As we march towards the most romantic day of the year, Valentine‘s Day, DeCal Works continues their support of Canadian motocross by once again sponsoring this Monday’s Gate Drop. If you need a set of custom graphics on your brand new bike, or a set to freshen up your used bike, all you have to do is log onto www.decalmx.com and within minutes you can design and order a complete set of the best graphics in the industry.
Just as it was a few months ago when the Winter of 2015/2016 was slow to arrive, this past weekend once again saw record high temperatures in some parts of this country. I was asked the other day if I thought that it might be an early Spring next month. I’m not a weather expert, or a groundhog for that matter, but I honestly can’t see how it couldn’t be in most Provinces. Even where I live in what is called the ‘Snowbelt’ of Southern Ontario, there’s very little snow and virtually no frost in the ground. We could get multiple snow storms throughout the rest of this month and next month because of lake effect snow, however, as we now sit things are looking good for an early riding season. So, if you’re debating whether or not to go South in March or take your chances riding here, my prediction is that we’ll be riding by St. Patrick’s Day as we were a few years ago.
If you live in Ontario and you’d like to get a little riding in before the milder weather arrives, all you have to do is drive to the Cleveland area. Located just west of the arena where Lebron James plays is an indoor track called Ram Jam. While it’s not much to look at on the outside, inside is a six lane, one minute lap time track that is both fun for beginners and pro level riders. At a cost of $35 American, of course, you can ride all day. With fairly inexpensive hotels just minutes away, Ram Jam is an easy place to make for an entertaining weekend.
This past weekend, that is exactly what my family did as we hung up the hockey skates for a few days and traveled west across I90 to Lorain, Ohio to get in some much needed motocross riding. As I said, the Ram Jam track isn’t difficult but it offers something for everyone. For my son and his fellow 50cc riders who were also there, the track had plenty of fun obstacles to entertain them. It was a great weekend and it was fun to see everyone enjoying dirt bikes again after a few months of being away from them.
On Saturday evening it was a scramble to find an establishment that was showing the Supercross race from Phoenix. After a vast search I ended up finding the race in our hotel room; I guess we should’ve looked there first. Anyway, I thought the track in Phoenix was a very refreshing change to what we normally see at this race. With the University of Arizona stadium being much larger, the track builders were able to extend the track and build a ‘Vegas-style’ outdoor section. The start straight seemed like it was a mile long, the whoops were huge, and the thing that everyone really cares about, the racing, was awesome. Not only was it great to see Christian Craig take top honours in the 250SX class after a spirited battle with Cooper Webb, but it was also great to see Ken Roczen holeshot and ride away to victory.
As I said, I thought the racing was incredible. Considering Brent Worrall was there in person, I can’t wait to read his Friday Flight later this week to get his thoughts on the hybrid track. On television, the track looked extremely fast and very challenging. As we saw with more than one rider, any mistake led to a crash, and with the very hard packed Phoenix dirt, the crashes looked painful. I thought one rider who had a great night despite his 6th place finish was Chad Reed. I know he wasn’t as fast as the riders in front of him and perhaps a few behind him, however, it was pretty evident as the main event wore on that this was not the 33-year-old’s type of track. Although he was as fast as any rider in the deep whoop section, I’m guessing that there’s a big part of Reed that does not enjoy going that fast anymore and hanging it out like the top riders had to on Saturday night. The speeds were high, the dirt was slippery and there looked to be very little room for error. To me, Reed’s 6th place finish looked more like a podium ride from the World’s top Vet rider. If he can continue to make it through these types of races where he might not feel completely comfortable, yet still finishes strong, then he should be in a good position to go for some wins in the second half of the season. I also have a feeling that Chad Reed is going to be a huge fan favourite at the Rogers Centre on March 12th.
Our Canadian hero, Cole Thompson, looked to have an alright night in Phoenix. After a 6th place finish in his heat race and a direct transfer to the main event, Cole wasn’t able to get off to a very good start when it mattered most. With the fast race track and roost that probably hurt like hell, getting through the pack was almost impossible. Cole was forced to settle for 13th when all was said and done. Was he happy with that finish? I’m guessing he wasn’t as he got stuck behind a pack of riders that he should be able to beat. However, it could always be worse. On a track like that one, sometimes getting through the night in one piece is an accomplishment. Better luck this weekend in San Diego Cole!!
In other news on this side of the border, it was announced last week that Kourtney Lloyd has been appointed as the Manager of Team Canada for this year’s Monster Energy MXON in Italy. This is great news and we’re sure that Kourtney will do an excellent job in her new role. As you can read in the interview I did with her last week (http://mxp.ppmghq.com/mxp-chatter-with-kourtney-lloyd/), she is very excited and has already begun to look into items like housing and food. With a long road of fund raising ahead for Team Canada and an industry still watching their loonies very closely, Kourtney is going to need everyone’s help to make this a successful venture in 2016. I actually contacted CMA head honcho Marilyn Bastedo and she had this to say on Team Canada’s newest MXON Manager. “We at the CMA are delighted with the choice of Kourtney Lloyd as Team Manager. We’re confident in the vision she has for the 2016 Team, and we’re very impressed with her energy and professionalism thus far. Hopefully, Kourtney and Team Canada will have a very successful event in September.”
So that is it for this week’s Decal Works Monday Gate Drop. I hope everyone has a safe week, and a Happy Valentine’s Day to all the couples out there. Finally, as promised last week, thanks to Kimpex and Risk Racing, we’re launching a three week contest on Social Media. This week’s winner will be awarded a Risk Racing Bike Stand and a pair of Risk Racing Footpegs. All you have to do is log on to either our Instagram page (@mxpmag) or our Facebook page (mxpmag) and answer the trivia question provided for these cool prizes to be yours. Thank you for reading this week and don’t worry, Spring will be here very soon.