Hello and welcome to the 40th edition of the Monday Maniac. I have made it through another year of motocross. This 2012 year marks the 29th year I have been riding a bike (I started when I was 5). It’s so wild to think I have been doing something for so long. It’s also hard to believe that I am still motivated to race, ride and work for the sport that has brought me so much for the past 29 years. As I sit here I can still remember the first time I rode my YZinger back in 1983. It was the greatest day ever. The wind blowing through my hockey helmet, the freedom I felt as I charged down the neighbour’s driveway, then of course the tears and pain I felt as the throttle stuck on me causing a tank slap at a high speed of 2 MPH into the ground marking my very first crash. There have been many tears, lots of pain and oodles of crashes, but yet I still manage to line up when I can with a smile on my face stoked to extend my motocross life. Pretty damn awesome! How many of you can say that? Or want to be able to say that some day?
This week marks the official start of the 2012/2013 Canadian AX series. Names like Brock Hoyer, Ryan Lockhart, Spencer Knowles, Dylan Kaelin, Dylan Deleplace, and many more will be banging bars this Friday and Saturday night inside the Cloverdale Agriplex. Here is the schedule:
2012/2013 KTM Canadian Arenacross Championship Schedule
Round 1 Friday October 19th – Cloverdale Agriplex, Cloverdale Fairgrounds, Surrey, BC
Round 2 Saturday October 20th – Cloverdale Agriplex, Cloverdale Fairgrounds, Surrey, BC
Round 3 Friday November 2nd – Chilliwack Heritage Park, Chilliwack, BC
Round 4 Saturday November 3rd – Chilliwack Heritage Park, Chilliwack, BC
Round 5 Friday November 9th – Chilliwack Heritage Park, Chilliwack, BC
Round 6 Saturday November 10th – Chilliwack Heritage Park, Chilliwack, BC
Round 7 Friday January 18th – Chilliwack Heritage Park, Chilliwack, BC
Round 8 Saturday January 19th – Chilliwack Heritage Park, Chilliwack BC
Round 9 Friday February 1st – Chilliwack Heritage Park, Chilliwack, BC
Round 10 Saturday February 2nd – Chilliwack Heritage Park, Chilliwack, BC
Round 11 Friday February 8th – Cloverdale Agriplex, Cloverdale Fairgrounds, Surrey, BC
Round 12 Saturday February 9th – Cloverdale Agriplex, Cloverdale Fairground, Surrey, BC
Even though I personally am a little burnt from this summer, I am pumped to see how this goes and who will come out on top.
Okay, now back to where I was going at the top of this blog. I will admit that the end of this year I am not the same little tyke that was so enthusiastic about the sport back in 1983. Spending every waking minute doing this sport can drain you of the love you have for it very quickly. I basically work 365 days a year for motocross. I don’t get paid for that many days but with the induction of social media and how easy it is to do it all from your phone, there is no less than 5 hours a day average that I spend on my phone working for MXP. It sucks a ton and it’s amazing at the same time as well. I really noticed it yesterday at the Sandstorm. Once again I go to a race with a very small turnout of racers. What in the hell are people doing now a days? Why are they not racing? This is not just in the all mighty CMRC either. It’s everywhere. One topic that came up on Saturday night in the Gopher shop garage was how many little private tracks offer a spot for a fellow racer/rider to have a fun day. Now this sounds awesome for anybody, correct? Then all of a sudden you think of facilities like Gopher, Motopark, Sand Del lee, RJ’s, etc. that are open with all the proper documents and insurance. They give you a quality spot to ride with all the bells and whistles looked after, God forbid something happens to you. These little private tracks run a free practice or charge the very minimum and steal from the people that have done it properly and by the book. It’s hard to choose a side in this debate for sure but I understand the issues: so many little private spots to ride, the constant price increase of motorcycles from each manufacturer, the dwindling regular racer going to the races. You factor all of this in and nobody is winning in the sport of off-road motorcycles. It’s like living in Roman times where we all just screw everybody and everything. As I keep saying, we started with a big pie and now there are so many pieces that we are going hungry. (Not all, but a big group) Now you don’t want to be that guy that shuts down a private track. Hell, I ride these track all the time as well. You also don’t want to see officially run facilities losing money just to keep the governments happy. How do we all find a happy medium? I doubt it could happen. I read an interesting topic on MX Forum about how the new age racer doesn’t race when the weather is poor. There were days in this sport when no matter the weather you raced. In fact, you loved every minute of it. Today’s racer says, F that! all the time because of the constant high cost of fixing a four-stroke. I believe back in the day the light at the end of the tunnel was brighter and that’s why racing was just that: racing. The money you spent didn’t matter as much. You enjoyed each and every part of every race track because you were just racing and not worrying about weather, how your bike looked, what stickers you had, or what gear you wore. You just raced because it was fun. Now with us trying to be so mainstream with TV, social media and basically stealing the passion for the sport just to be noticed, it really has hurt more than it’s helped in some ways. In one way, you love that we have grown and now mall kids, or regular humans that would have never known about the sport 20 years ago see it all the time with Supercross, X Games, Internet videos, our national series, commercials, etc. We have blown up bigger in the eyes of the public than the pockets of the people involved in the sport. It’s tough to just write about some Joe blow costumer that can’t go to a bike shop without spending 12-15 thousand bucks just to get little Johnny started in our sport.
The official end to the CMRC season wrapped yesterday at Gopher Dunes at their annual event called the Sandstorm. It also marked the end of Brett Lee’s term with the sanctioning body. It was a moot day at Gopher, at least from the back of my van. When I say moot, I mean it felt all day long like the level of uncertainty as we head to 2013 was at an all time high for the sport here in Canada. It felt like a high school cafeteria all day long with all these little circles of people discussing things for next year. The CMX guys were there picking brains, other event holders discussing strategy for next year, some manufacturers sharing their views on what’s good and what’s bad. For me I hate that stuff. I’m about as open as a Tim Horton’s. These little cheesy discussions of what should and shouldn’t be annoy me to my wits end. I am just another costumer to the sport that feels like a mushroom and gets fed poop all day. It’s just the way it is and I’m not happy about it.
Almost every time, (I mean 90%) the conversation starts about racing in Canada. There is like 0 positive coming from it. There are about 8 people/companies (1 huge one) that can fix all of this if they just got off their ass and shared the views that they share within these little circles. If you’re not happy with what that guy is doing, say it, spray it, unleash it and fix it. I will never forget what was said to me the day I got fired in 2002 from the TV job. “Everybody is replaceable.” Yep, everybody sure is but just because the spot is filled doesn’t mean the job will get done the same.