Motocross track lauded Inaugural race day deemed a hit

EMO—Attracting more than 30 racers from across Northwestern Ontario and Manitoba, the first race day at the Tamrack International Motocross track on Sunday was a success.
“It went like clockwork,” enthused Mike Scheibler, owner of the track located north of Emo. “I knew it would do well, but what surprised me was when I saw the final product—it was incredible.”
And no major injuries were reported, which he added was “fantastic.”
Scheibler, who has been working on the project for the past two years, was thrilled with the first event of the season.
“I got my rewards from the children and all the people who gave me such positive comments throughout the day,” he remarked, adding he was told the track was the best some had ever been on.
“Someone told me it’s comparable to Walton, where they hold the nationals,” Scheibler said. “The rain on Friday night was exactly the rain we needed for the track.
“It was in mint condition.”
The riders and even their parents seemed to agree.
“I like the track here better than Atikokan,” noted nine-year-old Sarah Milling of Fort Frances. “The dirt is harder [while] in Atikokan it’s softer, which makes it harder.”
Emo resident Kyle Stanley, 19, said Tamrack’s track is more challenging.
“The jumps are really nice,” he noted. “I really like the obstacles and the condition of the dirt.”
“There’s a lot of potential here,” added Carol Clements, co-owner of a practice track just outside of Thunder Bay. “[Scheibler’s] done very well. It’s well laid out and in very good condition.”
Scheibler said he expects three to four times as many participants for the next race day, which is scheduled for Aug. 6.
“Everyone seems really excited about it and I think word is going to spread,” he remarked, noting he hopes to see more locals come out.
“I’m sure a lot of people are just intimidated because they might have just got their bikes, but we have separate classes for every level of racer,” he noted.
There even is a class just for the ladies—and Milling would like to see more females trying the sport.
“It feels free when you’re riding and it’s pretty cool,” she exclaimed, saying she started riding after watching her older brother race.
“Everyone is really supportive of the girls,” added her father, John. “It would be nice to see more females participating.”
Milling admitted she’s sometimes scared of getting hurt, but doesn’t let that keep her from riding. For his part, Stanley said getting injured is just a part of the sport.
“I like the challenge of having to know what you’re doing and having the willingness to get hurt,” he explained. “If you don’t have good techniques, you’ll go down a lot.”
Stanley’s father, Rick, who is terminally ill, was on hand for the races on Sunday. He helped Scheibler construct the course and it meant a lot to the teen that his dad was there.
“He’s been with me for every race and he’s given up a lot for me to be able to race,” he said. “It really does bring people together.
“I’m going to keep racing until I can’t throw my leg over the bike anymore.”
Scheibler said seeing how motocross racing was a family sport was what made him go ahead with making the track.
“From the suckling baby, the young girl, the son who is racing, and the parents—it is a family value sport,” he stressed.
“It gets everyone involved,” echoed Leena Hupe, co-owner of a practice track just outside of Thunder Bay. “We make a weekend out of it, camping and spending time together.”
Scheibler has a camping site nearby just for that reason.
“I think it’s really good for the whole community,” he explained. “The motels were booked and the restaurants swamped.
“I would like to encourage our area to be supportive of the tourists—many were first-time visitors.”
“It’s really good the people of Emo are behind it,” added Hupe, saying there isn’t a track like this in Thunder Bay because of several objections from residents.
“It’s really good for the kids,” she added.
Scheibler said he wants to continue to make the track better and has many future plans.
For instance, he’s looking for sponsors to add strobes to the warning lights, small traffic cones to mark the jumps, used campers for visitors, a proper starting gate, and a cover for the grandstands.
“Nothing fancy, just something to cover the fans from the sun and the rain,” he noted, adding he also is looking for someone who can help with the fire truck that waters the track and would like to put in a sprinkler system.
Scheibler said there’s also the possibility of joining the Manitoba circuit, which encompasses about 700 riders, while staying in the Ontario circuit, as well.
He even has plans to hold a local motocross clinic—with a professional racer—for riders of all ages. And he’d like to hold another clinic for moms and other women who would like to give it a try.
Anyone interested can contact Scheibler at 482-2913.
“The district could use something like this and I think this event has proved me right,” he remarked.
(Fort Frances Times)

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