Best practices for building a track to avoid rain outs?

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6/20/2018 1:49 PM

I know a lot of track owners are on here. We've got another tropical depression in South Texas today, and races and practice days are being cancelled already for the weekend. I often thought there must be a better way, in particular it seems the low spots or creeks just screw things up so badly that the tracks take so much time and effort to repair, and you mostly have to wait for them to dry before you can begin rebuilding. Seeing how almost all tracks are built around elevation changes, this problem is commonplace. The expense of bridge building seems to rule that out for most, but what about digging out the creeks so they flow and or jumping over them? Metal culverts and concrete drains seem to just fill with mud and become useless. What have long time track builders used to prevent the revenue loss of this problem?

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

6/20/2018 1:54 PM

I know for a fact here in Indiana if you even attempt to touch a creek the DNR gets REAL shitty with you, my grandpa lives here on the wildcat creek and every rain it floods and it keeps eatin away at the 40 foot cliff next to the house and won't let him smooth it over so to prevent it from receding more, they say "you need a special college degree and special permits for this stuff".

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2009 RMZ 250 (sold)
2004 LTZ 400
#nukethequads

6/20/2018 2:17 PM

The only cure for rain ruts is on going maintenance

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6/20/2018 2:39 PM

kkawboy14 wrote:

The only cure for rain ruts is on going maintenance

It's rain-outs not rain ruts.

Sadly in Texas there is no amount of prep that can prevent a rain out. People from northern parts of the country and midwest will argue until they are blue in the face, that where they are from they get two inches of rain in the morning and it's perfect. The weather in Texas is too sporadic and especially in west Texas the ground is not used to the moisture so it takes way longer to soak in.

We got rained out this past Saturday night with only about an inch and a half of rain. Thankfully with 100 plus degree heat we were finally able to get the track ready for tonight's practice. Parts of the parking lot are still under water though.

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6/20/2018 3:15 PM

Most tracks seem to be their own worst enemy with constant turning the dirt deep causing it to hold more moisture longer, great for race prep and bad for heavy rain. The deeper the track gets, and the edges stay tall, the water flows into the track, you often see whoops made by digging them out in between creating a water pond when it rains. Austin Del Vale seems to have gone with the concept of building the track up on a 2-3 ft pedestal, they took dirt around the track and pushed it onto the track surface, raising it and likely making it not hold water as much. It seemed like a good technique. I've of course heard of rolling the track to seal it before a rain. My biggest concern is the worst problem areas which are always where the water runs to and flows. It seems like digging them out and jumping over would be a pretty good solution for cheap and it adds jumps. Anyone tried it?

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

6/20/2018 8:35 PM

Mike Kidd has had terrible luck with rain outs for some of the scramble cross races, its a great series and lots of entries and interest but some bad luck with weather the last few years.

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Ed Johnson

6/20/2018 9:11 PM

well we just started working on this. we have an outdoor stadium track, riding park now going into our 3rd full season.




http://www.megatraxs.com/

once we get this 240, 000 sq ft place set up we hope to have racing and other activities. just takes time.


[img]https://p.vitalmx.com/photos/forums/2018/06/20/269540/s1200_IMG_0902.jpg]

but we still rain out right now until we are ready inside.

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6/20/2018 11:02 PM

There are several things that can help.

1. If it's going to rain, don't rip the track, if you have a wheel loader or skip loader roll the track in so the water runs off. You can also track them in with the dozer. Ripping the track is the worst thing you can do.

2. Before the rain gets there, go and make cuts with the dozer to allow water to drain out of berms and low spots. Direct the water to where you want it to run by cutting V ditches. If you have hills that shed water towards your track create drainage ditches that keep the water from flooding the track, and use 12"-24" pipe to cross under the track where needed. If possible put a metal grate on it to avoid rocks entering, mud will wash through with a fire hose, but rocks will clog the drains.

3. Never allow your track lanes to get below the grade of your infield or water truck lanes. If areas of your track flood, drain the water before you put equipment on it.

4. If at all possible when you know it's going to rain let the track dry out before hand. Most Motocross tracks, especially the tracks in Southern California that are watered and prepped daily are already saturated and when they get any real rain are put out of commission because the ground can't take anymore water.

5. If you have technical sections that can flood, you can always tarp it, I bought Visqueen to tarp our Supercross track one winter, so when it rained we were able to be open the next day, and it allowed us to earn money when every other track in Southern California were rained out.

6. Have good dirt. Sandy soil will drain water quicker than clay and can be easier to work with while muddy.

Using these techniques we were always the first tracks open after a rain storm. We had 5 days straight of rain in 2010 and were open 4 hours after the last drop of rain fell. With amazing track conditions.

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6/21/2018 5:15 AM

Great feedback Kirk, I'm sure many could benefit from this information, Thanks!

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

6/21/2018 6:25 AM

Kirk nailed it....

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6/21/2018 6:28 AM

kkawboy14 wrote:

The only cure for rain ruts is on going maintenance

aroark247 wrote:

It's rain-outs not rain ruts.

Sadly in Texas there is no amount of prep that can prevent a rain out. People from northern parts of the country and midwest will argue until they are blue in the face, that where they are from they get two inches of rain in the morning and it's perfect. The weather in Texas is too sporadic and especially in west Texas the ground is not used to the moisture so it takes way longer to soak in.

