There’s no glorious history of youth championships, nor club championships as an adult, or a career cut short by some accident not of my own making.
I can be quietly smug, however, for having won the Baja 1000 almost every weekend during 7th and 8th grade. Somehow someway, I survived almost two years of riding that 60 Minutes-certified deathtrap ATC around Billy’s backyard dirt track, a long-kept secret my mother is learning as she reads this.
That Honda was the first motorized vehicle I ever operated. Hauled ass in it. Launched it off jumps. Leaned it on two wheels, wheelied it. Helmets? Parental supervision? Hah. How dangerous could it actually be if a skinny four-eyed 7th grade twerp like me could learn to ride it, and keep riding it for a couple of years while avoiding serious injury, paralysis, or death.
After eighth grade, my buddy went to a different high school, we drifted apart, and my riding ‘career’ was put on hold for about ten years.
But my imagination wasn’t. It was captured the same year I said goodbye to the ATC, when I learned about some insane race, on the other side of the world…. that somehow, completely inexplicably…
Covered two continents.
Those ATC’s were both awesome and Darwinian!!!
Society needs more such platforms to encourage natural “filtering.”