(WSVN) - Dirt bikes on South Florida streets are not only illegal… they can be deadly. Now local riders say the only safe option they have may be taken away from them. As 7’s Brian Entin explains they’re ready to get “down and dirty” to save their favorite sport!
Don’t let her small stature fool you… Crystal is a big deal on a bike.
Crystal Campagna, competitive bike rider: “It’s completely who I am. I’m a little 4 foot 10 girl, so this is all I think about, this is all I do. I don’t feel small. I feel completely in control of this machine.”
But Crystal knows how quickly things can get out of control. An accident years ago changed her perspective of riding forever.
Crystal Campagna: “I was doing 120 miles an hour and I totaled my bike.”
Luckily she was wearing protective gear and walked away without any major injuries but her accident forced her to think more about safety.
Crystal Campagna: “You forget everything else is happening around you and you learn things that completely change your life.”
Crystal is still racing but now she does it here… on the track at Miami Motocross Park.
This is the only bike park in South Florida and riders from across the county come here to ride.
Crystal Campagna: “They have barbecues, they bring their mom, their dad, they come in very large groups. It’s very family oriented.”
But now these riders are in danger of losing their safe place to ride.
The State of Florida is in the process of selling this land to a big cement company. And it could decide not to allow the park to stay.
Steve, rider: “What am I going to do? Where am I going to ride?”
Many riders say if the park closes they will have to go back to riding on the street.
Steve, rider: “Look, it’s definitely dangerous on the road down here.”
There have been devastating crashes between dirt bikes and cars across South Florida.
Sgt. Jose Ayala, Medley Beat the Heat: “Dirt bikes, ATVs all those are absolutely illegal to be on the streets.”
Sgt. Jose Ayala heads up the Medley Beat the Heat program which encourage riders to stay off the streets and race on tracks instead… but what happens if this track closes?
Jose Ayala: “They have no alternative but to ride them in the streets or illegally in the parks or in open vacant areas that are private property and it’s a danger.”
A danger these bikers know all too well, which is why they are willing to get down and dirty to save their park.
Crystal Campagna: “I want to keep a safe, legal place for riders in South Florida.”
Mario Rivera, rider: “We’re always fighting to keep it alive. It’s a passion, you know, it’s a way of life.”
The group has started a petition to keep the park open. We reached out to the cement company… they didn’t return our calls but they did call Crystal and agree to meet to talk about the park with the riders.
We’ll keep you posted on what happens next. To learn more about how you can help, go to the links below.
Brian Entin, 7News.
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Miami Motocross Park
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