Oakland County parks celebrates 35 years of bike racing

Oakland County Parks celebrates 35 years of Bicycle Motocross (BMX) racing at Waterford Oaks County Park, making it one of the oldest BMX racing tracks in the world.

Waterford Oaks BMX was established in 1974. The track was built using the excavated soil from the Waterford Oaks wave pool, the first one in Michigan.

Dave DeKinderen, of Lake Orion, volunteers at the track because it has sentimental value to him. As a youth, he raced there and now does maintenance and clean-up.

“I volunteer at the track because I feel indebted to it,” DeKinderen said. “It’s very dear
to me.”

Growing up, DeKinderen lived down the street from the BMX track.

“I would visit the Waterford Oaks Waterpark and BMX track daily,” DeKinderen said. “The track saved me. Who knows what trouble I could have gotten into if I didn’t have that track?”

According to DeKinderen, the Waterford Oaks BMX track has improved over the years, and is now much more challenging and technical.

Waterford Oaks has hosted a national racing event every year since 1981, welcoming some of the top names in BMX history, including Greg Hill, Gary Ellis and Tommy Brackens. In 1994, Oakland County Parks hosted a world championship event with participants from more than 20 countries.

A number of events are scheduled to celebrate the track’s anniversary.

On July 4 and 5, Waterford Oaks BMX hosts the National Bicycle League’s Great Lakes National. Riders come from all over the United States to compete.

On August 1 the track is hosting the Bob Warnicke Scholarship Race and will feature an Old School Bike Show.

Waterford Oaks County Park is located at 1702 Scott Lake.

For more information about BMX races and events, visit www.waterfordoaksbmx.com or contact Track Director Vicki Zuithof at 248-858-0915.