Ottawa, Canada local mx track :(

I started riding at a track called SandDeeLee just outside of Ottawa many about 6 years ago. When I started the track had a double, a triple, steep jumps, table tops, woop section that could be jumped, S section ect... ect... all doable jumps for the average joe and they wouldn't kill you if you cased it.

If I remember correctly it was $250 for the season (6 months around) or you could pay $25 a day. Then they brought in the members only so anyone who did not want to pay for a season pass was out of luck. That meant you could not invite your friends from time to time either. Many of us opted to not bother as they could not justify that much money knowing they could never get its worth.

They increased the membership fee. At first they needed to because 4 years ago they told us they were installing a sprinkler system and promised twice a week grooming. The have increased it every year since as well.

As it stands now it's $400 if you buy before end of Jan (so soon after xmas when many are broke, including me) and if you miss the deadline it's $500... or $550, can't remember at this point. And this is for the base membership. It goes up from there.

Problem is.... the track has been altered to be easy to groom. There are no more do-able jumps for the average rider. There are 3 table tops that require high 3rd gear speeds to clear and scare the snot out of me, and 95% of the riders there can not clear them... and won't try. You will be flown to the hospital if you attempt to clear one of these jumps and don't land properly.

There was a new 8 pack of woops a couple years ago that were fun... you could double them without fearing for your life but of course they are a pain to groom so slowly they have become widely spaced rolling mounds that are impossible to jump and only the very talented and fast can go over the tops of them. Usually they are so sharply cupped out you can't even roll through them at a steady pace.

The finish line jump sends you skyward. I saw a guy screw this up last year and he broke both his wrists. There are two other jumps that were not too wide and were doable and safe for the average rider... but they do not get groomed into a jump face anymore and instead have become like this hills you sorta roll over and drop off the other side a little. Not exactly exciting.

And it's not just me that feels this way. It's everyone I talk to anyway. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realise the track has been changed to make grooming easy. Makes for a pretty boring track though when you are unable to clear the 60ft table tops. Grooming always seems to drop off near the end of the season as well. Many times they only groom the worst parts though, or jump faces one time and straights the next.

If the management follows their trend then next year the early bird will be $500 and late buyers will pay $600. I will sell my bike and give up motocross because it is the only track around these parts and they have us by the balls in that respect. I feel for 6 moths and the level of care need to maintain the simplistic track that $400 a season is fair.

Now don't get me wrong. I truly love the fact we even have a track that we can use, one where the owners install large complex sprinklers systems for us... but they are really pushing the limit with membership costs and completely dumbing the track down to where the easy to groom jumps with their very short take off ramps are also the most dangerous and only 5% of the riders can even clear them. The majority of riders can only make it twice a month and over $500 a season many are giving up the sport all together. There is always talk at the track, especially last year, of how they are alienating so many riders. With no day pass it's not even an option for many.

Anyone else experience something like this and what did you do to try and change it? I don't want to upset the owners although I'm sure they are aware of they way people feel.

Hey, it's freaky because I was just talking about this with my riding buddy, like 40 minutes ago. We have both been riding there for 4 years now. He has recently listed his CRF450 that he just sank $1000 into the suspension because he feels the price is getting too much now and probably will keep going up. I think it has ever year now since I have been going. This is the second riding buddy I will loose in the 4 years I have been going there due to changes made by management. I think that come spring I will see less people I have come to know at the track. The no day pass thing is pretty lame.

I am uncertain what to do. I, too, appreciate the track and what they do to keep it running but it is getting a bit much for me as well to justify the expense when last year I was only able to make it there like 7 times. Is it just me or does Ottawa always have 3 months of awful humidity and rain right through summer? Fall is the only time I actually want to ride. I think I would prefer winter to an Ottawa summer. At least I can go outside without sweating like a pig and sticking to my clothing and feeling really uncomfortable.

