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MSF Dirt Bike School Offers Lessons For The Whole Family

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(credit: CBS) Kim Johnson
Kim Johnson joined the WCCO-TV team in May 2014. You can find h...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – For those that are looking to get their family outside more, and are looking for a new hobby, look no further than dirt biking.

Dirt biking is becoming increasingly popular as a family activity.

There’s even a school that teaches people, including kids, how to do it safely and responsibly.

To enroll in dirt biking school, no experience is necessary.

You start with the basics, like controlling the clutch and the throttle.

“You’ll start a class not knowing how to do anything and then you’ll end riding over obstacles, such as a railroad tie, and doing figure eights,” Tom Umphress, MSF Dirt Bike School coach, said.

You need gear, but it doesn’t have to be fancy.

“A lot of people will use a street bike helmet or a snowmobiling helmet,” Umphress said.

Any old long sleeve t-shirt, jeans and hiking boots will do.

“Gloves don’t have to be motorcycle gloves or dirt biking gloves, they can be garden gloves,” he said.

Of course you can wear more armor for extra protection.

And while there may be a need for some protection, the activity is still very family friendly.

“This is actually one of the most family oriented sports I’ve actually ever seen,” Umphress said. “It’s amazing how many teenage sons and daughters you see hanging around with their parents at these events.”

Eleven-year-old Hunter has been riding since he was four.

“It’s just fun to ride the dirt bikes and how you have to have good balance. Stuff like that,” Hunter said.

After learning the controls, it may take a few tries, but eventually you’ll get it revved up.

The clutch can be trickier than getting it started, but a little patience and determination is all you need.

And, it turns out, in just one class you really can get up on two wheels.

“She didn’t believe me but we can get anybody who hasn’t ridden before and get ‘em on a bike,” Umphress said.

And if you’re lucky, you can even impress the pros.

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