Drake Well BMX Getting Ready for Start of Season

| February 12, 2018

TITUSVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – As spring approaches, the board members and the competitors from one local racing venue are looking ahead to the start of a new season.

Drake Well BMX is a BMX bike racing track located in Titusville, Pa. It was founded by the late Rick Hipwell in 1979. Rick was employed by Cyclops Steel, the company that donated the land now known as the Ed Myer Complex along Allen Street in Titusville. Rick, his son Ricky, and a friend, Mark Biertciel, approached the city council about the project and were granted approval. With the help of other friends, including Lodge Biertciel, Ray Zunchinni, and Tom Shreve, the track was built, and racing began under the sanctioning of the Eastern Bicycle Association (EBA).

Rick Hipwell passed away in 1988, and the EBA folded in 1989, but Drake Well BMX was still going strong. Along with all of the other tracks in the region, it joined the sanction of the National Bicycle League (NBL), and the racing continued.

Board members and competitors came and went over the years. The current board president, Mike Howard, began his racing career at Drake Well BMX in 1986. His father, Chris Howard, was involved as a volunteer at the track before he started racing.

Howard told exploreVenango.com, “He would go down to watch my cousins race. He took me one day, I watched them raced, and I was hooked, and so was he.”

The sanction changed again in 2011 when the NBL was purchased by the American Bicycle Association (ABA), which took on some of the rules and policies of the NBL, and then changed their name to USA BMX, the current sanctioning body. USA BMX is the only current sanctioning body in the United States and Canada.

BMX racing has become a popular sport worldwide, particularly since its inclusion in the Olympics. In 2008, American BMX racers won three Olympic medals in Beijing, as well as nine BMX World Cup (Supercross) events; more than any other country in the world. After the inclusion of BMX Racing as an Olympic sport, USA Cycling and the U.S. Olympic committee collaborated with the ABA to build an Amateur and Elite track at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Ca.

USA BMX describes BMX racing as “a sport of youthful achievement and the American family,” and Mike Howard agrees. “BMX is a family sport, where no one sits on the bench, no matter how good or bad you are, everyone gets a chance to race,” Howard said, “I’ve made so many friends, lifelong friends from racing BMX, and have traveled all over the USA racing over the years. Everyone at the track is very friendly and willing to help any new or current riders. We welcome them to come and watch and try the sport.”

Howard and the other board members are currently looking forward to spring, and the beginning of their 2018 racing season.

Races are held on Sundays, the gates open at 10:00 a.m., registration is from 11:00 a.m. to noon, with the races beginning immediately afterward. The opening race of the season is scheduled for April 29, 2018.

For more information, and a schedule of races, visit the Drake Well BMX website, or their Facebook page.

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