NORTH SHORE (HawaiiNewsNow) - Military training is putting the brakes on Oahu's only motocross park. Some fear the nearly two-month long closure will lead to illegal riding in other areas. The Kahuku Motocross Park is off-limits to riders from January 7 to February 28.
John DeSoto, 65, is a living legend in the world of motocross. He still heads to the track in Kahuku once a week, often with his grandsons.
"It's a bonding thing that they get to do it together. The son or the daughter rides a small mini bike and the dad or the mom rides a big motorcycle," DeSoto said.
The park is normally open to riders during weekends and holidays. Now the former Honolulu city councilman is concerned about the lengthy closure.
"In the past, it never was for two months. A week was probably the longest, the weekend, cause that's the only time we get to go out and ride the dirt bikes," DeSoto said.
DeSoto worries that without another place to go, people will trespass to ride illegally.
"They're gonna go into private property areas of maybe Kaena or East Honolulu side so that's something that's going to be really bad," said DeSoto.
An Army spokesman said two units from the 25th Infantry Division are preparing for possible deployments.
"Primarily with 3rd brigade, they're looking at doing air assault training, and with 2nd brigade, they're still refining their training plan so we blocked off these two months to allow that training to occur," explained Lt. Col. Derrick Cheng.
Cheng said Army officials will be looking at the training schedule to see if there are any weekends when they can open the park back up to riders.
"We look for any ways to minimize any inconvenience with the community, but we also have to take greater emphasis on the readiness of the soldiers," said Cheng.
"They're protecting us. They're training. We understand that, but we're trying to do is make it a win-win situation," said DeSoto.