We got rained out this past Saturday night with only about an inch and a half of rain. Thankfully with 100 plus degree heat we were finally able to get the track ready for tonight's practice. Parts of the parking lot are still under water though.

Ahhh.....lots of sand!

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6/21/2018 6:37 AM

Tracks here in ohio will pack the dirt or “seal” it somehow and rip it on practice day morning. Idk how well that works because they usually cancel practice anyways

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6/21/2018 6:40 AM

I always thought old flatbed trailers, sans axels, placed 3 wide would make a perfect lane over a small ditch, creek.

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6/21/2018 7:11 AM

kb228 wrote:

Tracks here in ohio will pack the dirt or “seal” it somehow and rip it on practice day morning. Idk how well that works because they usually cancel practice anyways

This technique works well, problem is most tracks have not been built up like mentioned earlier so the track sits lower then surrounding areas so you get standing water. Most tracks around us just don't take the time to build track up and part of the reason is they don't own their own large dozer to do it and when they do borrow or rent one they have limit time and therefore just focus on refacing or building up jumps and berms.

Build the track surface up so its higher then all surrounding ground and try to make the middle of the track higher then the edges so water can run from center of track, to edge and then to off track area. Look at how roads are built.

Its really common sense. Water runs to low spots, so if track is low (which it naturally gets due to ripping it and bikes riding on it) it will hold water.

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2018 crf450r
2015 Ninja 1000

6/21/2018 7:49 AM

kb228 wrote:

Tracks here in ohio will pack the dirt or “seal” it somehow and rip it on practice day morning. Idk how well that works because they usually cancel practice anyways

Is there a possibility they cancel because of an expected poor turnout and it makes more sense to not spend hours repairing damage even a few bikes can do to a wet track and revenue will not even cover fuel?

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6/21/2018 7:52 AM

kb228 wrote:

Tracks here in ohio will pack the dirt or “seal” it somehow and rip it on practice day morning. Idk how well that works because they usually cancel practice anyways

It would be nice if it would stop raining for 2 days

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6/21/2018 7:53 AM

JustMX wrote:

Is there a possibility they cancel because of an expected poor turnout and it makes more sense to not spend hours repairing damage even a few bikes can do to a wet track and revenue will not even cover fuel?

Yes this is the reason for cancellations a lot of the time. Most people have no idea how much work really goes into a track.

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2018 crf450r
2015 Ninja 1000

6/21/2018 8:11 AM

kb228 wrote:

Tracks here in ohio will pack the dirt or “seal” it somehow and rip it on practice day morning. Idk how well that works because they usually cancel practice anyways

JustMX wrote:

Is there a possibility they cancel because of an expected poor turnout and it makes more sense to not spend hours repairing damage even a few bikes can do to a wet track and revenue will not even cover fuel?

Maybe some. Ive seen them open for 10 people on. 40deg wet days in december before so im not sure lol

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6/21/2018 10:47 AM

https://instagram.com/p/BkAnrvkhGEY/

Rain or Shine is the only way to have a successful track!
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6/21/2018 11:05 AM

Excavate existing clay with 10' cut. Stack some of this around the outline of raceway. Add drainage pipes around track then backfill entire area with sand. Use some of the old clay to form jump foundations or just go natural sand all the way.

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Ride like a girl!!!
2016 KTM 500 EXC-F
Current project: 2007 Kawasaki KX250-R7 retro build
Current project #2: 1987 Kawasaki KX250-E1 rider/racer resto
1989 KX125 resto
1987 RM250 resto

6/21/2018 1:44 PM

I stumbled across the below video, after reading this thread this morning, of Blake Baggett giving an update on his El Chucabra Ranch. At the very beggining he addresses in some level of detail how he was able to design and build his track in such a way to stay dry while others in the area are rained out.

Anyways, thought I’d share since it seemed to be right on topic:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IYsVQ5xHJvg

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6/21/2018 2:36 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/21/2018 2:36 PM

HusqFan3 wrote:

I stumbled across the below video, after reading this thread this morning, of Blake Baggett giving an update on his El Chucabra Ranch. At the very beggining he addresses in some level of detail how he was able to design and build his track in such a way to stay dry while others in the area are rained out.

Anyways, thought I’d share since it seemed to be right on topic:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IYsVQ5xHJvg

Thanks for posting, good stuff. His track was custom built and he started with 2 ft. of sand then 2 ft. of clay and then built the track on top. Good plan, and something like this could be applied to portions of many tracks. Dirt, Dirt, and more Dirt. The life of a dirt farmer.

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

6/21/2018 7:52 PM

The two major things that track builders stuff-up with are: not looking at the weather forecast leading up to the weekend (our local dipsticks water in the days before rain hits) and understanding gravity (where is the water going to run).

I have built & maintained about 10 tracks in the last 45 years and have my own track that never gets rained-out, I only have a tractor to prepare it and do all the work by myself.

I built a track for a ride-park back in 1980, we kept the track surface about 18" higher than the surrounding landscape, after many days of constant rain the whole property was under water except the track, it was the island in the lake.

It's not rocket science, very hard to complain to volunteers.

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Melbourne, Australia. Current rides: '11 RMZ450, '84 CR500, '06 DRZ400, '79 KX250 with 400 engine, '06 GSXR1000 full Yosh racebike.