In a year filled with race cancellations, a professional Lake Country dirt bike rider made the most of a sudden opportunity.
Malcolm Hett typically competes in the Pacific Northwest Off-Road Racing Series, but with its entire events calendar wiped out by COVID-19, he hasn’t seen much action in 2020.
“At the end of last season I was racing in Arizona, and at the beginning of 2020 I was lucky enough to race in Washington once before the pandemic began and races started to get cancelled,” Hett said.
So when a one-off, 24-hour race was announced in B.C. on short notice, Hett didn’t hesitate to register — and having kept sharp during the lull in competitions, he was able to pull out a victory.
“My race plan was simple: race for the entire 24 hours at a reasonable pace, stopping only for fuel for my bike and body, no breaks.”
Hett said the field was tightly packed through the first eight hours, but the top racers began to separate themselves as the hours went on.
Twenty-four-hour races are often run in teams of six, Hett explained, with riders taking turns completing laps for their teams. Hett’s solo effort made his race a true feat of endurance, and his win all the more impressive.
“I had my stops for fuel and food roughly scheduled, and unlike the other racers I did all of my pit stops by myself as well. I filled my own gas, worked on my own bike when it required repairs and set up my quick meals. Doing everything solo, not just the riding, makes the sense of accomplishment that much greater, I was pretty excited to take the win!”
“We had some great battles in the first half of the race, but as fatigue set in for the others I was able to push forward and stretch my lead further, eventually building a safe gap between myself and second.”
Hett thanked Built To Ride Co. and Valley Moto Sport for their support, as well as the race organizers.
The event had strict rules for racers with no outside spectators due to the pandemic. All participants had temperatures taken multiple times, and pit stops were spaced out accordingly.
Hett says there are no other off-road races scheduled in the province for the rest of the year, but he’ll be ready to go once travel restrictions lift and the race calendar resumes.