TransWorld Motocross Magazine’s first annual Ride For Free day is a huge success!

The day after Christmas will never be the same again. Traditionally, December 26th has been reserved for a trip to the malls, as it is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Today was a little different, though. Instead of pulling out their wallets and standing in long lines at registers, people were pulling into Comp Park with their motorcycles in tow, ready to ride at TransWorld Motocross Magazine’s first annual Ride For Free day at Competition Park in San Jacinto, California.

Lines were long as nearly 2,200 people filled the park to ride, hang out, and simply enjoy the unseasonably warm and beautiful weather. In attendance were racers Mike LaRocco, Grant Langston, Shane Bess and Ryan Hughes, just to name a few. Also in attendance were FMX’ers Tommy “Tom Cat” Clowers and Jeff Tilton. The staff at Comp Park did a great job preparing the tracks for all of the riders, and the five tracks held up great throughout the day.

There was plenty of industry representation on hand to provide support and to greet the general public. Reps from AXO, Big Gun Exhaust, DC Sports, Don Joy knee braces, Factory Effex Graphics, FMF, KTM, Maxima Lubricants, M2R Helmets, Maxxis Tires, MX Rentals, O’Neal/Azonic, Pro Taper/Answer, RG3 Suspension, Troy Lee Designs, Sidi, Spy, Suzuki, Uni, White Brothers, and Yamaha all had booths at the event.

The Ride For Free day included a “learn to ride” oval where young enthusiasts whom have never thrown a leg over a bike could learn the basics, and it was a huge success. Little boys and girls strapped on gear from Answer and cracked the throttle on Honda XR 50’s and XR 70’s.

As mentioned earlier, one of the factory riders on hand was Mike LaRocco. We caught up with the Rock during all of the melee and asked him a few questions.

TransWorld Motocross: What do you think of the event today?

Mike LaRocco: It’s great. When I drove around the corner, I could not believe how good the turnout was!

TWMX: Any surprises up your sleeve for next week? (Anaheim 1)

ML: I hope so. I have been working on my speed. Like always, I have been working hard. Hopefully I can put the Honda on top of the podium this year instead of every other box.

TWMX: Donn (Maeda) and I were joking the other day, saying that if Supercross mains were 23 laps you would win every one! You come on so strong at the end. Was it your starts that held you back from more podium finishes last year?

ML: Yeah, pretty much last year and the thirteen before that. I’ve been working on them. It’s not only the start, it’s the first four laps. Ricky and Jeremy are really good as soon as the gate drops. Hopefully, I will get closer this year.

TWMX: What did you get for Christmas?

ML: A bunch of clothes.

TWMX: What did you do on Christmas day?

ML: Put together toys! All day!

Strolling around the midway, we also ran into KTM wonder boy Grant Langston. Here is what Grant had to say:

TransWorld Motocross: What do you think of the event today?

Grant Langston: It’s cool. I came out here expecting 150 riders, this is crazy!

TWMX: Did you ride the track?

GL: Yeah! I was passing 20 guys per lap and there were crashes everywhere.

TWMX: Do you have brass nipples in your wheels now?

GL: (laughs)

TWMX: What did you get for Christmas?

GL: I got a cool digital video camera that works on a memory stick, and my parents got me a computer.

TWMX: Who did you spend Christmas with?

GL: My family.

TWMX: How are your shoulders feeling? (ed note: Grant has been sidelined for three months due to elective surgery performed on both shoulders)

GL: I have only ridden about five times now. They get a little stiff and sore sometimes. The worst thing is that my forearms pump now and I am out of breath. All I can do is two laps! I feel like an amateur again.

TWMX: Who will be your toughest competition in SX this year?

GL: I think Chad Reed. Brownie will be in there, but Chad is flying right now.

As the day drew to a close, we caught uup with Malcolm McCassy Sr.( THE MAN at Comp Park) and got his thoughts on the festival and the happenings of the day

TransWorld Motocross: How many people came to the event today?

Malcolm McCassy: 2,150, give or take a few.

TWMX: What’s your take on this whole shindig today?

MM: It was great! During planning, we estimated that there would be around a thousand riders. That number is double what we would normally get this time of year, so this is really amazing.

TWMX: What about next year?

MM: Well, we start planning tomorrow. We want to put a race together with a very interesting format. We are talking about a 10-20 thousand dollar purse to make it one hell of a day!

TWMX: You only spent five weeks planning this event, right?

MM: Yes, we handed out 6,000 flyers and the word got out there. This is what we ended up with.TWMX: What about next year? You’re moving Comp Park, right?

MM: We will be at our new facility just four miles down the road. It is a 60-acre piece of land. We will have ten tracks and six of them will be under lights. We will definitely have a lot more room next year!

Well, I guess you could say that a tradition was born December 26th. It was great to see so many people attend this year’s event, especially the public that experienced MX for the first time. Props go out to Comp Park, Mark Fiore and the guys at Sandbox Marketing for putting together an event of this magnitude in such a short amount of time.One thing is for sure; next December 26th there will be less people shopping and more people riding!