For over 20 years, Future West Moto has been committed to promoting and providing a safe place for our riders and families to enjoy the sport of Motocross. Through our outdoor Motocross and Indoor Arenacross riding schools, we are bringing top athletes in the sport to share knowledge, riding tips and instruction to the younger levels and new riders. From the ‘New Kid Beginner’ class to top National level Pro’s, we strive to ensure that our track officials, first aid, and all Future West staff are knowledgeable, friendly and offer an all around good experience while maintaining a high standard of professionalism and competition. Future West Moto and its winning team are now partnered with MRC Racing as the main sanctioning body for Motocross in the province of British Columbia. With four rounds of a nine round provincial Championship now in the books, seeing well over 1,300 entries in total, 2019 is proving to be a breakthrough year for Future West Moto. This years MRC Racing, Western Canadian Amateur National June 27th-30th will also be hosted by Future West at the newly revamped Whispering Pines Motorsports Compound in Kamloops B.C. Future West Moto’s Provincial Championship series resumes on June 9th at the Blackwater track in Prince George B.C. in conjunction with the Prince George club and the MRC Nationals. Future West Moto now has online sign up available prior to all racing events. All you need to know and more can be found at www.futurewestmoto.ca
Once again, we are set for lift off into what promises to be another great year of outdoor racing action in Canadian Motocross at the highest level. This Saturday and Sunday in Calgary, Alberta marks the MX Tour’s starting point for Canadian Motocross’ highly coveted Rockstar Triple Crown. As the old saying goes, when it comes to succeeding at anything by “Keeping your eyes on the prize,” I assure you that there is no shortage of riders who have this year’s pots of gold in focus. I will share some of my thoughts and some of those that I have reached out to momentarily. First off, though, hats off to our title sponsor, Future West Moto as this past weekend at Pemberton, B.C.’s Green River MX saw them complete a fourth record breaking round of racing action. There were 322 entries at the well run, pristine riverside, Kevin Labatte managed race track.
Some have argued that our sport of Motocross will never see a return to the numbers of its former ‘Glory Years.’ When I hear things like this, I cannot say that I agree wholeheartedly and if you bare with me, I will give you my Coles Notes as to why.
I am not sure exactly what the number of bike sales were in the so-called Golden Years, but I am thankful that I got to experience them first hand. My first race was in 1972 right where the Lafarge Cement Plant now sits just outside of Kamloops, BC. For argument sake, let’s call those glory years, from 1970-1980. I interviewed my old friend Carl Bastedo a while back and it was incredible how he recounted some of the numbers of bike sales as well as the amount of racers at the tracks of yesteryear. I can personally remember days out West, at the old Agaasiz track and others, where we had well had over 300-400 hundred riders. The pits and gates were always packed and no one ever questioned a thing. Back then, it was the norm. One of our writers wrote a very good piece that touches on some of these parameters called ’1975 Revisited.’ If you have a vested interest in our sport’s history and glory years, you can check that out here. https://www.mxpmag.com/honda-canada-racing-presents-1975-revisited/
I found it very interesting in the article that our sport in Canada, at one point, rivalled that of our southern neighbours. Fast forwarding to today, with the growth and upswing we are now experiencing, Fox Sports Racing etc., I again believe that there are even more reasons to be optimistic. You see in my day, when I started out, you had to be at least 8-years-old to race motocross in Canada (I was six). In fact, being a six-year-old ‘Honest Abe’ when asked at sign up how old I was, after responding six, Walt Levy of Little Rock Raceway quickly retorted, “Son, you are eight today.” I never said a word and went straight from sign up to guard my motorcycle like an eight-year-old Pit-Bull. The bike at the time was a Yamaha GT 60, not even a real motocross bike by today’s standards. Today we have bikes for all ages and sizes. A racer today, savvy and keen enough, can be found behind a starting gate at four-years-old. At four, I was still setting out daily to break Evel Knievel’s records for broken bones by doing things like launching my ‘Big Wheel’ down our basement stairs. The only encouragement I ever needed was being told by my parents not to.
