DMX Stories | Tales from the Vault | Mark Perrin Races in Edmonton
By Billy Rainford
By Billy Rainford
Back in 2009, I agreed to the very lofty goal of driving across the country in a 1989 Buick Electra Estate Wagon that Darren “Pillow” Pilling had purchased for either this project in particular or for some other reason as yet unknown to me. The goal of this project was to see if we could broadcast audio from each CMRC Canadian Motocross National using a laptop, a couple cheap headsets, and some nationwide spotty cell service.
The end result was “Pirate Radio” and it was a summer-long adventure I will never forget. But the details of this project are not the motivation for this particular DMX Stories tale.
Among many, many yarns I could spin, this one kept me laughing from gas station to gas station across Canada.
The Pro National series went to Castrol Raceway just outside Edmonton, Alberta, that season. As usual, there was Amateur Day on the Saturday before Sunday’s Pro event.
Back then, Mark Perrin was a track worker. He travelled the circuit and set the tracks up on the day before the races and throughout race day, as needed. It was a great gig for a young fella and an excellent foot in the door of the Canadian Motocross industry.
On this particular weekend, Mark knew someone who had a bike and it was offered up to him to race on Saturday. I don’t know all the details of the situation. Suffice it to say, someone had a bike and Mark agreed to race it.
Mark hadn’t been on a bike on a regular basis in some time, and his fear became apparent as soon as it seemed he was actually going to make this race day happen. His nervous energy was obvious.
I had gotten to know him pretty well that summer, as we were a couple of the clowns on the clown tour who were doing it on a shoestring budget. This “limited resources tour” meant that we would try to find cheap motels or sleep in our vehicles in various and random places all across the continent. In hindsight, it was a total blast.
Anyway, I tagged along with Mark as he got set to grab the bike and head to the line for his first moto.
He threw his leg over, fired it up, and blipped the throttle a few times. Then, he looked over to me and said, “This is a 250, right?” He, literally, had no idea what he was on or what it was like. I’m pretty sure he was afraid that it might be a 450 and he had no business being out there on one. It was one of the funniest moments I can remember from that summer. It was a 2008 Yamaha YZ250F.
Off he went for his moto(s)…
Of course, he was out there with taped-on #13’s and ripped around in some Vet class or another, I can’t remember. The only thing I know is that he didn’t win, but I really don’t think that was the point.
After his race(s), he sat down and mentioned he had a wee bit of arm pump out there…
His forearms were so hard that I don’t know how he even managed to hang on at all. Actually, I don’t even know if he went back out for the 2nd motos. I just can’t remember. Sorry, Mark.
We left Edmonton on the Monday morning, headed through Lloydminster, North Battleford, and on to Saskatoon where we splurged and got a hotel with an indoor waterslide. I remember he was driving a full-size pick-up truck and I was the one who needed to pull over for gas before he did!
“Carmen” may have been plush, but she was extremely thirsty. Thanks for the memories. Mark. That was one helluva summer!