Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dirt bikers meet Sunday at Ohio Gulch track

For open ride, raffle, gear swap

Dirt bike and motocross racers from the Wood River Valley and other southern Idaho locations will gather Sunday, June 26 for an "Open Ride Day" and benefit at the Ohio Gulch track between Ketchum and Hailey.

Adults and kids will gather starting at noon Sunday to raise money and draw more attention to plans for an upgrading of the Ohio Gulch track above the county landfill. It's a track that local dirt bike riders like Rich Taylor and Rob Webb identified years ago for its spectacular natural terrain.

Randy Van Dyke, one of five board members of the Hailey-based non-profit organization called Idaho Mountain Dirt Riders Association, said, "The potential is unbelievable for the Ohio Gulch track to be the place where riders can gather.

"It's mid-valley and away from houses. Right now, everybody is spread all over in their dirt bike riding. But Ohio Gulch is a great place, because of terrain, elevation and altitude. We just need to bring it back to its original contours."


The natural terrain has deteriorated on the approximately 30-acre county-owned site located on the hill above the landfill, Van Dyke said.

New dirt is being hauled in by Burks Excavation of Bellevue to build up the site and make it much closer to the landscape that originally attracted such local motocross legends as Bob Hannah and Danny LaPorte, said Van Dyke.

Money is needed to complete the job, so Van Dyke said he is in the process of writing a grant to the Idaho Parks and Recreation Department's off-road vehicle fund. Obtaining matching funds would help the Dirt Riders Association rework the site and possibly dig a well.

"We're trying to do a benefit to accrue funds," he said.

The Dirt Riders will spend Saturday, June 25 grooming the Ohio Gulch track and prepping it for Sunday's open ride. Food will be served starting Sunday at noon, Full Moon doing the hamburger and hot dog barbecue. Raffle tickets are $5 apiece for some excellent "swag" from manufacturers like Scott and Smith, said Van Dyke.

Also featured will be a gear swap. Kids 12-and-under can also bring gear to sell, without a fee. Any donations are welcome to help the organization reach its fundraising goal, according to Van Dyke (720-1266).

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