Motocross Madness Wows Crowds Again at Riverboat Days

One of the more spectacular events of the Riverboat Days weekend is the Freestyle Motocross Madness event, which once again took over the Skeena Mall parking lot Saturday afternoon.

The event suffered a setback just a week ago, when one of the main attractions had to be cancelled -- but it resulted in an even bigger show than planned.

A year ago, the FMX Motocross event featured -- for the first time --- snowmobile jumping -- and the plan was to have it again this year -- but those plans were dashed when rider Sam Rogers crashed and suffered some pretty serious injuries. 

But some fast work resulted in five freestyle motocross riders, rather than the planned three -- and organizer Steve Pereira said that provided for a pretty spectacular show.

"This lineup is something you would see in Kelowna at the Centre of Gravity or rodeos in -- the Calgary Stampede, that's the level that we have -- so for this community to get this, it's big!"

This is the fourth straight year the Motocross Madness event has been held here  -- and it may seem strange that the Skeena Mall merchants would agree to tying up half the parking lot like this on the busiest day of the summer, but mall spokesperson Amber Zanon [pictured at right] says Pereira was pretty persuasive.

"The light was in his eyes and he was very excited and you could tell that he had something really special planned and it was very exciting for us to have an opportunity to sponsor an event that the community could collectively enjoy for free, especially during Riverboat Days, so we got on board -- I'm really happy we did."

This year's lineup featured Vernon's Reagan Sieg, making his seventh appearance in Terrace --  along with fellow Vernon resident Morgan Kaliszuk, who was here for the first time.

"It's a great small community, everybody pitches together to try to make something happen, so we have a lot of friends that help put this on so it feels like family up here, it's fun being in new areas -- we're at the end of the road, close to the ocean here and for me, I love the outdoors and everything -- it's just the whole setting in Terrace is just a great time," said Seig.

Kaliszuk [pictured at left] said he was delighted to be added to the lineup this year: "I've always heard so many good things about it with the fishing and the crab and all in the river and the ocean and definitely excited to come out here and be around this area."

Also in Terrace for the weekend event were Jeff Fehr of Vanderhoof, who was just making his return from hip replacement surgery --- Daylan Tomshak of Grande Prairie Alberta, who last year battled back from an injury that nearly ended his career -- and Kyle Demelo of Osoyoos, whose says the key to a sport like this is having fun -- but also to stay within your abilities.  

"Make sure everything is calculated risks -- you don't want to go out there and be like `oh I'm at a C-grade riding but I'm going to try A stuff -- that's usually where people get hurt because they get overconfident -- it's just about taking it easy and having fun -- that's all I gotta say:  it's all about having fun and just taking the baby steps," he said.