Zellwood Motocross Track Ranks With Best In Country

June 29, 1986|By Ramona Whaley, Special to The Sentinel


ZELLWOOD — In bicycle motocross circles the BMX trail that Tommy Miller and his buddies built at the Zellwood Community Center is ranked as one of the best practice courses in the country.

In August, the course and its creators will be featured in BMX Action, a California publication.

Three years ago Miller, who is now 19, got permission to build the track at the community center. He borrowed a tractor from his father and talked the county into dumping 40 loads of clay at the site. A friend donated a starting gate.

Then Miller, with Rex Roberson, 17, of Zellwood, and Todd Corbitt, 17, of Apopka, worked after school, weekends and summers laying out and shaping the track.

They designed and constructed banked curves and several single and double bumps in the trail over which to jump their bikes, including one they call the Tabletop that is 5 feet high and 8 feet across. They also created the Chasm, a jump that is 25 feet long.

The trail ranges in width from about 4 to 7 feet and is about an eighth of a mile long, Miller said, and ''It takes about 20 seconds to go around it fast.''

The trail is not regulation scale and is not sanctioned for competitions.

But the training they get at their ''trashing track,'' as they call it, has helped them sharpen their skills to win trophies at sanctioned competitions like those held Saturday nights at the Pine Hills BMX track.

Corbitt, who is nationally ranked No. 1 for his age group in the National Bicycle League, is in his fourth summer of touring on the national competitive racing circuit. He has a full sponsorship provided by a Tennessee bicycle manufacturer and a Colorado candy company. He has won races all around the country.

The trail is open to anyone who wants to use it. ''If they want to ride, they can come out here,'' Miller said.

It is especially popular with the 13 to 15 age group, but Miller said some riders are much younger.

''There's one little 5-year-old kid from Apopka whose father brings him up here,'' Miller said. ''We try to help him out.''

The boys recently completed building a new turn and plan to redo the entire trail soon. ''It's getting old, and we want to totally change it as soon as the summer's over and Todd gets back,'' Miller said.

The three, who graduated from Apopka High School this spring, will work the renovation around classes at Lake-Sumter Community College.