"This was my dream and vision for the past few years and finally things are coming together," Jon Kriegel told The News-Herald last week.
And they did come together in a big way at his new Oak Ridge Motocross Track located between Montour and Garwin (1324 280th St,) in western Tama County.
Kriegel said more than 500 riders took part in the first practice session on the weekend of Oct. 11-12. "No tracks in Iowa have seen those (numbers) for a race let alone a practice like we had over that weekend," Kriegel said.
Motocross enthusiasts sail high during practice runs at the new Oak Ridge Motocross between Montour and Garwin on Saturday, Oct. 12. More than 500 riders took part in the premier of the new facility in western Tama County.
Kriegel, of Tama, and his step father, Mark Kouba, rural Toledo, are the sole owners of the track development.
News of their plans first became well-known when Kriegel took part in the Tama County Economic Development Pitch and Build quarterly competition in March. His "pitch" won that competition during which he promised the new track will draw both riders and spectators from across Iowa and the midwest.
"I grew up racing motocross and knew from a young age I wanted to be around bikes. I originally wanted to be a pro race mechanic that sort of transisitioned into being a promoter, Kriegel said last week. "I have a true passion for the sports as it's one of the most physical demanding sports you can participate in."
Those taking part or witnessing the practice sessions got a real flavor of what Kriegel was talking about. It was not uncommon for riders traveling 35-40 mph to launch high in the air and travel 50 or more feet before landing their bikes on the track.
The track itself was designed by Schafer Tracks of California. What Kriegel says is an "outdoor-style track" it sits on about 50 acres with the track over a mile in length.
"I have nothing but good things to say about Shane Schafer, the designer, and his helper, Joey Kwak. These guys are a real deal and a class act," Kriegel said.
WHAT IS motocross?
A closed-course motorcycle race over natural or simulated rough terrain (as with steep inclines, hairpin turns, and mud)
Kriegel said the work on the layout stated in July. "We still have a lot of work to do. We have had so much help from friends, family, and business owners that have stepped up and provided equipment, supplies and their time. It's truly amazing and this wouldn't be possible without everyone that has been involved. I feel very fortunate to be surrounded my great people," Kriegel said.
Next up is also to set a race schedule for next year. Kriegel said plans are to join in meeting with the four other tracks which make up the Iowa District Motocross in December to determine the 2014 events. He said all racers will then "chase points" at all the tracks in 2014.
On race days at Oak Ridge there will about 30 classes each day and both practices and sanctioned races will be set.
In addition quads- four wheel vehicles - will also race on the track.
Some of the popularity of the sport and of Oak Ridge is also evident on the Oak Ridge MX Facebook page with over 3,070 likes recorded.