Cody Borchers of the Hinton motocross association braves the mud on Aug. 7. Masha Scheele Photo
The Hinton Motocross track is usually quite busy on Wednesday evenings for their weekly family events.
Kids rip around on their bikes and parents attempt to teach little ones, but the wet conditions have made the track less than ideal for families to ride this year.
Despite the constant rain, when the odd ray of sunshine appears on a wednesday, riders make sure their bikes are ready to go.
The motocross track, located along highway 40 south, is an outdoor dirt track and when it’s muddy it causes ruts, erosion, and washouts.
“Some people are still out there, but it affects the families. If you’re teaching a kid or you’re not as experienced of a rider, it’s harder to ride in the wet conditions. It’s slippery, and not as enjoyable,” said Cody Newman, facilities director of the association.
“The track is full of grass now because we haven’t had enough riders on it. It’s getting overgrown and we have to mow the grass but it hasn’t stopped raining long enough to do that.”
Newman works on site to maintain, build, and design the track.
He’s currently looking at expanding the lease in order to build more off road trail and provide different venues for various types of riders.
“Trails on the track and off the track so that it covers all aspects of the motorcycle world,” he said.
The area currently offers something for three different skill sets through their kids track, off road track and motocross track.
“We’re setting up the track right now looking basically at the whole motorsports community,” he added.
Despite the heavy rain over the past few months, the association continues to grow its membership base.
Currently, they have over 50 members stretching from Whitecourt to Jasper and up to Grande Cache, as Hinton has the only motorcycle facility of its kind.
Memberships help the association maintain, cut, and clean up trails through the bush.
“If we don’t have a club out here, we don’t have a voice. Just trying to keep it open for everybody, we love seeing families getting out and enjoying the outdoors,” said Newman.
The nonprofit society is run completely through volunteers and has been around for more than 30 years, Newman estimated.
For a number of years, the association lost their lease due to lack of funding but they have been back up and running securely for the past five years.
Local businesses donate money to maintain the track and they also received a grant from the town to help clean up an old stock car oval track left by an older club that folded.
That older club was located beside the motocross association lease, which lead them to take over the lease, expand and clean up the oval track.
The current motocross track was built two years ago and sits on top of the old oval track.
When it doesn’t rain, the wednesday night family events at the track have been very successful, said Newman.
“Usually we start early May, we kick the track off and get it groomed. There’s usually the odd event on the weekend, a bunch of people get together and ride together. But the family events have been successful on wednesdays,” he said.
For interested riders, a seasons pass allows full access to the track with some expected rules. Day passes are also available, but must be accompanied by a season pass member.
With the overwhelming amount of work the club is looking to do, their biggest factor is recruiting volunteers.
A core group of people who enjoy the track with their families often put in their time to help out and the association feels they have more support coming in through the new members.
To volunteer or check for track updates, go to Hinton Motorcycle Association or buy a membership on their website: hintonmotorcycleassociation.ca