Motocross: Do you think you can fly? by



Journal Notes

In my younger years, I thought motocross riding was the best thing ever. Most boys growing up in a country town would agree, that the feeling of riding a motorbike - wind in the face, the roar of the engine, the shear danger - all add to an exhilarating experience to be had on 2 wheels. Now combine this with the elements of competition and air-borne action, and you have a testosterone fuelled machine!

An interesting part of motocross is it's definition. People think of crazy Crusty-Demon style stunts while flying at 50m in the air. I can assure you, it is not as dramatic as this. As part of my short motocross career, I competed in 3 types of race - motocross, flat track, and enduro. What are the differences? Let me explain.

Motocross - Involves a fleet of motorcycles racing around a pre-defined circuit which involves obstacles such as jumps (doubles, triples), table-tops, berms and chicanes.
Flat track - Racing as fast as possible around a circular 'doughnut' track. Speed and controlled sliding are key skills necessary here.
Enduro - As the name suggests, this is a test of the riders' endurance and technical skill. Often for durations of 3+ hours and across varied terrain (think the Dakar rally in South Africa), this style is one of the hardest I rode in my time on the bike.

My favourite (and my most successful) type was flat-track. The control required to maintain a power-slide whilst holding the bike on it's side at 80km/h is an exhilarating rush to say the least. The best part though? Showering your competition in dirt and dust as you hit the corner at top speed and overtake them. You definitely don't want to be stuck behind a bunch of flat-strap bikes, so to get in front is a must to have any chance of winning.

Don't get me wrong, motocross isn't just for guys. There were a number of tough girls giving it a good crack as well. I think you just need a love for danger, for the blood rush, and for the crazy, exhilarating, near-death experiences this sport can bring. If you wear the right gear you'll be fine. Hey, I'm still here telling the story. Go on, give it a shot! You'll have a blast.



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