So last Saturday the LA Weekend Riders had our very own Jimmy Lewis class and it was great.
I'm pretty new to dirt biking, getting my first dirt bike late in 2007 but not being able to ride it until early 2008. Not too long after, I went to a barbecue at Irv Seaver BMW where Jimmy Lewis was giving a demonstration in the parking lot. He was promoting his off road riding school. I never followed motocross and had no idea who Jimmy Lewis was. However, the demonstration, which he did in a tiny little area of the parking lot with one little dirt mound, was so impressive that I immediately subscribed to his mailing list then went home and found out quite a bit about him.
Photos by Edelwys
For those of you that don't know, here are a few of Jimmy's accomplishments:
• Four times AMA National Hare & Hound winner; Three times AMA National Reliability winner
• 1989-1992: 4 gold medals in the International Six Day Enduro
• 1991: AMA Amateur of the Year
• 1992: ISDE Junior World Champion
• 1993: 2nd in Baja 1000 Rally
• 1997: 4th in Paris-Dakar Rally
• 1998: 1st in Baja 1000 Rally
• 2000: 3rd in Paris-Dakar Cairo Rally / 1st in Dubai Rally
• 2004: Piloted the BMW HP2 to a finish in the Baja 1000.
• 2005: 3rd place in Baja 1000 Pro class.
• 2005: 7th place in the Red Bull Last Man Standing challenge.
• 2005: 1st place Industry class at several GNCC races.
• 2006-Present: Retired from Racing / Running his own Off-Road Riding School while working as the full time editor of Dirt Rider Magazine
I was excited and ready to take one of Jimmy's classes. But I never got any mailings and never saw any classes listed on his website. A year after the first barbecue, I heard Jimmy Lewis was going to be there again so I went back. Again, pretty much the same demonstration and again I was really impressed, even after my skills had improved quite a bit in the preceding year. So I asked about the lack of classes and mailings and the response was completely understandable because it's the same reason so many of us can't get out and ride that much. They were just to busy with their everyday lives and jobs. Jimmy is the editor of Dirt Rider Magazine and his wife Heather who helps teach the class is a forensic scientist at the OC Coroner's office. They told me that due to a computer issue, they had lost all their old email addresses and that they were serious about starting up their classes again. They even had a class scheduled for the next day, Easter, as well as two others in the near future. I subscribed again to the mailing list and expressed my strong interest in one of their upcoming classes.
Photo by Edelwys
I ended up attending the May 15-16 class in Keyesville along with my friends Riddler990 and h8chains. Six others attended the class as well and we all had a great time, learning lots of great stuff. On top of that, the weather was perfect and the environment was unbelievably beautiful. It was a perfect weekend for me. I had a couple of A-ha moments that improved my riding tremendously.
Click image for Keyesville slideshow.
During the class Jimmy told us that we could have our own class if we could guarantee at least six riders would come. Being the slow learners that we are, Joel (h8chains) and I started working on that soon after the class was over. We had a great core of interested riders that were in the whole time. We had a couple of riders that unfortunately couldn't make it due to date conflicts. We also had a few riders that couldn't make it for other reasons. In the end, we had 11 riders show up for the class that we had last Saturday. Five of us were repeat customers from the May class. We liked it enough to pay to take it again. None of us were disappointed.