Thanks to modern technology, local motocross riders will now know immediately after a race what their strong and weak moments were and that could help them improve for their next race.
For the first time, the riders competing on the 2010 Peace Motocross Association's circuit will be wearing transponders. The gadgets will allow them to review important statistics that will offer them clues to why they won or lost.
"We are going to the new transponder scoring system, which is an electronic scoring system," said PMA president Aaron Hommy.
"After the race, the results print out and they have the ability to get their fastest lap, average lap and placing. So the results are instant and they don't have to wait.
"It will benefit the riders and give them all kinds of information like lap times and placings and reduces the need for volunteer help."In the past, the results were tallied manually and that made it tough on the stats-gathering volunteers and nerve-racking for the riders as they waited to confirm their statistics.
Other sports also use the transponder system. For example, marathoners and triathletes wear a similar sort of transponder that, in some of the high level races, give spectators on the web real time results for each leg of the race.
The system was in place Sunday when the 10-race PMA season opened Sunday at the Grande Prairie track.
The circuit moves to Taylor May 9, Fort St. John June 6, Dawson Creek June 20, Beaverlodge June 27,Taylor July 11, Worsley July 25 and Aug. 15, Chetwynd Aug. 29 and wraps up in Beaverlodge Sept. 12.
"In the past, there has been two (races at each venue), but now we are up to seven clubs and 14 races is just too many. Having just one race lets you put on a better race rather than putting on two mediocre ones."
There are between 200 and 250 entries and two motos in each class at each meet. The points a rider picks up at each race accumulate for the overall season standings.
Many of the area's riders had an earlier-than-normal start to the pre-season as the dry weather allowed them to get on the tracks sooner.
But while the 25C temperatures that the Peace Country enjoyed a couple of weeks ago helped melt any remaining snow, it also dried some of the tracks.
While the layman may believe a dry track is better than a wet one, a dusty, bone-dry track can cause its problems,
"It is just as dangerous because of the dust. A lot of people would almost rather ride in a muddy track rather than a dusty track when you can't see anything," pointed out Hommy, adding that last week's rain will help keep the dust down on the local tracks.