Riders give time, money to keep Pits open | SierraSun.com

Riders give time, money to keep Pits open

Located two and a half miles east of Truckee, Prosser Pits may be one of the most low-key off-road motorsports spots around, and by working in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and local land owners, riders hope to keep it that way.

Since the 1970s Prosser Pits and the surrounding trail system has offered enthusiasts a wide variety of terrain.

The Pits itself has a full motorcross track at its heart, but to truly appreciate what Prosser has to offer, riders can explore the many trails and open areas. Whether you’re a first-timer or pushing the limits of the sport, this open-to-the-public spot has something for everyone.

Open during daylight hours, the Pits and surrounding trails make up some 80 acres of state-owned land that is managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

Through funding by the Green Sticker Program, which allows any Off- Highway Vehicle (OHV) access to designated roads and trails, the Forest Service performs trail maintenance and track upkeep.

Green stickers cost $28 and are valid for two years. With funds raised by this program the Forest Service was able to pay the $1,000 necessary to rebuild the track. Many locals have also volunteered their time and money, and it’s this kind of support, says the Forest Service’s Susanne Jensen, that draws attention and keeps the Pits open.

“People realize that Prosser Pits is special,” Jensen said. “Getting involved really helps keep the program going.”

One individual donating much of his time to the Pits is Jay England, owner of Truckee’s Thin Air Motorsports. Having ridden the Pits for years, England is aware of how rare it is for the Forest Service to have such a hand in local riding areas. England encourages his customers to respect the neighbors and to work with the Forest Service.

“It’s a great area for family oriented riding because it’s got all the levels from big air to little 50cc style riding,” England said.

Aaron Vincent of Truckee is another rider who appreciates the Forest Service’s involvement.

“I think it’s rad that they’re redoing it again. It takes cooperation between us and the Forest Service for it to work,” Vincent said.

Of particular concern for the Forest Service is Prosser’s dry plant life. Surrounded by sagebrush and grass, the potential for fire is always present, especially in the late summer. Because of this, riders are required to equip their motorcycles with spark arrestors, a muffler system which prohibits sparks from passing out the exhaust pipes.

“People don’t realize that Prosser Pits is not a closed area. If someone was to start a wildfire with their bike it could spread pretty easily,” Jensen said.

Riders should be aware that if they do not have the proper equipment and start a wildfire, they will be held responsible for the suppression costs. Riders should also be aware of the effects their presence has on adjacent property owners.

“We must respect our neighbors,” England said. “If you can see a house then they can see and definitely hear you.” England encourages riders to yield the right of way to those riders less agile, and to stop motors when encountering equestrians, so as not to spook the horses.

Prosser is open to horses, hikers and any type of OHV.

Sierra Sun E-mail: sun@tahoe.com

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