Every bike fan has heard of Connor Mountain. If you ride, you’ve probably gone there. If you haven’t, it’s time to make the trip. One of the best motocross tracks in the country, Connor Mountain is located in the northern part of the state of Georgia. The track, which was built in the 1970s, is named after famed motorcycle racer and motocross champion, Connor “Bubba” Mountain. Since its inception, the track has attracted some of the top names in motorcycling, including Mike Berry, Tommy Kendall, and Ricky Romero. To this day, it remains one of the top ten tracks in the country. Riders from all over the world make the trek to this part of the country to race on the one of the best tracks in the world. If you want to know how good this track is, and how good you’ll feel while racing there, continue reading.
The History Of The Track
Before we get into the good stuff, let’s take a trip back in time to revisit some of the history of the track. Connor Mountain was originally built as a dirt oval in the early 1970s. It wasn’t until 1981 that the first concrete surface was laid down. Over the next few years, a number of short-lived names would be used to reference the track, until 1984, when it was officially known as Turner Forest Speedway. In 1987, the governing body for motorsports in America, the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), would effectively ban all motorcycles from racing on ovals. This decision was made to reduce the number of serious injuries and deaths that occur every year on dirt tracks just like Turner Forest. Due to this change, the name of the track was officially changed to Connor Mountain in 1989. In 2008, the name of the track was changed again, to its current state, Connor Mountain Speedway, to match the name of the facility that owns and operates the track.
Since the name change, the track has received a number of upgrades that have improved the overall condition and feel of the track. In 2015, the owner of the facility, Jerry Sands, stated that he would like to see the track get a facelift. He plans on spending around ten thousand dollars on some renovations, which include new lighting, fencing, and refreshment stations. Jerry said that the track is in good condition, considering its age. He added that the only thing missing is “a little bit of money, to make it look modern and be up-to-date.”
The track is still operated by the same family, which owns and operates a nearby hotel. The Sands family has been involved with motorsport for quite some time, with Jerry’s brother, Bill, running the track since 1995. The track now boasts an overall rating of 7.5 on the 10-point scale, which gives it a rating of ‘good’ on the condition scale. One of the highlights of the track is the grandstands. They’re still among the best in the country, and have stood the test of time. If you ever get a chance to go to a race there, you won’t want to miss it.
The Layout Of The Track
The layout of the track is another important factor in considering its overall condition. The track is a very flat, technical course. There are a few elevation changes, but nothing major. It doesn’t get much more basic than a mile of dirt road, connecting four huge, smooth, back-to-back curves. The curves are designed to allow maximum air exposure and driving speed.
Each of the four curves is a right hander. The first one is a very short, but gradual ascent, followed by a fairly flat section, leading to another, longer, and slightly steeper ascent. You’ll want to practice taking those curves, as there is no obvious point in racing here, other than having some fun. This part of the track can be very dangerous, as cars are prone to sliding on the dirt and getting bogged down, especially in the wet. Because of the risk of sliding, it’s not a good idea to drive here, if it’s wet or snowing outside. If it is, you might as well find somewhere else to go, as there’s nowhere for cars to slide to, on this part of the track.
There are a lot more things to consider, when it comes to comparing this track to others. One important factor is the surroundings. Did you know that the track is surrounded by a state forest, which is part of the Oak Ridge National Park? The forest is a popular place for bikers and runners to workout and socialize. It has trails that connect to the road leading to the track, making it easy for people to get there. If it’s nice out, it might be a good idea to bring your bike, and enjoy the scenery, on your way to the track. The track has a cafe, located at the entrance, where you can get a cold beverage and some food. If it’s just before a race, and you’re looking for a place to eat, the cafe has an excellent, reasonably priced, and widely varied menu, which you can find online, or at the cafe itself, should you arrive early enough. The track is close to two towns, Jasper, and Athens, both of which have excellent restaurants, making this an option for those, as well as bikers, looking for a quick bite to eat before a race.
Another important factor to consider is the amenities. Does the track have amenities, such as showers, bathrooms, and camping? If so, how good are they? How about water, does it have drinkable water, or do you have to bring your own bottle? Does the track have a kitchen, so you can prepare your own food? Does it have a place to store your bike, so you don’t have to keep parking it outside, or risk damaging the finish? These are all important questions, that you need to ask yourself, before booking your trip to the track. If you have kids with you, or are planning on bringing kids down, you might want to consider some of the other, safer, options, in case there’s an accident. The track does not have any of the amenities mentioned above. However, it does have a fully stocked paddock, where you can park your car or bike. There’s also a port-a-potty located at the entrance, should you need it. One of the safety measures the track has implemented is chicanes, on the backstretch. These are basically speed bumps, designed to add some variety to your afternoon of racing.
Did you know, that depending on the time of year, and where you are in the country, the weather can vary greatly? We’re not just talking about extremes either. It really is amazing how many different weather conditions you can experience, within a short drive of one place. The track is located in the North Georgia, which is part of the ‘Pine Season’. During this time, you’ll experience cooler temperatures, but not unbearable, as there is usually some fresh breeze, flowing through the trees. The track can be quite slippery, during winter months, due to frozen ground and abundant tree roots. This is the time of year, when skiers and snowboarders come from around the world, to shred the powder at this location. If you go during this time, you will experience blizzards, snowstorms, ice, and freezing rain, on top of the cooler temperatures. So, be prepared for anything, when it comes to the weather.
What Makes This Track So Special?
So, what makes this track so special? It’s quite simple, actually. This track is special, because it is one of the best motorsport facilities in the country. As we’ve established, this isn’t just some average, backyard, or wooded, dirt track. This is a full-blown Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) accredited track, located in Georgia, where bikers from all over the world come to race. The majority of these bikes are very high-performance, with some being ‘street legal’. The track is also a hub for motorsport in the area, with riders like Tommy Kendall, Mike Berry, and Ricky Roman, all holding the distinction of having won a race there. This makes it quite an important location, for those looking to make a name for themselves in the sport. The list of professional riders, who have raced there, is quite impressive as well. This makes it easy for someone to get a feel for the track, and decide, whether or not to come here, to race.