Monday Morning Coffee
By Billy Rainford
It’s about time! Time for what, you ask? Time when the windows are open and the screens are back on the windows and doors in these parts. Yep, it’s Monday morning here in London, Ontario, and it’s already nearing 20 degrees C / 72 F. The turkeys are walking up and down the street and someone just ran past our house in shorts and a running tee shirt. In fact, we’re even going to turn the outside water back on for the summer.
I like to call this “soft butter season.” You know exactly what I’m talking about! That butter dish that sits on your counter is rock hard all winter and you usually over-melt it in the microwave and make a total mess. Well, the butter was soft for my toast this morning. Nice.
For those of you reading this from south of the border, these are things that mark the seasons up here in Canada. It’s a big deal for us. Although we haven’t been beaten down with the winters of old, it’s still a big deal when all of the above happen and we come out of our igloos, look around, and put our mukluks in the basement closet for another few months…
I live in Southwestern Ontario. You know, the “centre of the universe.” Hey, I’ve lived in Vancouver and I get why everyone outside this area thinks that’s how we feel here.
As I crossed Highway 3 and headed through Courtland, I approached the sand track wondering what I’d be in for. I’m happy to report that as soon as the grounds were in sight, the trucks and trailers appeared – the place was pretty packed!
As years pass, spring always has us wondering about the health of our beloved sport – “Will there be anyone at the races this year?” is always the terrifying question. As the price of bikes, fuel, and racing rise, it’s a logical fear.
Rest assured, judging from the 300-plus riders who descended upon The Dunes Sunday, we’re looking good!
I rolled up to the shop and went in to sign the waiver before heading out onto the track. The smiling faces of Ryan Gauld and his trusty photog – and fellow knee-related limper – Randy Wiebe greeted my arrival.
Ryan was there signing people up for the 2017 AMO/MMRS season and Randy was there to capture all the action…and to “Wiebe” me some of his shots throughout the day.
To Wiebe – verb. To take a photo that you think is good and then be compelled to show someone said photo on the screen of your camera.
In a sentence: “Ah crap, he Wiebed me!”
Kerri Schuster and Wayne Carroll were behind the counter getting people all sorted out for the long day of spring riding, and Derek Schuster was out on his quad making sure everyone had what they needed…and weren’t parking along the bank or fence. Lighten up, bro! lol
I had hoped to get to the track at a reasonable time, shoot a bunch of photos, do some video interviews, and be gone by 2pm. As I rolled into my driveway at 6, I realized just how stupid that was of me to think I’d be in and out so quickly. You know how it goes.
It was a great day at the Dunes. It was also great to see so many riders and families out in early April. Watch for a bunch of photos later on the site.
What a race that was! Both classes were amazing. In 250’s, our old friend #57 Jimmy Decotis almost grabbed his first podium, and #28 Mitchell Oldenburg DID grab his. We’ve known “Freckle” for a long time as his family owns the Oak Hill facility out in Decatur, Texas. Congrats, Mitchell!
Unfortunately, another familiar face out in BC at the Future West Arenacross Series, #59 Noah McConahy got tangled with another rider and went down hard early in the main event. The race was red flagged and Noah was carted away before the race was re-racked and sent off. Here’s Noah’s Instagram post:
He’s had surgery on his back and is now starting his recovery. Good luck, Noah.
Also in the 250 class, #62 Chris Alldredge suffered a long laundry list of injuries when he crashed and #38 Shane McElrath had nowhere to go and plowed into his back and side. Chris has a long road ahead of him, but by all accounts, this one could have been worse too. Here’s his Instagram post:
I’d like to apologize to @shanemcelrath_ I’m sorry for wrecking where I did and leaving you no outs. Hope you’re doing alright man, and congratulations on the 5th Place last night. And prayers to @noahmcconahy59, you’re trooper and I hope you feel better bud! • • • Update: Staying in Harbor View Hospital for a few days. Partially Collapsed Lung, small bit of Air in my Chest, Grade 1 Lacerated Liver and Adrenal Gland which are still bleeding a very small amount. Fractured 10th Rib, Fractured Pelvis, and Fractured L1, L2, L3, and L4 in my Lower Lumbar. Thanks for all the get well wishes, and be sure to send lots to @noahmcconahy59 as well.
And now they’re both in Harborview Medical Center in Seattle writing Instagram posts back and forth to each other. Only two crazy motocrossers would do that! Good luck to both of you guys.
The 450 main event was another one for the ages. With Ryan Dungey down in the first turn, and Eli Tomac with a mid-pack start, you just knew this was going to get interesting. Marvin Musquin made quick work of early leader Jason Anderson and rode a perfect race out front for the win.
Actually, how would we know that? The cameras only showed him for about 30 seconds of the shortened 17-minute main event! Let’s assume he never made a mistake.
450 rookie, Cooper Webb was having a great main, too, until he had a pretty spectacular crash and fell back. Meanwhile, Dungey was working his way forward in an attempt to salvage as many points as he could. Tomac was blowing past people in his usual style but then shorted a jump and went over the bars. Fortunately, he remounted and got back up to 2nd place. Dungey made it to 4th.
These two are now tied for points as we head into the Easter Weekend break. With 3 rounds left, this one is going to go down to the wire!
FMF California Classic
Top amateur riders and WMX competitors were out at Pala Raceway in southern California for the FMF California Classic this past weekend.
We had a couple standout Canadian finishes. Check out the results:
You can find full results HERE.
OK, have a great week, everyone. Don’t forget, the actual racing season is pretty much here. Did you do your homework this winter? Are you fitter than you were last year? Remember last year when you said, “Next year I’m gonna do it!” Well, it’s next year. I hope you did the work it takes to reach the next level. I know I didn’t!