Thursday, September 21, 2006

Transplanted Buckeye! (from left:) Bryan Dickerson, Fred Yanke and Todd Zimmerman examine Milwaukee BMX's newest track improvement Saturday afternoon. All of the Milwaukee BMX volunteers work hard ... and then there's Fred. All he did this weekend was drive to Ohio on Friday morning, load a 1,200 lb 24' long mass of steel and wire onto a trailer, tow it back to Wisconsin the very next day ... and, within 10 minutes of arrival had it roughly positioned on the hill. The dedication of Milwaukee BMX's volunteers is absolutely amazing.

Good News ... Bad News ...

The track operations team met last night to discuss a bunch of stuff, and since we covered a whole lot of ground during our meeting, there's plenty of each (good news + bad news) to report.

The most important result of the meeting was ... practices are nixed (cancelled) until further notice ... we've got a whole lot of work to do and a few super independent minded ducks we've still got to get in a row (due dilligence).

Good - We have a gate (see photos above and below)
Bad - (alright, this doesn't count entirely as a bad ... just not good) The gate we have needs a bit of work, and so does the hill to make everything workable.

Good - Fred and Mike are figuring it out. There's a whole lot of experience between the two ... so, we're confident what they come up with is going to be right.
Bad - the weather forecast this weekend really looks pitiful as far as being able to get any work done. There is a chance the starters house is going up there this weekend and on Friday John will compact and roll the jumps we enlarged last weekend.

Good - An Angel donor has made an offer to finance at least part of the upgrade to the hill and the starting gate ... that totally rocks.
Bad - Another political hurdle that needs to be cleared popped up yesterday, and I'm afraid this one isn't cheap. The special use permit we were asked to pull is chump change compared to what popped up yesterday.

Good - were determined ... we're going to make this work.
Bad - it's just not going to work this year.

Good - We're talking about a 12 race schedule in 2007.
Bad - We're almost completely sure, based on what lies in front of us, that there will be a 0 race schedule in 2006.
Good (counterpoint) - Thank goodness for the Walworth County BMX ... and the decision to take our track ABA ... indoor season will start in a little over a month so, all of you who bought a membership still have somewhere to race through the winter. Walworth County BMX is located at the Walworth County Fairgrounds about 45 minutes SW of downtown Milwaukee, making it the next closest track to Milwaukee BMX.

Good - after deciding that at least 12 races would be the magic number, we had three volunteers step forward to get rolling on selling "event sponsorships" for the races.
Bad - there is no bad for this one ...

Good - we're planning several fundraising events (1 this fall ... 1 in spring) that will benefit Milwaukee BMX. The fall event is likely to be a swap meet at Crystal Ridge and the spring event will involve the Milwaukee Premiere of Joe Kid on a Stingray at an event TBD. We're also going to be at Walworth County BMX both racing and horsing around ... and, with Jake's (the Walworth BMX track operator) permission, learning the track operator and volunteer ropes. Jakes entire operation is entirely first rate, so, we feel really fortunate to have such a great resource. If we run our races half as well as the Walworth crew runs theirs, I know a bunch of you are going to be really pleased with racing at Milwaukee BMX.

We're going to be rolling out additional print promotional materials at Crystal Ridge and local bike shops ... they seem to be going through it pretty quickly. We'll also put information for Walworth BMX at many of those locations.

Just news, not good or bad ...

We are going to move ahead and procure the ram and sure start system from the ABA and finish up as much of the gate refurbish and starting hill improvemenets that we can this fall. We all felt we should put things together as much as we can this fall so that we can move forward. Our goal is to set up the gate to make sure everything fits and works properly this fall. Hopefully, that will make coming back and setting it up in the spring a much simpler task.

We established a "Wish List" of things we (the club) really could use between now and the first time we race (April or May). The list includes, but is not limited to:

- an electrical power run from the chalet to the start hill area.
- a compressor (size TBD)
- T-Posts (I'm going to be donating a bunch ... but, I figure you can never have to many of these)
- Laptop Computer - (ideally a P-3 that will run moto-maker in a hurry)
- printer
- equipment shed
- chalk liner
- plexiglass (size TBD)
- outdoor lighting
- chain link fence (ideally we're looking for both 4' and 6' ... if you catch wind of somebody who needs to get rid of a fence ... we offer a real economical means of removal)
- grass seed (fescue would be best as it's hearty and will practically grow in concrete)
- public address equipment - amplifier, speakers, sound board, microphone ... what have you got sitting your attic?
- a wooden playhouse structure - sure, this seems like a weird request ... after all ... most of us around 6' tall. That said, we'll take a look at anything that's free ... with a little TLC, this could become our announcers tower and scoring area.

So, there you have it ... lots of stuff to report after last night.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Allright Riders ...

So, here we are ... 3 months after having our very first meeting ... with a rideable track, drain tile installed, some well-deserved and hard earned (thanks for your dilligence, John) political support, a cool open house in the books ... and now, the newest acquisition, a pretty doggone cool second-hand gate (the tread lightly sustainable types will be sure to appreciate this).

Milwaukee BMX is the real deal. Having been pretty close to all of this ... I know that there were very few things that we accomplished in the last 90 days that were easy. But thanks mostly to John Mittelstadt, Dana Mittelstadt, Michelle Mittelstadt, Fred Yanke, Mike Froh, Bryan Dickerson, Todd Zimmerman, Jay Labecki and Russell Jobs, the future of Bicycle Motocross Racing in Milwaukee looks pretty doggone bright. Gotta' also thank Craig from Pro Electric for the many hours he has allowed us to put on his Skid Loader. Finally, Bob Bruns from Kettering BMX and Dayton BMX in Ohio (hey Bob ... what on earth is a "Buckeye" anyway? -- believe it or not, it's a chesnut ... yeah, I'm real glad my forefathers at the University of Wisconsin were wise enough to choose a ferocious little animal as a nickname and mascot over a freakin' seed !!!) for helping out with that gate. We are truly blessed to have received the continued support and physical help from all of the people above.

