Desert dirt bike rac­ing, a fam­ily sport

Serve Daily - - NEWS - By Steve F. Gray

We are all very fa­mil­iar and are in­un­dated with sports ev­ery day. We see them on TV, in­ter­net and our lo­cal high schools and col­leges. Th­ese events en­ter­tain us on a daily ba­sis, and we be­come part of the masses cheer­ing for our team or our ath­lete. One sport that many peo­ple may be un­fa­mil­iar with is desert rac­ing on dirt bikes.

A desert dirt bike race is a marked course through desert ter­rain. The catch is that the rider can­not pre-ride the course like they can in mo­tocross. They do not know what lies ahead ex­cept for var­i­ous desert ob­sta­cles. Th­ese races are ap­prox­i­mately 100 miles in length for the big­ger bikes and around 40 for the mini bikes. Even pee wee 50cc bikes run around 1 mile to 2 miles. Even here in Utah we have two Na­tional races that get no at­ten­tion ex­cept in the rac­ing com­mu­nity.

One thing I have learned about desert dirt bik­ers is that they are pas­sion­ate about what they do. This is gen­er­ally a fam­ily ac­tiv­ity. When the week­end comes ap­proach­ing a race, big rigs as well as sin­gle ve­hi­cles swarm an area on the desert known as the pit area. Fam­i­lies gather to­gether for a week­end of rac­ing, but more im­por­tantly a time well spent with fam­ily and friends. The rac­ing com­mu­nity is a big fam­ily in it­self. Peo­ple min­gle and rem­i­nisce about fam­ily and past races. Ev­ery­one is will­ing to help each other with their bike set­ups, or just lend a hand set­ting up camp.

I have learned over the past few years be­ing ex­posed to this sport that th­ese peo­ple are unique. They love rid­ing! They live for rid­ing! They dream rid­ing! They spend work­ing hours wait­ing for the whis­tle to blow so they can go rid­ing. I see Face­book posts of rid­ers tex­ting that they will be rid­ing on a cer­tain day Desert dirt bike rac­ing par­tic­i­pant get­ting air per­form­ing a “No Footer” on Oc­to­ber 25th. and ask if any­body wants to go. They de­velop a ca­ma­raderie with fel­low dirt bik­ers, and they de­velop friends for life.

In a time when life is tough for kids, fam­i­lies are bonded by desert rac­ing. Through rac­ing fa­thers and moth­ers teach their chil­dren the value of life, friend­ship and fam­ily. They support each other whether they have a good or bad day rac­ing. What mat­ters most is that they are to­gether.

Even though desert rac­ers are com­pet­i­tive, they will be the first to stop when another has fallen or is hurt. More im­por­tant than win­ning is the fact that they are do­ing what they love. They are rid­ing. They are rid­ing with their fam­ily and friends. They are en­joy­ing the adren­a­line and re­lease of ten­sion that every­day life gives us.

Thanks desert dirt bik­ers for let­ting me take pho­tos of you and be­ing a part of your fam­ily.

Steve Gray

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