I never thought about the grooming but ya, now that I think about it the track is really not as fun as it used to be. I am average joe rider also and I know what you mean about all the jumps being out of my league. I tried to clear one last year on a moment in a moment of insanity and ended up breaking my foot. I like jumping but there is nothing that I can jump and clear now. Well, I could jump them but I am 39 and not willing to break my back... so I will not risk it again, especially after breaking my foot.

Have you tried writing to the people who run the track and letting them know how you feel? Perhaps others have also.

I'm John with a KX450 btw... do we know one another?

Cheers.

Anyone else experience something like this and what did you do to try and change it? I don't want to upset the owners although I'm sure they are aware of they way people feel.

Dear Admin,

I think he wants to have other people see it so he can get feed back on how they dealt with a similar situation. Maybe read about what he is asking first before relegating a person's thread to a place where no one will see it.

Thanks,

John

What makes this track so difficult to groom? What kinda dirt is it? Out here in alberta where the ground is clay based most riders will pack up and leave If they see a tractor being fired up for grooming. It is better off here to let the track be hard pack. When you'd try to groom you just end up with golfball to baseball sized marbles no matter how much you rototill or disk. There is a track that went over a year and a half without grooming because the hardpack holds up so well. Organize a meeting and talk to the owner and most likely he will listen to what you guys want. If not then tell him you will all support someone else who will. And be willing to give up a day to help out a the track. next thing you know your track will also be a little gem like my home track. Where I got a gate key for just being willing to help out and give honest feedback about the track. (be it good or bad)

I rode the track a few times and did not find it out of reason for most peoples skill. I am no huge jumper or super fast rider yet I still had fun.

Don't bother with the season pass, just pay to play, they should still do that. Also start hunting down other tracks, they are out there and just need to be found.

Try to get the bike shops to hlp you out a bit.

Don't give up!

Bev

I happen to be a member at that track. I'm a junior level rider and i'm 36 yrs old. I find the track to be a lot of fun. I'm freinds with the people at MX101 and I know how hard they work to keep that track up. Did you know that they are building us a supercross track and offering lessons to ride the track. I think that the Eastern Amateur Nationals, the provincial, the pro national and the atv nationals that were held there were some of the best events in Canada for motocross last year. Then folks at MX101 worked day and night to make sure that the track was safe and fun for everyone. From beginners to the pros; everyone had fun with very few injuries. I'm sure at some point changes have been made for the water system but i think we can put up with it considering everything else they do for us at that facility.

I don't know how you guys play in the sand box all day.:thumbsup:

The sand is awesome at our local track. It's not all sand and it's not the deep bottomless sand. Loads of fun at SandDeeLee railing berms and going through woops ect...there's a mix of everything. I have ridden on harder packed tracks and really didn't like it. There was one I went to just outside of Montreal and it was hard pack... for me, I didn't like it at all. And falling off the bike would have been bad news as it was like riding on pavement. Also, our track installed a watering system that waters the entire track at once. when it gets too dry and dusty it takes 10 minutes or so and the entire track gets watered. It's a great perk of the track.

As for paying for day passes I was under the impression that that had not been re-introduced. I think a few years ago when they brought in season passes they stopped the day pass thing. It would be nice if they brought it back as I am still on the fence with dropping $550 for a season pass. It's worth it for what we have available to us but it's a lot of money for me.

If you haven't been to SandDeeLee before and are able to make the trip for a weekend or whatever you should give it a go. The track is a total blast. I get excited every time I am on my way there. They also have this arenacross style track off to one side. When the fast guys or the young ones have the main track it's there to go kill some time on or warm up on. They also have a kid's track for youngsters to have a go and not kill themselves learning.

As for the the jumps being too much I sorta agree but it's not like all the table tops are monsters. I remember the triple double ones a few years ago. They were doable, fun and relatively low speed and safer than the 3rd gear table tops. But, they are table tops.... so if you don't make it you won't die. It's not like casing a double or anything. The track is very safe and enjoyable.

oh ya, one more thing... they are building an R/C track there as well I think this year. I don't own one but I find those nitro powered racers really interesting to watch.

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