Moto mania hits Prosser Pits
Not surprisingly, the recent warm spell in the Truckee area coincides with the emergence of off-road motorsports enthusiasts. People have been anxious to ride, but couldnt, said Thor Schjelderup, co-owner of Thin Air Motorsports in Truckee. A lot of them were going out of state. Now that the snow has melted, dirt bikers have been real happy.After waiting out an extended winter season, many have quelled their itch to ride by way of Prosser Pits, a full motocross track with some 45 acres of surrounding trails and open space. Located about two and a half miles from Truckee, just south of Prosser Dam, the Pits have attracted riders of all ages and ability levels since the 1970s. Nothing has changed, except improved technology and the number of people involved in the sport.The sport is growing, Schjelderup said. Its getting more popular with the technology of the bikes, and thats bringing a lot of new people into the sport. Weve been more busy this year than ever. A couple of riders who are fairly new to the sport, only because theyre not yet old enough for veteran status, are brothers Drake and Dylan Evans. But at 8 and 7 years of age, the Evans brothers already look like miniature veterans, ripping around corners and charging the many jumps the Pits have to offer. Wednesday was the first time the pair had ridden the Pits, supervised by their parents. Both approved of the track.Its fun, Drake said after jamming around for a while on his screaming supped-up 50cc dirt bike. I like to jump and stuff. Its a lot different (than other tracks). Theres a whole bunch of turns and jumps. Its better to me.Dylan, while taking a short break in the action, agreed with his older brother.Its fun to jump, he said. The best part is that table over there.The brothers have their father Nate to thank, not only for buying and tweaking their bikes, but for scouting out the Pits. Evans, the foreman of Q & D Construction in Sparks, Nev. and a former dirt bike racer, said he heard of the Pits through friends. Working in the Truckee area, Evans decided to follow the Prosser Dam Road exit east off of Highway 89 in order to view the Pits himself.He deemed the track worthy and safe for Drake and Dylan, who are already racing competitively.Its definitely a good practice track, Evans said. Its good for learning how to jump. You cant get hurt too bad. You can tell they tried to make it forgiving (with gradual takeoffs and rolling landings).Evans said he is going to donate money for a loader to groom the track and a water truck to wet it down. Also enjoying the Pits on Wednesday before the adult crowd streamed in after the work day was 14-year-old Garrett Faulkner. Faulkner, an eighth grade student at Alder Creek Middle School who began riding dirt bikes at the age of 5, recently switched from his old Honda XR 100, which he said was under-powered, to a Yamaha YFZ 450 quad.Being that it was his first time riding the brand new quad, and only his third time at the Pits, Faulkner took it a little easy on the track.I think its more fun going faster (on the quad), but it was scaring me sometimes, he said. Its a fun track, though. Faulkner is dedicated to improving his skills and plans to ride at the Pits as often as possible this summer. I want to work on clearing the jumps out there and get faster on the track, he said. Like Dylan and Drake, Faulkner said the jumps are the most enticing feature at the Pits.For Schjelderup, kepping both wheels on the ground is key, and therefor the trails suit him best.Im not a track guy, he said. The younger kids like the track. Then theres guys like me who like to ride the trails, and play around on the track every now and then.
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.