Dirt bikers encouraged to use motocross track not mountain bike trails

By Leah Murray
June 27, 2018 - 5:29pm Updated: June 27, 2018 - 7:16pm

 

MEDICINE HAT – Some concerns are being raised in Redcliff after a couple people were spotted riding their dirt bikes on the mountain bike trails along the river valley.

Photos were posted on a Redcliff community Facebook page sparking some debate over whether or not they should be allowed to ride there.

Redcliff RCMP say it’s not allowed.

“Where there are posted signs, especially for no motorized vehicles in a certain area, people just shouldn't be riding motorcycles, quads, [snowmobiles] in the winter, just don't be riding them there,” Maxwell explained. “It's a $250 fine under the Redcliff bylaw for doing that.”

There aren’t many places in Redcliff or Medicine Hat, where people can go to ride their dirt bikes or ATVs. That’s why the Medicine Hat Motorcycle Society built a motocross track that they maintain near the Medicine Hat Speedway.

“We have a full main track. There's jumps ranging from 30 feet, to our biggest one [which] is a 90 foot step up table,” said MHMS president Jamie McDonald.

“We also have a small arena track, and there is actually a track in the back corner there for ATVs and off-roading vehicles.”

The 670 Collective Mountain Bike group builds and maintains the hiking and biking trails in the Redcliff area. The group devotes hundreds of volunteer hours a year to grooming the trails.

Curtis Peters, president of the 670 Collective, said they haven’t had too many problems with dirt bikes in the past couple years because most people respect the time and effort that’s gone into creating the mountain bike trails.

“We've seen it a few times, it's gone down a lot over the past five years, it used to be more of an issue, but we haven't really seen anything in the past year or so,” Peters said.

“Every year we put in about 500-600 hours in maintenance and building [in the Redcliff area]. In total across the region we're about 1000 hours a year.”

MHMS says most dirt bike riders stick to places their allowed to ride, like the track, or on crown land.

They encourage anyone looking to take their bikes or ATVs out for a ride to get a membership to use the motocross track.

“Those trails that were built in that area between Redcliff and the river [are] meant for mountain bikes, not actually for dirt bikes,” McDonald said. “[The motocross track] is here for anybody who wants to ride, it's $20/day or $200/year, and anyone can come out here.”

For more information on the MHMS track or memberships, click here.

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