Daniel Coriz is seeing growth right before his eyes.
It’s there in the numbers that the BMX rider saw for last year’s BMX Trail Jam — roughly 300 competitors were in the event — and the crowd that watched it at the BMX Trails nestled in the La Tierra Trails network.
“Every year it seems like it’s growing,” says Coriz, who is helping organize this year’s event Saturday. “It seemed like there were a lot more spectators than there had been before. It has mostly been a rider’s event.”
Coriz believes it is a sign of the growing interest in bicycle motorcross.
Events like the Trail Jam help promote it in an area where extreme sports don’t have a formal foothold.
“I think it is one of the few alternative sport events that we have in New Mexico,” Coriz says. “No other events come into our state. It is X-Games- or [Mountain Dew] Tour-related, but none of their stops come here.”
So it is up to the Trail Jam to drum up more interest, and volunteers have spent the last seven months making changes to the course to help that cause. They cleared out weeds and brush, plus developed new jumps that cater to less experienced riders that are a part of the trails while keeping ones that bring the veterans of the sport.
Coriz estimates that between three and 10 volunteers were out on the trails three times a week until last week preparing for the event.
“The ‘Trash Bin’ [a trail near the BMX Trail] is based on the beginner rider, so we have both sites,” Coriz says. “But we added a little more beginner stuff, so there is something for everybody.”
Sponsors also are doing their part to enhance the experience for fans and riders.
The city of Santa Fe donated money for T-shirts to commemorate the event and they will be available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Rob and Charlie’s Bike Shop, Southwest Motorsports Resource and Santa Fe Mountain Sports have donated equipment, gear and parts for the competitors.
“As much as the shops are donating, it makes it seem like [the Trail Jam] is more of an event,” Coriz says.
If it keeps growing, Coriz might be calling it more than an event some day.
Contact James Barron at 986-3045 or firstname.lastname@example.org.