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051104 ::.

The Inside Scoop
Xross Country Racing

Contributing Editor: Big Al

First and foremost, bring money!
An AMA or ATVA membership card is required and can be purchased at the track for $39 per year. AMA Logo and link to website District events also require a district membership of about $15 a year. You will pay a gate fee that everyone has to pay, usually $7 to $10 per person. Then your entry fee to enter the race is from $15 at some outlaw races to $25 for districts and $40 at the national events.

You will pay the entry fees at registration where you will receive your bar code and a color-coded sticker for your helmet. You MUST bring your helmet to registration. ATV registration is Friday from 5pm to 7pm and Saturday from 8 am to 11 am at the national events. The bar code is placed on the lower left hand side of the helmet along the chin guard and the colored sticker goes on the back, this lets other riders know what class youíre in.

For the national events, you are also given a piece of weatherproof paper with your number on it. It will be taped to the left side of the handlebars. This is punched when you pass tech inspection and again at the starting line. This is to be sure everyone goes thru tech and starts from the correct place. The race officials retrieve it at the finish line.

Once you get in the gate: Find a place to park, pay your entry fee, then itís time for tech inspection. This is for national events only; most districts and outlaw races do not have a tech inspection. Here is what to expect. They will sound test your exhaust and it must be at or under 104dB. This is new for the 2004 season and up to this point, no one I know of has been told they could not race yet. Be prepared, it could happen. Bring your quiet cores and maybe even your stock exhaust just to be prepared.

The other major item is a WORKING tether style kill switch. They are checking them to be sure they are working properly. You must also bring your helmet to tech inspection. They will check your helmet for sticker placement and scan your bar code. Once you have passed tech you are ready to race.

What you may want to bring: You can just show up with your bike and gear and have a great time. But to give yourself that extra edge I recommend some kind of drinking system, like camelback, this is especially handy for the hot days. Spare tires, at least one each front and rear.

Gas, you will want to be sure your tank is full at the start and if you cannot make it 55 miles on one tank you will need to stop for fuel at some events. Not all events are 55 mi but it is possible, most average 35 to 40 mi. Extra gloves and goggles, this is especially handy for muddy events. Also, some kind of tear off system for the goggles is helpful.

Bring some tools, you never know what you might have to work on. Also some kind of air pump is handy. A portable radio is good to have at the national events since they broadcast the race on an AM signal from the track. This frequency changes from race to race so you can ask at registration or the gate what it is. Most pit areas are in the middle of open fields so some sort of shade and chairs are nice. Basically anything you might take on a day of trail riding will probably come in handy.

I've only been racing for one year, but these are these are my lessons learned and thought I would pass them on. Feel free to email or pm me if you have any questions and I will do my best to help you out.

Good Luck,
Scott aka Big Al


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