The Motocross Action Magazine wrecking crew wants to give you a bounty of proven, easy-to-apply rules for turning your aimless life into a meaningful motocross lifestyle. Stand back and let us cut through all the conventional wisdom with the ten rules that they don’t teach at motocross schools.
1. WINNING ISN’T EVERYTHING
Winning isn’t the most important thing; it is just a byproduct of the same effort required to be 12th. If you want to be a winner, but can’t crack the top 10, just tell people you won. You may think all the eyes in the pits are on you during your Vet Novice moto, but nobody was watching you. Nobody ever watches. What should you learn from this? You should realize that motocross is about what you put into—not what you get out of it.
2. THERE’S ANOTHER RACE NEXT WEEK
No matter how important Sunday’s race may seem—it’s unimportant. Somewhere in the world they are holding a motocross race at this very instant. Guess what? You aren’t there. You didn’t win and you probably couldn’t beat the guy who did. Think of it this way: the winner of a motocross race did something, that few people in the world care about, better than anyone else who showed up, in a secluded field, on one particular Sunday.
3. DRESS FOR THE CRASH, NOT THE RIDE
Motocross gear comes in two styles: (1) Not enough protection and (2) not nearly enough protection. If they make it, wear it. If you don’t believe you are going to crash, then why not race in a muscle shirt and a pair of Hush Puppies?
4. SAVE NEW PARTS FOR WEDNESDAY
If your bike ran last week, it will run this week. Race day is no time to be switching to race gas, trying out new fork valving or switching oils. Never, never, never test new parts on race day. That’s what they have weekdays for!
5. DON’T JERK WITH SLOW GUYS
Sport is about sportsmanship. When fast riders jerk with slow riders or lappers, the fast rider looks like a bully picking on the fourth grade chess champion. It’s boorish behavior. If none of that sways you, then don’t do it for this reason: you aren’t the fastest guy in the world (and even if you are, you won’t be for long) and that means that somewhere there is a guy who could scream, roost and glare back at you. You wouldn’t like that would you?
6. NEVER LOOK BACK
Three things happen when you try to sneak a glance behind you: (1) You lose a nanosecond of time (you can’t go fast and do the Exorcist gig with your head at the same time). (2) You distract yourself. Motocross is a concentration sport and your attention should be put into forward momentum. (3) You show weakness. A rider who looks back displays a lack of confidence.
As a side note, it is okay for the last place guy to look back. That could be the only way he’ll ever get to see who won his class.
7. NEVER SURRENDER
Surrending is contagious (look at the French Army). Once you start giving up, it is easier to give up the next race. Eventually, you quit showing up at the starting line for your second moto, then the first moto and, eventually, you take up golf.
Never quit. Never give up. Never surrender. Never take up golf. Today’s race is practice for next week’s race…and so on for as long as you live.
8. NEVER TAKE YOUR GOGGLES OFF
You may think that your goggles are too roosted to see out of, but the roost that covered your goggles could have put your eye out. Ask yourself this question before removing your goggles: “How many motocross championships has Stevie Wonder won?”
9. LET MIKEY DO IT FIRST
Only a fool is the first to jump the big double. Don’t be a fool. Let Mikey try it first. If he doesn’t make it (and he’s a better jumper than you), you can send him a thank-you card to his hospital room. What if nobody jumps it? Then you’d be a fool to try.
10. ENJOY DRESSING YOURSELF
Motocross gear has advanced from black leather to a cacophony of color. Enjoy it! There are few places in our society where grown men can wear knee-high boots, purple pants with lime stripes, a court jester’s shirt, plastic padding and mirrored goggles without being mistaken for a member of the Village People.