SUMMER COMES TO REM GLEN HELEN: GIANT PHOTO SPECIAL OF A HOT JANUARY DAY

If your wife lets you, when you turn 50 years old,  you can be one of the Over-50 riders on the starting line at REM. Photo: Rich Stuelke

PHOTOS BY RICH STUELKE, DAN ALAMANGOS, JON ORTNER & JODY WEISEL

You don’t expect a string of 85-degrees days in the middle of January, when SoCal should be shivering under it’s normal 70-degree winter chill. But, that exactly what happened this past weekend. It was beach weather on the West Coast, with solid five-foot surf and scantily clad people in crop tops (and that was just the men). The REM motocross racers didn’t break out their hurachi sandals and board shorts, instead they polished up their bikes and headed to Glen Helen. Which is where the MXA wrecking crew went to run our stable of 2021 450  motocross iron through another round of racing. And we were joined, by all the usual suspects, their names read like a history lesson of SoCal motocross, from 1960 dudes like Lars Larsson and Jody Weisel; to hotshot 125 Pros from the FMF and DG hey-days in the 1970s, like Dave Eropkin, Bob Rutten and Joe Root; to 1980 and 1990 AMA Pros like Jon Ortner,  Robert Reisinger, Luc DeLey, Billy Joe Mercier and Will Harper; And 2000 players like SeanCollierand Sean Lipanovich; to the next crop of riders hoping to race as long as the guys they are parked next to in the pits.

The Pro /Intermediate start. The concrete is clean, but in another second it will be covered with dirt. Photo: Jon Ortner

Here is a quick photographic journey of the day that Summer came to Glen Helen in the middle of winter. Enjoy

Kurt Nicoll (2) and Sean Collier (207) get this week’s “Greg Groom Creative Line Award.” Cutting the first turn was very common this weekend because the big tractor tire that normally marks the inside of the first turn was removed. Bad idea. Photo: Rich Stuelke

Second place in the 450 Pro class, Sean Lipanovich (505) crosses the second of two paved sections of this week’s REM racetrack. Photo: Dan Alamangos

Third place in the 450 Pro class went to Brian Medeiros (55). The MXA test rider raced a 2021 Honda CRF450 in the first moto and  2021 Kawasaki KX450 in the second moto. He went 4-2. Photo: Jon Ortner

Sean Collier went 1-1 to win the 450 Pro race on a track that favored throttle control over blazing speed. Photo: Jody Weisel

Billy Joe Mercier (501) raced his YZ250 two-stroke like it was toy—winning the Over-40 Expert class with ease. Photo: Dan Alamangos

Jon Ortner (10) chases Luther French in the Over-50 Elite class, but didn’t catch him in either moto. Photo Jody Weisel

As is always the story at REM, this steep downhill led to another steep downhill and a drop-off over the paved road. Dave Eropkin (811) leads with Robert Reisinger (96), Ed Guajardo (27), Will Harper (7) and Randy Skinner (53) in hot pursuit. Photo: Jody Weisel

Before AMA Hall of Famer Tom White died, he gave Mike Marion (8) his almost new Yamaha YZ250 two-stroke. Mike was so grateful that he turned it into a tribute bike in memory of Tom. It features 1974-style silver plastic and Tom’s #80 Grand National number. Photo: Jody Weisel

Somewhere under the rainbow! Ralf Schmidt blasts off of a sandy berm and aims to slip under the arc of the water ahead of him. Photo: Jody Weisel

1970s SoCal Pro Joe Root (8) won the Over-65 Intermediates. Photo: Jon Ortner

Bob Gilbert (427) and Luc De Ley (78) drag race a KTM 300SX and a Husqvarna FC250 out of a dry sandy corner. Gilbert spun his rear tire and DeLey beat him to the next corner. Photo: Jody Weisel

How do you get here? First, turn right at the spooky looking trees, then, turn right again at the white-painted concrete K-Rail and then turn left at the telephone pole. Photo: Jody Weisel

Bob Rutten was one of America’s famous desert racers in the 1970s, with lots of Baja 500 and Baja 1000 experience. Bob won the Over-65 Expert class. Photo: Jody Weisel

Speaking of Baja 1000 experience, four-time Baja 1000 winner Justin Jones showed up with wife Samantha and their new baby. Cute kid! Photo: Jon Ortner

Bryan Friday (43) gets hooked-up to try to gun down Bill Reimer (71). Friday went 1-2 in the Over-50 Experts, while Reimer went 3-3 in the Over-50 Intermediates. Photo: Jody Weisel


Ray Poltack (5), Dan Alamangos (57) and Nick Waters (H20) take three different lines up the same right-hand rise. Alamangos would go 5-6, Water 6-9 and Poltack 12-10 in the Over-50 Expert class. Photo: Rich Stuelke

Angel Montoya (142) swept both motos of the Over-60 Novice class. Photo: Jody Weisel

Owin Wright’s CRF450 refused to turn down this short steep drop, so Owen did it by himself. Photo: Jon Ortner

Owin gets his legs in very uncomfortable positions as he tumbles to the bottom of the hill. Photo: Jon Ortner

When he came to a stop, Owin laid motionless for a minute and then got up and kept racing. Photo: Jon Ortner

Jody Weisel two fingers the clutch as he gets ready to accelerate down this hill. Rodrigo Luna (146) stays one foot behind him. Photo Jon Ortner

Hollywood stuntman confab: Mic Rodgers (115) and Mark Donaldson (77) shoot the breeze on the starting line. Photo: Jon Ortner

X-Brand Goggles Richard Taylor came out to REM with girlfriend Bailey to test out his leg after knee surgery. Photo: Jon Ortner

STI Tires’ Craig Peterson sweeps through a series of downhill bends on his way to fifth in the Over-50 Intermediate class. Photo: Jody Weisel

A quiet moment on the starting line for Over-60 Expert winner Ed Guajardo. Photo: Jon Ortner

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