Racing on a sheet of ice

The Alberta Endurance Ice Racing Association’s 2013 series is underway

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Two guys on dirt bikes racing.

With the Alberta Endurance Ice Racing series around, there’s no reason dirt bike and ATV enthusiasts have to put their machines away for the winter. — Taren Krisher photo

Six hours of full-throttle racing on a sheet of ice—think you can handle it? Why not try it out and see. The 2013 season for the Alberta Endurance Ice Racing Association (AEIRA) is in full swing, and Cory Laird,  vice-president of the AEIRA, said that new members are always welcome to join the series.

Started in the year 2000, the AEIRA ice racing series consists of five six-hour races and a 24-hour race called the Numb Bum. The series runs from late January to early March, and the majority of the races take place in the north central region of Alberta. The first race of the 2013 season was held at Telford Lake, which is near Leduc, and the last race of the season happens in Fairview on March 2.

Choose your class

The series attracts dirt bike enthusiasts as well as ATVers, and the AEIRA has separate classes for each of them. There are no engine-size restrictions in the quad classes but there are under and over cc restrictions for the dirt bike classes.

In order to compete, racers must have studded tires on their bike or quad and they must hold a valid Canadian Motosport Racing Corporation (CMRC) licence. A kill switch, hand guards and nerf bars are other requirements for racing in the AEIRA series. Information on how to convert a quad or dirt bike for ice racing can be found in the forum section of the Outlaw ATV Club’s website.

“We really try to make it easy for new riders to come and join our sport,” said Laird, and he later added, “It’s competitive racing, but at the same time, we are really just out there to have a fun time and make it appealing for racers of all experience levels.”

A unique opportunity

Laird competes in the Quad Pro Open Class on the AEIRA series with his teammate Taren Krisher. Laird joined the series in 2004. He raced with his family for a couple of years before forming his own team, #91 Numb Skulls. Laird enjoys the excitement of racing and the camaraderie of the sport.

“The friendly atmosphere we have between all the teams makes it enjoyable, yet it’s still competitive,” he said. “(Ice racing) is a unique sport—not many people can say they have been part of driving a quad or a dirt bike for 24 hours on a lake.”

For more information on how you can join the series, see the AEIRA’s website

Rider at-a-glance

Name: Cory Laird
Age: 24
Lives in: Sturgeon County, Alberta
Racing since: 2004
Team: #91 Numb Skulls
Sponsored by: Riverside Yamaha, Parts Canada, Racers Edge AZ, Elka Suspension, Sturgeon Valley Fertilizers and Southgate Buick GMC
Rides: 2007 Yamaha Raptor 700 SE
Most memorable race: 2006 Numb Bum 24—being able to race with my dad, uncle and cousin.

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