Saturday, October 28, 2006

ABA Fall Nationals Live Webcast !!!

CLICK HERE to link to the ABA's live webcast of the Fall Nationals from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The FALLS are being run at a new facility that was constructed as part of a youth complex near the University of New Mexico and is being constructed as a joint effort between the City of Albuquerque and the State of New Mexico at a cost of $5 million. While I absolutely applaud progressive thinking of the politicians who demonstrated the forsight to construct this facility targeted at the areas youth ... I am nevertheless extremely proud of the fact that to date, Milwaukee BMX has been constructed utilizing only donations, volunteer $$ and event fee funds ... we have not received any taxpayer funded financial support.

We'll be watching the webcast and paying special attention to the 28-35 expert class. Tim Eiring, a Milwaukee BMX volunteer, who currently sits second in the ABA 28-35 expert National Age Group and third in 26-30 cruiser, is racing this weekend ... in an attempt to gain a few valuable points as he heads into the grands and with his sights on those highly coveted NAG #1 plates.

Pro-Gates are about to drop ... so, it's time to stop writing ... and time to start cheering.

YEAH ... BMX !!!

Kevin O'

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

10 / 24 / 2006 Update:

All hands on deck for an update meeting Thursday, November 2 -- 7 p.m. at Bennos. Track Operator Mittelstadt has an update to provide, and we will begin to plan our 2007 racing schedule. There has been significant movement in favor of our track since the last meeting.

Milwaukee BMX jerseys should also be ready for distribution at that time.

Walworth BMX Update:
There seems to be some confusion as to the race and practice fees for the upcoming indoor season at Elkhorn. The rumor mill came back to us that the $15 single point race fee and $10 practice night fee reflect some major increase in cost over last year. I recalled those fees from when I was still racing in spring '05 and decided to get to the bottom of it with a call to track operator Candy Karau. She confirmed that the prices are the same this year as last. They recognize that moto-counts have been a bit behind this year and were mindful that an increase in price could keep even more folks away. So, that's the story there, folks ... let's get the word out so that rumor goes away ASAP. I never thought that we'd become the SNOPES of the BMX world ... but, we're pretty keen on facts around here.

Oh yeah ... Candy welcomes any future questions about Walworth BMX at (815) 874-8719, Weekdays between 10am and 4pm.

Personally, I'm absolutely looking forward to the opener there in just more than a week (Saturday -- November 4)

Bench Racing:
While talking with Candy, she asked how things were progressing in Milwaukee. I communicated that starting a track took far more committment than I ever imagined. She chuckled and told me about their early days running the Rockford track. Jake was handed the keys, a couple of clipboards and a few rakes at the conclusion of a racing season in the mid 1980's ... and, before the sentiment of the "good luck" wishes of the former track operator had even worn off ... a couple of bills that totalled in excess of $800 arrived in the mail. The early years were spent in beg, borrow or steal (well, I'm pretty sure just like us they never actually stole anything) mode ... which, for those that have pitched in to build Milwaukee BMX ... will sound awfully familiar. Candy told me about the earliest Rockford BMX concession stand, a metal shed affixed to Jake's snowmobile trailer, to provide a "movable" solution that the Rockford Parks District found acceptable. And, also about a stack of telephone poles that Jake procurred one afternoon after spotting them stacked behind a local filling station. It took a ton of patience and fortitude to make it all work out.

Fast forward twenty years and Rockford BMX is a model of success. We've always said that we aspire to be like Rockford BMX ... little did we know how much our start up actually reflected their formative years.

Milwaukee BMX volunteer, and Direct Link factory team 28 expert, Tim Eiring announced a recent engagement to his g-friend Kristyn. Congrats to the entire Eiring clan on that one. Sandi, one down ... three to go, eh?

That's about it for now ... C-Ya at the finish line.

Kevin O'

Thursday, October 19, 2006

10 / 19 / 2006 Update

Learning to Fly ...

So, some big old box full of goodies shows up the other day from WPS (Western Power Sports) in Idaho ... which can only mean one thing ... the FLY RACING / MILWAUKEE BMX jerseys are here. I stopped into the screen printer today to finalize the artwork requirements and get a better sense of the pricing. Printing will add a whopping $4 / shirt (I'm skipping Super-Sizing for a week to pay for mine !!!). Schedule wise, it looks like I'll have the shirts back in my hands by this time next week ... so, I should be able to get them out to most of you in plenty of time for you to wear 'em with pride at the Walworth County opener on November 4.

