When Joel Robidart took over as the president of Powder Basin Motocross Inc. last fall, the first thing he noticed was a once popular sport in Gillette suddenly in decline. And he instantly knew what to do to help turn that around.
Harking back to his youth, when he participated in a motocross school led by living legend Donnie Hansen, Robidart decided it was the right time to bring in one of the most well-known and most decorated motocross riders of all time.
That just happened to be the same person.
Hansen is a former Factory Honda rider with national titles in motocross and supercross, and the only rider to retire as the reigning national champion.
He will be in Gillette this weekend to conduct a two-day seminar that will cover every aspect of motocross.
And Robidart hopes his appearance is the first step in bringing motocross back to the forefront in the minds of youth in the area.
"We're bringing (Hansen) here because I think it will help grow the sport of motocross in this area," Robidart said. "Hopefully, a lot of younger kids will come out and learn some stuff and maybe because of this, they will grow up to be a pro some day."
Robidart, who grew up riding in Southern California, said he is concerned about the quality of motocross in Campbell County. Not only are some of the local facilities falling apart, the interest in the sport he grew up loving is waning.
And that doesn't sit well with him.
"The track we have here is a nice little place, but I've seen it declining in the last few years," Robidart said. "We're trying to reverse that."
Part of fixing that is getting the area excited about motocross again, and there is no better way to do that than bring in the one of the sport's best known names.
The two-day school is already an instant hit and the 20-person limit has been filled. Robidart said Hansen is willing to take that number up to 25.
Those who do participate in the school are guaranteed to get a crash course in the fundamentals of motocross, ranging from riding skills, jumping, cornering, braking, mental training and more.
That is just the first of many things that Robidart would like to do over the course of the year.
While the Hansen school has a limited number of openings, the races that PBMI will conduct over the course of the summer will be open to a variety of riders.
And that, Robidart hopes, will bring out as many riders as possible.
For more information on Hansen's classes check