Fan Ridge MX Track is a haven for the two-wheeled near Waukon. Photo courtesy if Allison Dickson.
By Kate Klimesh,
When Dale Fletcher of Allamakee County moved in 2005 to his acreage on Fan Road, just a few miles east of Waukon, he already knew he loved the area. “We’d come up from Des Moines on weekends and just loved it. There is just no comparison to living here,” Fletcher noted.
As a life-long avid motocross rider, he always wanted a dirt track at his home. The 3.49 acres his home sat on provided him with a blank canvas so to speak, and he spent the next few years working to make it into a fun course. “We’ve worked on this track since we moved in, and it’s changed a bit over the years because we’re always trying to make it better. It’s come a long way in my time.”
And he’s been grateful for the help from neighbors and friends in building and rebuilding the track, which features a 40-foot height difference from highest to lowest, with one jump that’s 95 feet long. “Everything at Fan Ridge is done with donation or volunteer help. We’ve either borrowed equipment or had it donated by other motocross fans.”
They have been eager to help build the best track possible because Fletcher opened the track for public use back in 2010, which means it’s for anyone looking to get on a track with their dirt bikes. The track only goes in one direction and participants must sign a liability waiver before using the track. And it’s open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to dark.
“We get about 400 riders each year that use the track, with some that have been coming for years. But we’ve had people from all over stop in to spend some time at the track because they love the sport.” Carson Johanningmeier is one of the riders that has frequented Fan Ridge MX for several years and became so good at the sport he qualified for the Lorretta Lynn National Amateur Motocross competition twice.
Fletcher elaborated, “This is a great sport for families, because parents have to be directly supervising their children and teaching them the basics on the bike, they get to spend a lot of time together. The loose dirt is much softer than falling on concrete, that’s for sure. And it’s not like the parents have to know everything about motocross. In this sport, everyone helps everyone else, so there’s always people to answer questions, or help with the bikes.”
Fletcher recalled he used to help Johanningmeier’s mom get the dirt bike out of the van when they first started coming to the track. “The main reason I do it is for the kids, but the track is still challenging for the big riders. It’s just the most genuine community of people, an excellent family-friendly environment.”
Check out the Fan Ridge MX Facebook page for more details or find videos from the track “Two Wheel Tuesday-HD” on YouTube.
Remember, the track is always evolving, so stop out and watch the dust fly.