Monday, October 30, 2006

Marysville Riverfront Park

I had the opportunity to go out and visit the Marysville Track on Sunday with my kids. It was a great day out there and not too many people for the size of tracks and areas for parking. There are parking areas under a grove of trees with shade to cover whatever you like and full facilities for those that need that kind of thing.

My daughter found her way right to the 80cc track where she finds comfort just jumping and running and I went with my son to what I call the "BACK-40" track which is for anyone to go out and play on mostly, it's a nice warm up track for bigger bikes too. He's on a 200 so he can't hang around on the little bike tracks, people get annoyed with that and he's not experienced enough be out on the big track. So we went over there, I needed to get a warm up also. I attacked this track like it was second nature to me, mostly because it was curvy and had allot of flats with burmed turns that made it pretty easy to get around. It wasn't muddy or wet so there was decent traction. There's a wide open flat track section leading to the back straightaway along the river that was a blast with the big 450. More about that later...

I decided to go check out the main track, (after all that's what I was there for yes?) so I head out onto the main stretch and took the first jump (tabletop) landed short, almost biffed it and figured I better just take it a little easy and figure this track out before I end up in over my head. So I made it through 1 lap trying to stay out of peoples way while still trying to just get a feel for the different turns and lots of tabletop jumps. These I needed to time my throttle and get it up and over them to make it right. About my fourth lap I was feeling pretty goooooood about it and started running it a little harder and faster. The front straight had 3 tabletops in a row and I landed all 3 perfect on the landing side both wheels grounding at the same time, it felt good. The last jump though I landed and my throttle hand slid off the grip and that was a little scary. I took a break after that.

I went back over to the Back-40 track to check on the kids and found myself in a group of guys running laps around there pretty good. I passed most of them and went to the lead with another kid (maybe 18-20) on a Suzuki 250(?) 2 stroker, and we went into that long flat track turn section onto the main straight and I went inside for the pass. We went into that turn at maybe 20-25 mph, came out and I hit the throttle, front wheel coming up and I started sliding outwards.... I knew he was right there next to me and I wanted to give him room to race so I set the front back down to steer away from him, but by that time I was doing maybe 40 mph now and running into some washboard ruts. That immediately set my front end into a speed wobble that I would not be able to recover from and in that instant the bike went sideways, high-sided and tossed me like a rag doll right over the front (wish I had some video of that). I felt like I was sliding into home plate on my stomach!.... Oh yea! But that's just racing... actually just fooling around. If I had been racing I wouldn't have probably given him that 'room to race' and I would have made it through OK and in front.

Anyway it was just allot of fun, I didn't really feel any pain in my leg until we started loading up to leave and I noticed my thigh was pretty swollen. That's probably what hit the handlebar on the way over it. It still smarts today a bit.

In a different altercation... (that didn't include me) there was a life flight extrication from the park also that day. Seems a guy was racing, possibly over his limit or was run off the track (different stories) and left the track at one of the high burm turns and landed in a gully next to the track. He was unconscious for quite awhile and I dont know if he regained consciouness before leaving the site. They cut all his gear off him and strapped him in for the ride to the hospital somewhere. We can only hope he is alright and will be telling us stories soon.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Prairie City

Well my youngest daughter and I ventured out to Prairie City this past weekend to see how things are out there since the closing of Red Sticker season. Needless to say without any rains lately in the greater Sacramento area it's very dry and very dusting everywhere. My daughter wanted to continue her practice on the 125cc track and she went off to join the other kids running around over there while I ran a few laps on the Motocross Practice track, not the Hangtown Course.

It looks like they just added a bunch of sand to this course in fact so MUCH sand that its like you almost need a paddle tire to get through it if you slow down too much, spin spin spin! I ran it a few times and got off and then met up with a friend from work that finally brought out his KX250. During that time they had watered down the track and we were ready for some more in hopes thats the water packed down the sand a bit. Well it did make the mud a whole lot slippery as I would soon find out coming out of the second jump at the top of the course. I ended up coming into that downhill section with my rear tire passing up my front as I was in a two wheel drift going down the chute until the bike went right out from under me. If the front could of only turned a foot further I would have saved it! uh huh...

2 kicks and I was back underway and catching back up to the KX, made the 1st jump and then into the second jump again and hit the turn and guess what? Same exact thing!!!, I was down again!!!! Just carrying too much speed into that messy slippery turn and trying to take it too tight. I finally figured it out and started my jump on the outside and that helped me to take my turn wider and with less speed at the apex. Then I could hit the throttle once I was pointed downhill and it worked really good. The sand in the bottom section of whoops was the worst, and you had to carry some speed to get across the top of them into another short jump. Then be on the throttle right into another turn. All on pretty deep sand. It was fun though and definately tiring as the day wore on. It must have got up to 85 degrees F because we were all sweating up a storm out there. We had to keep coming back for water.

