IF YOU GO
• What: BMX Olympic Day.
• When: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday (registration).
• Where: Bradley County BMX, 234 Urbane Road, Cleveland, Tenn.
• Directions: From I-75, take Cleveland Exit 27 and go east on Paul Huff Parkway. Turn left at Urbane Road, passing YMCA. Turn right at Bradley County Recreational Park. BMX track is on top of hill.
• Admission: Free.
• Helmet (full face helmet recommended)
• Long sleeve shirt
• Long pants
• Enclosed shoes
CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Officials with Bradley County BMX want rookie and expert riders to celebrate Olympic Day free of charge on the dirt track this Saturday.
The event will be held at the Bradley County Recreational Center on Urbane Road in Cleveland and is part of a worldwide commemoration of the convening of the first International Olympic Committee by Baron Pierre de Coubertin on June 23, 1894. Registration for the event is 6:30-7:30 p.m.
"The goal of Olympic Day is to promote the Olympic values and participation in sport across the globe regardless of age, gender or athletic ability," said a BMX USA news release.
The event is subtitled "Be Like Mike Day," a tribute to BMX cyclist Mike Day, who won a silver medal in the BMX event of the 2008 Summer Olympics. More than 300 tracks in the United States will participate in the event.
Membership and entry fees are waived for the event; it is a great opportunity to try out the sport, said track operator Tammy Finnell.
Track officials said Olympic Day is also a great way for riders to get their friends involved with BMX racing.
Riders who bring a friend to race in the Olympic Day event will be entered into a drawing to receive free entry into the season's remaining single-point events, according to track operators. Each friend hitting the track earns a member rider an entry into the drawing.
In addition to serving as a free introduction to a sport that Finnell describes as "the best fun you can have in the dirt," Olympic Day is a gateway to Bradley County BMX's growing community of riders.
The rider community is also community-minded, said Finnell praising their participation in the annual BMX Race for Life event each spring.
Last year, local cyclist Austin Veach ranked third in BMX USA donations, contributing more than $1,500 to the fight against blood-related cancers.
Bradley BMX track operators are looking to pass on more donations for Race for Life and can still accept contributions for the cancer-fighting cause.
For more information, contact Bradley BMX at 423-559-9562 or Bradley County Parks & Recreation at 423-728-7035.
Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at email@example.com.