Octobercross’ Glen Helen, the Toughest Track Possible


Glen Helen isn’t the tamest track at Octobercross; it’s the toughest and the meanest. The traditional track has the combination of being beautiful and also difficult. Every inch of it has its own challenge, with such a steep track with sandy cover. Whenever rider thinks that they have met a challenging obstacle, they haven’t met this track.


This isn’t exactly an official track for bikers but it definitely poses its own unique signature style for old school and traditional riders. The track takes back to the old days, where riders simply ‘tested the water’ back then in the 70s to the 90s. Those days were the time where riders hadn’t had any ambitions before. They had no professional exercises or whatsoever; they were simple the guys who liked hanging out together, tested their guts, and being challenged in the coolest way possible – or so they thought.


Those old school guys were accustomed to Indian Dunes, Washougal, Saddleback, Mosier Valley so having challenging obstacles might not be a surprise at all. But when dealing with Glen Helen setting, the scheme was different. Going uphill was almost impossible because not only riders were involved in the tangle of uphill crash; tackling the steep hill itself seemed like an impossible objective. From the single event alone, 16 riders were involved in the crash and the race itself had to be flagged (red flag) because of the scattered bikes.


This track might be one of the most difficult terrains to face, but it does bring back the old days’ spirit. It was definitely a good thing because it proved that the traditional spirit still lives on, especially for REM race at Glen Helen.


For riders, the race itself had a unique vive of old and young. And most importantly, it brings together 50 year old veterans, former stars, and AMA professionals. Most of the veterans were getting together to relieve their childhood, which was focusing on the riding skills mostly. Not to mention that they had to face one of the most impossible tracks in West Pecos. Glen Helen is definitely included as one of the roughest National AMA tracks.  


The Octobercross REM race is run on a yearly basis, managed by Myra and Frank Thomason. It generally takes place a week before the World Dubya Vet Championship. The idea is generally to test the track. Although the Octobercross may not be an international event, it is quite special because it is the place where the talented riders get together to test out their skills. Often times, South American, Canadian, Asian, and European riders fly in to the Octobercross as a way to practice. Other riders from the 50 American states also come for the same reason.


Naturally, the REM Octobercross is notorious for its brutality and pain, but it is also one of the major appeals that attract people to come. There is a certain pride for the riders when they are able to say that they have tested one of the roughest and the most brutal tracks ever existed.


Expect seeing new talents at this event but also expect some of the old veterans. Some names were spotted during the event, such as Ron Lechien and Pete Murray were spotted there. Ron Lechien managed to gain his own popularity, being an ex-rider for Honda, Yamaha, and Kawasaki. Pete Murray is the World Vet Champion for three times.


Some of the big names include Ralf Schmidt, Val Tamietti, Kevin Foley, and Lars Larsson can be found there, including Tony Cooksey from New Zealand, Chuck Sun, Isao Ida from Japan, and Jan Oxelmark from Sweden. They are preparing for next Week’s World Vet Dubya Motocross 2017 championship.

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