Brianna had a couple "competitive run-ins" with some quirky kids on the 125cc track but she found her way around them just fine. I went over and watched her for the last bit of the day. She is jumping and enjoying it more and more.

Cant wait for the rains!!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bush Signs Protection Act

Well here it is folks, the President has signed into law a protection act that allows for 275,000 acres to be protected as non-use areas by motor vehicles. Why? well lots of reasons but we managed to keep some land for ourselves.

From Contra Costa Times: Tuesday's law began with a bill introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer nearly five years ago. It sought to establish more than 2 million acres of wilderness but ran into controversy from rural landowners, loggers and off-road enthusiasts. After several years of discussions with Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, the chairman of the House Resources Committee, the log-jam was broken this year when it was scaled back roughly 80 percent!

A compromise allowed a 51,000-acre area of BLM land near Cow Mountain in Lake County where motorcycles and other off-road vehicles are used to permanently be guaranteed such access.

Despite the compromises, a fine legacy remains, said Derek Chernow, a spokesman for the California Wilderness Coalition, in Oakland. "As our population grows, the need for areas to hike, fish, hunt, backpack, birdwatch and stargaze in becomes increasingly important," he said. "This bill protects these areas not just for us but for future generations."

Hmmmm, funny that he didnt mention anything about 'off-road enthusiasts' in his listing of outdoor enjoying people.

Keep up the good fight people!!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Foresthill OHV Park

I experienced Foresthill OHV Park for the first time this past weekend, 10/15/2006. With no rain and no wetness for the past 6 months I don't need to explain to anyone about how DRY it was out there and that made for alot of dust. But anyway, being the 'enduro-ist' that I am I still went on about the ride. There were 4 of us up there; my neighbor and his son and me and mine. The trails we rode were very technical so it was very good for the kids to experience this as part of their overall training. This is the type of stuff I really enjoy only I wish that the trails were all one way so there was less worry about someone coming the other way when your powering through a blind curve... Kinda takes the fun out of it when you have to swerve off track to avoid wayward ATV's and other riders coming at you. This didn't happen to often but the thought was always in the back of my mind. The trails are marked really well so getting lost should not be an excuse for work on a Monday morning. They have camping and toilet facilities located at most of the staging areas up there so just in case you do stay over you can rest comfortably (if you came prepared for that).

We rode Loop#1, Loop#3 and Loop#4. We have personally named Loop #4 "The Rock Garden" in total admiration of all the rocks that are on this trail. I mean there are so many rocks that there is no dirt to ride on, it is loose rock, it is jagged rock sticking out of the ground, it is round rock from riverbeds and it was definately a work-out. "BENT RIM" was all I kept thinking about the whole time through there. All for not, with the exception of a couple of slow falls for my son we all made it through there without a scratch. Loop #3 is a nice twisty trail through the forest with an abundance of ferns covering the hillsides and wildlife close by. NO ATV's on this trail- too thin for them. Found a nice wide and long Jeep trail with jumps spread out about 50 feet apart to catch some nice air off of. Had to check out my new rebuilt and revalved fork job by Dicks Racing located up in Roseville, CA. It worked like a dream! Thanks Dick!

We found some really loose stuff up on one of the upper trails toward China Wall (We're going there next). This dirt was so fine and dusty you could hardly see anything, both the young boys did headers running down this one and it looked like a mushroom cloud when they hit... This is when I needed a Helmet Cam. This would be some fun family time video moments. They all got up and brushed themselves off and kept on going. I can't wait for the first rains that are gonna come and turn all that dust to muck and mire to play in. Should be even more fun! (gotta get that helmet cam)

Anwyays Great Place to ride, We barely got a chance to see it all in one day but we will return for more. I will let you know more when I do.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Girls Racing MX

Photo of Brooklyn McClendon
I think its pretty cool to see girls getting involved with motocross and being out there racing with the guys. I figure if they have a talent why not have them take it out and make the best of it. Any guy that knows the enjoyment of running a track or scrambling through backwood mountain trails can probably appreciate the fact that it is just plain fun and girls like to have fun too!

I have two daughters myself that are having alot of fun with dirtbiking right now and I hope that they would find some enjoyment in the competition part of it also. I know I would certainly find enjoyment in helping them with their bikes, their experience and their goals to achieve some sort of racing ability. That would be fun.

