En­gine oil in their blood

Mo­tocross runs through three gen­er­a­tions of the Hen­der­son fam­ily

Central and North Burnett Times - - SPORT - Philippe Coquerand philippe.coquerand@cnbtimes.com.au

MO­TOR SPORTS: It’s not a sport for the faint-hearted but for Brian, Shane and his young son Nate Hen­der­son, mo­tocross is a gen­er­a­tional ac­tiv­ity that keeps them bonded.

At­tend­ing the prac­tice day at the Cen­tral Bur­nett Mo­tor­cy­cle Club at the week­end, Brian said it was a way of catch­ing up with one an­other through the use of mo­tor-cross­ing.

“I love mo­tor-cross­ing, I got bit­ten by the bug and once it’s in you, it’s hard to get out of your sys­tem, I’m 57 now and I just keep rid­ing,” Brian said.

“I started when I was 15 and then I rode un­til I was 24, stopped for a while due to other com­mit­ments and started up at the age of 40.”

Hen­der­son said he used to ride ev­ery week­end but was lucky to get out once a month now.

“I used to go ev­ery week­end, now with work com­mit­ments it’s a bit harder but we try and go out when we can,” he said.

Brian said mo­tocross could be a dan­ger­ous sport.

“It’s quite chal­leng­ing, you’ve gotta have good car­dio fit­ness to be able to do it, peo­ple just think you’re rid­ing a mo­tor­bike and there’s noth­ing to it, you’re just sit­ting there and rid­ing around but it’s a lot more hard work than peo­ple re­alise,” he said.

“If you’re com­pet­ing at the top level you have to be re­ally fit.”

“I just ride in the vet­er­ans class now, only a C-grade rider but I did the Queens­land vet­er­ans side two months ago in Rock­hamp­ton and ran fourth in my age group there.”

Hen­der­son has re­ceived his fair share of in­juries over the years.

“I’ve had quite a few, three bro­ken an­kles, foot re­con­struc­tions, cou­ple of dis­lo­cated knees and four bro­ken wrists and it’s a sport where you can get hurt,” he said.

“You can get hurt do­ing any­thing, when you take it out of the equa­tion life is just work and noth­ing else.

“I’ve got to the point where I just ride at 80% but there’s still the pos­si­bil­ity of get­ting hurt ev­ery time.

“I’m a bit more re­served and cau­tious now than I used to be, just be­cause any­thing can hap­pen.”

The mo­tocross track in Mun­dub­bera is one of the best tracks across the re­gion as it’s the only nat­u­ral ter­rain for rid­ers.

“I’ve rid­den at some spec­tac­u­lar tracks but this one in Mun­dub­bera is the best one by far, or you’ve got the big hilly coun­try down the Mat­ter­horn, that sort of thing, it’s a fairly good track,” he said.

The highlight for Hen­der­son is get­ting to watch his fam­ily have a go at mo­tocross.

“It’s pretty en­joy­able watch­ing the young fella race and the grand­son, we aren’t push­ing him along, he just rides if he wants to and when they’re old enough they’ll ei­ther em­brace it or they won’t,” he said.

“Mo­tocross is a good sport as you get to meet a lot of peo­ple through it, the peo­ple I ride against in the vet­eran’s class were the ones I raced against when I was 15 years of age.

“There’s a lot of mate­ship in this sport, al­ways a great at­mos­phere and it’s a bit of a thrill get­ting on the bike and hav­ing a go.”

LIV­ING THE DREAM: Three gen­er­a­tions of mo­tor-cross­ing for Brian, Shane and Nate Hen­der­son at the Cen­tral Bur­nett Mo­tor­cy­cle Club at the week­end. PHO­TOS: PHILIPPE COQUERAND

Nate Hen­der­son in ac­tion at the week­end.

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