Run what you brung at Gimli

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:14 AM ET

Back in the early 1990s, when Myron Groening was spending more money on speeding tickets than on insurance, he knew it was time to get his sport motorcycle off the road.

So he took it to Gimli Motorsports Park, where he has been racing to his heart's content -- without the presence of the police -- for nearly two decades.

"One of my reasons was a multitude of speeding tickets and things like that," the Winnipegger said. "My last one, just before I came to the race track, I had five cop cars behind me. They wanted to lock me up forever."

Take it for a spin

Groening avoided the grey bar hotel and instead joined the Manitoba Roadracing Association. The club spends five weekends a summer at the Gimli track, where they race recreationally on Saturdays and competitively on Sundays.

The club's second outing of the year is taking place this weekend, and anyone interested in racing their sport bikes, or simply taking it for a spin, is invited to come out today and check it out. The action begins at 9:15 a.m. and goes until 4:30 p.m.

Groening would be a good guy to talk to if you make your way to the track, which is located two kilometres west of Gimli. The 38-year-old has won either "12 of the last 13 or 13 of the last 14" MRA season titles.

Groening, who raced professionally across North America for five years in the mid-1990s, is already well on his way to winning another MRA title this year. However, he is more focused on growing the club than trying to finish first all the time.

"It's all about fun," Groening said. "It's about people getting along and having a good time. That's really what it's all about.

"... We're really open to new riders. Basically for what it costs to insure a motorcycle, you can race a full season here."

Bikes don't have to be insured, but there is a $100 fee to hit the track.

"That gets them a whole day on the track with just their normal motorcycle," Groening said. "You don't have to prepare anything."

Bikes reach top speeds of 225 km/h, but Groening said there hasn't been a fatality at the track in 40 years of motorcycle racing. An ambulance is present whenever a bike is on the track, and there are officials all over the place.

"If parents are reading this, it's definitely a place where there is supervision," Groening said. "You're just not allowed to be silly."

For more information, visit the MRA's website at mrasuperbike.ca.


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