I have found that there are many outlets on the web for women of all ages to find information, education and motivational support from some of these groups. One is Moxie Racing which is a local Sacramento group that helps within the local ranks. Another is MX Girls which is listed as a "Home Base for Women Motocrossers" and has been on the web for about 7 years. There is also WMA which covers it all. Some of these girls are Pro riders like Kadie Garrett and Jessica Patterson. Amazing arent they? You can bet that these women and girls are making a strong impression in the dirt out there and you guys better beware. These girls will be kickin some booty on you if you arent lookin' Good Luck Girls!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

NorCal MX

NorCal Motocross is another dirtbiking website that offers all kinds of information exclusively for the Northern California dirtbike enthusiast. It has everything from information and reviews on riding places, track pictures, race results and reports. The forums there are very informative and friendly unlike some other places I have been to and the forum administrator is a straight shooter and keeps things inline. Its a family kind of forum that offers help to all ages of riders, young and old, girls and boys and without bad attitudes. I'll have more to talk about with them as we have more time and opportunity to get to know the different groups of people there better. Looks like a great place!!! Check it out. Also Joey Washburn the admin for the site is a fantastic photographer and has a website with his awesome motocrossing galleries. Check them out at his site also.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Club Moto is a really cool privately owned track in the Northern California Bay Area. It is located on the outskirts of Livermore, California off Highway 580 heading towards the Altamont Pass. This park is a local favorite of many people that volunteer their time, money and efforts to keep the place open and safe for riders of all ages. Many of the Norcal MX people are familiar with the Owner; Kirk and have good things to say about the place. They have a ClubMoto Gallery of the riders that use this track, some very talented people! The photography is awesome and all the photos are for sale online if you like what you see.

The club offers weekend and one weeknight riding and they have events there once in awhile. I havent made it there yet myself, But I plan to very soon. I'll let you know how it goes. If you're a local then go check them out.

Friday, October 06, 2006

A Word About Private Property

I probably wont be divulging too many of my private property locations on this blog site mainly due to not having permissions from the land owners to just advertise their properties for use. Not that I can blame them for not giving permission, I think it's only fair to say that "people can be jerks" sometimes and that's typically why landowners will not let just anybody ride their property. This mostly comes from a fear of being sued when some idiot rider (beginner or expert) with half-a-brain scatters it all over their soil and then wants to blame them because he ran into a rock that he didn't see in his way. Now that's just plain BS! It's irresponsible and it hurts only the people that do take responsibility for their own actions. If you're going to get on a dirtbike and go out and ride on terrain that is absolutely unforgivable to stupidity then YOU and only YOU have to be the person to be the responsible party and no one else. If you have kids that you are letting ride on private property, then YOU are responsible for their welfare also and not the property owner. IF you are the type of person that will try to collect from someone else that is trying to provide a place for your enjoyment due to your own incompetence then you are a DIRTBAG and certainly not a DIRTBIKER...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Word About Public Property

In the State of California laws are really becoming literally constrictive to off-road users due to encroachment of our rights by other groups which I will leave nameless, for uses of their own. I mean why can't we all just be happy using the areas together? They can look at their flowers and their dirt and rocks and we can just use them as pylons or obstacles on our enduro and motocross courses... yes? Everyone's happy!

But seriously folks, these groups are rallying to the powers that be that we are raping the lands by destroying them with our bikes, atvs, cars, trucks, buggies or whatever motorized vehicle they can come up with and leaving them unclean with all our garbage. I would only have to say that I have seen evidence of this by people in our sport that really don't give a damn about others and ruin it for everyone. We have to be at least as strong as these other groups in our solidarity and ban together and do the right thing. If that means staying on trails and packing up your own garbage and taking it out or picking up a little extra then so be it.

If you catch one of these punks that IS NOT doing the right thing while they are taking advantage of our OHV system within this state (or any other) then EDUCATE THEM!... Give them a LESSON in RESPECT if you know what I mean. We ultimately have to be the caretakers of the areas that we ride in. Respect the areas you ride in and we as a group (Offroaders) will be respected. We only hurt each others right to ride when we dont protect the things we care for.

Finding More Sites Online

While there are probably millions of sites online dealing with off-road and dirtbike riding content in general, they cover the entire globe. I'm sure it goes without saying that it's going to be a cold day in hell before I load up my bike on any airplane and ship it across the world to ride somewhere other than a place that I can just trailer it to. I'm sure thats probably the same for everyone that doesn't compete on a professional level.

Now I must say it's nice to know what the blokes in Australia and other places around the world are doin' from time to time on but it really don't make a heck a difference to us here locally when it comes down to finding a place to ride. Thats why I made this site. I have found other local California related sites and will include them here with hotlinks for you to check them out once I get the ok and feel they are worthwhile for our "cause"... afterall you gotta have a little dirt in your blood to really enjoy dirt-riding. It's a lifestyle!

Check out Dirtaction, I do some bloggin there also and they have forums that are informative sometimes if not ammusing at the same time.

If you know of any sites that relate please feel free to drop in a comment. Thanks