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Ok, enough with the smooth terrain, let’s soften up those suspensions and head back east to Fry Lake in between Seminole and Wewoka.  Every year, Dave Campbell and his team carve out awesome tracks for bikes and quads.  You’ll get to take a tour of this amazing property and it’s elevation changes, rocky outcroppings, gravelly creek crossings, sandy open straightaways and I’m sure a lot more.  In recent years, Dave has also added in a motocross track for some action near the pits.  This is another spectator friendly track with access roads and tons of camping sites.  Fry Lake even has some cabins to rent.

FROM OKC OR TULSA:

  1. Take I-40 to exit 200
  2. Turn South on Highway 377.
  3. Go 9.4 miles to Highway 9 (Wrangler Blvd).
  4. Turn left & go East 6.2 miles to entrance on the left.

The Oklahoma Cross Country Racing Association – OCCRA – is hosting their annual Make Promises Happen charity dirt bike races on April 25-26 in Guthrie, Oklahoma. OCCRA members and racers have raised over one half million dollars – $500,000 – to help support this worthwhile charity. One hundred percent of the entry fees for this race goes to the Make Promises Happen program. Listen to Ride Oklahoma Radio while I chat with Executive Director James Wheeler and OCCRA racer Mark Walker about this worthwhile and fun family race.

OCCRA race in Guthrie at Make Promises Happen

In the early 1970’s Glen Sinclair was very involved in dirt bike racing. He hung out with the likes of Jack Penton and Dick Burleson. “I would build the course and they would come and ride it” laughs Glen. “I also know Ralph Royce (Ride Oklahoma July 2008). He is something else.” Never a top racer, Glen was content to just ride the occasional enduro, work on trails, and hang out with his buddies. After owning a motorcycle shop in western Oklahoma for several years and riding all across the state, he retired from riding in 1983.

Glen Sinclair grew up racing with the likes of Jack Penton and Dick Burleson.
Glen Sinclair grew up racing with the likes of Jack Penton and Dick Burleson.

Fast forward to 2007. A riding buddy of Glen’s from days past stopped by his farm one day and said “Come out to Woodward, we are riding there and you can ride with us.” Glen took him up on his offer and he caught the dirt bike riding fever all over again.
This time his fever was contagious. He quickly infected his daughter Louis and her husband Brian Gambel, along with their sons Lane and Barron. Brian had been a motocross racer from years past, and promptly went out and bought bikes for the entire family. And a new truck. And a new toy hauler RV. The Gambels got the fever bad. “It’s damned expensive, but we like it” says Brian.
It wasn’t long until the entire family was hitting the OCCRA race circuit. “I took the kids to Gruber and they loved it” smiled Glen. Seems the boys had have riding 4-wheelers and picked up motorcycle riding easily. Lane, 13, rides mini-85 and says “my favorite thing is getting air. My longest jump was 100’, 40’ in the air.” His dad doesn’t think much of his jumping. “Pretty stupid if you ask me,” laughs Brian.

Barron, at age 10 the youngest of the family, rides both mini-65 and mini-quads. He and brother Lane tear it up at the family farm during the week, then head to the track with their parents and grandparents on the weekend.
On summer weekends the Sinclairs and Gambels pull their rigs to an OCCRA race and form a “home away from home”. Glen’s wife Barbara plans the food for the weekend and runs the pits, while the rest of the family heads out onto the trail. “We can pay a $30 entry fee and ride all weekend” explains Brian. In between practice and races they gather at the trailers to snack, socialize and enjoy the weekend. On this particular weekend it was Halloween, so it was time to dress up the camp. At dusk the kids all dressed up in Halloween costumes and toured the busy OCCRA campground, gathering up a supply of candy to last them the weekend.

“OCCRA has become more of a family event that just happens to coincide with a race weekend” says Jerry Welch, Race Director. “Many families like the Sinclairs and Gambels come more for the social aspects of riding together than they do the race. We average nearly 500 riders per weekend on most races. We are looking forward to even more in 2009.”
Looks like the fever is spreading.

Glen Sinclair and his daughter converse in between practice laps at an OCCRA race in Wellston, OK.
Glen Sinclair and his daughter converse in between practice laps at an OCCRA race in Wellston, OK.
Glen Sinclair and his family sit around at their motor home in between practice at an OCCRA dirt bike race.
Glen Sinclair and his family sit around at their motor home in between practice at an OCCRA dirt bike race.
OCCRA racers stop during practice to discuss the track conditions.
OCCRA racers stop during practice to discuss the track conditions.
Glen Sinclair and his family camp overnight at an OCCRA race.
Glen Sinclair and his family camp overnight at an OCCRA race.

OCCRA_makepromiseshappen
This weekend is OCCRA the (Oklahoma Cross Country Racing Association) charity race at Make Promises Happen in Guthrie, Oklahoma. This is a fantastic race and ALL of the proceeds from the race go to the charity. There are lots of activities such as a team race, a wheelie contest, kids rides and races, etc. Come out and support dirt bike riders helping those with disabilities.

A father encourages his daughter at the Make Promises Happen race in Guthrie.
A father encourages his daughter at the Make Promises Happen race in Guthrie.

Last weekend was a busy off-road weekend with the Oklahoma State Championship Series kicking off in Wellston at Reynard Raceway. This weekend Oklahoma Cross Country Racing (OCCRA) comes to Reynard Raceway for round 2 of their state hare and hound championship series. The track should be in great shape after the motocross event and the weather is predicted to be quite nice.

The following week Sparks kicks off with their St. Patty’s Day motorcycle party. That should be a wild event like always.

Once again the weekend motorcycling activities are off-road related. First up- Round 1 of OCCRA (Oklahoma Cross Country Racing Association) in Konawa. This highly popular off-road racing series kicks off the season in style, with dirt bikes, ATV’s, and a new vintage dirt bike class.

Arenacross takes over in Tulsa on Saturday night at the BoK Center. You can come and sit in the warmth of an indoor arena and see great motocross racing action without freezing your tush off.

Land Run Motorsports is holding an off-road GP in Bristow on Sunday. They don’t have a web site and we can’t find much on this event so not sure if it is still being scheduled with the predicted single digit weather on Sunday.

As the weather warms and spring approaches we expect to see more motorcycles on the street and trail. Time to tune up that bike and get ready for riding season!

Oklahoma Cross Country Racing Association, the premier off-road racing series in Oklahoma, will be hosting Round 3 of the series in Konawa, OK. OCCRA races dirt bikes all over the state of Oklahoma in places that are often not open to riding except for the race each year. This is a family-friendly event with young kids, parents and even grand parents racing motorcycles and 4-wheelers across the fields and trails of Oklahoma. The terrain varies from the rocks of the east to the sand of the northwest to the clay in central Oklahoma. Practice is on Saturday while the racing is on Sunday. Bring your tent or motor home, camp out, have fun with friends and enjoy the awesome off-road riding in Oklahoma. Classes are available for all ages and skill sets.

Konawa has a mix of terrain ranging from loamy dirt to embedded rocks and even some deep sand. Expect hill climbs and descents, wide open stretches and tight single-track cutoffs for the bikes. Heck, Konawa has a little bit of just about everything!

www.occra.com

OCCRA Hare and Hound in Erick,Oklahoma

OCCRA race in Guthrie at Make Promises Happen

OCCRA race in Guthrie at Make Promises Happen

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