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When I was younger I loved traveling. I especially liked it when it was for motocross. I can tell you that I have traveled well over a half a million miles by myself going to races. I never really flew that much as a racer because I just loved driving. That idea started getting old as I started getting flown to jobs and races. Driving seemed silly after that VIP status. Now, flying is something I don’t really prefer. I’m fortunate enough n the job I have that traveling is part of it but that fortune comes with a price. The price is the strain on the brain with no sleep, long lineups at airports, costly baggage fees, mooching off friends, crazy early mornings, and lastly, the jet lag effect I never realized before is really causing a struggle for the next few days after flying. I suppose with any fortunate comes sort of unfortunate. I mean, everything can’t be easy or everyone would do it. When at the races I’m in my happy place, but getting there these days seems to be so gnarly that happily becomes unhappy easier.
Future West Moto Arenacross by Kawasaki Canada kicked off this past weekend in Armstrong BC and once again I was on hand doing the mic thing. I absolutely love that job. I actually have Mark Stallybrass to thank for giving me the chance with the mic back in 2002 (times have sure changed) and I’ve never looked back. Being the voice of the sport on so many levels has made for some amazing memories for the past 15 years. Adding to it was this weekend in BC where Future West had an amazing Amateur turnout for AX. The pro class not so much but the AM’s sure as hell showed up and even at the venue or track that is not usually their biggest draw. Over 230 entries both days and nearly hitting 250 on Saturday with the pros and AMs together is really impressive. It really makes me feel good seeing this many people support the AX racing scene in BC. With the Jetwerx series beginning in 2018 and looking to become a series to chase for the future this Gras Roots Ax stuff in BC is amazing for the growth of the sport. The talent pool is thick with young talent learning the ropes of tight AX racing at such a young age. The heath in this discipline of the sport is extremely high and I love being a part of it.
Courtney Bowman Photos
I sat down and had some good chats with many of the pros on the weekend regarding what’s coming and what they are trying to do to prepare for it. All are very excited about the plan but are super unsure how it all works. I shared it will all be coming soon but the point is, they’re all excited. I feel like racers haven’t had excitement in a long time so that breath of freshness is nice to see or feel. Talking with Jess Pettis and Shawn Maffenbeier who both want to do some West coast Supercross races in 2018, both are really excited about it all because they feel there in the perfect position and age for all this positive future. They love the fact that A and SX are part of the future because it gives them both chances to make more money and more chances to expand on their craft. Jeremy Medaglia shared the same sort of feeling as he is re-growing his career and with this new plan it seems perfect for him to have a good 3-5 year run at some titles as well as some money in the sport which was needed. When I watch these guys race inside these small barns they are fast so I feel they can transfer that into a Supercross size arena as well a bigger AX one. I have heard rumors and even read that some of these current Canadian pros are not happy about the AX or SX racing. I get their points a little, but if that’s the case there not worth the dollar they wish to have anymore. In fact, if they look at it is three series now and they only wish to race MX then they are seemingly worth a 3rd of the price they currently carry. Now, this is just my opinion as but if you compared into the real world and a job site had 5 jobs on it and you could only do two of them then you would only get paid for two, not the entire 5. That just seems like an easy reality to understand. But back to my point about riders like Maff, Pettis, JDags and even younger guys like Canella, Ward Watling, Piccolo, Gibbs, Wright, and so on, these kids now have more opportunity to showcase their talent, the fans will see them more so they marketability goes up, and the biggest thing is they have more chances to work therefore more chances to make a living doing what they love to do. It seems so simple to call all of this a “win-win” situation. As always there will be struggles and not doubt the negatives that come with anything but for us to grow and reach higher levels than we currently do around the world this is stuff that has to happen. Stories can only get so big when eating just a salad. Imagine how great stories will become with a big steak and potato to go with that salad (if you get me awesome, if you don’t read it again, LOL)
Courtney Bowman Photos
I had a fan of the site on the weekend come up to me and share how much she really enjoys my writing. My open, honest, never afraid to share the truth style really speaks to her in this world of fluff and lies. I must say, this style I have created for myself has gotten me in hot water more than enough times. I grew up with “honesty is always the best policy” which has worked for 95% of my life and gotten me into the positions I have today. I don’t share industry info to get people pissed off but rather to inform the readers and the customers that matter in our sport so they can make decisions based on what is heard and shared. Yes, I know certain things don’t need to be shared but I feel when we are keeping it quite or secret it feels shady to me. It feels like we are trying to steal from the good side of what we are trying to do which makes it easier for people to enjoy going racing. I think I’m just too honest to be running or involved in certain dealings indie this sport. I love everything that I do but for me to keep things from the customer that pays my bills seems wrong. I like being as open as possible and if that customer still feels like their being ripped off or taken advantage of then I know that customer is just an angry one that will never be happy. These are the folks that blame the guy like me because the sport is expensive; right, I make up bike prices, gear prices, the price of your 65’ toy hauler etc. Over the last year, these announcements from Jetwerx have occupied much of my time behind closed doors because there is so much to deal with the changing of the times to ensure a better place for the sport to go. I don’t mean better as if the old was the worst thing ever. Just updates, new blood, fresh ideas, and a younger group to meet the younger generation of family and racer by today’s standards. I’m at the track for much of the year and feel as if I have a good hold on what’s needed and what’s good for the sport. I don’t believe I have all the answers but I feel I’m communicative with the grassroots scene enough to handle the tough decisions or plans to improve our sport. The times are crazy interesting now and crazy confusing, even for me.