Colin Edwards’ Texas Tornado Boot Camp Sets Dates

Henny Ray Abrams | November 14, 2010

Colin Edwards may could well be the busiest rider of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship.

When the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider isn’t campaigning his YZR-M1 at any of 18 world class race tracks all over the world, he’ll be sharing his vast motorcycling experience with the next generation at his soon to launch Texas Tornado Boot Camp ( Texas Tornado sees the camp as a destination for riders of all ages, but it’s much more than that. One of the things that sets it apart from the other schools is that Edwards and his crew have a number of extra-curricular activities planned, including paint ball, RC car racing, and no end of water sports, either on the lake or in the pool. It also has a bunk house hotel and all meals are prepared on-site, which means there’s no reason to leave the camp and makes for a more inclusive social experience. And if that’s not enough, Edwards will tailor the weekend to the desires of his customers, which means you could end up on hunting and fishing expeditions.

Though the hope is that the camp is open year-round, Edwards will only be able to instruct at a limited number of camps. Currently, there are four four-day camps and four two-day camps, all sandwiched in between grand prix weekends.

The four-day camps begin on the first day with arrival, orientation, and gear and bike selection. The bikes are all race-prepped Yamaha TTR 110, 125 and 230’s. The second day starts early with a “Good ol’ Texas Breakfast,” followed by bike skills on the oval and TT tracks, then lunch, classroom review and extracurricular activities. At the moment these include wake boarding and other watersports, go-kart racing, RC car racing, and paint ball. Late afternoon is taken up by a barbecue and extreme challenge sports, with night racing under the lights on the TT track ending the day. The schedule is the same on days three and four, though the riding ends at noon on the fourth day prior to the awards ceremony.All riding gear will be supplied, with Yamaha providing the motorcycles.

The four-day camp in a standard bunk room-the bunk house sleeps 30-is $2250, with VIP rooms, which include a king bed and private bedroom, available for $3200.The two-day camps are similar to the four-day, though the first day starts earlier and the second day ends later.The two-day camp in a standard bunk room is $1250.

A number of instructors, including Yamaha factory rider and fellow Texan Ben Spies, have signed on, though no specific dates have been set for his schools.With the MotoGP season ending last weekend in Valencia, Edwards is working full-time to get the camp ready for the March opening, though he may have a few sneak peek schools to work out the kinks.”We’re still in construction,” Edwards said during a recent interview. “We’ve got the Wild West Saloon, the hotel, the shop. It’s like a little Wild West town.”Every day I’ve got guys out there grazing and dozers and dump trucks and backhoes and we’re just getting drainage right and just building it, building it right the first time instead of coming back and having to fix something.”The school curriculum will be modeled after other schools Edwards has taught, as well as schools he’s attended and guest instructed at, including Danny Walker’s Supercamp.”The schooling thing, my main thing is everything I learned, I learned on the dirt,” the former motocrosser said. “I never learned anything new on a road bike. I just applied my knowledge to a road bike. So I wouldn’t be where I’m at without all that experience.”There will be a number of tracks which cater to varying rider skills. There is a covered TT track, which will be lit for night racing, an eighth-mile dirt oval, and a mini-bike motocross track. The TT track configuration is infinitely adjustable, which is important since Edwards wants to provide a different experience for repeat customers.In addition to Spies and Edwards, the instructors include racers Joe Prussiano and Mike Myers, as well as many other who will be on call. He also has a former Marine helping with firearms instruction.Though the weekend schedule is set, Edwards said new ideas continue to pop up and the schedule could be altered to suit the clientele. The sneak peek schools are meant to find out  “what people want. We think we know what they want and we have a good idea that we know what they want. But we’re running into things like families want to come. And we’re like, we hadn’t even thought about bringing the whole family. Because of the hotel, because we want kids to come out as well; it’d be a lot easier if kids came out and the parents came out as well. That whole liability thing would work out a lot better.”Edwards is adding a hunting and fishing component for a limited number of people. “If they just want to come blast and cast with me and friends and chartering boats and hotels and lodges and steak dinners and all that kind of stuff, that’s how we do it down there. We just go and have some fun. Especially in the winter, because that’s really the only time we do it.”Even when he’s is on the grand prix circuit, the camp will be open. “There’s no reason why that place shouldn’t have bikes on it 365 days a year and some corporate stuff as well.”Mike Myers’ brief, in addition to teaching, is selling the camp as a corporate retreat. “Have ten guys show up, check the boxes on what you want and we’ll supply everything. Just come on out. That’s it.” Edwards also envisions “kids’ camps in the summer. I’d like to do that first year. I’m not sure, seeing as I’m racing and all that. We might do one big one this summer.”Yamaha is one of the camp’s sponsors and he’d like to get more sponsorship to subsidize the kids’ camps.”That’s my goal. I don’t want to charge the kids,” he said. “I would like the kids just to be able to come, but if we get a sponsor that could sponsor it, even if it was Monster. Or like our military. We want to do military camps as well, but we’re pursuing all that. If we could get somebody to sponsor the weekend. This is what it costs, this is it, here you go, bam, and everybody gets to come. That’s kinda what we’re looking for.”2011 Camp Dates

March 24, 2011 to March 27, 2011

April 14, 2011 to April 17, 2011

May 26, 2011 to May 29, 2011

July 28, 2011 to July 31, 2011

September 29, 2011 to October 2, 20112011 Camp Dates

April 9, 2011 to April 10, 2011

May 7, 2011 to May 8, 2011

June 18, 2011 to June 19, 2011

September 10, 2011 to September 11, 2011



Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.