Nova Scotia

Plans for Eastern Passage BMX track gain support

Plans to bring an off-road bike track to Eastern Passage, N.S., have gained the support of a city councillor.
Kids enjoy a makeshift bike track in Eastern Passage. ((CBC))
Plans to build an off-road bike track in Eastern Passage, N.S., have gained the support of a city councillor.

The group behind the idea wants to create a course for BMX and mountain bikers on the Eastern Passage Common. It hopes to convince the rest of the community that the track would be a great way to serve youth in the area.

The 30-hectare site currently has a clubhouse, baseball and soccer fields, as well as outside exercise equipment.

Local children have already broken a rough trail through the overgrown grass close to the ocean. 

First in Nova Scotia

There are 10 sports parks in HRM shared by skateboarders and bikers, but the Eastern Passage course would be the first dedicated to biking east of Dieppe, N.B. The proposed track is 350 metres long and would feature multiple dirt lanes circling around the site.

"When I was walking around here I was thinking this unused land would be perfect for a BMX bike track because we already have a large car park here, we already have a clubhouse, lighting, electricity — everything we would need to support a track," said Geoff Hoare.

This photo mockup from the Facebook group shows what the track could look like.
He is one of the leaders of the group trying to start the new track. The Facebook group it set up had more than 160 supporters as of Wednesday. It also has a website   promoting the idea.

The group has already met with HRM to discuss the track and councillor Jackie Barkhouse is now putting her support behind it.

"I think it's quite realistic that we could see something being built here next year.  Whether that's something that's phased in or how that is funded — we have yet to work through all those things," she said Wednesday.

"Definitely, we have to get the community engaged."

BMX racing is rapidly growing in popularity in Nova Scotia and other places. It was an Olympic sport for the first time at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Kids like the idea

Children on their bikes in Eastern Passage Wednesday were excited about the possibility of a new track in their neighbourhood.

"It would be excellent to practice and do tricks and to race and be a better bike rider," said Warren Smith.

Drew Smith agreed.

"There would be something to do on hot days.  We come up here all the time, so we'll actually have something that is really fun to do," she said.

The group hopes to have the track open by next summer.