HÀ NỘI — Seeing motocross bikes flying over verts and drifting through dusty bends is not what you’d expect in Hà Nội.
The urban terrain and dense population mean if thrill-seekers are looking to burn some rubber, they’d be hard-pressed to find a suitable venue.
But now, thanks to a group of passionate off-roaders, the dream of having a complete off-road track has become a reality for daredevils in the capital.
Just 10 kilometres southeast of Hoàn Kiếm Lake, there’s a three-hectare site in Long Biên District where bikers can find themselves cornering through sharp bends, jumping over verts and crossing lying trees and dips.
When building the track, Vũ Nguyễn Quang Hòa was keen to perfect even the smallest of details.
A motocross biker jumps over a flying vert in Sunrise Track. — VNS Photo Nguyễn Xuân Đăng
“I am also a biker and am passionate about this adventure sport, so I understand what people need,” said Hòa.
“I have studied many tracks of other countries. I built corners and verts to get a more detailed track than the natural terrain and still ensure the highest level of safety.
“Those corners and verts will make riders feel like their vehicle is about to overturn, but in fact they are still safe.”
For the 35-year-old biker, the idea and motivation came from what a city off-roader needs most.
He added: “Firstly, the idea to build Sunrise Track comes from the desire to have a race venue for everyone to drive on weekends and satisfy their passion, instead of going out on roads which are really far away.
“I really want to ride a motorbike everywhere on the weekend, but there’re obstacles such as animals crossing the road and unforeseen risks.
“And because this is a risky sport, it is easy for riders to get injured. So people who do this sport must be equipped with enough protective gear to ensure safety.
“Protective shoes, chest armour, helmets, and gloves are the basic requirements.”
“Safety is the most important thing. So to have a track like this is really convenient for everyone.”
Sunrise Track is a three hectares site in Hà Nội where combines all of the conditions of an all-terrain track. Photo Sunrise Track- Đầm Trành fanpage
An off-road track inside the capital is everything that a motocross lover needs. And it’s not just for bikes, as it’s equipped to be used by 4x4 vehicles as well.
Since its opening last month, Nguyễn Đức Mạnh doesn’t have to go out of the city for motocross anymore.
This track has become a new playground for the 28-year-old.
“I feel very excited because although there are natural terrain and difficult obstacles in the suburbs, it is necessary to have a separate and appropriate area to combine them all,” Mạnh said.
“Fortunately, right in Ha Noi, there is an area gathering all the elements to make terrain with obstacles like this. This helps the driver's emotions go up and down continuously and that’s very interesting.”
The track also attracts newbies and foreigners who want to spend the weekend finding a new hobby.
Romanian Adrian Popescu is one of them.
He said: “I like it. It’s fun. This is the first time I’ve tried this sport, I found out about this track on Facebook last week and decided to give myself a try.
“I went slowly for the first time, I was kind of scared when jumping off the vert so I just went really slowly. Other bikers were amazing, I think some of them are professional, I’m hoping to improve my skill in the future.
“I think they should expand because they have a lot of room to expand and maybe many more people will come and it’s free so everyone can join. That’s a big bonus.”
Motocross in Việt Nam is looking good according to Trần Mạnh Hùng, president of the Hanoi Offroad Club.
“Our club was officially established in May 2012. After that, the off-road motorcycle division was officially recognised as an extreme sport by the General Department of Sports and Physical Training.
“It is an advantage for us to organise official off-road racing tournaments with the purpose of developing the movement and attracting as many players as possible.
“This is a growing sport, but it is still very niche because of the high risks and it requires a unique place which is isolated from residential areas.
“With this new track, and motocross clubs becoming more and more professional, I believe that in the future this sport will develop further.” VNS