Southern California BMX Track History  RSS Feed

#1 2005-07-01 8:12pm

Racer
Pro MemberPhilly Cheese Steak
From: Orange County, CA
Registered: 2005-05-27
Posts: 4178
Bikes: 22

Southern California BMX Track History

Im doing this from memory having moved to SoCal in 81. Others can add or help. I divided the state cause it just hasd too many tracks lol.

1. El Cajon?, CA - NBA- (Rancho San Diego downhill)
2. Lakeside, CA - ABA- (Was on two different sides of the same road)
3. Clairemont, CA - ABA- (Badders track, Kearny Moto Park)
4. Irvine, CA - ABA,NBL - (Best jump was behind the track)
5. Irvine, CA - NBL - (Dragstrip Raceway in the woods)
6. Orange, CA -ABA- (YMCA #1 rider count of all time)
7. Orange, CA -? - (Saddleback downhill at the MX park)
8. Orange, CA -?- (Western Sportsorama) 
9. Westminster, CA - ABA?- (Tiny track, now its just a park i think)
10. La Mirada, CA - NBL?-
11. Long Beach, CA - ? - (Gnarler Park, god i loved Breithaupt Mountain)
12. Corona, CA - ? - (Legendary Downhill)
13. Riverside, CA - ABA - (mid/Late school track)
14. Riverside, CA - NBL - (Jumping hot spot on the same property)
15. Norco, CA - NBL - (Snipes Downhill)
16. Moreno Valley - NBL, ABA?- (Town formerly known as Sunnymeade)
17. Perris, CA - ABA - (Lake Perris home to nationals)
18. San Bernardino, CA - ? - (YMCA BMX Track)
19. Yucca Valley, CA -NBL?- (I helped dig this track)
20. Yorba Linda, CA - ABA- (My favorite west coast track)
21. Apple Valley, CA - NBL,ABA?- (Horsemans Park)
22. Barstow, CA - ? - (High Desert BMX)
23. Desert Hot Springs -NBL?- (Race against drugs)
24. Harbor City, CA -ABA- (Under the huge bridge)
25. Torrance, CA - ABA- (Alpine BMX)
26. Gardena, CA -ABA,NBL?- (Legendary Ascot)
27. Lancaster, CA - ABA- (never forget Richie Anderson pedaled everything)
28. Lancaster, CA -ABA?- (The newer track was in a different location)
29. Simi Valley, CA -ABA- (Nice track)
30. Santa Clarita, CA? -NBL- (saw it once was NBL is all I remember)
31. Bakersfield, CA -ABA- (Gork crashed us here in a semi)
32. Van Nuys, CA -NBA?- Old School
33. Ontario, CA -ABA- (Cutting Edge Nationals Track)
34. Sylmar, CA -?- (Yarnell)
35. San Diego, CA -?- (Velodrome BMX in Balboa Park)

I did these from memory, tried to list them by county but they got a lil out of order.

Last edited by Racer (2006-07-31 2:02am)

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#2 2005-09-22 1:05pm

moosegoose nick
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From: Valparaiso, IN
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Re: Southern California BMX Track History

Sylmar Ca : Yarnell  Old school track,downhill and very fast.

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#3 2006-02-04 10:14am

pete b
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From: Cabo San Lucas Mexico
Registered: 2006-02-04
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Re: Southern California BMX Track History

what about the velodrom in balboa park sd.

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#4 2006-07-31 2:03am

Racer
Pro MemberPhilly Cheese Steak
From: Orange County, CA
Registered: 2005-05-27
Posts: 4178
Bikes: 22

Re: Southern California BMX Track History

Ok updated. Thansk for the tracks. So many I never got to see or race sad

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#5 2006-09-21 6:46am

Grinch
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Registered: 2006-09-16
Posts: 23

Re: Southern California BMX Track History

WOW the memories this post brings...Lets start with Corona... LEGENDARY yesssss. This track had to be seen to be believed.
The start hill was soooooo tall that they had a huge Dump truck that took kids up with our bikes about 15 at a time.
Some kids would get into fist fights in the back off the truck on the way up as others would puke over the side.
When you got to the top people looked like ants at the bottom.
Keven Mcneal "the Corona Kid" was cloked at over 50 mph with chains around his moto-mags going down.
You were just spinning by the time you got about 50 feet out of the gate. then came that wicked left sweeper turn.
Side hacks were just scary fast on that track.
The Sanbernidino "BERDOO" Track was one of the very first tracks in CA, It was not much more than some bumps in a field but we loved it. The fontana track was run by "RBC" Rick's bycycle city. Very short but lots of kids every saturday. (Even a powderpuff class)
Irvine....First electrick gate... first night racing outdoor track. There was also "Mark cook BMX track" in I think riverside, Named after a kid who died while Teaching others how to do MONSTER bunnyhops and other tricks. Mark would be about my age now. WOW great memories. thanks.......


