A-class quad rider Tony Federico of El Paso has been working steadily on the course at FMX la Frontera Motocross Park. A local resident and rider, Tony has long-term experience with the dirt and weather conditions of the El Paso area, and his expertise is evident in the greatly improved track conditions.
One of the most frequently mentioned issues at tracks in the southwest is “hardpack,” a condition that occurs when wet caliche soil is compressed. The term sounds a bit like it might be just tightly-bound earth, but in fact hardpack strongly resembles cement. When dry, it is difficult to break up hardpack even with a sledge hammer, but when it has been watered, it turns to soft ooze. These appearance extremes can fool the novice into believing that the hardpack problem has been “solved,” but the experienced individual knows that this is just one of the several faces of hardpack. Another often hides under the pools of water that form when the hardpack is under the soil surface. The water in these pools cannot percolate down because the hardpack interferes with its passage. As the video shows, much of the hardpack has been eliminated from the course.
Tony has also repaired jump faces, landings, table tops and turns, changing angles, adding soil, extending and shortening where necessary, and smoothing breaker bumps and tilling through long-standing lines. The course continues to be changed up as long-neglected equipment is refurbished and brought into service. The availability of the equipment means that the course is watered frequently, and that soil is tilled and reconfigured.
Many riders have commented on the excellence of the new improvements. These changes also make the course safer, and more accessible to younger and beginning riders. With the increasing course stability, dialogues have begun with parents about options for peewee a course, and plans are currently being made for the introduction of the tabletop for the beginning freestyle camp to be taught by Steven Wagner June 6-13th.
Both Tony and Steve will be at FMX la Frontera this week-end, and parents are riders are encouraged to talk with them and share their ideas and needs.