Calgary riders learn from the best at motorbike racing camp in Florida
CALGARY -- At just 11-years-old, Dexter Falkenberg and Philip Degama-Blanchet already have two years of racing motorbikes under their belts.
They’re members of the Alberta Mini Road Racing Association. It’s a non-profit amateur racing organization that provides an introduction to the sport of motorcycle road racing to riders of all ages, genders and abilities in a controlled environment.
“The mission of the club really is to provide safe, fun, affordable family racing, that’s what we do,” said association president Nic Blanchet.
The club has several classes to fit the needs and skills of riders. Starting with 50cc bikes for beginners and the youth class (ages six to nine), expanding up to larger displacement bikes for more experienced racers.
The challenge for Dexter and Phillip is the season is only half as long as what racers their age have in warmer climates.
So in 2019 Dexter and his dad David Falkenberg, attended the South Florida Mini GP Riders Camp where the youngster learned skills and techniques that will help him be faster on the track.
“One of Dexter’s coaches last year was Brandon Paasch, he was the British super bike champion this year so they’re not messing around, it’s pretty serious,” said David.
The pair was then joined last week by Nic and Philip for this year’s three-day development camp, with about 45 riders signed up.
Philip knew he would be up against some skilled riders.
“Here I’d be championship-winning speed, but there I’m kind of mid-field, so the level is really high," he said.
Over the three days, the boys were put through all kinds of drills while their fathers watched.
Nic used to race at Calgary’s Race City Speedway and enjoyed watching Philip’s coaches.
“Philip would come into the corner and he would go, 'drop-go, drop-go' and you could see Philip dropping his head and hitting the gas and suddenly it clicked and off he went and I thought, 'wow, this is so good' and the boys were just bubbling."
The boys and their fathers said they learned a lot at the development camp and can’t wait to show their racing friends what they learned come spring.
“It was very benefiting to go twice because I didn’t remember some of the stuff from last year and now I can incorporate it back into my riding this year,” said Dexter.
Learn more about the Alberta Mini Road Racing Association online.