“I just enjoy being on a bike,” Smith said, “and this is a different way to enjoy it.”
Riley Smith has been riding motorcycles with his dad since he was about 7. In addition to the quality time spent with his dad — doing something both enjoy — Riley Smith likes the endurance aspect of the races: The fact that it’s not just about going as fast as one can.
“There’s a lot of skill involved,” Riley Smith said. “It’s a great combination of speed and skill.”
Mikel also enjoys the family race, and has ridden in it with daughter Brooke and son Collin for several years.
The Mikels spend a lot of time each year preparing for the races, and traveling to other races.
One race the Mikels have not done yet takes place in the upper peninsula of Michigan, near Marquette. They plan to do that race some day.
“We like seeing the country,” Mikel said, “and having something we like doing together makes it that much better.”
A long history
The Turkey Creek Enduro has a long history, and New Paris resident Jerry Yoder has been there for all the races. Yoder was part of a group that restarted the Riders club back in the late 1960s, and has been part of the annual event all that time.
Yoder said the club, over the years, has bought land near Ligonier to use for riding. But the Turkey Creek event, he said, uses big chunks of land lent by landowners.
That, Yoder said, is something the club has been grateful for over the years.
Yoder passed the sport down to his children, and now he’s seeing his grandchildren get involved in it.
“That’s something I never would have imagined,” Yoder said. “But the sport needs to be passed along to new generations.”