I am twelve years old and race a Yamaha YZ85. I race at my favorite track in Missouri. One day, at practice, I was jumping the rhythm section, when I suddenly started flipping forwards. When I finally stopped flipping forwards my bike came down and landed on me. Then a kid came off the jump and landed on me. It hurt. Then one lap later my brother wrecked on the stutters. When my dad and the track support got me back to our truck, I had a busted out lens in my goggles, black eye, torn off visor, hurt leg and bent handlebars. My brother was all right though. The owner of the track said I was lucky because two years ago a kid did the same thing and broke his neck and was killed. Then later on in the day, my brother jumped the finish line and wrecked. His arm was torn open, his handlebars were way bent and the track owner said his leg was broke, but it wasn’t. He can now twist his leg all the way around. That was the day that I decided I needed a neck brace.
Holy smokes, David! You don’t just need a neck brace…you need a bubble-wrap suit! Motocross is an active sport that can produce its share of tumbles, but crashing should be a rare, not a commonplace, activity. Anytime you find yourself on the ground once per ride or more, it’s your skill level’s way of saying “take it easy, buddy, I’m not there yet!” There’s a lot to be said for riding to your limit, but don’t push it so hard that you end up on your head. If I were you, I’d make it a point to back it down a notch. Focus on being a smooth, safe rider rather than just trying to blaze around the track. Not only will you crash less and cause your parents less emotional pain, but also you’re almost guaranteed to be faster and start grabbing more trophies. Remember, slow is smooth, smooth is fast, fast is awesome and crashing stinks. That’s it, little buddy. Keep that thing rubber side down, it will serve you well in the long run! -Chris Denison