Tredyffrin teens propose township BMX dirt track

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By Shrija Krishnan, Staff Reporter Arthur Zadrozny, Vice President of the Chesterbrook Civic Association, heard stories of local youth building unauthorized bike ramps on preserved land within the Chesterbrook community.  The track the teens originally built on Parcel 19, an open space trust, was demolished as it provoked the ire of neighbors disturbed by the...

By Shrija Krishnan, Staff Reporter

Arthur Zadrozny, Vice President of the Chesterbrook Civic Association, heard stories of local youth building unauthorized bike ramps on preserved land within the Chesterbrook community. 

The track the teens originally built on Parcel 19, an open space trust, was demolished as it provoked the ire of neighbors disturbed by the commotion. It was not long, however, before the teens commenced the construction of a new set of ramps — this time located in the woods right behind Zadrozny’s property. 

Zadrozny was initially brought into the woods by the sounds of the bikers molding the ramps’ features into place — what he described as “whacking noises.” The group initially believed they were in trouble when Zadrozny approached them and were taken by surprise when he instead introduced himself to voice his support for the initiative.

“Where I grew up, we used to have a big open field where we could build forts and baseball diamonds, and play whatever. So I personally (like) it when I see kids building something so they can get outside and play,” Zadrozny said. “But, I told them people are going to eventually find out about it and want to take it down again. I brought it to the attention of the Civic Association and asked, ‘What can we as a group do to help these kids have a proper place?’”

When Zadrozny suggested the teenagers request an official bicycle motocross dirt track, Valley Forge Middle School eighth grader Dom Pecora took him up on the offer. Pecora was soon joined by his friend, freshman Ronan Lynch, and together, the boys drafted a presentation to pitch to the Tredyffrin Parks and Recreations Board. While the pair had support from Zadrozny and their parents, they were responsible for most of the project’s research and planning.

According to Lynch, BMX dirt tracks are circular circuits of “rollers” and “berms” with ramp-like features implemented throughout the route. BMX bikes differ from traditional bikes in their 20-inch wheels, smaller frame and upraised handlebars — all features meant to enhance the rider’s speed and ability to perform tricks. Lynch noted that the dirt-jumping style of mountain biking is especially popular amongst youth in the area.

“There’ve been tons of kids in Chesterbrook that I see all the time (riding BMX bikes). It’s a fun sport, it’s cool and it’s easy to get into as long as you know how to ride a bike. Unlike skateboarding where a lot of people who get into skateboarding aren’t super comfortable, most people already know how to ride a bike. So you just have to learn how to jump it,” Lynch said.

The first Tredyffrin Township Parks and Recreations Board meeting that the boys attended was on July 13, to which more than 25 youth showed up — many riding their bikes to the meeting. The response from the board has been supportive thus far, and the boys are currently transitioning to the fundraising stages of the project, though they are currently unsure of from where the money will come. 

The expected budget is $90,000, and the track requires half of an acre of land at minimum. The site of the park is set to be the Mill Road Compost site, which lies on the outskirts of Chesterbrook, making it easy for kids to bike to the park from their neighborhoods. 

The boys believe the park would benefit the community by giving kids a healthy, safe alternative to using technology. The plan is to include three skill-level tracks, allowing for riders to easily switch between levels as they gain experience. 

DirtSculpt, an Allentown-based landscaper who has worked on similar projects in the past, is the expected contractor. Lynch hopes construction will start next summer. 

“Collaborating with the Township has been going good. We’ve met with the Parks and Rec Board three times (so far), and next meeting we’re going on to the Board of Supervisors,” Lynch said. “If they say yes, then it will be approved. And then we just have to get funding for everything and hopefully it’ll be built around next summer.” 


Shrija Krishnan can be reached at [email protected]

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