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BMX track getting out of starting gate Monday

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POSTED January 31, 2009 5:13 a.m.
It’s not just a crab feed.

Tonight’s  Anderson’s 209 BMX marinated crab feed that runs from 5 p.m. to midnight at the MRPS Hall, 133 N. Grant St., is a celebration of not just sweet success but one of Olympic proportions as well.

A track builder from the American Bicycle Association will be in Manteca Monday preparing the Spreckels Recreation Park site at Moffat Boulevard and Spreckels Avenue for construction to mark the end of three years of planning and the start of building the actual track. On Tuesday, the Manteca City Council is scheduled to give its final blessing for the track design as well as to call for bids for three related projects.

Tonight, those attending the crab feed will get a chance to meet Donnie Robinson who won the bronze medal for BMX at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. You can still get tickets at the door for $45 for the all-you can-eat event that includes dancing to the classic rock band Nothin’ Personal.

The 5-foot-4, 150-pound Robinson is a 25-year-old from Napa. He was named the Golden Crank “Pro of the Year” after winning the UCI BMX Supercross Series Championship in 2006. Robinson won the National Bicycle League Pro Title in 2006 and the USA Cycling BMX National Championship in 2007.

He turned pro in 2002.

The City Council during Tuesday’s meeting at 7 p.m. at the Manteca Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St., will seek bids for a chain-link fence costing $15,000 to separate the track from the spectators’ area. A 200-foot-long, 8-foot high masonry sound wall costing an estimated $60,000 to separate nearby homes from the park will also go out to bid. The third bid item is the installation of three solar powered security lights strategically placed throughout the 10-acre park. It is the first solar security lighting project in Manteca.

The track is targeted for completion in April.

Other Spreckels Recreation Park improvements have already been made including the planting of grass for a regulation soccer field.

Anderson’s 209 BMX Team has committed to raise funds needed for operational improvements to the track as well as help keep the track in shape once it is completed.
What makes the Manteca track unique is its location. Unlike other Northern California – several of which have been shuttered – it is on a major thoroughfare, close to restaurants, and stores, and is easily accessible by kids who can ride their bicycles down the Tidewater Bikeway or the Spreckels Avenue bikeway.

The city is expected to make the facility available for general use when sanctioned BMX events aren’t underway.

The Stockton track that has since closed was located at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds while the Modesto track is at Rainbow Fields in a rural part of Stanislaus County.
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