So the Virginia Cavaliers did what the Cleveland Cavaliers and Baby LeBron couldn’t do—they won a championship this week. I live in Omaha, Nebraska, which has been home to the College World Series since 1950 (apparently, this year’s College World Series brought in 300,000 fans and an estimated $40 million to our economy). I find this funny because I spent most of my life living in the big O and didn’t even realize we had the CWS here, nor did I care. Some might call it the national pastime, but I call it paint drying. My son plays it and I’ve learned to enjoy it, but it doesn’t compare to dirt bikes for me.
Silliest part of the CWS is we used to have an old ballpark called Rosenblatt. And the diehard enthusiasts still cry “foul ball” that we tore it down and built a new stadium downtown. "It’s ruined the game," they say. "The rich get richer," they cry. You baseball purists do realize they tore down Yankee Stadium, right? Yankee Stadium! The White House of baseball. So, traditions only go so far even around baseball. Okay, enough Omaha rant, let’s get into some Revolver TwoTwo with some eighty-seven flavors.
Sadly, the facts arrived through Instagram that the TwoTwo team’s doors have officially closed. I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting that story in June. But I can honestly understand. I won’t rehash the tale as this site has pretty much covered the details. But that’s just the business stuff. So I would like to tell the TwoTwo tale from a fan’s side and what it meant to the guy standing along the fence and sitting on the couch each weekend.
I wrote a couple weeks ago about heroes, and I left out Chad Reed. I wrote more about when I was growing up and the riders I admired as a kid. Now I’m 44, so let’s be honest, the only true heroes in my life are my son and parents. But Mr. Reed is someone I definitely admire. What he and his wife Ellie have accomplished since they were teenagers chasing the GPs is something every moto fan should bow down to. He has raced and beaten the world’s best for fifteen years.
I wasn’t necessarily a Chad fan when he arrived in the U.S. He was a little arrogant and didn’t want to work within our system. For example, he didn’t understand why he had to ride the 125 class since he had been racing the big bike class in Europe and doing well. He just believed in himself and was pushing to be the best. It took me a few years to figure that out. The guy was just determined. Eventually, I got to meet him and Ellie through mutual friends and really just enjoyed them as people.
The man has raced against and beaten the world’s best time and time again. He’s always raced for his country when he could at the Motocross of Nations. He’s always gotten up from injuries and returned to the top of the box. Plus, he did what he said he would do when he started a team—spared no expense, and did what it took to win, employing some legendary industry folk in Deano, Lars, Goose, and Ozzy. It’s kind of mind blowing. As a parent, I would be proud to hang his jersey in my son’s room.
But I’m still waiting for my bonus check from Chad’s 2009 450 MX title. It’s a stupid story, but I’ll tell it because I tell ridiculous stories.
It was 2008 Parts Unlimited dealer meeting in Madison, Wisconsin, when I was working with Smith Optics. There may have been some alcoholic drinks consumed because, well, we were in the hotel lobby around 2 a.m. Lou Lopez, the godfather of Sunstar Sprockets at the time, was there with me, and can confirm the story.
I am not nor have I ever been a fan of supercross-only contracts. That’s what Chad had at the time, so I decided on that night to let him know my feelings. I told him when he is old and grey sitting on his porch, he will regret not racing the outdoors and not winning an outdoor title, which I knew he was capable of doing. Oh, the season is long? Tired is for the old, and he wasn’t old. The next year, he had a supercross-only deal but decided to jump back into the outdoors anyway, and he won the 450MX Championship. I can neither confirm nor deny I was the reason for that title, but I will spin it in my favor!
The remainder of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross will miss Chad Reed, but as fans, we’re all excited to see him back for 2016. I can’t imagine the stress as a racer and team owner. Now that all that stuff is gone, he will be back stronger than ever. Coming back again—it’s the Reed way.
But as one legend leaves the outdoors, my own personal legend returns. Cody Gilmore is my buddy and my boy, and his #87 Yankton Motorsports/Strikt gear Kawasaki is back on the moto scene. Last year, Cody was on the gas, making a bunch of supercross mains, but this year we barely saw him at all. There’s a little comeback in store now, folks. So I’m putting on a real journalistic hat here and doing an interview. Ladies and gentleman, privateer hero (there’s that word again) Cody Gilmore.
Racer X: Gilly, where the hell you been?
Cody Gilmore: Man, I moved to California and trained my ass off over the winter. A1 didn’t go as planned, so I went to race in Germany instead of round two and destroyed my thumb on the first night.
Yeah, I remember our group text. Our friends all said, “Don’t go,” and I was like, “You gotta go! It’s a chance to make $10,000 and a new car over three nights. Racing in Germany would be a memory for life.” Then you got hurt. Oops. I owe you a beer.
[Laughs] No, I’ve told you before, sh-- happens. I felt I was fast enough to win, and I went to win.
Budman [Buddy Antunez] told me when he was coaching you last winter that you were all over Weston [Peick, Antunez’s other rider] and your speed was better than ever. A lot of training and work for nothing, huh? As we’ve talked about, my hardest working years were always my worst. When I just rode and hung out, I did my best. And, by the way, that really wasn’t that great either.
I don’t know. I’m back home with friends in Omaha, riding and training as best as I can. I’m going to race RedBud on the Fourth of July and Millville this season.
So you told me you have open spot for me to roll with you to RedBud. Are you prepared for this? I’m bringing work gloves and maybe an old pit board from my dad that says, "Breeethe."
Let’s be honest, if we don’t get arrested by Sunday night and I go top twenty both motos, I’m going to consider it a success.
Okay, so the plan is set and I’ll be working the pit board for Cody next weekend. Now, let me leave with something on Father’s Day. I should have dedicated a full Revolver to it. If you are a parent to a moto kid, whether you’re a mom or a dad, you’re living an epic life and leaving a lifetime of memories. My dad and mom dedicated their life for me to race. They are both incredible adults that gave me a lifetime of memories. Honestly, one day a year for each isn’t enough for them or for anyone dedicated to this sport. I wish my parents, and every moto family, especially the Reeds and the Grants, a Happy Father’s Day week.
Enjoy the weekend, folks. I’ll see you at RedBud.