Mark Kluth, I owe you a call ... but, let's just say I think we've gotcha covered.

Track Items and Progress:
Craig from Pro Electric is figuring to start running power either later this month or in November to the starters shed and to another box on the North end of the starting hill in the area that the announcers / scorers will ocupy. John and I have been learning more about compressors than I ever thought I'd have to know ... HP, tank capacity, CFM refresh rate, max psi, etc. I think we've got a pretty solid handle on what we need to run the gate and between the two of us, we'll have something in place by spring.

Mark continues his work on the staging area posts and we'll start driving those in just as soon as we get some decent weather.

The track seems to be holding up really well despite not getting any attention for the past month.

That Was a Good Question:

Somebody recently wrote an anonymous note asking weather we are planning to put some "committees" in place to help "organize" our effort. The reason I held back on your post was because it went on to cite another track where the perception is that just one person is trying to do everything and the not-so-hidden message was that that track is faring poorly as a result. On this point, I'm not going to waver, we are about building BMX here at Milwaukee BMX ... not about sanction wars or criticizing other TO's.

On to the answer to your question ... the core group that pitched in to construct our track has discussed orgnizing ourselves into an executive group to watch over the money and the facilitate the volunteer activities (recruiting, training, scheduling), a marketing group to help tell the story to the community at large and sell advertising to potential sponsors to help pay for the operation ... and a track committee that makes track related decisions. All are dependent on one another ... and we all need each other to succeed to keep the lights on at Milwaukee BMX. Since we thought your question was a pretty good one, we decided to send you a couple of "Fly Racing" stickers ... except that your note was signed anonymous ... so, we're just going to have to keep them for the person who asks the next really great question.

Hey, if anybody's heading down to the ABA Fall Nats in Albequerque, NM ... drop us a line here at We'd love to hear your stories.

Kevin O'

Monday, October 16, 2006

10 / 16 / 2006 B.M. X-Up-date

Walworth Build is Ready !!!

Received word late this afternoon that the Walworth County Indoor construction crew wrapped up work late yesterday afternoon completing the track for the 2006-2007 indoor racing season. Mike Froh, Bryan Dickerson, Fred Yanke and Todd Zimmerman, who all are key players in the development of the Milwaukee BMX track at Crystal Ridge, also made the Walworth track.

First race is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, November 4.

Looking forward to seeing a bunch of you that we got to know this summer there.

Kevin O'

Friday, October 13, 2006

10 / 13 / 2006 update:

Big wheels keep rollin'
This is a long overdue bear-hug type thanks to the guys and gals who are involved with Metro Mountain Bikers, the Milwaukee area mountain bike club that constructed the original cross country mountain bike trails at Crystal Ridge ... and ultimately blazed a trail (pun alert #1) for BMX as a natural evolution at Crystal Ridge. Now they've taken things a step further. Metro Mountain Bikers are helping Milwaukee BMX navigate our way through the City of Franklin planning / approval process. We sure owe a lot to Marty Weigel and his crew over at MMB ... and, it's a safe bet that they'll have me huffin' and puffin' my way through their single track next summer. Not to mention, it's almost a lock tight cinch that they just recruited a couple of new volunteers for their major events at Crystal Ridge.

ABA Photo of the Day ...
The cover of the new issue of BMX'er is super rad. I'm not sure who the young Redman rider is on the left of this photo ... but, that cat is going to get some sort of backside pump.

We need MORE POWER !!!
TO-John had plans to meet up with Craig from Pro Electric to get a quote generated (pun #2 -- oh, I'm on a hot streak today!) for running electrical lines to the start hill and possibly run to some boxes out on the track. John, we probably need at least one 220v line for the compressor !!!

Around the area this weekend ...
Jake's track building crew is currently at work moving dirt in the barn to form the 2006 - 2007 Walworth County BMX Indoor track. I'm going to try like crazy to swing by there this weekend to get a couple of digital images to share with ya'll right here ... keep your eyes peeled for updates.

