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Silent running

BMX was a big deal at Gamehaven motocross back in the 1980s.

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BMX.jpg
BMX racers got plenty of hang time at the Gamehaven bicycle motocross track southeast of Rochester.
Contributed / History Center of Olmsted County

If one went into the woods at Camp Kahler, southeast of Rochester, from May to October in 1985, they may have received a big surprise. While there was no roar of engines, there was plenty of racing at the Gamehaven motocross track.

Bicycle motocross or BMX racers, from ages 5 to 60, riding anything from home-brewed bikes to $1000 racing machines, were competing on the 930-foot-long dirt track.

Ed Conway, who operated the track for the Gamehaven Council of the Boy Scouts, reported an average of 70 racers a week showing up for the events. Racers were separated by male and female along with age groups and by their skill level – novice, intermediate and expert.

Local racers competed for trophies and points with riders from as far as western Wisconsin, northern Iowa and the Twin Cities on a race circuit that included Rochester, Albert Lea, Fairmont, Mason City and night racing at Austin.

"Lens on History” is a weekly photo feature by Lee Hilgendorf, a volunteer at the History Center of Olmsted County.

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