Sixteen years after first opening the Bel Ray Action Sports Park in Conroe, owner Emil Shebelbon continues to add adrenaline pumping attractions to one of the nation’s largest sports parks.
The 255-acre park specializes in motocross action for experienced riders, beginners and children. Visitors can ride their dirt bikes, four-wheelers, side-by-side utility task vehicles and pit bikes on six courses of varying difficulties. The park also features a BMX track.
Shebelbon, who is a rider himself, said his favorite part about racing is the adrenaline rush he gets when launching his motorcycle off of a ramp.
“I have drag raced cars, I have drag raced motorcycles and I have done open-wheel racing,” Shebelbon said. “Motocross is one of my favorite things just because of the adrenaline rush when you jump and fly through the air 130 feet. Being able to just launch that jump is just an incredible feeling.”
Unlike most riders, Shebelbon did not start riding motorcycles until he was 26 years old. Back then, he said, there was just a few places for local motocross enthusiasts to ride.
“When I was riding 25 years ago, there really were not many places to ride,” Shebelbon said. “So I got involved in building and designing tracks. I wanted a place for myself and my friends to ride. It grew into one of the largest motocross facilities in America.”
The park’s success has led Shebelbon to add a 1-mile skate park along the banks of the business’s boating lake. Once complete, he said the park will have skate features that appeal to long board riders, hardcore skaters and BMX enthusiasts.
The park is also adding an on-site motorcycle dealership that will feature Triumph and Husqvarna brands.
Additionally, the facility offers a learn-to-ride program for beginners who are curious about the sport. Through the program, the business provides participants with proper safety gear, the right size motorcycles and teaches them the basics about riding.
“A family can come out here and participate in the learn-to-ride program and never have to own a motorcycle,” Shebelbon said. “This is a great value because it is an expensive sport to get involved in. The gear alone could cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000. The motorcycles range in price anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000.”
The park also offers summer day camps or three-day overnight camps that feature motocross and various outdoor activities, Manager Hans Marschler said.
“I see more and more families come out,” Marschler said. “You have fathers [who] used to ride but stopped because they had kids, but now the fathers are riding with their sons and daughters. A lot of the moms are riding now."
This story has been edited from the print edition to correct the spelling of owner Emil Shebelbon's name.
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