Jon Anderson was first introduced to organized bicycle racing on a dirt track, better known as BMX as a young boy in the 70s by his father Andy Anderson, owner of Anderson’s Mower & Bikes in Manteca.
Jon immediately fell in love with the sport and continued riding through his teen years and well into adulthood. When he eventually married his sweetheart Cathy and started a family, Jon’s love for BMX turned into a real family affair.
By age 9 Jon’s daughter Crissy was BMX racing with her dad at Stockton BMX and Central Valley BMX in Modesto. When those tracks eventually closed down, instead of giving up the sport for lack of local resources, an amazing opportunity opened up. The Andersons decided to approach the City of Manteca in 2002 to see if they could not only continue the family sport they loved but share it with others within the community.
The City of Manteca liked the idea and was willing to work with the Anderson’s. Thus began the process of creating a non-profit organization, Anderson’s 209 BMX run completely by volunteers, to raise funds for a bicycle, motocross facility offering year round recreational riding. All the hard work the Anderson’s went through paid off six years ago when Spreckels Park BMX Track, located at 941 Spreckels Ave., was finally opened for public use.
“We are funded by donations and our major sponsor is The ICEE Company (the slush drink). 100% of funds going back into the non-profit organization to track operations, races, loaner bikes and helmets for new riders. We run a BMX team, ICEE/Anderson’s 209 BMX Race Team and have over 50 riders ranging in ages between 4 years to 70 years old” says Cathy.
Competing in organized BMX racing on the local, state and national levels, Cathy said that the objective is to encourage the development of sportsmanship, character building and camaraderie for the team.
“It is our purpose to ensure that all of our riders have fun competing together as a team, while at the same time providing an ideal environment for the entire family to enjoy.”
Spreckels Park BMX Track offers beginner and novice clinics once a month, holds races every Sunday with sign ups between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is open to the public on non-race days from 8 a.m. until sundown.
Throughout the year special BMX racing events are held which attract riders and their families from all over California. In addition, non-racing events are held throughout the year as well.
“Some of the parents wanted to do something different that involved biking. Although they do not ride the BMX track they want to remain active through cycling so we talked about starting a Community Bike Ride.”
Twelve people participated in the initial community bike ride, and now with the next one scheduled for Wednesday, July 6, the Anderson’s would like to invite members of the community to come out with their bike, helmet and water bottle and join the fun.
Community Bike Ride participants can meet at the BMX track at 11 a.m., take a ride down the bike path and then return by 12:30 plm. Younger riders will have an additional treat after the ride as MUSD Nutrition Services will be at the track serving a free lunch for children in the community ages 2 to 18 as they do every day throughout the summer from 12:30 to 12:50 p.m.
To learn more about the Community Bike Ride, Spreckels Park BMX Track and Anderson’s 209 BMX visit www.mantecabmx.com or call 1-209-815-8376.