Action from the 41st annual Winter National Olympics kicks off next week.
Rob Koy photo
On the other hand, I loved Gatorback. The high speed drop offs, sweeping corners, and huge jumps fit my style and I was my fastest there. I wish they still had a national there, because it still is a national caliber beast. We will see some intense racing as the "motocross” portion of the event begin this time next week.
I remember some riders came all the way from California, and we were intimidated by anyone that would drive twice as far as we did to race. “They must be fast,” I thought. Its funny how the little things intimidate young motocrossers. Seeing high speed scratches on a kid’s helmet, guys riding with their sleeves rolled up, or a crazy sounding name like Ezra Lusk, or Gregory “Golden” Rand always got me. Three digit guys even tripped me out. #167, #511, and #298 just seemed like scary fast numbers. They also were from weird towns like Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Bainbridge, Georgia. I was Andy Bowyer #77 from Kansas. How vanilla was that? Man, I miss those young days so much. It’s only like that once for a motocrosser.
My favorite aspect was the family element. Our first trip was one of the coolest for the Bowyer family. We went to Sea World, and saw the ocean for the first time when Pops drove us to see Daytona Speedway. All we wanted to do was leave and build a double jump on the packed sand of Daytona Beach for our BMX bikes. I remember driving home with cuts and bruises from head to toe. Some from the track, some from the pits. More than a few lime rock stained scratches on my helmet. Brought home big trophies a couple times, too.
That’s what it is all about. A great family bonding event, but pure competition is its heartbeat. The racers driving all the way from California aren’t there for fun. Those entered are the best in the country and this is one of only a handful of chances a year to show it. For some it is the first time. It is the victory, failure, and pain on the race track that bonds racing families and friends forever. Showing up to the Turkey Feast when you’re winning is the best way to go. All of it begins this Sunday and I want to wish all of the families safe travel and safe racing.
Thanks for reading, see you next week.