Monster Energy MX Crossover at Hangtown - Dirt Rider Magazine

What do all these dudes have in common? Snowboarders Chris Roach, Matt Goodwill and Jim Moran, along with skiers Daron Rahlves, K.C. Deane, and Gunnar Newquist, Monster Energy's own Nate Holland (four-time Winter X Boardercross gold medalist) and U.S. Open snowboard great Tyler Emond all have in common? There were on the starting line on dirt bikes last weekend at the Hangtowm Motocross classic, the second round of the Lucas Oils Outdoor motocross series.Dirt Rider was also there riding in the Monster Java Media Throwdown, run at the same time as the extreme athletes on a second gate. What we collectively get to do is ride the national track. It is a chance for some of the current and former best athletes in different extreme sports to come out and see what it takes to go head-to-head on a motocross track. As much as it is a race, it really is just a bunch of guys (and a few gals) out roosting each other and having a good time, just don't tell the frontrunners.Because if you are Shaun Palmer, you are out for blood. The multi-talented rider, who has qualified for outdoor nationals and raced Supercross in the past, brought out his 450 Honda and was looking to beat even some of the former X-pros who now masquerade as media. (I might have been the only one of those that showed. And since I was just an off-road racer, I don't rank. Plus, I did start on the second gate, so he never he never had a chance at me. Palmer was actually looking forward to racing against David Pingree, but in reality Pingree was chicken to race against me and claimed he showed up late even though he was intently watching the first moto checking our style. In fact I brought out a 450 Honda too.)So Palmer pretty much laid waste to the rest of the Crossover class and left the scraps to Aaron Cooke, Jake Novotny, Kevin Barda, Chris Roach and Daron Rahlves, who are all pretty evenly matched up. And behind them the class is chaos.When you get professional athletes who are used to operating at the top of their game and throw them on dirt bikes, it is wild. There is the unfamiliar medium of the motorcycle getting in the way of a extremely efficient human. Whether that human hauls ass on skis, a snowboard, a BMX bike, jumps a snowmobile 100's of feet (Women's sno-mo distance jump world record holder Deidra Dipple was racing with the boys!) or runs fast, these guys all have that championship instinct and it pushed them. There is little evidence of fear and a lot of miscalculations on the track. But it is fun to be there and watch, especially if you are a motorcycle racer. Because you can say, "I'm better than that guy." Just remember, don't ever go try and do what these athletes do in their world!And the Crossover athletes are pretty much like kids in the candy store for the whole of the weekend. And it shows. Boarder X champ Holland sums up the spirit, "I was coming down (from Truckee, Calif.) with a buddy's bike in the back of my truck - not sure if it was going to hold up or not, so I pulled into a bike shop and bought a new Honda (CRF250R). And I had an absolute blast on it this weekend." Tyler Emond did the same thing, purchasing a new Kawasaki KX250F right before Hangtown.Holland, who's used to being on top of the podium as one of the world's premier boardercross racers and USA's top hope at Olympic gold in Vancouver, B.C., next winter, epitomizes the attitude at Monster Energy's MX Crossover at Hangtown. Pretty much rolling through the finish in last place, Holland was charged up and couldn't wait to bench race back in the pits with his fellow motocross racers. "This is like the sixth time I've been on a motocross track," said Holland. "The first time was last year at this race."The media class was little challenge since most other editors have a hard time riding in public due to fear of their actual ability level being revealed. I luckily didn't get DQed for switching back to a 125cc two-stroke for the second moto. But at Dirt Rider we have no shame and that is why Pete Peterson actually claimed second place with his highly polished novice riding ability, he's now getting the powervalve to open on his YZ125 and most of the time a blue cloud of smoke isn't passing him.The best part was that I won a cool Alien Workshop skateboard for my minimal effort in sandbagging the media class, which was a good thing because the takeout move I had planned for any challenger would have seemed so aggressive for anyone who doesn't skate. And my old board was needing a replacement. Most of the athletes were loaded up with Skull Candy head gear which makes your music rock more than it already does. Plus there were loads of T-shirts and other goodies that were passed out. And I saw a lot of it being signed and given away to fans as well, it never hurts to linger around a bunch of sponsored athletes when swag is present.And one of the most interesting things for a group of current and washed-up athletes to do is sit in an autograph line where we figured there would be no one. But we were pretty impressed when there was a constant flow of people looking to get Hangtown posters signed by the group, famous and non-famous alike. The kids loved it.This year's Monster/Hangtown Crossover competition benefitted and drew attention to the Athlete Recovery Fund (ARF), a 501 (c)3 non-profit corporation. It was founded in 2007 by Aaron Cooke to provide professional athletes in BMX, FMX and skateboarding with financial support to assist the recovery process following a severe injury by granting funds for rehabilitation, equipment, long-term disability and educational scholarships. Both of this year's Throttle Jockey/Graphics Lab event banners were signed by all the Monster/Hangtown MX Crossover athletes during Friday afternoon's autograph session, part of "FanFest," and will be auctioned - with 100-percent of the proceeds going directly to the ARF. Those interested in bidding on these unique action sports items can visit www.mycharitablelife.comFor more information on ARF link to: