On Saturday February 10, 2007, dear friend and fellow racer Ron Boyas passed away while practicing up in North Carolina for the upcoming east coast supercross series. Ron was one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. He and his girl Erin were well known by many and the races will just not be the same without him around. Ron was also the true definition of a privateer as he has held his pro license with AMA for almost 15 years and has made it through all the changes that the pro circuit have brought about. No matter the track conditions, Ron always had a smile on his face. He never complained, just loved being at the races and taking on the next challenge.
Ron was out spinning his first lap of practice when he had a small endo over a jump. He sustained injuries to his neck from the impact and was immediately tended to by friend Lonnie Taylor. Taylor was with him the whole time and wanted everyone to know that Ronnie died with a friend holding his hand. Ron passed doing what he loved to do. He was not in the sport for the money or fame, he just truly loved to ride his motorcycle and will always be remembered by all for just that.
Both my brothers and myself have had the privilege to know Ron for the past 10 years. Over those years we have seen many changes in our sport and unfortunately one has been the growing amount of spinal injuries. Be it the faster bikes, tougher tracks, higher level of pressure to perform is irrelevant. Facts are facts and those facts are too many of our fellow riders are being seriously injured. There have been many talks over this past year, the latest being just last week with the now famous video of David Bailey calling the top guys out to make a difference. The new Leatt Brace device has been the topic of discussion and there have been many views about it. The fact of the matter is that the device cannot prevent all spinal injuries, but it can help prevent some. It is the most realistic device of its kind available at the moment and is very similar to what the HANS Device is in NASCAR. Some riders have been testing the device and at Anaheim 2 KTM rider Mike Sleeter debuted it in SX. My brother Brandon Butler was the next to do so this past Saturday at the Houston SX and was the first rider to wear the device in a SX night show.
It is time for everyone to at least try it. The AMA cannot demand every rider to wear it just yet for liability reasons and that is understandable, but that has nothing to due with each and every rider out there making a personal choice to wear one. Maybe you will never need it, but your friend or fan that looks up to you might wear it if you do and maybe one day it will save their life or keep them from being paralyzed.
Blowing this topic off once again does not need to happen. Ron would want this more than anything and my brothers and myself will do whatever it takes to do what Ron would want us to do and that would be to help other riders. All the BBMX team riders are trying out the device this week and that is a start. On top of that, just since Ron's passing this past Saturday, BBMX has had dozens of requests from friends, team sponsors and fans on where they can get one of the Leatt Braces. Ron is already making a difference and we know he is looking down from heaven and helping his friends to make that difference.
Ron Dog, we love you man, you will be missed by many and you will never be forgotten.