Riders are happy as pigs in a mud pit at Manar Park
RIDERS entered the Manar Park mud pit like gladiators charging into battle.
The off-road four-wheel-drive and motorcycle park was transformed from dust to a mud bowl on Saturday morning after storms brought 40mm of rain.
The dusty tracks were cleaned up and the skid pan had turned from a dust bowl into a muddy bog.
Motocross and four-wheeler riders showed they weren't afraid of getting their machines dirty as they took turns barrelling into the pools of water in brightly-coloured race clothes, coming out the other side glistening in dark-coloured mud.
While the big kids played in the skid pan, the younger riders negotiated the giant puddles on the junior motocross tracks.
Mud, sweat and changing gears
LACHLAN Heath took his dirt bike through the wettest route possible when riding.
As he took a breather on the side of the track to watch his younger brother Jaxson ride, Lachlan said the mud made riding more fun.
"I forgot to put my goggles on and I hit a big puddle and the water went all into my face," he said.
"It was crazy.
"Yesterday the water was up to my knees."
On Saturday Lachlan had fallen off while trying to ride through a muddy patch but said he didn't get hurt because the mud was softer than falling on hard ground.
"I like the mud," he said.
Lachlan's mother Mandy said it was messy work but her boys couldn't get enough.
"He had his pants tucked in to his boots and he pulled his boots off and they were full of water," she said.
Daredevil born learning to ride
MANDY said her youngest son Jaxson had learned how to ride only the weekend before they visited Manar Park.
Jaxson took it at his own pace around the track while Mandy and his father Rolly watched and shouted encouragement.
"He had a bit of a scary moment just then. He forgot to take his hand off the throttle as he took the corner," Mandy said.
"My little Evel Knievel."
After a quick pep talk from the parents, Jaxson was out on the track remembering not to run before he could walk.
Rolly said he used to ride motorbikes but now it was something he just enjoyed teaching the children to do.
"If they can ride a pushbike, then they can ride a motorbike," he said.
"You just have to understand that they are going to have accidents and they might get hurt, but you have just got to let them have a go.
"I ran about 500m with him (Jaxson), hanging off the back of the bike.
"And then I let go and he was fine."
The family had come from Jandowae for the weekend at Manar Park so the boys could spend as much time on the bikes as possible.
And Rolly said no amount of rain was going to stop them - they just had to book a cabin instead of sleeping in the tent.
Riding rain, hail or shine
MANAR Park manager Robyn Laidler said her visitors would turn up no matter what the weather.
"We're quite busy. They are not afraid of the rain," she said.
Ms Laidler said the rain stopped about 10am on Saturday and set up an epic day for riding.
"It got rid of all the famous Manar Park dust," she said.
"The skid pan is open, so that's getting plenty of attention. Instead of us having to fill it up with our water, we can make the most of the rain.
"There weren't many vehicles luckily at the end of the day so the kids just had a ball jumping in (to the muddy skid pan)."
And with the skid pan proving to be a main attraction, Ms Laidler found the park needed to dust the cobwebs off another less frequently used asset.
"We had to resurrect the outdoor shower; they were all lining up to wash all the mud off," she said.