SHERIDAN — As the days are getting longer and the sun is shining brighter it is time to get off the main road and get into some dirt action.
Motocross season starts off on Mother’s Day at Powder Basin MX race in Gillette for the Sheridan High Plains Motocross Association and local riders are gearing up.
“You have to be really dedicated to do this,” local motocross enthusiast John Frederick said.
While most sports require athletes to be in good physical condition, motocross also requires athletes to keep their gear and their machines in good shape.
Frederick described the sport as an off-road, closed course competition that includes hills, jumps and other challenges for riders as they make their way through a track.
Kody Williams, who races in the 450B division, has prepared physically and mentally for this summer. He finished in first last season and said he is ready to kick-start the summer.
“The best thing about racing is the adrenaline rush,” Williams said. “You get into a zone at the starting gate and it is a rush for 15 minutes of staying focused when you’re on your bike.”
Williams added that the best strategy for motocross is to make sure you are in strong physical shape and practicing staying focused.
Last season the HPMA fared well in competition.
Jonathan Salo placed first in the in the 85C division, while Daniel Grannies placed first in the 85B and first in the super mini.
Gabriel Frederick won the 85A division and his parents said they believe he was one of the youngest riders in that division to win in a statewide competition. He was just 11 years old last year racing against 15-year-olds.
Greg Reid took second in the 450C division, and Justin Will was second in the open outlaw.
“As a Sheridan crew, we did fairly well last season and we are looking forward to this season being strong in the competition,” Williams said.
While the riders primarily compete in HPMA events, the group is working to better one of their practice facilities just outside Sheridan city limits.
The Three Poles area located off of Decker Road is set up similar to a motocross track, but isn’t quite where it needs to be in order to host events or truly practice for races.
Local riders plan to do some work on the track this weekend, adding jumps, hills and berms to the area.
In addition, local riders have formed the Sheridan County Off-Road Association in an attempt to get more people involved with the sport.
“It won’t just be motocross, but will include snowmobiling and ATVs too,” Frederick said of the organization that just got started a couple of weeks ago.
He added that one of the goals is to help offset some of the costs of the sports.
“They really are expensive sports,” Frederick said. “Kids outgrow their gear and then what do you do with it? You know that is $100 dollars worth of gear that could still be used.”
Frederick hopes that the organization could help families just getting started in the sport with used gear and guidance.
HPMA races, in the meantime, are scheduled for throughout the summer with a total of nine events listed on the groups website, www.hpmainc.com.