Letter: Not every kid wants to play baseball or hockey

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I recently brought my 5-year old nephew to the Rum River BMX indoor track in Isanti, Minn. He had no idea where we were going nor why, and had never been to a BMX track before.

As we walked up to the door of the nondescript building, (that looks like a large industrial building), I asked him “Hey, you wanna see something really cool?,” to which he replied “Yeah” - thinking it was just a store of some sort.

I opened the door to a huge brightly-lit room with a track in the middle of it, full of activity and motion as bikes moved everywhere, about 75 riders of all ages in their colorful race gear were riding all over — some in the bleachers area and some on the track.

I made sure to watch his expression as we walked in. It went from his usual smile to his jaw dropping, his eyes growing wide as saucers, and him getting really quiet.

For the first 10 minutes he was in absolute awe. This was perhaps the best introduction to BMX, ever.


I looked around for the lady who had listed a micro-mini bike for sale on Facebook Messenger, found her, and proceeded to purchase the bike.

At first, he didn't even want to touch the bike as he was overwhelmed by all the activity going on around him, but we went over to the wall area and checked it out. Soon enough, that bike was his.

He doesn't even know how to ride a bike without training wheels yet, but he tried and tried a bunch of times ... he'll get it. I told him that once you figure it out, it's really easy to ride a bike.

By the time we left the track he was a BMXer! Now he wants to go back again and again.

While there, I sought out the track operator and asked how the track came to be. He said that, at first, they just built an outdoor track. But with cooperation between the park board and the city, it was agreed that they did indeed have the ridership to keep the track going, and the city kicked in some funding, pulled a few strings, used some municipal bonds and built the building right over the existing track.

It is, in my opinion, the best indoor track I have ever visited. (Rehbeins BMX in White Bear Lake, which was in a converted horse barn is closed, and Milaca's indoor track, which was in a defunct school gymnasium has also closed)

The track operator said they get 40-50 motos for a single point race. Double and triple point races bring in over 100 motos. That's an amazing number of riders showing up, from as far away as Fargo, Brainerd and Eau Claire, Wisc., not to mention the Twin Cities.

Isanti has a population of under 6,000 people...and they have the coolest track around.


The Fargo-Moorhead area has a quarter-million people and they don't even have one BMX track anymore. Why is that?

Yet there are, what, about a dozen indoor hockey rinks near there? And how many baseball diamonds are in the area for in the summer months?

Does that mean that the cities of Fargo and Moorhead think that BMX is a worthless sport and not worth even having one single track?

That's so lame Fargo-Moorhead. Lame, lame, lame - shame, shame, shame.

If the park board and the city are too chicken to build a building for one, then there has got to be a large unused building somewhere that would work as an indoor track/indoor cycling center. Buy it for them.

Not every kid wants to play hockey or baseball, you know, and BMX is a great sport—an Olympic sport, even.

What are those kids and adults who want to ride their bikes in the winter supposed to do? Ride/crash on the icy streets wearing a dozen layers? Play video games all winter? Sit around and get out-of-shape waiting for spring to eventually roll around?

C'mon, Fargo-Moorhead, step up your game!

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