Biking Dirty

BMXers eat dirt and catch air

Snowboarding, surfing and BMX racing seem to attract the same kinds of competitors: wild-eyed, carefree and occasionally broken. For a kid far from a black-diamond ski slope or saltwater swells, a single-geared bike with 20-inch wheels is the perfect instrument for channeling extreme-sports urges. Typically a sport for the young and the very young, BMX racing places cyclists against one another on a hilly, dusty, bumpy, curvy, pit-ridden track. The governing body of BMX racing is the American Bicycle Association. In these parts, the nearest ABA-sanctioned track is the Pearland Speedway, host to many of the region's most important BMX races. Offering opportunities to catch air or eat dirt, the speedway welcomes everyone, regardless of age or ability. There are even some racers in their thirties and forties who ride on regular and "cruiser" bikes (which have 24-inch wheels). It's enough to rattle an old man's bones -- or even worse, if the seat's unpadded. Practices from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays; and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Races from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays. 2932 Manvel. For information, call 281-485-0337. $25, membership; $5, practices; $12, races. -- Eric Norvell

Cool Kicks

Did you know it gets hot in Houston? Especially in the summer? Oh, yeah, it rains here, too. But you can still have summertime fun -- indoors. Southwest Indoor Soccer Center offers a soccer field with stadium-style seating. Not only is there a/c, but the fields are smaller than outdoor ones and the games are shorter (about half the time of an outdoor game). And for extra fun, there are walls, so the game takes on the feel of an ice hockey game. Luckily, you won't have to deal with crowds screaming, "Fight, fight, fight!" Youth and adult leagues run all year, despite the weather, for various levels and ages. 12950 Sugar Ridge Boulevard in Stafford. For information, call 281-564-7947. -- Melissa Richter

 
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