By Garrett Dvorkin
Herald Staff Reporter
During this past off-season, Drake Well BMX had extensive work done on its track following a year of success.
Not only did a track designer come out to redesign the layout and reform jumps, the City and a local business stepped up to make a new starting hill possible.
With these improvements, Drake Well BMX looks to hold bigger and more prestigious races that should allow the track, and its riders, to see greater competition.
The track opens its season this weekend with local races, before big events like the Gold Cup Qualifier will take place later in the season.
In 2020, as COVID-19 forced many people inside, they looked for activities to spend more time outside. As the track received more buzz and attention from riders, this off-season the track decided to build on that momentum and take the facility to the next level.
“More riders have found that we have a great facility,” said Drake Well BMX President Kelly MacDonald, “We hope more people keep finding us and make our track a stop on their racing schedules.”
The crown jewel of Drake Well’s calender is its first ever Gold Cup Qualifier. The event will take place on the weekend of Aug. 7.
Unlike local and state races, Gold Cup events draw riders from all over the east coast. Being a part of the Northeast region, riders from Maryland and Virginia and up to New England could stop in Titusville for the weekend.
MacDonald said that she expects close to 1,000 people, both riders and their families, to come to Titusville to participate in the race.
“Gold Cup qualifiers aren’t just handed out. You need to have the rider count, the level of facilities and the ability to host a large crowd,” said MacDonald. “It has taken us a while to get here.”
MacDonald hopes that bringing that many visitors into town could have a positive effect on the businesses downtown.
Much of what has allowed Drake Well BMX to reach new levels and attract bigger races has been through support from the community and the City.
Recently, after MacDonald attended a City Council meeting, council members voted to have the public works crew take time out of their schedules to help pour a new concrete starting hill for the track.
“We want to promote and help Drake Well BMX to improve the track and showcase what they have,” said City Manager Neil Fratus.
Fratus said that MacDonald and her organization have worked hard to bring races to Titusville and that the City is “excited to have Gold Cup racing in Titusville.”
“We are glad the City is a part of it,” said Fratus.
Without the City, which owns the land the where the track is located, Drake Well BMX would never have been able to exist. Through its years of existence, the City has been interested and invested in the facility.
“I just can’t say enough about what the City has done for us,” said MacDonald, “They have really become a cooperative partner in the well being of this track.”
It was not just the City of Titusville that has helped Drake Well BMX this season, but also a local business.
Oil Creek Plastics, and President CJ Kirvan, donated the materials for the new starter hill.
As someone who grew up racing on the Drake Well BMX track, Kirvan, who is also a City councilman, decided to step up and help out. “I loved it. Not only the competition and the equipment, but also the many happy memories of traveling with groups of other families to different races,” said Kirvan, “That is what BMX has to offer. The opportunity for people to come together and share their passion for the sport and for the camaraderie it engenders.”
“BMX is the first organized activity I can remember participating in as a child. Within a month of learning to ride a bike, I was on my first track,” Kirvan said.
Kirvan’s uncle, Chris Howard, was one of the people who helped shape Drake Well BMX in its early years and allowed it to get to where it is today.
“There are an untold number of people that have poured many charitable hours into forming those doubles, tabletops and turns. My Uncle Chris Howard was one of them,” said Kirvan.
Kirvan dedicated that starting hill to Howard.
To showcase the new track, they are testing out Thursday night races in addition to the usual Sunday slate. For what could be the biggest season yet, MacDonald said “the wheels are in motion.”
Dvorkin can be reached by email at Gdvorkin@titusvilleherald.com.