Let’s face it, stick and ball sports are not for everyone. Sometimes the missing puzzle piece to finding one’s true calling can be found in our collective happy places of the motocross track. As a former top-level racer, even where I now sit, I owe almost everything that I have acquired in the way of fortitude and determination to succeed to our sport. Another major difference in the age that we now live in is that our sport has evolved to include so much more family participation. When I raced, my Dad and I often went to the local races alone while my Mom and sister went to swim meets. Again, fast forwarding to the current era; after attending many of our country’s biggest events in the past ten years, there has been a huge but subtle transformation. Being actively involved out here in the West, I see evidence of this every time I go to the race track or a bike shop. There are always so many side stories on race days that will never show in the results columns. Many of them revolve around our sport’s new age family dynamic. There are many ways to look at it, and one could always argue that a family that plays together, stays together. It does not always have to take a village to raise a winning motocrosser either. But without family support, it does make it tougher, for sure. One only has to check their daily social media feeds to validate some of the family fun being had at today’s events. From race weekends like we will see in Calgary, to events like our upcoming Amateur Nationals, there just seems to be so much more offered to our sport’s families in the now.
To me it was very heartwarmingly cool to see current outdoor Champ, GDR / Honda Canada / Foxhead / Atlas Brace rider Colton Facciotti with his bikes loaded to take his son riding last week. Even though it was a school day, his son Keegan was over the moon excited. I am sure Facciotti, the father of two, did not mind getting in some quality time with his son before he sets out on a quest for a sixth 450cc outdoor title. When I saw that post it really started my gears spinning as to how much we have evolved in regards to the many changes of our sport’s family dynamic. Many racers in my era had one job and that was to race a dirt bike and do it well. Adding to that, I can’t say that I remember many of them raising families while racing. Today, many of our top racers are balancing their racing careers while raising a young family. I know that sacrifices have to be made on both ends, but when we are in this sport together as a family, none of them seem near as inconvenient. My kids are no longer into Moto but I will be eternally grateful for everything good and bad the sport has brought to my family and I. Please, tell your friends, don’t keep it all to yourself, Let’s ALL……. Go Racing. My friend Chris Pomeroy pointed out something similar in his Monday Gate Drop last week. This, too, has been on my mind a lot lately since seeing so many of our heroes with kids that are just getting started on their own personal Motocross journeys.
With the table now set in Calgary, by the time you are reading this, hopefully I will have made it to the Blackfoot Inn safely. It has been one of those Planes, Trains and Automobile weeks here in my world. Our car broke down for the second time in two weeks, warranting a rental van be sequestered. As I hopped out of our ailing vehicle into my chair, I had a glass half full moment. Those always put a smile on my face. The thought was that even if my car breaks down, I will never be without wheels, will I? I would also like to take a moment and thank my friend Ryan Pickford for getting a quad on my behalf from the good people at Cochrane Alberta’s Bow Ridge Sports. Saturday will mark my 53rd birthday and I could not think of a better place to spend it, in any better company.
I know there will be many lined up this weekend on home turf and that too can be one of the best feelings in Motocross. I used the operative word as ‘can.’ Sometimes a home race can come at the price of pressure to perform well in front of family and friends. Do I need to remind anyone that no one will leave Calgary a 2019 outdoor national series champion?
Keylon Meston and the likes of local Jared Petruska have had their share of decent hometown races. After seeing their determined efforts south of the border, I do not have any reason to think the jitters will be a factor for them this year. There are many other fast up and coming Alberta youngsters who will look to make a mark this weekend as well. Keep your eyes on the Yamahas of #170 Josh Gedak in the 450 class and #325, Ryno Power Sports Supplements athlete, Tallon Unger on the 250 two-stroke Yamaha. These kids are very fast and have local knowledge on their side! I also reached out the Keast family this week and am happy to hear that Casey will be lined up on a YZ 450 for the opening rounds of action. Keast had a rib separation last summer when he departed for the series eastern swing. With starts being as valuable as they are in Calgary, I would not be one bit surprised to see Casey and the others mentioned have a memorable opening round weekend for all the right reasons.
