BMX racing comes to McDonough's Sandy Ridge Park today

Pedal power will be the mode of transportation this weekend as more than 160 riders are expected to converge on Sandy Ridge Park in McDonough when a state BMX qualifier comes to town on Saturday.

Races will be held in beginners, novice and expert divisions.

"We will have riders of all abilities out here this weekend," said Sony Hines who is one of the directors of the local BMX track and is also a competitor. "There should be some great races."

Sandy Ridge BMX has been going strong for 10 years and Hines has watched the sport growing in popularity.

"It's been great to see this track keep going for all this time," he said. "It says a lot about the volunteers and the people who really care about the sport."

Hines says the volunteers and track officials are so dedicated to their sport they even got the track in shape to hold a national BMX event just hours after Mother Nature dumped several inches of snow on the track this past winter.

"People still talk to me about that and are amazed that we were able to race," he said.

Riders as young as six, and adults, including a competitor who is 76, will compete in the different divisions this weekend with points on the line and the right to compete later this year in the state championships.

A second state qualifier will be held at Sandy Ridge Park in August, and the Georgia State Championships will take place in September at a track in Albany.

BMX racing, other wise known as Bicycle Motorcross began in the 1970s in Southern California when youngsters began racing their bicycles on dirt tracks. Later, customized bikes were built as the sport exploded nation and world wide.

Registration for Saturday's event runs from 11-1 p.m. and racing starts at 2.

Sandy Ridge Park is located at 1200 Keys Ferry Park in McDonough.