With motorcycles going around the track at up to 60 miles per hour, speedway racing can be a very dangerous sport if participants are not well-trained. The bikes range from 50cc to 500cc motorcycles that run on methanol, have no brakes and no transmissions. As such, speedway training is compulsory for all participants, and such training is regulated by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme and local regulatory bodies.
Speedway racing is said to have originated in New South Wales, Australia, in 1923. Those seeking to learn the sport can attend training school at Gillman Speedway in South Australia. Training is provided for junior and senior amateur riders. Juniors are those under the age of 16 and they can participate in "Come and Try" events for free. Juniors who choose to continue in the sport will be sent to Sidewinders Juniors Speedway Club, which has been in operation since 1978. Seniors, ages 16 and older, can also receive training at the track even if it is their first time on a motorcycle. The Pinjar Park Motorcycle Speedway in Western Australia also provides training classes to amateurs of all ages and levels.
In 1928, the United Kingdom witnessed its first speedway competition and the sport has been a fixture ever since. Speedway amateurs attend training school at the Scunthorpe Speedway, which has a 302 foot long mini track and a main track that is approximately 935 feet long. The Newport Speedway in South Wales provides training sessions on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The King's Lynn Speedway offers training to individuals ages 16 and over. The speedway provides bikes, clothing and other equipment for £210 per person.
Speedway racing is popular across the United States and is regulated by the American Motorcyclist Association. Active tracks are found in California, Indiana and the state of New York. Amateurs in Indianapolis train at the Mid-America Speedway. Classes cost £13 for youth and £16 for adults. In addition to training fees, all students must also purchase a pit pass. The pit pass cost £6 for adults ages 12 and older and £3 for children between four and 11. Children age three and younger get a pass for free.
Amateur racers in Canada visit the Paris Speedway in Ontario for classes. The school provides both theory and practical classes. The classes cost about £46 for those without a bike and about £27 for those who own a bike. Participants must bring their own safety equipment, including gloves, goggles and knee and elbow pads for the daylong class. The Welland County Motorcycle Club also gives classes to all levels of amateurs for as little as £7.40.
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