Damn Yankees
Nov 21, 2000
North East USA
Well I took advantage of a free MX lesson by the great Tony D. at Broome-Tioga race track (home of the Binghamton Nationals) and had a great time. All the lessons were on the national track layout and they didn’t groom it at all for the first practice session. Man, the ruts were deep and the braking bumps were MUCH more than bumps. I watched the race on Sunday and after seeing the condition of the track, I can’t believe how fast those guys were going. To prepare the track they dug the entire thing down 2 feet, sifted out all the rocks and mixed sawdust in. It was nice and loamy but ruts and bumps formed quickly. Luckily they groomed some of the nastier sections before we went out again.

We went out for a half hour practice first. The night before we got about a ½” of rain so we expected some mud. And mud we got. The class consisted of about 40 riders on anything from a PW50, miscellaneous red, green & blue bikes, and several powerful RMs. Between the ruts, bumps and mud, there was carnage everywhere. You couldn’t go into a turn with out having to maneuver around a downed bike. It was crazy. I almost went down a few times but due to my excellent tire selection and powerful Gorr ported RM, I averted disaster.

After 3 laps I was questioning what I had gotten myself into. Mostly because of sheer exhaustion, I pulled into the pits to rest my old bones. I just about broke my back putting the bike onto the stand because of the extra 50 pounds of the most tacky mud that attached itself to every surface. It took me about a half hour and removal of my skidplate and a few guards before I got it down to a reasonable weight again. By that time the sun finally came out and the track dried up for some very good riding conditions.

After a hour of Tony discussing bike set up and body position we hit the starting gate for some practice. Again (when I remembered to put it in gear and figured out Tony’s hand signals), my mighty RM pulled away from the pack with blinding speed. It was nice because the staff would critique you and give pointers. We did several practice starts and then did some cornering drills.

I always had trouble with corners. I know the theory but the application seems to get away from me. We did the same corner several times and the staff observed and gave advice. I got so I could do it pretty good. It’s a good feeling when it all comes together.

Then we did some braking work. It was the first time that I had the back wheel come off the ground while braking. With the right body position you can do some pretty neat things. Clutch and throttle control was next. We had to weave in and out of cones that were 7 feet apart with out putting our feet down. It was harder than it looked, and the guy doing the demo knocked down some of the cones.

The last part was jumps. I was already to say, “I don’t thing so Tony”, but I tried the jumps anyway. Of the two jumps we practiced on I only did one of them. The second on was a huge table top in the back section that I made all but the last 5 feet and landed like a ton of you know what after several attempts. I called it quits after feeling like a rag doll during the last landing. I did do some of the other jumps on the track during the trip back to the practice jump.

Between lessons we had free time to ride the track and apply what we learned. I did that after every one except the jumping. I was so tired after going through nearly 2 tanks of gas. Beside, what more could an old dog like myself really learn? It is good that they gave you the practice time because the staff was riding at the same time and could give you additional pointers. The biggest problem I had was putting it all together. Doing an individual obstacle over and over again was easy. Going through a corner correctly while setting up for a jump takes some practice.

The class was well worth it and I would recommend it to anyone. And being an old guy has it’s perks, I got a free Tony D tee-shirt out of it for being one of the more mature fellows.:)


Sponsoring Member
Jan 29, 2001
That sounds awsome. Glad you had a good time. It makes me think a few days worth of MX Training might be worth it. I know my 17 year old brother, who's new to riding would benefit. Glad you didn't break anything on you or the bike. :)

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