Pedals up!......Riders ready!......GO!!!!!

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#6 2006-09-22 1:38am

Grinch
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Registered: 2006-09-16
Posts: 23

Re: Southern California BMX Track History

I just remeberd that it was AZUSA not irvine with the first electric gate and outdoor night time racing.....oops...


Pedals up!......Riders ready!......GO!!!!!

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#7 2006-10-23 9:39pm

Racer
Pro MemberPhilly Cheese Steak
From: Orange County, CA
Registered: 2005-05-27
Posts: 4178
Bikes: 22

Re: Southern California BMX Track History

Will try to update soon Grinch. You remember the sanctions of those tracks?

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#8 2007-01-22 12:55am

GT_BMX_1985
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From: VIVA LAS VEGAS
Registered: 2007-01-22
Posts: 6
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Re: Southern California BMX Track History

I RACED AT ORANGE, CA TRACK OFF 55 FWY AND CHAPMAN AVE. BEST TRACK EVER...
ALSO THE WESTMINSTER TRACK WAS CALLED LIBERTY
I WASN'T A BIG FAN OF THE IRVINE TRACK, RACED A FEW TIMES THERE...
MY FIRST RACE WAS KNOTT'S 1981 NATIONALS...
A FEW YEARS LATER I RACED IN THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN NATIONALS
THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES...

Last edited by GT_BMX_1985 (2007-01-22 12:55am)

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#9 2007-01-22 1:47am

RL20II
Pro MemberNatural Born Chiller
From: Australia
Registered: 2006-11-24
Posts: 4224
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Re: Southern California BMX Track History

Where was Knotts berry farm?....that was a track yes?...just wondering is all i remember seeing a fair bit about it in the mags bitd.
I have no idea where it was situated...living in the land down under does that to a person LOL


GROW THE HELL UP FOR CHRISTS SAKE!! WE ARE GROWN MEN PLAYING WITH KIDS BIKES NOT KIDS PLAYING AT BEING GROWN MEN.
****What's normal for the Spider is Chaos for the Fly****

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#10 2007-02-13 5:43pm

moosegoose nick
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From: Valparaiso, IN
Registered: 2005-09-22
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Re: Southern California BMX Track History

Van Nuys was called the TEEN CENTER. Itwas an NBA Track
Sylmar,Yarnell was also an NBA Track.

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#11 2007-04-20 2:55am

Saarlander
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Registered: 2007-04-20
Posts: 4

Re: Southern California BMX Track History

Just found this page, oh how great it is! I raced at Azuza Bmx in 1983-1984, there were 2 tracks I believe both on Azuza Canyon road. The southern track was ABA, the northern track was NBL, the northern track was great, think of those times a few times a week! I crashed into the bridge side when I was doing laps in 1983, I got messed up bad, thank god for helmets, but I was screwed, lost two weeks of my life there! I have a ton of stories about those times, it was great! I will add some later. Anyone remember the short lived bmx track in Montclair at the grand Prix raceway? it was great while it lasted, we snuck into it even after it closed, all the way up to the late 80's early 90's! anyone remember these tracks?

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#12 2007-05-17 2:16am

Saarlander
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Registered: 2007-04-20
Posts: 4

Re: Southern California BMX Track History

Anyone around these parts?

