As Dane County and the rest of the United States opens up during the COVID-19 pandemic, Madtown BMX is welcoming riders back to the track in the DeForest area.
The track typically opens up for practices and races in May, but this year’s opening was delayed.
The track began to slowly open a few weeks ago during the Forward Dane reopening plan for the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We reached out to the health department once they released Phase One of the plan because we didn’t fit in most lanes of the guidelines they gave,” Madtown BMX president Debby Ochoa said. “They were fantastic and provided us with directions. They were very quick and helpful and approved our plan to open.”
Madtown also reached out the national BMX organization for suggestions and guidelines. The national organization suggested paperless signup and Madtown implemented the procedure, along with social distancing guidelines.
“It was really nice to get back out there on the track,” Ochoa said. “The kids have been doing virtual learning for school and have not been with their friends, who they are used to seeing all week. You could tell they were excited to see each other. Seeing them outside and laughing was great to see. It was priceless. You don’t realize how amazing something is until you can’t do it.”
During phase one, the track hosted practices, but they were limited to 50 people, including riders and track volunteers, at the facility at a time.
“We were very fortunate to be able to open up, even with a limited number of participants,” Ochoa said. “It at least got us some revenue coming in from riders signing up to practice on the track. There are other tracks around the state that have not been able to open. We are fortunate to we can open safely.”
Only riders and track volunteers were allowed inside the fenced in track during Phase One. Parents were asked to stay outside the fence unless they were taking care of rider 5-years-old or younger.
Madtown originally capped the number of riders on the track to 12 at a time.
Phase Two of the Forward Dane plan went into effect on June 15 and Madtown has increased the number of riders on the track to 45. The track is also allowing spectators inside the fenced in area, but they must practice social distancing.
Also, with the move to Phase Two, Madtown is setting up a modified racing scheduling to start in the next few weeks.
“This weekend, we were originally set to run a regional gold cup qualifier event,” Ochoa said. “It is a huge money driver for the track and the area with people staying and eating in the area. But, we were not ready to run something like that at this time.”
Madtown BMX will continue with online registrations for practices and races.
“You can sign up for a spot and pay everything online,” Ochoa said. “We have a list and check them off as they come into the facility.”
Madtown BMX is scheduled to host a Wisconsin State qualifier on July 18. The gold cup qualifier event has been rescheduled to July 19.
When racing resumes at the track, the plan is to do block racing.
“We will run each group separately,” Ochoa said. “This will allow us to limit the number of riders on the track at one time. We will make up a schedule to keep the groups separate.”
Besides holding practices at this time, the track is also available for private rentals.
“We have had a number of the local BMX teams rent the facility, along with families using for birthday parties,” Ochoa said. “It helps us generate income, along with giving us a chance to let people on the track when we can’t race.”
Track users will notice some changes this season. A roof has been put up over the starting area and the staging area was paved.
The new roof was a part of a Boy Scout project by Alex Ferguson of Mukwonago.