When I reached out to series front man Justin Thompson, he responded via text from an airplane earlier this week and that did not surprise me. I have not yet voiced an opinion here on the site but I have no problem with telling you that I hold his and his family’s level of commitment to our sport’s excellence in the highest regard. To me in life, actions have always spoken louder than words. The people that take the risks and the chances in our sport like Justin and his family have are truly invisible, Moto life, cape wearing heroes. I cannot wait to get a race fuel scented visual firsthand this weekend high above Calgary’s concrete jungle.
The weekend will also mark the commencement of this year’s four Western Pro Women’s National Series races. I totally dropped the ball on this last week but the series will conclude at this year’s Western Canadian Amateur National in conjunction with Future West Moto and MRC Racing, June 29th in Kamloops. You can sign up and checkout the details here https://secure.tracksideprereg.com/futurewest/?fbclid=IwAR0WWMj4ThSkKgLFnglHZ0aTkL68Ja3nMEZTPYysrH-59Jn_ynY5zyTR2io
I have also just learned that multiple Pro Women’s East Champion, KTM Canada’s Eve Brodeur, will be lined up in Calgary. The very fast and friendly Quebec based racer is ready and set to take on her Western rivals. I reached out this week to West series stalwart, Calgary’s own Dominique Daffe’ who will also be ripping it up on home soil this weekend. Dominique, who will saddle up the #6 Blackfoot Direct TC250 this season, is also very excited for the weekend’s series commencement. To me it is also very cool that Blackfoot Direct now does their own suspension called ‘Direct Suspension.’ If you have followed this series closely for the past half a dozen or so years, you are familiar with some of Dominique’s many colourful accomplishments. This year, again teamed with up Jetwerx and MRC Racing, Dominique is also carrying the messages that need to heard through the Series portals of the CDNWMX Facebook page as well as their Instagram account. If you have not already, give them a follow. Kristie Moore, who has done so much for this series in recent years, has taken a small step back this year. I think I speak for many when I say thanks for everything you have done for the Pro Women and our sport Kristie. When I did eventually catch up with Dominique this week, she too, like most of us, was right in the middle of everything imaginable that can come up just days before we all go racing. Dominique, I cannot thank you enough for everything you have done on and off the race track for this series as well. I know that there will be many in Calgary lining the fences, shouting their appreciation in your direction as they cheer on your Husqvarna.
Dominique is just one of many riders we will see lined up at the opener with Team Alberta graphics on their motorcycles. She was quick to point out that both she and her top pro level partner in crime, Jared Petruska, were members of this new movement team. I was fortunate enough to meet Jared for the first time at the 2009 Walton Trans Can with training legend Drew Robertson. I am keen to learn more about this team firsthand this weekend. In my responses to a few questions that I put to her last minute, she told me that the team was being run by a couple of locals that have young kids racing. In her own words, “This is a level of support I haven’t had before, and whatever happens I’m just stoked to be apart of it. They are at all of our local Calgary events as well as Southern Alberta and we all know each other so it’s all around good vibes.” Team Alberta is thankful to have the support of many, including these good people mentioned here: Hatt Automotive, DTS Trailer Rentals, Motion Canada, Banff Fire & Safety, VP Racing Fuels, Matrix, Fox Canada, Sosa Original, and Team Optimize. Dominique, I don’t doubt for one second that they are very proud to have both you and your incredibly hard-working fiancé, Jared, on board. When I asked her about expectations for the season, she was quick to point out that she was no longer 21. She said that she realizes with future plans of marriage and more adulting forecasted that this season presents a great opportunity for her to achieve career best results. I love telling stories like the ones that both Jared and Dominique are scripting for themselves and fans to follow. Why? Well, to me, it validates something I said earlier in the blog, and that is that I believe wholeheartedly that we now live in and era where Motocross is a true family sport. Thanks for your time Dominique. Good luck to you, Jared and all others lined up this weekend in Calgary, Alberta. Let’s Go Racing!
Have a great weekend friends, while keeping safety one of your top step priorities.