A look at Holmdel’s hidden BMX course before the NJ Turnpike Authority bulldozed it. Jerry Carino, @njhoopshaven
HOLMDEL – The opening into the woods is small, nearly unnoticeable on the southbound side of Telegraph Hill Road.
But for those in the know, the unmarked half-mile trail led to something special: a clandestine, carefully manicured bicycle motorcross (BMX) course that had been enjoyed by a generation of bike enthusiasts.
WATCH: Get a look at the BMX course in the video atop this story.
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“While we appreciate that BMXers are sad to see it go, the track was built on NJTA property without permission and posed a significant risk of liability to the Turnpike Authority,” NJTA spokesman Thomas Feeney told the Asbury Park Press in an email. “The Authority had no choice but to bulldoze the jumps once we became aware of them.”
It’s unclear who alerted the NJTA; there are no obvious homes in the immediate area. The track, nicknamed “Radiation Trails,” was meticulously maintained by members of the BMX community. When not in use, the ramps were covered by heavy rain tarps. A trove of tools, including rakes and shovels, was stored on site. The area was kept squeaky clean.
“I grew up riding BMX and that was a place to ride,” said Alex Ciesla, who runs Shore Cycling Sports in Brick. “We went a couple of times a season maybe. It was word of mouth.”
In 2010, Ciesla posted a video of bikers using the track. The jumps were spectacular. No one is sure how long the course had existed, but locals familiar with the place estimate 15 to 20 years.
“It was a lot of fun” said Ciesla, now 36. “It stinks (that it’s gone), but it was unsanctioned, unapproved. Those kinds of things, they never really last long.”
Jerry Carino is news columnist for the Asbury Park Press, focusing on the Jersey Shore’s interesting people, inspiring stories and pressing issues. Contact him at email@example.com.
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