Where to Ride This Winter

Practicing during the off season can be a great way to continue progressing and getting things dialed in. Seat time is essential to perfecting your craft, and hours at the track can be fun and relaxing if you can meet up with a few of your good friends. This is also a great time to try to set up your quad or get back into the rhythm following breakage of you or your machine. Unfortunately, finding a place to ride can be difficult as some tracks close up for the season. Luckily, for riders in the North West, Pit Traffic has you covered.

RIVERDALE RACEWAY – Located near the Toutle River, a little ways down highway 504, is Riverdale Raceway. For many quad riders this is a favorite year round. The key thing is that Riverdale is open year round, you can plan a practice just about any weekend. Their website has a complete schedule that is subject to change, and through their Facebook or emailing list you can receive weekly updates. They offer their full sized motocross track, alongside a smaller vintage track, both open to quads. The motocross track is appropriate for all levels of riders, while the vintage track is less challenging, but still great for practice. Combined, there is plenty of variety. Another advantage is the unscheduled practice. In most cases, you sign up, unload, and can ride as long as you want. For those who want to take it a lap at a time or put down 20 minutes straight, this is the track for you. The disadvantage, depending on your personal opinion, would be that you share the track with dirt bikes and all levels of riders, but generally this is not a problem. To sum things up, Riverdale is a laid back environment offering a great place to practice.

ALBANY MOTORSPORTS PARK Albany Motorsports Park, as you might guess, is located in Albany, OR. Riders in Oregon will find this to be one of the closer options, which is great for cutting travel costs. The track layout is fun, without being overly challenging. While not necessarily important, the track offers an over-under tunnel, which is unique and adds to the enjoyment for some. However, Albany’s whoops section can be treacherous for quads. Recently, sand was added, which means that on busy days there will be gnarly ruts. This is already the case at many other tracks though. Expect to practice about once an hour, depending on how many riders show up for each class that day. Times and dates are subject to change, as with most tracks, so make sure to contact them ahead of time for more information. As of writing this piece, their website is down.

CLARK COUNTY ARENACROSS – Hosted by ProMoto Promotions, Clark County Arenacross is open from November through January inside of the horse arena at the Clark County Fairgrounds. The track is primarily focused towards dirt bikes, but thankfully the quad group is always considered. Practice sessions are divided into a day session and night session. This gives riders the ability to ride from 9am to 9pm. They also offer a racing series during the winter, though the word on the street is that there likely will be a very limited quad series or possibly none at all. Being that this is an indoor track, the advantage is obviously being shielded from the weather, though it is important to know that the arena is not heated. The disadvantage is that for some, the indoor track requires some learning and adapting, which can be frustrating for beginners. However, with a little practice, it is a great way to perfect many skills that are less emphasized on large outdoor tracks. A winter schedule has yet to be announced, but through the Clark County Facebook page you can find out most any information.

HORN RAPIDS MOTORSPORTS COMPLEX – Horn Rapids is the place to go for those east of the Cascades. This track offers up a layout that many love. There are some big jumps, but all are doable, and the dirt is generally pretty good. The soil is sand, on top of sand, yet it seems to hold up fairly well. This makes for pretty good traction and overall predictability. During fall and spring, you can get some pretty good weather when others are getting rained out. However, it is Eastern Washington, so expect the weather to get very cold during the true winter months. As is the case with many tracks, practice is divided into sessions, and practice is typically 10am-4pm. They offer some practice during the week as well, which is always great. While it’s been said several times, the folks at Horn Rapids want to make it very clear that you should contact them before showing up for practice. For those that live nearby, this will save you the drive, and for those that live out west, it might just be worth the drive.

WOODLAND MOTOCROSS PARK – Woodland Motocross Park is a few miles off of I5, in Woodland, Washington. In the past, ATV riding was big here. However, in the past few years, attendance has declined. Recently it was announced there would be no outdoor winter series for quads, but there will still be practice. There are usually 10 minute sessions per class. The track has a very sandy top, with a hard base. This equates to some very rough track conditions on busy days. It also means that when it gets wet, things get a little crazy. When the weather is good, the track is great. The layout changes week to week, sometimes the obstacles are a higher skill level and sometimes it’s fairly easy. At this moment there are no announced practice dates that I am aware of, but typically practice is most weekends from October through April. It is a short drive from Woodland to Riverdale and vice versa, meaning that those practicing in this area have some variety, as well as Clark County.

Austin Rohr

Austin Rohr is a twenty two year-old graduate from the University of Washington Tacoma with a bachelor's degree in communications. He writes for Pit Traffic, and has raced on and off since 2015.

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