To help us plan next steps, all who are interested are invited to meet tomorrow night, Wednesday - September 20 at 7 p.m. at Benno's on Greenfield Avenue (7413 w.) in West Allis east of State Fair Park.

Looking Good ...

A small group of the hardcore volunteers who will be racing through the winter at Walworth BMX will be sporting the jerseys below. We'll have tee-shirts soon as well. The jerseys are Fly 303 and Ray Hudson gets props for helping out our startup promotional effort. If you catch somebody at the track wearing one of these shirts ... and you dig Milwaukee BMX ... show 'em some love ... these guys are the reason Milwaukee BMX happened and is becoming real.

That's it for now ... keep ridin'

Kevin O'

Saturday, September 16, 2006


We can use the help of anybody who can come out around 5 this evening (Saturday September 16, 2006) to help unload the new Milwaukee BMX starting gate.

Yes, gate ... there, I wrote it, and the cat is officially out of the bag ... hide the cat nip !!!

Yeah !!!, that felt at least as good as I figured it would !!!

Questions ... call me @ 414-305-9698.

Kevin O'

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Aw Mommmm !!!
Yeah, mother nature threw the brakes on tonight's practice in a big way ... and, since we'll be working on the track throughout the weekend, it looks like we'll try to re-load for next Wednesday - 9/20 and probably try to do a Saturday afternoon thing on September 23 & 30.

Next Practice:
Wednesday 9/20 - 5:00 p.m. to twilight
Saturday 9/23 - Noon 'til Four (or later if anybody's got legs left!)
Saturday 9/30 - Noon 'til Four

October Schedule (TBD)

Kevin O'

Monday, September 11, 2006

Practice Night - Wednesday September 13.

Start: 5:00 p.m. -- End: Twilight

Cost: $4 (seasonal discount) first family member ... $3 for additional family members.

(Jay Labecki stretches a manual over the second straight dubs.)

Track Update:
A bunch of stuff has been cooking over the last couple weeks and although it's been largely unreported on the website (my fault, ugh) there is a major track change that will be happening very soon. All I can announce at the moment is that the change involves Mike and I digging up some stuff trackside this weekend, and a merry band of Milwaukee BMX Gypsies (John M., Fred, Todd, and Dana among others) heading to Ohio with a couple of large vehicles, a big old trailer, a couple of race bikes, tanks full of gas, plenty of gatorade and a mission to return with something our track really needs (hint, hint).

With the change will come a pretty big switcharoo on the practice schedule. After this weekend, when a bunch of work is going to go down, we are considering switching practices to Saturday afternoons so that ya'll can have more time to enjoy the track. Current thinking would open practice from noon until around 4. It would be terrific to get some feedback from you guys on the subject. You can reply on the site ... or, chat with myself or John Wednesday evening.

Questions? Post 'em up !!!

Kevin O'

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Yeah, it's been a bit slow on the blog site lately ... with TO Mittelstadt with a well deserved week off ... followed up by a week off of my own ... I've been more lax than I should on keeping you guys updated on our progress.

The single largest cost of getting a BMX track started is obviously the starting gate. Well, maybe it's not so obvious, but, it is a costly item. We're eeking along on getting some of the funds together thanks to the support of you guys ... our very loyal rider base. We have been scratching our heads at trying to come up with a really cost effective solution that would might get us up and running with something yet this year ... but, I'm afraid I can't report much more than that at this time. We also recognize the importance of shaking the trees for sponsor dollars ... but, the proposition is a bit chicken and egg ... do we race to get sponsors, or do we get sponsors to race? Anyway, I hope that (vaguely) explains where we're at with pro-actively selling our program. TO Mittelstadt did find a nicely constructed ticket sales shack that we will be using as our gate house. Fred Yanke has made the thing beautiful, according to John ... I'm looking forward to seeing that thing go up.

New Riders:
I want to personally thank (and will follow up with personal e-mails to each of the following) for coming out to ride our track at practice as perspective ABA members.

- Samuel and Sara Huang
- Kirt and Aaron Konkel
- Josh Dretzka (signed up to a full ABA membership !!!)

You guys and gals are the future of Milwaukee BMX, and, if it's going to work out in the long run ... it's going to have a lot more to do with you than with most of us. Still, our group is more than excited to help get the thing in place.

Old riders we're seeing again

Danny Tavela is going to step up to his full ABA renewal one of these days. He's a former fast expert who turned A-Pro around '87 and returned to racing cruiser a few years ago. Mostly, lately, he's been doing the XC mountain bike thing. But, it's easy to see where his skills were as he was going pretty fast and looking stylish to boot a couple weeks ago during practice.

Amedio Gilmore many of you know Amedio as one of the few pros from the state of Wisconsin to make it to the AA ranks in his career. I can think of only three, Todd Blazer (Madison), Kris Weeborg (Oshkosh) and Gilmore. I remember him from the little bit of racing I did in the mid 80's and that my good friend Jason Leikam was often chasing him around, despite being pretty doggone quick himself. Amedio popped into our open house a few weeks ago and went lap after lap after lap ... finally declaring, I'll be back ... which, I believe he will. It's funny how strong the BMX bug really is ... even 20 years after racing gets left behind ... there's a pull that has brought many of us back into it.

Wednesday Practice:
It's my understanding that, weather permitting, Wednesday practice is going to go off as usual tomorrow night. Please bring your ABA cards.

Kevin O'