Rockford BMX has a single pointer scheduled for Sunday afternoon ... sign-up's close at noon and racing begins ASAP. For more information, including directions to the track ... check out

Fond du Lac BMX also has a single pointer scheduled for Sunday afternoon ... registration closes at 12:30 with racing beginning ASAP. For everything you could possibly ever need to know about Fond du Lac BMX ... check 'em out at

Kevin O'

Wednesday, October 11, 2006



Walworth Indoor BMX
District: WI01
Elkhorn, WI
phone: 262-723-4626

Contact Information:
Jake & Candy Karau 815-874-8719


Fond du Lac BMX
District: WIO2
Fond Du lac, WI
Track Phone - Race Days Only: 920-266-6317

Contact Information:
Paul & Linda Weimer: 920-921-1976



Winnebagoland BMX
District: WI02
Oshkosh, WI
phone: 920-716-8969

Contact Information:
Meghann Kasper 920-410-5911
Troy Kasper


Central Wisconsin BMX
District: WI03
Wisconsin Rapids
WIphone: 715-459-2809

Contact Information:
Mark Statz 715-421-4521
John Bingham 715-424-5520


Hodag BMX
District: WI03
Rhinelander, WI
phone: 715-362-2691

Contact Information:
Bill Godin 715-369-1145
Rob Fredricks 715-369-1464


Rockford BMX
District: IL01
Rockford, IL
phone: 815-964-8657

Contact Information:

The Hill BMX
District: IL02
Elgin, IL
phone: 630-973-0012

Contact Information:
Don Fahy

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tuesday 10/10/2006

Racing at The Rock'

Sunday, for the first time in a long time, I loaded up bikes and dragged the family down to Rockford. This time, it wasn't for me to race, but, for Dane, my six-year old son, to take his first shot at competition. Dane has quite a few laps around various BMX tracks, but, this was the first time he actually felt ready to race. He's done well in school over the last month and certainly deserved to get his shot. When we got there, he was definitely nervous about the gate, and, I could feel his anxiety every single time we went up the hill. It became clear to me in a hurry that it's a lot tougher being a dad, sitting in staging with a fidgety kid, than it is doing the same thing as a competitor. Nonetheless, Dane overcame his fear, and rode out three solid laps (there were three 6 novice riders who competed in "olympic" format) finishing last each time ... nevertheless, he gained a bit of ground on the leaders on every lap. John Mauer, a fixture in Rockford's older classes, and a truly great ambassador to the sport, offered to get Dane an award before he learned that his class was Olympic. A truly good example for us all to hang onto ... all first time racers should get some sort of award no matter where they finish.

Rockford crowned its season champions Saturday ... naming the top 23 riders with each receiving a nice trophy for their season long efforts. Team awards were also given during the intermission between motos and mains.

In all, it was a great day for BMX racing. Kudos to Jake and Candy Karau and all the volunteers who make Rockford BMX work so well. The whole operation runs smooth and is the model of success that Milwaukee BMX (and, most others that I can think of) is trying hard to emulate. They are exactly the type of asset to the community that we'd someday like to be.

Walworth BMX '06 / '07 Racing Schedule Released
John Wethall beat me to it a couple nights ago, submitting the Walworth Indoor BMX schedule in a 'comment' to the previous post. I've got the hard copy sitting at home, which was published and distributed at Rockford on Sunday. The schedule looks great. There are multi-date races heading into the ABA Grands which should help our local racers to have a great shot at bringing home some serious hardware from Oklahoma.

Looking forward to returning to the barn after a long season of one sunburn after the next while building Crystal Ridge:

Saturday & Sunday 4th & 5th (single / single)
Saturday & Sunday - 11th & 12th (single / double + team purse)
Sunday 19 th
Sunday - 26th (for those of us who don't make the grands)

Saturday & Sunday 2nd & 3rd (Chad Maurer Mem. race)
Saturday & Sunday 9th & 10th (Christmas Classic)
Christmas Break - Happy Holidays !!!

