New BMX track proves to be a hit for all ages

The hustings at Portsmouth College - from left:  David Carpenter (college governor), Gerald Vernon-Jackson (Lib Dems), Ian McCulloch (Green), Steve Fitzgerald (college teacher and chair), Stephen Morgan (Labour), Kevan Chippindall-Higgin (Ukip) and Penny Mordaunt (Cons)   Picture: Heather Eggelton

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SCORES of keen BMX-ers put a new track to the test as the sun shone on the first day of the Easter break.

The ramps have been installed by active sports company Baseline Sporting Opportunities on behalf of Portsmouth City Council.

Kieran Quick tries a new temporary BMX course in the park at Hilsea Lido, opposite The Blue Lagoon. 

Picture: Allan Hutchings (160402-576)

Kieran Quick tries a new temporary BMX course in the park at Hilsea Lido, opposite The Blue Lagoon. Picture: Allan Hutchings (160402-576)

The authority has put in the temporary free facility opposite the Blue Lagoon in Hilsea after a public consultation found that 91 per cent of people were in favour of a track in the north of the city.

Yesterday, brothers Ian Quick, 14, Harry Cooper, 11, and Kieran Quick, 15, from Hilsea, were making the most of the ramps, which include a flat bank, driveway, quarter pipes, and a roll-in and fly-off.

Ian, who is in Year 10 at Trafalgar School said: ‘We heard about it in the news the other day and we came down this morning to check it out.

‘It is pretty amazing, they have done loads. I like it as I normally ride everywhere.’

Harry, who is in Year 6 at Isambard Brunel Junior School, said: ‘Apart from me having to borrow a pink bike, as it was the only one left, it’s pretty cool.’

It was not just boys taking part. The Culliford family, from Cosham, were also enjoying the day.

Dad Andy, 43, has been into BMX-ing since he was 12 and he said he was proud to see his girls – Lauren, 12, and Jasmin, nine – enjoying it too.

Lauren, who is in Year 8 at Springfield School, said: ‘It is a good way to exercise and to have fun.’

Mum Louise, 40, was watching from the sidelines.

She said: ‘You have to be pretty competent to try at the skateparks so it’s good there’s a place like this.’

If the temporary facility is a success, the council will consider applying for permission to install it permanently.

The track is suitable for all ages and abilities. Free bikes are available for beginners, and instructors and safety kit will be provided.

It will be open from 11am until 4pm every day from until Thursday, April 7. It will be officially launched today at 12.30pm.

Council leader Donna Jones, who is also the Hilsea ward councillor, said: ‘It is a great use of open space.’

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