Working in the retail store at Motorcyclecloseouts has given me the chance to get to know our customers on a different level. The best example of this comes in the form of three motocross loving middle schoolers. As much as I hate to admit it, Mason, Seth, and Dawson have swindled their way into my child-hating heart. Over the Course of one weekend the boys pulled out the big guns; they shared with me their love for motocross and the true meaning of race fever.
All three boys race in the Missouri State Motocross Spring Series. The first race I was able to attend was in Kingsville MO; it was marked on Closeouts calender and I was stoked. One problem with racing during the Spring in the great state of Missouri: unpredictable weather. It had rained for days before the scheduled Kingsville event, causing most races in the area to cancel. A little rain wasn’t going to stop these boys from riding however; they had the fever and it seemed as if a few others did as well.
The day before the race, I got the news that not only was the race on, but that Motorcycle Closeouts’ very own “Master of Destruction” Ryan Grun would be racing. Grun, who usually races in the Forward Motion Hare Scramble Championship, had been rained out of his race, was suffering from separation anxiety from his KTM 250 and decided to see what he could tear up and join the boys at the MX race.
The morning of the race was perfect: the Moto gods sent down sunshine and warm temps. Arriving at the Kingsville track, all I could see were florescent Fly Racing helmets, Fox Racing decals and a sea of really wet dirt. Despite the fact that the track slightly resembled a mud pit, everyone seemed to be ready to ride. The first familiar faces I came across just so happened to be the Moto Middle Schoolers’ mechanics: their dads. Brian, Mark, and Brock were busy wrenching and masterminding while the boys were sipping on Rockstar energy drinks and talking about their favorite Supercross riders.
I had bought the boys a few Motorcycle Closeouts gifts: Fly Racing flat bill hats… These boys may be middle schoolers but they have some moto swag. After replacing their old hats with new, the boys let me see what goes on behind the scenes of race day. Mason who rides a 65cc Suzuki with Rockstar graphics drinks a Rockstar energy drink and then chews Rockstar gum before hitting the track. Dawson who rides in the 85cc class gets nervous before each moto. Eating beforehand has become essential to keeping his riding at “boss” status. Seth who rides both an 85cc & 65cc KTM, bleeds orange and thinks about winning.. all day, everyday.
Mason, Seth, and Dawson were ready to tango with some whoops in the track’s rythym section and hit a few jumps. All three were decked out like the pros in either Fly Kinetic or Fox 180 gear, Leatt neck braces, and Alpinestars boots. These boys were looking fresh, but there was one other “boy” I needed to check on… The “Master of Destruction” Ryan Grun.
I found Ryan Grun sitting on a tailgate… surrounded by girls. The pressure was on for this boy and he was starting to feel it. Ryan’s KTM 250 was built for the riding that he specializes in: rolling up rutted hills, hauling blindly through clouds of dust and flying through tightly packed trees in the off-road genre of riding they call Hare Scrambles. His KTM’s hand guards may have been a giveaway that he was the “new” kid on the MX block. Ryan freely admitted that he was nervous, but finding out that he would be riding with 27 other beginners almost made the poor boy suck his thumb.
Ryan took his practice lap and looked descent riding in the middle of the pack hitting all his jumps and finding his rhythm through the whoops. Coming back from practice, the “Master of Destruction” had found his groove and was ready to make moves. Numbers are drawn to decide when each class will race; the 250 class was second to run that day. I watched from the starting gate to my surprise Ryan was leading. My initial thought was, “Holy shit, what if this kid wins this race?!” Watching Ryan stay in first was intense, the last lap I was standing in the bleachers screaming like I was a high school girl at the homecoming football game. Motorcycle Closeouts’ ”Master of Destruction” took first in both his motos without destroying his bike. Impressive to say the least!
After stroking Ryan’s ego and taking a few pictures, it was time for the Moto Middle Schoolers to ride like Stewart or Dungey (an ongoing argument between the three is who is the better racer). I found myself yelling even louder for Mason, Seth, and Dawson than I had for Ryan. I was even running from the starting gate to bleachers so I could see the start and finish of each race. Each one of the boys rode with heart; winning and passing the fastest kid was always on their mind but at the end of every race, they were just stoked to be out there riding. To see the excitement in their eyes, and to hear them plan and dream about the next big race is the epitome of race fever and I just so happened to get to experience it first hand.