SUMMER GAMES

Get in the Games: BMX racing

Jul 8, 2024, 4:58 PM | Updated: Jul 9, 2024, 2:09 pm

TOOELE — For as much fun as it is to race bikes, there is a decent chance no one is as excited about them in Tooele County as Danie Radford.

“Oh my gosh. It is the best,” she said. “This is so much fun and I am excited to see where we go from here!”

Radford and her husband took over the Deseret Peak BMX track in Tooele County three years ago after hearing it was going away because no one was taking care of it, running it, or using it.

“We just decided, you know what, it is the best time. The growth in the county is enormous. We have the inherent why and the passion to bring it back,” Radford said. “So, we signed on that dotted line, and we are here for as long as Tooele County Parks and Recreation will have us.”

Danie Radford on the BMX track helping riders.

Danie Radford on the BMX track helping riders on to the track. (Istvan Bartos, KSL TV)

Back then, the weeds on the track were a couple of feet high. The dirt jumps and turns were falling apart. However, after a lot of hard work, the Radfords and friends were able to repair the track and make it into a worthy venue for BMX racing.

Ever since the purchase, the sport has taken off in the Tooele area.

The Deseret Peak BMX track as riders bike on it.

The Deseret Peak BMX track as riders bike on it. (Istvan Bartos, KSL TV)

Located within the Deseret Peak Complex next to the Utah Fire Museum, race nights at the track are packed. Unlike many other sports, anyone who shows up gets to race.

“There is a saying in BMX, no one sits on the bench,” Radford said. “So, if you show up to race, you race. It is not based on qualifications, and it is not based on experience.”

Being able to race right away is a big part of why Ashley Morrill started bringing her 8-year-old son Gunner here. Now, they are here almost every race night.

“First of all, it gets the energy out, so he will sleep at night,” said Morrill. “But the friendships that are made, the camaraderie, it has been great for him.”

Those friendships help Vega Atkins convince her parents to keep bringing her to the Deseret Peak BMX track, even though she lives more than a half hour away in Salt Lake City.

“There are times in between the motos where you can meet people. And then if you see people from state races, you talk to them,” Atkins said. “You make good friends here, and it is competitive when you are racing, but then we are friends after. It is fun.”

Vega Atkins riding on the track.

Vega Atkins riding on the track. (Istvan Bartos, KSL TV)

Plus, with BMX as an Olympic sport in Paris this summer, that means more people will see it on the highest level. Radford feels that brings interest to the sport and kids may be asking their parents to let them give it a try. Adults may want to try some racing as well.

Radford said everyone is welcome, no matter how young or old you are.

“It is one hundred percent a family activity. You can come and race and bring your two-year-old on a balanced bike and your 11-year-old, and the parents of the 11-year-old and the parents of the parents of the 11-year-old,” she said. “There is zero reason not to show up to a track if you have yourself or your child who is interested in the sport.”

The starting line of the Deseret Peak BMX track.

The starting line of the Deseret Peak BMX track. (Istvan Bartos, KSL TV)

The sport has also grown in Utah. Radford said there are eight tracks, including hers, across the state for BMX racing. Some of those who ride are getting really good.

“Our experts get out there, and they’re doing jumps, and you see that, and you are like, that is so cool out there,” said Radford, whose son has raced across the country. “Our track, in particular, has had, I believe, it is a 250% growth. The State of Utah as a whole, with all of our eight sanctioned tracks, has seen 150% growth in the last two years.”

Radford said the rising interest in the sport proves she and her husband made the right decision.

“People will say that we were crazy, and there have been plenty of times where we have looked at each other, and we are like, what are we doing?” she said. “But we always come back to our why, and on race night, when you walk through the bleachers and see all the families and everybody is getting along with everybody, it just makes us happy. We might be a little crazy, but we love it.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Summer Games

A party to celebrate the start of Olympic Games took place in Riverton Monday night. (KSL TV)...

Debbie Worthen

Riverton party kicks off excitement around Olympic Games and IOC announcement

A party to celebrate the start of Olympic Games took place in Riverton Monday night.

21 hours ago

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Utah athlete will represent Team USA at Paralympics in track and field

A Paralympian from Utah dreams of representing the United States in Paris, and he’ll find out this weekend if he makes the cut for Team USA.

5 days ago

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo swims in the Seine river Wednesday, July 17, 2024 in Paris. After months o...

Tom Nouvian

Paris mayor dips into the Seine River to showcase its improved cleanliness before Olympic events

After months of anticipation, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo took a dip in the Seine River, fulfilling a promise to show the river was clean enough to host open swimming competitions during the 2024 Olympics.

7 days ago

PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 15: Stands are seen set for opening ceremony along Seine river a on July 15, 2...

Tom Nouvian and Suman Naishadham

Will the Seine be clean enough by the Olympics? Not even the experts know yet

With the Paris Olympics 10 days away, a question hangs over the Games: Will the Seine River be clean enough for athletes to swim in it?

8 days ago

PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 14: Yannick Noah, French former tennis player, lights the Olympic Cauldron on ...

Angela Charlton

France’s Bastille Day parade meets the Olympic torch relay in an exceptional year

Paris hosted an extra-special guest for France’s national holiday Sunday. The Olympic torch relay joined up with thousands of troops marching in Paris beneath roaring fighter jets to mark Bastille Day.

9 days ago

REPLACES INCORRECT CAPTION - Fernando Dayan Jorge displays an Olympic tattoo on his bicep, as he pr...

Megan Janetsky, Renata Brito, Kirsten Grieshaber and Daniella Matar, Associated Press

They fled from their home countries. Now, they’ll compete in Paris for the Refugee Olympic Team

After fleeing war and persecution, 36 athletes from 11 countries will compete in the Paris Games as part of the Refugee Olympic Team.

13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Get in the Games: BMX racing