Sunday 7th
Sunday 14th
Sunday 21st,
Saturday and Sunday 27th & 28th (Double WSQ / Team purse)

Sunday 4th
Sunday 11th
Sunday 18th
Saturday 24th (BS Shotout), and Sunday 25th (Double Rac For Life / Team Purse)

Sunday 4th
Sunday 11th
Sunday 18th
Sunday 25th (TBA)

a really sad note: a few of you know that Denise, Dane and I had my been caring for my mom in our home over the past year. Mom was recovering from a below the knee amputation of her left leg that was required to remedy a diabetes related staff infection in her left foot. My mom was purely old school, deathly afraid of the Dr. visits that might have revealed her diabetes at a much earlier stage and made preventative measures much more effective. A little more than a month ago, it became apparent that mom was going to require an additional amputation to prolong her life. Rather than facing a future of uncertainty as a double amputee, Joyce O'Donnell made a conscious decision to refuse further treatment allowing herself to succumb to complications associated with her diabetes. She was 73 and raised me by herself. Although her life's passion was related to the horses she raised, she did indulge my occassional BMX habit by allowing me to go racing. She later confessed that she never enjoyed watching me race as I almost always wrecked whenever she was trackside. Joyce died Friday at West Allis Memorial Hospital and I will miss her greatly.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

10 5 2006 UPDATE:

A family health issue is probably going to keep me away from the track this weekend. If I do get out ... it will just be for an hour or two of therapy to move some rocks and continue to figure out the staging area.

The Walworth County BMX track build will be going on next weekend ... and, I can't wait to see what Mike, Bryan, Fred, Todd and the rest of the track building crew figure out for this seasons track. Jake's tracks have been first rate for as long as I can remember, and, with those guys helping, the secret to his success isn't much of a secret. We've been super lucky to have thier help in Milwaukee.

I have heard that the Walworth BMX opener will be the first weekend in November. Absolutely looking forward to it. I'll have periodic reports up here on how our locals do there.

If you need one last outdoor fix:

Fond du Lac has races scheduled for October 15, 22 & 29.
Rockford is also racing on October 15, 22 & 29.
Winnebegoland (Oshkosh) is closed for the year, but has work days scheduled for this weekend, October 7-8, and next weekend, October 14-15.

All of these tracks have schedules that can be accessed on the right of this website --->>>

Thanks again for all of your support and help. And, keep riding.

Kevin O'
To Contact by E-Mail --

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Movin' on Up !!!

This weekend Fred, John and newbie volunteer Mark Kluth worked in the design that Fred generated for the back of the start hill.

First order of the day was to get the gate square with the first obstacle ... we roll measured the distance from gate one to the first lip of the first obstacle, then from gate 8 ... there is less than 3" difference between the two ... so, no griping about gate 8 starts guys.

Next, is the back fill to compensate for the nearly 2 foot rise at the back of the new gate. This is where Mark becomes our new best friend. See, he's got access to old telephone poles through his employer, We Energies ... and, when you are trying to control grades in compound slopes and all sorts of weird stuff like that ... a few telephone poles go a long way (no pun intended).

Fast forward a day ... John's gotten done backfilling the log cut terraces ... and I went to freaking town with a shovel and a rake to get some of the grades worked out. It's not exactly Fred's original design intent, but, that's the beauty of design-build. We're working out the minor stuff right in the field. Note the difference between the knee high step up to the gate in the photo above, and the 6" or so step up to it in the image below ... good stuff.

This view shows the new grade in profile (or 'section' if you are speaking architect, a language unto itself), note the amount of fill that is being supported by the inlaid telephone poles. For how it works, think one moto on the gate, two more in staging on the two terraces. The 10 moto lanes will terminate at the furthest left telephone poles. I made a mini-rock wall to emulate the rock wall that Fred originally put on the hill. I'm definitely not afraid to copy stuff ... as long as it's good ... and we've taken a ton of compliments on Fred's original stonework.

This view also gives a nice look at the starters shack we inherited from the Milwaukee County Zoo. Really nicely constructed and has conduit and a circuit breaker installed in it. We think it looks pretty slick up there.

This is the totally killer view from the starters shack looking out over the starting gate. Seriously, there are probably a handfull of tracks in the US where the starter is treated to this nice a view. I don't think we're going to have too many problems finding volunteers to run the gate.

Again, my sincerest thanks to Fred, Mark and John for the work that was done this weekend ... and, for some reason, it always seems like saying thanks to the you guys is barely enough. Everything looks great and we're moving along well as we wind down the year and begin looking forward to indoor season.

Although I don't think I'll be doing any big stuff ... I'm fairly sure to be moving rocks around and fiddling with grades this coming Saturday ... weather permitting.

Kevin O'