In the rarefied atmosphere near the Bombi Summit between Castlegar and Salmo, the sound of high-revving two and four-cycle engines was music to the ears of the crowd on hand at the Black Bear motocross grounds last Sunday.”Cones and Corners Race Day for Kids” was being staged by the West Kootenay Recreational Dirtbike and ATV Society.When it comes to responsible outfits that want to do things right, the WKRDAS definitely seems to be on the right track, pardon the pun.Because just about anyone can get a bike and head off wherever they want, with whatever training (of lack of it) they may possess, there are all kinds of misadventures that can occur. Breakdowns and crashes will happen, and an unprepared thrill-seeker can find trouble around almost every corner.Jason Larson, President of the WKRDAS was on hand grilling burgers and dogs at last Sunday’s event, and outlined a number of the reasons why the society is such a worthwhile entity.For the junior race day there were at least as many adults on the scene as there were kids.Everything was closely supervised, according to the head man, the way it always is. “You have all of the families up here, everybody’s helping each other out if there’s a bike problem or something.”Larson also mentioned the important subject of liability insurance, for which the society pays dearly.The facility is a closed one, for the use of society members, or with its permission only.Clearly marked five foot fencing bounds the property which occupies an astounding 1,100 acres.Larson himself has been involved in the sport for a relatively short time, getting his first dirt bike in 2006. It’s easy to understand the appeal of the pastime, watching kids as young as five or six scream down the track with a dusty rooster tail out back.The exclusivity of the venue adds a lot of security, especially with all the activity so closely orchestrated by the adults in charge.It’s also through the participation of society members that the course is enjoyable to run as it is. Generous effort and time is regularly put in by parents in picking rocks off the course and keeping it watered to keep down the dust.I arrived on Sept. 25 just in time for the lunch bell, when a couple of dozen bikes and quads were silences while their ravenous riders fortified themselves with well-charred hot dogs and bottled water. The grinning, dirt-smeared faces told the whole story.
“What we typically do,” said Larson at the controls of the barbecue, “we’ll try to separate so the quads will run on the track for 15 minutes then they all come off and the bikes go on for 15 minutes. It doesn’t seem very long, but when you run hard for 10 or 15 minutes the people are basically done.”Economies of scale can exist with motocross clubs as in so many other instances, and this club has room for more members. As Larson points out, the membership fees, while appreciated, don’t quite begin to match all the time and work done at the site by energetic volunteers.If you’re interested in getting involved in any way, the West Kootenay Recreational Dirt Bike and ATV Society has room for you.You can call Jason Larson at 1-250-551-0940, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
And motocross fans – keep in mind the exciting event known as the “Treehugger” coming up this Sunday at the same location – Just on the Salmo side of the Bombi Summit.