Sports Motorsports

Motocross continues to grow in popularity

By Jesica Hurst, Special to the Examiner

While some people continuously strive to find a career they love, it’s always been James Farrington’s reality.

When the 47-year-old was first introduced to motorcycles in his early teens, it immediately became a developing interest for him.

After familiarizing himself with the sport and eventually riding in the pro motocross, he began designing and building tracks for small, local club events. That hobby would ultimately turn into his business, RJ Motosport.

“My love for the sport got me interested in building my own tracks with my bulldozer in the early ’80s,” Farrington explained. “This eventually led to teaching kids how to ride, and everything else we do (at the facility).”

RJ Motosport, which is located in Midhurst, mainly caters to motocross riders.

According to Farrington, motocross is a form of motorcycle racing that takes place on a closed course with jumps, whoops and tabletops. Riders range from age five to 65, which has made the sport so popular.

“In motocross, competitors race a number of laps around the same course,” he said. “They race for approximately 15 minutes in the lower ranks, and can race for up to 30 or 45 minutes in the pro ranks, which is a really long time.”

When Farrington was riding himself, he also competed in Enduro and Hare Scramble races, which are variations of the sport. Even though he made it to the top classes in both, he eventually had to quit because he became too busy with competitions and training at his facility.

“There’s a competition every weekend in Ontario — one in Owen Sound and a couple in southern Ontario that hold regular events like myself,” the Barrie native said. “Our last event had approximately 600 competitors, who come from all over Ontario, Quebec and the northern States.”

Almost anyone can compete if they are at the appropriate skill level. There are age categories for younger kids, 40 years and older, 60 years and older and even a separate ladies class. That said, the average competitor at RJ Motosport is male and in his mid-20s to early 30s.

But for those who just want to try out the sport for fun, RJ Motosport also offers lessons for all ages.

“Suzuki provides the bikes for us, and myself and a couple other gentlemen here do the training,” he said. “We also provide all of the clothing and protective gear.”

If someone can ride a bicycle by themselves without training wheels and can pay attention, Farrington said they could teach them how to ride.

“The biggest thing with motocross is that it’s a lot harder than it looks. If you’re taking this really seriously, competing in motocross is a full-time job that requires a huge amount of concentration and stamina,” he said.

“However, I absolutely recommend at least trying it for fun. If someone has never ridden before, we recommend trying a one or two-hour lesson and taking it slow from there.”

Those interested in lessons or wishing to learn more about the facility, call 705-722-3800, or visit www.rjmotosportpark.com.

barrie.sports@sunmedia.ca


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