Can’t believe it has been seven years since Jimmy Mac On Two Wheels attended a Carlsbad MX Reunion. Man, what was I thinking? The annual gathering at the Vista, California, Booze Brothers Brewing Company (that is a stone’s throw from the sacred ground of the former Carlsbad Raceway) is not an event that any self-respecting former motocross racer should ever miss. This year’s gathering drove that point home.
First, Gerrit Wolsink, the 5-time winner of the Carlsbad USGP, made the trip from the Netherlands to attend the event. Event promoters Scott and Debbie Burnworth and JT Racing’s founders John and Rita Gregory (both close friends of Mr. Wolsink) arranged transportation and lodging for the legend (and I do not use that term lightly).
Second, Larry and son Jeff Grismer who ran Carlsbad Raceway were in the house. Both men are tough characters but they had to be to keep the track open from 1964 until 2004. Larry was proud of the big events but gave props to all of us “normal” riders who showed up every weekend and kept the place alive.
Third, Stu Peters who with his partner, the late Calvin Franks, ran the CMC motocross events that attracted the huge number of amateur motocross racers who were the lifeblood of the raceway.
Fourth, and most important, in attendance were hundreds of former racers, from world-ranked professionals to So-Cal amateurs, who all have fond memories of the track where hard lessons were learned and lifelong friendships were formed.
Don’t want to sound like an old dude, but brothers and sisters, we only have so much time left. Missing another Carlsbad MX Reunion is no longer an option. If you ever set a knobby on the Carlsbad Raceway starting gate, you owe it to yourself to be at the 2024 reunion.