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#13 2007-05-17 3:43am

jayoldmanbmx
"King of Scores"
From: Middleboro, MA
Registered: 2007-03-07
Posts: 5303
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Re: Southern California BMX Track History

how about yorba linda


KSTF = King Size Tripple Fat      remember change happens    & yes i keep some stuff    I SELL OLD BMX lol    FACEBOOK ME   JASON SOUZA ( i am the guy jumping a bmx bike  go figure)  VERY IMPORTANT!!    I DONT HAVE PAYPAL  I ONLY TAKE US POSTAL M.O. OR GOOD OLD CASH     LOOK FOR UPCOMING WEBSITE BLOG SOON

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#14 2007-05-18 9:23pm

BS3
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From: San Diego, CA
Registered: 2007-04-13
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Re: Southern California BMX Track History

I remember racing at the original track in Lakeside.Seems to me it was also bigger but that may have been because I was small? They also raced on weekends and you could also go and ride the track whenever you wanted.
Would like to get my son into it ( only tried it a few times )

Was not aware of the El Cajon track though.

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#15 2007-06-29 8:22pm

VeEzy
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From: Socal
Registered: 2007-05-13
Posts: 79
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Re: Southern California BMX Track History

are any of those tracks still open? i'd love to try some

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#16 2007-06-30 3:02am

Saarlander
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Registered: 2007-04-20
Posts: 4

Re: Southern California BMX Track History

The only tracks I know of in the Inland Empire right now are Cutting Edge in Ontario, and The orage show track In San Bernardino!

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#17 2007-07-16 9:55pm

moosegoose nick
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From: Valparaiso, IN
Registered: 2005-09-22
Posts: 442
Bikes: 1

Re: Southern California BMX Track History

Lemon Tree Mall Mission Hills Very early 70's indoor.

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#18 2007-07-24 3:27pm

Rich 103
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Registered: 2007-07-24
Posts: 2

Re: Southern California BMX Track History

Don't forget Covina California track on Arrow Highway.  I lived right down the street and remember is being built around 1974 or 75.  It only stayed open a few years.  I raced there every weekend.  I alos remember racing in Monrovia, they had a cool water/mud hole crossing.  Also raced at Corona which had the starting line in top of a huge hill.  I was only about 10 at the time and can remember having to hit the brakes mid way it was so gnarly.

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#19 2007-09-09 11:07pm

Saarlander
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Registered: 2007-04-20
Posts: 4

Re: Southern California BMX Track History

I actually live right near the old Pipeline, track was ok, Mr Hofman was always mean to me, and I was only 9-10, so I didn't go as much as I would have liked! Insurance got too expensive, so He sold out, kept the shop open for awhile, but then faded away....

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#20 2008-02-05 7:49pm

jhammons01
Centurion Member
From: Irvine, CA
Registered: 2008-02-01
Posts: 248

Re: Southern California BMX Track History

I live 1/4 mile away from the Irvine BMX track.

I spoke to the City one time about reviving another BMX track here in Irvine. They are more than willing to entertain the idea. They said that they never had anyone to run the track and that is the reason it died.

I had money to do it at the time. but I don't anymore.

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#21 2008-03-15 12:53pm

oldkook
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Registered: 2008-02-07
Posts: 16

Re: Southern California BMX Track History

moosegoose nick wrote:

Van Nuys was called the TEEN CENTER. Itwas an NBA Track
Sylmar,Yarnell was also an NBA Track.

correction...it was called the "valley youth center", right across the river from the encino velledrome bmx track. built in the infield of the velledrome

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#22 2008-03-15 12:58pm

oldkook
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Registered: 2008-02-07
Posts: 16

Re: Southern California BMX Track History

jhammons01 wrote:

I live 1/4 mile away from the Irvine BMX track.

I spoke to the City one time about reviving another BMX track here in Irvine. They are more than willing to entertain the idea. They said that they never had anyone to run the track and that is the reason it died.

I had money to do it at the time. but I don't anymore.

only problem is it has been a paved parking lot for a few years for park and ride. you know they won't dig that up for a bmx track

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#23 2008-03-28 9:11pm

moosegoose nick
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From: Valparaiso, IN
Registered: 2005-09-22
Posts: 442
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Re: Southern California BMX Track History

oldkook wrote:

moosegoose nick wrote:

Van Nuys was called the TEEN CENTER. Itwas an NBA Track
Sylmar,Yarnell was also an NBA Track.

correction...it was called the "valley youth center", right across the river from the encino velledrome bmx track. built in the infield of the velledrome

What year are you talking about? I am referring to the Teen center on I beleive it was Victory Blvd. No where near the Encino Velodrome. This was near Birmingham High School.Would of been around 1978-1980.

