Held at Canyon MX Park in Peoria Arizona March 10 and 11th Peoria is north of Phoenix. Canyon is the oldest MX Park in Arizona, don’t know how old but that’s what they say, so who am I to argue.
My wife and I made the trip in our nice little 22 foot motor home towing my 12 foot enclosed trailer. I’m going to have to go back and look at the route I took to get there because it was 811 miles and took forever. In fact it took so long I didn’t get there until after 5:00 Friday afternoon. Which would normally be too late to practice, but not at Canyon, practice went on until 9:00 PM because they have lights, which didn’t do me any good because I can’t see anymore at dusk or night on an MX track.
I did walk the course that evening with my wife during the small bike practice. We witnessed a very interesting scene a young riders chain came off and he immediately dropped his bike to the ground didn’t even bother to see what was wrong, except to look around for someone who might care then put his hands on his helmet in a desperate attempt to find someone, anyone who might care and come to his rescue. The only two anywhere near was my wife and I. I told my wife that I bet his father does all the work and he just pretends to be a factory rider and not learn anything about how to work on his bike. And sure enough as we continued to walk the course (And he still with his hands on his helmet) his dad came running over and down the hill to his rescue. My last vision of him as his dad came running was to tap his exasperated hands on his helmet.
The track was built in an old river bed, I bet in the early day’s chest protectors and hand guards were an absolute must. But over the years and lots of rice hulls and other materials the rocks were few. The track was very fast, the track and jumps were well established. The good news on the long table tops is that they are long and flat, the bad news is if you don’t clear them but almost do is when you fall out of the sky the landing hurts. There was only one jump that was scary (For us really old guys anyway) it was a gap jump and I’d say it was about 20 feet across and a depth of at least eight feet. Needless to say I rolled down into it and jumped out of it. The track didn’t get real rough so the speed stayed, there were a number of downhill drop off jumps and uphill jump ups, and the track was a lot of fun to ride. On my gate the rider who was leading (And I was following) wasn’t jumping the gap jump until a couple of sandbaggers passed me and started pressuring him then all three of them started making that gap jump and when they did they started gaping me. Turns out the guy leading (And winning) was a local legend who grew up riding this track and his family had donated the first water truck and out buildings for the track. I asked him about that jump and he tells me he didn’t need to do that jump until the two riders came up on him and started roughing him up a little; he said he wasn’t going to put up with that. The start was unique, it was a bending to the right long third gear wide open until you reached a downhill that at the bottom put you on a very long fast left hand sweeper to the first uphill jump.
Don’t know how many riders they had but the turnout was good I believe. Once again the 50+ classes were the biggest. The races were run for the most part on time. A few downed riders and overzealous water trucks held things up a bit here and there. When they watered the track it got very, very slick.
After the Saturday races a great Mexican dinner was served. Oh I forgot to mention it was a t-shirt and shorts overcast day. We all went to bed looking forward to Sunday’s races, until sometime during the night it started raining. It was still raining a little in the morning as everyone was up wondering around, wondering if the races were going to be canceled. Remembering how the course reacted to a water truck Saturday and barely being able to walk around the pits without falling a good percentage of us packed up and left.
The last word I heard as I was packing up was they were going to try and run one set of motos later that day. I don’t know if they did or not, my guess is they did.
Fortunately for my wife and I not all was lost, we had planned to take a couple of weeks seeing the sights in Arizona, New Mexico and a little of Utah. Which we did 3200 miles worth, the weather ranged from that T-shirt and shorts day to blowing wind and snow and cold, cold, cold. It was a great trip though.