When I first saw the information about the KTM EnduroCross Rider Experience at the Ontario EnduroCross, I thought that would be a sweet deal. If you ride a KTM and were signed up to race that Saturday, you got to ride the course and receive instruction from Mike Brown and Taddy Blazusiak on Friday night. I wanted to do it. However, between work and home, I had no plans on even going to the Ontario EnduroCross as a spectator, let alone a racer. Then, the Wednesday prior to the event, the stars aligned and I got the call from Dirt Rider to go do a story on the KTM EnduroCross Rider Experience and racing EnduroCross the next night. With such short notice, I wasn’t really ready.My bike was muddy, needed tires and I still had to work out a way to get off work so I could drive out to California. An early morning alarm helped to get my bike cleaned up before heading to work on Thursday, a gracious boss let me swap some work days and my KTM dealer, MotoCity, helped me out with some tires. The stars were still aligned. I was set, kind of.
Mentally I was both excited and nervous. I had never raced an EnduroCross and only faced some EnduroCross type obstacles in a local GP series. I was banking on learning some skills from the KTM EnduroCross stars.The night started out with introductions and a track walk. The EnduroCross tracks look intimidating from the stands or on TV. They are even more so when you walk the track. However, as we walked the track, we had two of the best riders in the world talking us through each section and giving us pointers on how to ride them.
Then we fired up the bikes and ran a couple of laps with Mike and Taddy looking on. After our laps, we would then practice the most difficult sections. First was the firewood, then the Matrix, and last was the boulder pile. We ran each section multiple times with Mike and Taddy pointing out different lines, helping pick up our bikes, giving advice or just giving us a bottle of water if we needed it. We then got to run a few more laps to apply what we had learned and wrapped up the evening with some pictures with the Pros.This was an amazing event. From the expert level riders to the average vet rider such as myself, we all learned how to ride better. I was no longer stressed that I might kill myself on the course. I gained a lot of confidence in my riding ability and I left the KTM EnduroCross Rider Experience knowing I could ride the course and have a good time.If you have never raced an EnduroCross and have it on your bucket list, or you have raced it and want to get better, then the KTM EnduroCross Rider Experience is a must do. They are offering it again at the Vegas round. And when the stars align again, I will be there again. This experience improved my skills and helped me ride my KTM even better.