MILTON — Josh Neptune wanted to build a motocross track where there was none.
Not a racing track, but a practice track where motocross riders can hone their skills in between competitions. The Ohio native found the spot at 8115 Munson Highway in Milton.
“The climate in Ohio is not favorable for riding except for a few months out of the year,” Neptune said. “The weather down here could allow for year-round riding.”
Neptune found a 70-acre plot off Munson Highway and bought it. He closed his track in the Village of Killbuck, Ohio, packed up his family, fiancee Joy, daughter Makala, and future son-in-law Cody Zollars, and moved to what he calls “Florida’s playground” about two and a half years ago.
“You can enjoy motocross riding in the morning then go to the beach, or Adventures Unlimited or Blackwater River or walk one of the many hiking trails all in one day,” Neptune added enthusiastically.
On Feb. 1, MX191 Motocross Track will have a fundraising event to raise money for the last phases of the project, including the completion of and inspection of the site plan by the county Development Services Department.
The fundraiser is an all you can eat Benefit Boil by the Crawfish Man for $20, which also includes hamburgers, hot dogs and riding the track. The event is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m.
“I remain optimistic, I think we will be able to move forward with the project,” Neptune said.
Chris Phillips, director of code enforcement agreed.
“We have met with the owner and provided some assistance and suggestions for this site plan,” Phillips said. “I think we are on the same page.”
Neptune reserved 10 acres to build his home. The rest of the 60 acres is for his motocross track.
Neptune received Santa Rosa County Zoning Board approval for conditional use of the agriculture-rated land and BOCC approval in July 2018. Twelve hours after his approvals, he was clearing land and building his track.
The track is built to American Motorcyclist Association standards. The track is one mile long, 30 feet wide and has irrigation.
Neptune has also built a smaller track for children riders that are just starting.
Neptune started riding when he was 6-years-old is adamant about the sport being a family activity.
“I feel it’s a great sport that can lead to great things in life,” Neptune said.
Neptune’s track in Ohio was a private track and evolved into a place where many underprivileged kids were allowed to learn about the sport and ride for free if they had a bike.
Neptune has not decided if the track will be public or a private club track. The current trend in this sport is to build tracks for racing competitions.
“That’s where the money is,” Neptune said.
He wants MX191 Motocross Track to be a practice track where riders can get ready for their competitions.
“I want the track to be a place to bring the family for the day, enjoy motocross riding, have lunch on a picnic table and ride some more,” Neptune said.
Neptune said his venture has a low impact on the land from an environmental standpoint. If he sells the property, it can return to its original state fairly easily. He does not plan to build additional structures on the property, only those required to meet code enforcement.
To start in the sport you can estimate $1,500 for a child’s equipment and a used bike and about $4,000 for an adult with a used bike.
Regardless if MX191 Motocross Track is private or public, “Any kid that wants to ride (and has his own bike) will have a place to ride,” Neptune said.