As you gather around your Thanksgiving turkey (or ham) on Thursday take a moment to reflect on that last ride around the track.
You have a lot to be thankful for don't you?
Family, friends and the bounty in front of you goes without saying. Let's stick with a Motocross centric list of thanks. We've come up with the 14 things motocross riders can be thankful for. Which ones resonate with you and what would you add to the list?
1. Edison Dye
The "Father of Motocross" brought this unique style of dirt bike racing to the United States in the 1960s. It was already pretty big in Europe so when this motorcycle touring business owner saw a possibility of bringing the sport to the United States he positioned himself as the US importer for Husqvarna motorcycles and started recruiting European riders. Check out the History of Motocross to see how dirt bikes changed the landscape in the United States. The arrival of Motocross brought #2 on our list.
What would we ever do with just 12 Rounds of Motocross racing in the summer? The 17 Round Supercross season provides the blueprint for hosting an over-the-top spectacle. Mike Goodwin, a former rock concert promoter no less, brought the event to the United States in 1972 and dirt bike racing hasn't been the same since. We'd include Goodwin individually on this list like Mr. Dye but you can read more about his run-in with the law in our History of Supercross.
3. A1 is five weeks away
Speaking of Supercross, Round 1 at Anaheim is just five weeks away. The silly season feels long once it starts, waaaaay back at the end of August, but thanks to some relief brought on by the Monster Cup and Motocross of Nations, among other races, before you know it the holidays are behind us and a full five months of the best racing on the planet is in front of us.
4. Loretta Lynn
The former home of country music star Loretta Lynn now paves the way for amateur riders to join the pro ranks. Only 42 riders in 34 classes qualify each year to ride at "Loretta Lynn's" and those who podium in their respective classes tend to move on for a chance at greatness. Held during the first week of August, once the six days of racing is over the track returns to functioning as a horse pasture.
Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki. Need we say more?
Technological advances have pushed our favorite two-wheeled machines into the 21st century. Suspension systems offer state-of-the-art comfort, the automatic clutch is a dream and today's engines and transmission systems offer solid reliability and, best of all, speed.
7. Protective Gear
If not for technology, riders would rarely test the limits of machine and man. But, if not for protective gear, Motocross would be a shell of what it is today. Today's Motocross helmets offer superior protection from concussions and the Leatt Neck Brace forged a new frontier in addressing life debilitating permanent injury. Add in modern day boots, chest protectors and knee guards, among other protective gear, you can see riders have never been more protected from serious injury but without affecting riding performance.
How else are you going to get technologically advanced dirt bike parts and the best protective gear at the right price with the best service?
Arenacross is bigger than it's been in years. Selling out large arenas around the country, Arenacross is now 15 Rounds long, a coinciding season with its cousin Supercross and is the gateway for riders to make it on the Supercross circuit. The track is smaller than Supercross but the action is every bit as exciting.
Endurocross is not selling out arenas like Arenacross, yet, but it is one of the fastest growing segments involving dirt bikes today. The 2014 series wrapped up on Saturday crowning first-time champion Cody Webb and the 2015 season is adding two dates to the schedule for a total of 10 in addition to an X-Games stop.
Just how long does it take to create a Motocross, Supercross, or Arenacross track by hand and shovel? Thankfully we don't know. Without tractor muscle would a Motocross season even exist? If so, expect often abysmal track conditions and the tour would be confined to a handful of locales. Don't even think about a Supercross season.
12. Water Trucks
Riders and spectators can give thanks to the water trucks that wet down the dust before every race. Watching or participating in dirt bike racing during a dust storm lasts for about five minutes. Unless races occurred just after a light rain it's likely no one would ever show up to a Motocross event without water trucks keeping the dust to a minimum.
13. Cool videos
Chad Reed's infamous flying jump at Millville is not a thing of legend. It actually happened and can be watched over and over. If you don't get goose bumps watching it then find another sport! Youtube.com is full of close calls, hard core crash-outs, fights and the occasional too-early win celebrations that go viral. Nothing kills time-to-spare more enjoyably than watching Motocross videos.
If Motocross isn't on the list of things Motocross riders can be thankful for then it's not a complete list is it?