A BMX track adjoining Raglan’s skatepark and soccer fields is set to become a reality in September, with work scheduled to begin on the $35,000 project halfway through next month.
As well as providing a challenging circuit for young bike-riders, the 400-metre long track should also relieve congestion at the skatepark which has seen the odd accident through a clash of interests, says the cycling enthusiast behind the development.

Dirk De Ruysscher, who runs the Bike 2 Bay cycle business from his Stewart Street home, says he’s nurtured the idea of a BMX track since the felling of the area’s poplars about two years ago left a space between the soccer fields and the beach.

Young pohutakawa were planted soon after the then controversial cull — all of which will remain there, Dirk points out, although one may need shifting a metre or so to make way for the track.
“The main idea (of the BMX track) is to give kids the opportunity to become active and keep out of trouble,” says Dirk who has two teenage sons himself.
While BMX plans had always been talked about for the rugby grounds in Cross Street, he adds, by building the track close to the skatepark it becomes a complementary facility and is easier for parents to keep an eye on their children.

The ambitious project will be funded by Raglan Kopua Holiday Park which comes under the umbrella of Waikato District Council and Raglan Coastal Advisory Reserves Committee. The park’s management board, headed by renowned foodie Colin Chung, also supported construction of the fitness trail or parcourse in the same area late last year.

Both projects give adults and children something to do in terms of exercise and lifestyle, says Colin. “It’s definitely a plus (for Raglan).”
And it means any reserves from the running of the campground go back into the community, he adds.

Raglan Earthmovers will first dig out the track and metal will be added to the dirt as a ground surface. “Dirt (alone) can’t be compacted on sandy underground,” Dirk explains.
The whole area will then be compacted and shaped, with crushed lime added.

Rather than being a professional track, the BMX open circuit — which starts and finishes with a hill at the skatepark end of the area — has been designed for all age groups. At only two metres wide, says Dirk, it’s a “skill track” not a race track.

Plans to this point, including that of local designer Hugh Pinfold, have been entirely voluntary to get the facility up and running.
Edith Symes

Raglan based BMX rider Lewis Jones