Impact Canopy

Ladies Gaining Skills in the Dirt

| 19 February 2014 2:41 pm

California Supermoto Fast Girls Camp
Prairie City OHV

Story and Photos by Karen Gould/Checkered Flag Photography
RANCHO CORDOVA, CA, FEB. 15-16, 2014

Fast Girls Camp Logo 300

Every now and then, as a writer and photographer, I am privileged to experience something really special around the racetracks to which I am invited. This weekend was one such opportunity. Having been around racing for a number of years, I have heard about different dirt-track schools here and there – and about the California Supermoto Fast Girls Schools, the only all-female school that I am aware of in California, and which have been taking place at the Prairie City dirt track over the last few years.

Brok McAllister, a well-recognized supermoto rider and the founder and CEO of Supermoto USA, is the track operator at the Prairie City OHV Park and the head instructor at California Supermoto Schools, specializing arenacross and oval and TT racing. He willingly shares his love of motorcycle riding with anyone and everyone who shows up at the Prairie City venue, on school days and every other day. He is an outstanding teacher who not only teaches but also organizes and puts together the events he promotes, with the help of his right-hand assistant and track EMT, Mahcoya Ostrom.

Brok McAllister (seated) giving lessons about the bike.

Brok McAllister (seated) giving lessons about the bike.

On this day, school started at 10 a.m. sharp. There were bananas, coffee, fruit bars and plenty of water on hand for the students. Bikes were clean and new-looking, lined up to rent for those who didn’t have one of their own, and there was a size for everyone, from 65cc to 230cc. Riders with little or no experience as well as those who are currently racing on other surfaces or in other disciplines from road racing to supermoto – including one well-experienced trail rider – all came to gain new skills and brush up on skills that may have been forgotten.

Discussing the dirt.

Discussing the dirt.

McAllister greeted his new students with enthusiasm and tips for safety. There were bins of riding gear and safety equipment available for anyone who needed it. He went on to explain some of the mechanics of riding a motorcycle and the necessity of having fun. A walk around the track followed, with descriptions of each area of different track surfaces – wet, slippery, dry, ruts – and the best ways to ride each section. The students were then split into three groups of 10 or so riders, based on their experience level.

Emi: at 9 years old, the youngest rider of the class.

Emi: at 9 years old, the youngest rider of the class.

The newest riders were shown how to start their bikes, how to position themselves on their seats, how to fasten helmet straps, how to shift, and other basics, while the more-experienced groups went out to the track to begin some drills. The groups alternated time on the track with time under the EZ-Up to “discuss and debrief” after each riding session. Each group had a number of coaches who individually critiqued and taught the riders in their respective groups.

Riders lining up for a braking lesson, with Jason Lauritzen coaching.

Riders lining up for a braking lesson, with Jason Lauritzen coaching.

The coaches included the dynamic duo of AMA/ FMF road-racing, supermoto and dirt-track riders Jason and Jennifer Lauritzen, Pro Supermoto/ AMA Pro Road Race rider Gage McAllister, AMA Pro Dirt Track rider Danielle Caldiera, Pro Supermoto and dirt-track rider Sam Knox, AMA Pro Dirt Track rider Vaughn McCafferty and Pro Supermoto USA rider Ryan McAllister, all of whom volunteered their time to share their passion for riding with others. All of them were very patient, enthusiastic and extremely competent.

Danielle Caldeira shows this rider the location of first gear.

Danielle Caldeira shows this rider the location of first gear.

Oops: the back end meeting the front end.

Oops: the back end meeting the front end.

One highlight of the weekend involved one rider who was unable to get the feel of letting out the clutch and increasing throttle to get the bike moving. Brok and another instructor held the back of the bike, running beside the rider until he was moving successfully.

Brok McAllister gives this rider a push to get her moving…

Brok McAllister gives this rider a push to get her moving…

By the end of the weekend, that rider could not only get the bike moving but was able to accomplish conquering a small jump, turning right and left, successfully completing many laps on both an oval and a TT track, and even passing another rider. The smiles that shone from beneath her helmet said it all about how pleased she was feeling.

…and here’s that same rider who needed a push to get moving on Saturday, getting some air on Sunday!

…and here’s that same rider who needed a push to get moving on Saturday, getting some air on Sunday!

Throughout the two days, one could hear such comments as “This is so much fun,” and “It is great to have someone right with you to give you constructive tips” and “I wanna race” and “I didn’t think I could do it, but I did” and “I love to jump!” The experienced road racers were excited to gain skills on the dirt that could be carried over to improve their asphalt riding as well. The experience level of the various students didn’t matter; they all walked away with something new and useful in their bag of riding tricks.

Maneuvering around the TT track.

Maneuvering around the TT track.

Lunch and plenty of water was provided for the students, as well as gift bags of goodies provided by several sponsors. Top sponsors included Preston Property Shop, Cycle Gear, Motion Pro, Texas Tea Motor Oil, Folsom Cycle, Roseville Yamaha and Hareline Graphics. Raffle prizes included T-shirts, tools, oil, riding goggles, hats and other great gifts, all provided by the event’s sponsors.

New riders on the short track.

New riders on the short track.

At the end of the day on Saturday, students and coaches alike were treated to a glass of wine provided by www.LangtryEstate.com. Langtry Estate wines, located in Middletown, California, are both competitively successful and internationally recognized. Everyone was sharing the excitement of their day’s accomplishments and looking for new “how-to’s” for their next riding experience, all over a delicious glass of wine.

This rider tried to go around the outside of the track but got mired in some deep mud.

This rider tried to go around the outside of the track but got mired in some deep mud.

Sunday began much the same at Saturday, with the track walk and more safety tips. The groups were a bit smaller, but the same coaches were on hand, working with their students from the day before, as well as with a few new ones. The weather was warmer and the sun kept everyone company all day.

A seasoned cross-country rider flies over the jump, honing her skills.

A seasoned cross-country rider flies over the jump, honing her skills.

The drills got under way after a few laps of riding to loosen every one up. Drills included stopping and starting, braking and rolling the throttle on and off in the turns with cones, and a coach would show the students exactly where to make those things happen; riding a little bullring short track to highlight the necessity of elbows up and moving your body on the seat; executing a small jump; getting air! And so much more.

Bullring short-track lessons: elbow up, push the bike down.

Bullring short-track lessons: elbow up, push the bike down.

Cera Hinton (9) came to the Fast Girls Camp in 2013 and rode for the first time. One year later, she has a nice roost behind her as she slides out of turn four.

Cera Hinton (9) came to the Fast Girls Camp in 2013 and rode for the first time. One year later, she has a nice roost behind her as she slides out of turn four.

California Supermoto Fast Girls School takes place at different times during the year. Information for this and other schools and the Supermoto USA Series can be found at supermotoschools.com/ or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CaliforniaSupermotoSchools.

Information on the activities, events and racing at the Prairie City track can be found at prairiecitydirttrack.com/ or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Prairie-City-Dirt-Track/117292168435136.

The level of coaching and teaching I experienced this weekend far surpassed any expectations that I may have had when I showed up on Saturday morning. As a result, the level of learning and advancement reached by the students during this two-day school was simply outstanding! Many students’ comments can be found at www.facebook.com/supermotobrok?fref=ts.

California Supermoto Schools Logo 300

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Category: Dirt Track, Flat Track, Road Racing, Short Track, TT

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