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Want to Race? Here are the Top Annual Motocross Competitions to Enter

By Cliff Montgomery,
When clubs began putting on racing events called 'scrambles' in the mid-60's, some of the riders were intent on calling their 'new' baby motocross.

The expression "Freestyle Motocross" was first used to describe tricks performed by motocross racers when they were hopelessly behind in a race and had nothing left to lose. In turn, motocross magazines began to use the term to categorize the innovative tricks and jumps that motorcycle enthusiasts were performing while Free Riding.

The majority of Freestyle Motocross tricks can trace their roots to BMX tricks perfected in the 1980s and made famous by video documentaries in the early 1990s. The first Freestyle Motocross events took place in 1998, the same year that the International Freestyle Motocross Association (IFMA) was formed to sanction events and implement an annual World Championship.

IFMA Freestyle Motocross

This season's annual competition will take place in Denver, CO on Jan. 2006. It will cost $5-$25.

Set in the Pepsi Center Stadium, the IFMA presents a motorcycle jump fest that has riders reaching dizzying heights while performing Evel Knievel-style tricks.

90-foot jumps make the motocross riders fly some 30 feet in the air on the specially-designed dirt track. This spectacular bike arena is tailored to the freestylers' needs, giving them optimum amounts of air time to execute their tricks while delighting an enthusiastic crowd.

This leg of the Pace Motorsports organized tour takes full advantage of the stadium's facilities and size, giving every spectator a choice seat regardless of where they sit, and the riders some of the best damn dirt jumps in the world.

Remember, this will occur in Jan. 2006, so details may change. Check with the organizers before making travel arrangements.

The Hangtown National Motorcross & Dirt Diggers North Motorcycle Club

The first motorcycle races in California were done with cycles that were pretty close to stock -- essentially the same bikes you buy at your local dealers.

In 1967, a group of eight local motorcycle enthusiasts met at Marion Pyle's bike shop in Orangevale, the Orangevale Motorcycle Center, to discuss a dream they shared of bringing a big-time motorcycle racing event to Northern California. This meeting set the stage for the creation of the Dirt Diggers North Motorcycle Club.

The Dirt Diggers North wouldn't be content to just ride together. From the beginning they wanted to stage their own race -- a big one. After two small, local events, a scrambles in Lincoln and a motocross at West Sacramento's Helvetia Park, they set their sights on Hangtown. Knowing that Dirt Diggers South had been running their annual Hopetown cross country race for quite a while, Dirt Diggers North wanted to put something together on that scale in Hangtown.

The beauty of the Hangtown competitions are the memories; and those, of course, are what has made Hangtown such a classic event. Each of the members has their own special remembrance.

Through the years Hangtown has grown up, washed itself off, and has matured into one of the largest and most prestigious motocross events in the United States. The purse this year is $30,000.

The original Dirt Diggers could never have dreamed of how their race would grow. Whatever the event may become in the future, the one certainty is that you are a part of history just by being a part of the famed Hangtown Classic.

The Annual Hawkstone International Motocross

Hawkstone, England has a rich history in motocross as a Grand Prix (GP) circuit stretching all the way back to the 1950's. Local riders used the famous Hawkstone Hill for competitive hillclimbing before World War II. After the war it was reworked into a track, though it faded out for a few years before a great revival in the 70's brought the track back to glory.

Hawkstone has held countless GPs. But the lack of a British GP round, along with the popularity of the World Grand Prix riders, have led Dave Williams and Gary Ford from the Salop MC to organize the Hawkstone International. The annual event draws around 8,000 spectators each year. Figures as high as 15,000 were recorded for a race in memory of a local racer's family, who had been killed in a car accident.

The growing event is held under the auspices of the Auto Cycle Union (ACU), an British organization. Dave Williams has even said the World Grand Prix might return to Hawkstone if the opportunity presents itself.

Hawkstone definitely is a place where you can size up the competition, and identify possible threats in the season ahead.

Annual Motocross Sidecar Spectacular

Something different. Over 100 Motocross Sidecars are involved, and usually includes Classic, Modern and Junior machines. The weekend starts with a swap meet, after which the sidecar action begins. Spectators welcome, admission free. The biggest motocross sidecar event held in Australia.

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