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#24 2008-07-03 9:59pm

Axle
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Registered: 2008-07-03
Posts: 2

Re: Southern California BMX Track History

This is a great topic that needs to be discussed more .  First let me introduce myself. My name is Alex "Axle" Idzardi. I grew up in Santa Ana California through the 1970s,grew up and hung out with Pete Loncaravich who i understand later became pro.  There was a bunch of us kids from different neighborhoods that all hung out after school in the fields near our homes. Like mentioned  in other posts & films we originally took grocery store bought bikes and ripped them apart to the bare essentials. After a year the fields were literally flooded with broken frames & forks (remember that all you ol timers?) so we started taking Schwinn stingrays and making BMX bikes out of them. I remember removing the Banana seats ,replacing them with 10 speed seats, then going to the bike center and buying a "square bar" handle bar. That at one time was the only aftermarket BMX accesory item sold (at least in our area). then came "Nobbies".  Soon after i remember a factory BMX bike coming out and i think it was called "Stroker". It had a square steel frame and the damn bike weighed a TON ! Anyone remember those?  Also, this was before anyone made handle bar,gooseneck,or frame pads so tracks at the time were putting rubber over those area's then wrapping them with electrical tape.

This was mid 1970's - the long hair era, the surfer look, brown Levi corduroy's, wallabee shoes, hang 10 shirts - Pre OP,Lightening Bolt,Custom Vans shoes.

by the later 70's i got sponsored by DG along with people like Jeff Botema (Spl?)

Anyway, i'd love to respectively add to your So-Cal BMX track list as there are a couple missing and others that i can add info to.

Santa Ana Elks  Track - located on Lyon street near the Santa Ana zoo. 
Fountain Valley Track - located right next to the Fountain Valley drive in movie theatre and the 405 fwy.
Western Sportsorama in Anaheim- located on Lincoln ave  right next to the Cement plant.
Irvine BMX - located on Jeffrey Rd right off the 5 Fwy. The starting area was on a highly built up hill and half of the track was downhill.
Van Nuys BMX track. It might be the Youth Center you guys are talking about - it was right next to a huge flood control canal, and next to the parking lot was a Disco.
La Mirada BMX - located at La Mirada Park.
Azusa BMX - don't remember much but i did race there.

Hope this helps guys. thanks for the trip down memory lane !

p.s. got out of BMX in 1981, then in the summer of 82' moved to Riverside. One day i walked down to the shopping center nearby and who/what do i see ? Stu Thompson's Bicycle center !  I couldn't believe my eyes ! See Stu with his own bike shop in Riverside was a trip.

Last edited by Axle (2008-07-04 11:01pm)

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#25 2008-08-04 9:56am

Chris_Andersen
Museum Newbie
Registered: 2008-08-04
Posts: 2

Re: Southern California BMX Track History

Hey everyone!  Wow, what a find this website has been!  Brings back some incredible memories.  I'm currently 38 years old, stared racing BMX as an 11-year-old beginner at the Van Nuys Teen Center (more on that in a minute...) in 1981, shortly before moving to Arizona.  I moved to AZ when I was 13, racing in 13 expert, and continued racing as a Top-10 expert and cruiser racer in district 4.  I still remember all the people in Arizona's BMX scene in the mid-80's.

Anyways, re: the Van Nuys Teen Center... it was located on the south side of Victory Boulevard and Encino Ave.  I know b/c I lived less than a mile away growing up, and used to ride my bike there all the time.  Whoever posted that there was a "disco" there was also correct; there was a building just south of the track, and that building was used for various things, including a youth center (hence the name) and, later, a dance hall.

If you do a Google Earth search for Victory Boulevard and Encino Ave, you can see the location (the BMX track isn't there anymore, apparently).  You can also see the velodrome across the wash (southeast).

Believe-it-or-not, I've still got some great old BMX memorabilia, including "moto sheets" from some ABA Nationals races that had some of the factory-sponsored guys on 'em, etc.  I've also got photos of myself racing and riding at the Van Nuys Teen Center that I'll scan and post if anyone's interested in seeing some photos of the old track!

Some other Teen Center-related memories include the nationals race, where all the factory-sponsored guys came out; meeting Tinker Juarez, who of course went on to become one of the most dominant endurance mountain bike racers of all time; and meeting Pat Romano, who was the very first person to ever complete a backflip on a bike (as documented in BMX Action magazine).

Great memories, thanks for providing this site to share them!  Anyone, feel free to email me anytime...

Chris Andersen

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