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Hitting the dirt
A lesson in motocross

First published December 12, 2012 | Click here for the original online article

A visually exciting, and physically demanding sport, Motocross is becoming increasingly popular in Alberta. Motocross clubs are expanding across Alberta, covering every area from Whitecourt to Taber.

A local club, the Second Gear Motorcycle Club, is a non-profit society, boasting over 300 members. The volunteer-based club promotes both amateur off-road motorcycling and ATV events.

Rhonda Pechout, events coordinator for the club, says that the club has four main disciplines:

  • Ice Racing

  • Hare Scrambles

  • Trials Competition

  • Endurocross

Ice racing takes place on a plowed oval of ice, normally on a lake. Races are three heats, with six laps. Due to the dangerous nature of the event many safety precautions are observed such as front guards, rear guards and side covers. It’s fast paced with racers reaching speeds of 120 km/h and races ending in three minutes.

Hare scrambles take place on a closed, off-road track, usually on rough terrain or in wooded areas. Racers complete circuits over obstacles such as logs, mud, and rocks. The winner is typically the racer who kept up his or her speed the longest.

Trials competitions test the skill of riders, with judges marking how well the riders rode the difficult terrain. The courses are typically more difficult to ride than the scrambles competitions as it’s not a race format.

Endurocross is a mix of both trials and scrambles, with racers riding exceptionally difficult terrain. The terrain is more difficult than scrambles, but a bit easier than trials.

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