Skiercross racer and stunter, holder of largest cliff jump record at Squaw Valley (130 vertical feet), allegedly skied off the roof of a nine-story building, an accomplished pianist. (A pianist?! This guy’s crazy!)
28 years old.I started riding dirt bikes in Idaho when I was 10 years old because some family friends were avid trail riders. The friends had two sons about my age, and we just had to get into racing motocross despite some small disapproval from the parents. Soon the three of us kids all upgraded from trusty four-stroke trailbikes to rocket ship two-stroke 250s. This move, of course, radically increased all of our hospital time.The scariest moment of my motocross life was at the Fossil Bowl, in Clarkia, Idaho, when I was in high school. I was in second, trying to catch the leader, and had awful arm-pump. There was a section of steep downhill steps of about 20-30 vertical feet each, meant to be singled. On the top of the biggest one the braking bumps jostled me and I pinned the throttle and shot out into thin air. My bike cleared the next step and went flying off into the trees. I plummeted out of the air to the flat of the next step. I ended up uninjured, but the sheer terror of whiskey throttling into nothingness is something that still gives me the chills.Riding moto fulfills some primordial competitive urge. There is nothing better than screaming down the track side by side with another adrenaline junkie, vying for the lead into the next corner, then into the air over the next jump.I’ve met some of my best friends riding dirt bikes. It’s great exercise and generally puts you in a positive environment. I’ve regretted going to work before, but I can’t say I’ve ever regretted going riding.Riding a freshly groomed track feels a lot like shredding some powder turns down an untracked pitch. Approaching a big, unfamiliar jump on a bike feels like approaching a big, unfamiliar cliff on skis. Both give you the same thrill and, at times, the terror of your life flashing before your eyes when things don’t go as planned!Nowadays I am working on a Ph.D. in neuroscience at the University of Nevada, Reno, still snow skiing and riding dirt bikes.