172_HipBy: Bruce Mike

Earlier this winter I discovered a way to ride year-round in a fairly warm environment. It’s called indoor motocross. There is a track in Wisconsin owned by Cedar Lake Speedway. They call it The Sandbox, I don’t think it has anything to do with sand. I’m pretty sure it has everything to do with it being a place for kids, big and small, to play. When I say I discovered it, I mean I went there to watch some friends race, one of them being the publisher of this paper. I realize this track has been in operation for a long time and is quite popular with local motocross riders.

I have an off-road bike but I have no interest in riding in a motocross race. I think when I was younger I would have loved it but at my age healing takes a long time. My friends who were racing are not that much younger than me but they have stronger off-road skills and less fear of hurting themselves. All of them rode really well and without incident. While my reason for being there was to see my friends race, I had a lot more fun watching the 4-8 year olds race. You would see a mom holding a sleeping kid in the lounge area and 15 minutes later that little girl was racing around the track. I’ve never seen riding gear that small. Some of those kids got more air than the adults I came to watch.

As I watched I could only imagine the expense for the parents of these young racers. I get it, if you want to have a family activity you need to find something you can all do together and if mom and dad are into motocross, that’s what you’re going to be doing. With my kids, it was skiing. They had many lessons and many trips to Colorado. It was great fun as I’m sure off-road riding with your kids is. I always figured anything to do as a family in the winter would be better than my kids playing hockey. I wish I would have looked into motocross. I’m sure it wouldn’t have cost any more than skiing and snowboarding and we could have done it year-round.

None of my kids have developed my obsession for motorcycles. They grew up around bikes. When they were younger, they rode mini-bikes around the yard and neighborhood, and when they were old enough they rode with me. My oldest son got his motorcycle endorsement when he was 17 and my stepson got his before he was 21. My daughter had an interest after high school but it faded and my youngest son has never had an interest. We provided bikes for the older boys when they got licensed but they didn’t ride much. I got my first street bike when I was 17 and I’ve been hooked ever since. I rode mini-bikes and dirt bikes when I was younger but the obsession didn’t start till I got that street bike.

Next week I’ll be heading to Moab, Utah for a week of trail riding. I went last year and had a great time. I’m sure the same will happen this year. I’m planning on this being my last trail riding trip on my Honda CRF 250L. It’s a great bike but I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I’m not nearly as passionate about off-road riding as my friends are. Don’t get me wrong, I love screwing around on off-road bikes. Spending a day at the OHV park in Gilbert is one of my favorite things to do. It’s like going to a playground as a little kid.

While my CRF is a great on and off-road bike, I only rode it four times last year and only one of those times was on the street. In my quest to own only bikes I ride, I’m selling it and getting a Ural. I have to believe a two-wheel drive Ural will be tons of fun in Gilbert and I know I’ll ride it on the street. Another upside is my daughter is very excited to ride in a sidecar. I’ll get these kids hooked one way or another.

MMM

This article, March 2016 From The Hip, first appeared on Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly.

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