Wright Out of the Gate – Time to go to work

For me, the beginning of the AMA supercross season is like an alarm going off in the morning indicating that it’s time to go to work.

After completing my second Canadian pro motocross season, I tried my hand at arenacross. It is humbling to think that after so many years of riding and racing, I could still feel like a rookie. I’m sure spectators would agree that at my first race in London, Ontario, there were times where I’m sure I looked like a fish out of water. As time went on, I started to get the hang of it a little and had a few great moments battling with some veterans of the indoor track. It was so cool of the Thompsons to include me in the opening ceremony at a few of the Eastern rounds. (You can check out the video on my Facebook Page at Dylan Wright Motocross.) There’s something unreal about seeing your image come up on the Jumbotron screen, to hear your name be announced on the loud speaker, and for the crowd to roar with applause and cheers as you roll out onto the track for the introductory wheelie, jump and wave to the crowd. I had seen the drill on TV for supercross, but had never been part of an opening ceremony like that. It was cool to say the least. While I also acquired a few bruises and scars along the way, the highlight of my five rounds of arenacross was achieving my first ever pro hole shot! For a guy who, for the most part, has sucked at starts but has been working hard on it for some time, it was a huge rush when I found myself first out of the gate. I proved to myself and to everyone out there that I can do it! Now the trick is figuring out how to do it more consistently.

AX - London - Dylan and Bobby K: "Checking out the AX track with Bobby K. Thanks for all the tips and advice Bobby. You will be missed  in our sport for sure!"

AX – London – Dylan and Bobby K: “Checking out the AX track with Bobby K. Thanks for all the tips and advice Bobby. You will be missed in our sport for sure!”

After my introduction to arenacross, I took a few weeks off to let my body enjoy a well-deserved rest. But like most athletes, it didn’t take long before I felt the need to get back at it. Working out, going to practice, and lining up at races is what we live for and what we do most days of the year. Fortunately, Mother Nature dished out some uncharacteristically warm weather in October, November and even December in Eastern Ontario. While Sand Del Lee had closed for the season on October 31st, John Pytel kept PTF going for us die-hards until the snow finally came. The days spent at the track during this time weren’t so much about training as they were about the sheer pleasure of riding and hanging out with friends. My buddy Paul even brought his 4-wheeler and insisted I give it a try. I had a blast doing donuts in the pit area but have to conclude that it had 2 wheels too many for me. Nothing beats riding a dirt bike!

PTF - fire pit - Dec. 2015

PTF – Fire Pit: “I race to podium and win championships. I ride because I love the sport and the people I get to enjoy it with!” (From left to right: Charles Cholette, Jessica Parent, Me, Paul Parent, Cameron Pytel, John Pytel, My dad)

I was thinking that the PTF facility, trips to the gym, and some regular visits with my trainer Rob Mouland were going to be enough to tide me over until Christmas and New Year’s came along. I was psychologically preparing for the withdrawal that would undoubtedly set in until I could travel South to train in the new year. But that, my friends, is when I received an invitation to join a bunch of buddies who were travelling to South Carolina to do some riding before Christmas. It took me all of 10 seconds to agree to that proposition. And so my bags were packed, my bike was prepped, and I was off to the Club MX and the South of Border (SoB) MX training facilities where I had a bit of a reunion with some of the guys I met there last year while I was training. After about 10-days of busting laps and sharing laughs, it was back to Canada … and the cold.

The good news was that Christmas was just around the corner. So that meant lots of visits and quality time with family and friends. As the New Year rolled around, I was going to get another reprieve from winter’s wrath because under the Christmas tree was a ticket to Florida from my girlfriend Krista, whose parents own a home in the Daytona region. So off I was again, boarding a plane and landing in Florida where I received a warm welcome from Krista, her family, and the Florida sun.

This trip was not about training. I was there on vacation and actually spent time playing tourist. I visited Sea World (it was really cool!) and got to experience a whole new form of racing … dog racing. Those animals were hauling. I got a kick out of how they chased the fake rabbit around the track. We were getting pretty good at analyzing the stats and picking dogs for the win. Maybe too good because I swear the organizers knew what my bets were, and slowed down the darn rabbit so the dog I picked to win would slow down, let the others catch up, and then pass him! Needless to say that we didn’t make any money, but the dogs and the people who go to the races proved to be quite entertaining.

SeaWorld - Penguins - Jan. 2016

Penguins: “Is it just me or are penguins not some of the coolest animals on the planet? Who knew they could swim so fast? The are just wild!!”

After 10 days basking in the warm weather of the East Coast of the US, it was back to the Great White North and final preparations for my road trip with Dad to the West Coast of the United States. That’s right. My dad and I are driving Big Bertha (the MX101 cargo van) across the continent so I can spend the next three months in California training. As I write this, we are preparing to leave bright and early on Saturday, January 23rd and I am pumped to be heading out to the mecca of dirt bike racing in North America. Watching the AMA Supercross races in Anaheim and San Diego on TV over the past two weeks seemed to slow down the passing of time. But now I am finally only a few hours away from what I am sure will be an epic road trip. For anyone who knows my dad, you know that there will be very few dull moments along the way. I’m really grateful to him for taking the time off work to make the long trip to Cali with me. I’m also very lucky to have a race team that supports me the whole year through, not just during the race season. Thank you so much MX101 for helping make some of the arrangements for me, for setting me up with a van to travel in and for letting me use the Yamaha YZ250Fs and YZ450F to train until the 2016 Canadian pro motocross season begins. I promise to make good use of the time and the equipment while I’m away. Let the off-season training begin! I’ll let you know how it’s going.