In my first Outsider blog, I wrote about cheap bikes. I noted that nearly all of us got started on some form of cheap bike. I would also venture a guess that a lot of those cheap bikes were of the off-road variety. If that’s the case, why did you stop riding off-road bikes? The danger? Did life get in the way? Maybe you ran out of talent? Let me give you a solution that lets you rekindle that love for off-road bikes with all the fun, but without any danger. Attend a Supercross.
For any of you who don’t know, Supercross is the second highest attended powersport in the U.S., just behind NASCAR. It plays in baseball and football stadiums from coast to coast, where a seasoned team of dirt sculptors bring in nearly 500 truck loads of dirt each weekend and shape them into racing masterpieces in only 60 hours. The best athletes in the world wrestle nearly 70 horsepower, 230lb. machines through a labyrinth of obstacles from massive jump combinations, whoops (think a washboard looking group of moguls) as well as sand sections and huge dirt walls. To say this is entertaining is an understatement.
I have been a die-hard supercross fan since my teenage years and with a 50 year history, I’m sure most of you recognize the name of at least one of the greats of supercross. Feld Entertainment who owns the supercross series also owns Monster Jam (monster trucks) and other entertainment ventures such as Disney On Ice meaning the production level of every event is on a world class level. When you attend a Supercross, the opening ceremonies alone are worth the price of a ticket. The lights, pyrotechnics, intro videos and music hit all of your senses at once. The smell of the race gas, the sound of the bikes and the roar of the crowd are only icing on the cake. Since the Supercross series runs from January until early May each year, there’s a good chance that in your neck of the woods, the weather isn’t ideal for doing your own outdoor activities on a Saturday night, so why not go watch something new?
From the cheap seats to the luxury suites, it’s hard to say there’s a bad seat in the house. All of the amenities of any modern stadium, with wheels and handlebars instead of sticks and balls. Why wouldn’t you make the trip? Now that I’ve mentioned trips, there’s a new phenomenon with Supercross; traveling outside of your local area for a race. Used to, most people simply went to the supercross closest to them. Over the years my local race has been either St. Louis, Indianapolis, Nashville or Atlanta. It was a yearly trek with best friends that featured lots of windshield time chatting about how fast we used to be. Years later I was fortunate enough to work for a company that sponsored several race teams for a handful of years, so I have been to nearly every venue. I knew that there was something special about checking out a race in a completely new city.
Enter the hellish year of 2020. The Supercross series forged on after a break of several months without fans in the stands. In 2021 organizers heavily modified what we were used to as a normal schedule and featured “residencies” where riders and teams would stay in a town for an entire week in a “bubble” and race on Saturday, Tuesday, and then the following Saturday. This allowed the series to make it’s typical 17 rounds while only racing in stadiums in states that had a much more relaxed set of health and safety standards. My group of friends were so desperate to see each other and a live race that we booked a trip and flew into Indianapolis. For only 2 vacation days spent, we were able to see two rounds, stay in downtown Indianapolis which has a great night life, and make lifelong memories. Sounds like a deal huh?
For 2022 and hopefully beyond, the Supercross series returns to it’s typical “different town each week” set up. With this return to normalcy, that doesn’t mean that traveling to a race is dumb. Quite the contrary! This year we will travel to the Dallas Supercross and St. Louis Supercross, having different groups of friends meet us up at each place. Split an AirBnB, hit up the cool spots. Good food, good drink, great laughs. If you can’t make plans this year, definitely plan a supercross weekend for 2023. Maybe dip your toe in the water and just simply watch live on TV each Saturday night to get familiar with the sport. Whatever you do, simply check it out! If you grew up on dirt bikes, it would certainly bring out the kid in you again all while allowing you to admire and respect these modern day gladiators. For more information, check out www.supercrosslive.com and hey, maybe call in to order some parts and ask if we have any tickets. You may be surprised.