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No brakes for BMX season in New Ulm

Parents band together, keep River Valley track open

Staff photo by Travis Rosenau The 3-year-old balance bike group races on Monday at the River Valley BMX Track in New Ulm. Pictured from left to right are Ava Rodriguez (75), Jace Miller (156), Stella Lingle (425), Silas Smith (368) and Zayne Sievert-Leighton (69).

NEW ULM — There wasn’t going to be a BMX season at the River Valley BMX race track on South German Street this summer.

That was the case until parents of the BMX community banded together, keeping the track up and the riders rolling.

Before any of the races could proceed as usual, someone needed to commit to becoming the track’s official operator. That’s when the husband-and-wife duo of Josh and Brittany Nosbush got involved.

Brittany Nosbush said that she was informed the track wouldn’t be operating this season as there was no track operator. After talking it over with her husband, the Nosbush’s reached out to see what being track operator would entail.

“We went to a meeting with the board of directors at the time and after long discussion and knowing we had such a strong support from so many others who want to see the track succeed, we signed on as track operators,” Brittany Nosbush said. “This is truly a community of people who enjoy the sport and want to see this track continue. We couldn’t do what we are doing and keep this track open without everyone’s help.”

Brittany and Josh Nosbush’s son, Levi, got interested in BMX racing about a year ago, something Josh Nosbush said was his son’s main interest. The two also have a daughter, Charley, that previously raced as a strider and competed in her first novice pedal race on Monday.

Josh Nosbush is the official operator of the track now, but he’s not afraid to admit that many of the wives at the track should be the ones getting credit for keeping things going.

“Going back to all of the other people involved, I’m just the guy on paper,” he said. “Everybody else is still basically running the business side of it and my wife is really stepping in and learning the things from the previous operators, who are still helping transition. Last night we were there [at the track], and I kind of looked around and it’s kind of, like, ‘You know, the women are running this.’ We were just out on the track being the officials out there and stuff like that. But it’s really our wives that really run the track.”

And there’s a lot more that goes on at the track than some may think.

Many parents of riders, past and present, volunteer time to run the concession stand, register riders and keep the track and races running smoothly. Brittany Nosbush said the main thing she’s been learning is registering riders for race night, which takes place every Monday night barring weather.

“I can’t say enough how wonderful the BMX community is here and how many of them are willing to lend a helping hand as we learn,” Brittany Nosbush said. “Many of the previous track operators are still fully involved even though they no longer have kids in the sport. That should show you the impact that BMX can have on a community. Other track operators from other tracks around Minnesota have also reached out in support and to offer help whenever they can.”

The River Valley BMX race track will look to continue running for years to come with the support of its faithful community.

“It’s one of the more successful tracks in the state as far as longevity, not may rider count, but there’s always been a core group of people, and a lot of those people are there for a lifetime,” Josh Nosbush said. “Karen Johnson, she was the track operator years and years ago and she still comes there and watches her grandkids ride. It’s a little bit different sport, it’s not as widely known, but it is a big thing.”

Those interested in trying out BMX racing are invited to stop at the track at 6 p.m. Monday evenings, where the first race is free. There are several different classes and age groups that race at 7 p.m. each Monday, from 3-year-olds on up.

“You just need to have long pants, a long shirt and a helmet,” Josh Nosbush said. “We have bikes that are on a first-come, first-serve basis … and helmets, we have full-face helmets if they don’t have a helmet. So that first night, just to try it out, that’s definitely a free night.”

And for those who may still be leery about getting into racing, Josh Nosbush said everyone at the track is more than happy to help.

“On race nights, everybody is always willing to help everybody out,” he said. “Even racers help each other out, they give each other pointers. If you need a helmet, if you’ve never put a helmet on, somebody will help you find the one that fits. Everybody is pretty supportive of each other, even if they race. It’s kind of a community thing down there. But when the helmets go on, it’s race time [laughs].”

There will be a State Qualifier Race at the River Valley BMX race track this year on July 24.

For questions or more information, visit River Valley BMX New Ulm on Facebook. The track will be closed next Monday due to the Fourth of July holiday.

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