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Building a dirt bike track

My kids never wanted a dirt bike. The only high-speed items they desired were computers and the Internet! But there are a lot of folks who build tracks on their land for playing in the dirt.

John Steiner is the owner of a company that builds dirt bike tracks, and says motocross is the most popular style for acreages. Plan your design by first observing the lay of the land.

"You want to use the natural contour and elevation to provide all your obstacles, unlike other tracks that are all man-made," Steiner says. "So, the more contour you have on the property and the more elevation changes, the better your track is going to be."

The soil should be clay-based and well packed so it doesn't erode away. If the dirt is soft and loamy, you'll spend more time grooming the track than having fun on it. Another thing to consider is drainage. Low-lying areas will get swamped when there's a lot of rain. The track should angle slightly to the side to let the water run off.

Big or small

The size of the track is completely up to you.

"We've built them within a 100-foot by 200-foot area, and that basically gives you a horseshoe-style layout, and then we can go as big as they want on however many acres," Steiner says. "The average private motocross track that we build is usually on four to five acres."

Don't put jumps near rocks or trees, and line the soft berms of the track with old tires, hay bales, or mattresses.

Steiner says the average multi-acre track will take about a week to build, and cost about $10,000 including dirt work, fuel and equipment. Before you go to all the work -- and expense -- make sure it's cool with the neighbors and there aren't any covenants or laws in your area that will bring your dirt bikes to a screeching halt.

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