some vehicles inside the course near the Belgian Steps. So we will be asking for those with AWD vehicles with plans to stay for most of the day to use this area. Please arrange your cars in the most compact way as we do not have an army of parking volunteers to guide you.
The Guide Meridian is a highway, but the shoulder near the venue is wide & safe. Not so much in the zone near I-5 and the Bellis Fair Mall all the way to Walmart, so here are some alternate bike commute routes to the track via backroads & trails. These are relatively quiet & safe routes, one on roads with good bike lanes and/or light traffic, and one on a mix of urban trails & dirt roads on a pretty mountain (a.k.a. a cyclocross warmup)!