So You Wanna Ride Motocross
Develop a relationship with your local shop: If you support them, they may end up supporting you. Plus, the shop is a good place to gather information on what is happening both locally and nationally, and establishing a good relationship with them is a great way to meet other people in the industry.
Mike Mason's first sponsor was Michael's Cycles in Reno, where he and his dad always bought their gear. Mason's relationship with the shop evolved over time with lots of shop visits and from running into each other at the local races.
"It wasn't like I was some kid out there beating everyone," Mason says about getting his first sponsorship. "It was more of a local loyalty thing."
Mason still buys a lot of his bike parts from Michael's Cycles and says, "Not much has changed over the years and that's the cool thing."
Tip No. 4: Prepare to TravelWhen you get good enough, you might end up spending more time on the road than you do at home. Travel schedules make it difficult for pro riders to even practice, much less learn new tricks. The warm-up sessions prior to their weekend shows are the only times they get to practice while on tour.
"We only have one bike when we travel and it stays with the tour, so we can't ride in our free time," says Mason. We're stuck in a hotel with no access to bikes during the week." "But," he adds, "If that's all I have to complain about--hanging out in a hotel in Australia--I guess my life is pretty good."
Tip No. 5: You're Gonna Get HurtMotocross is a dangerous sport; odds are you're going to get hurt.
At the LG FMX Championships last year, Adam Jones crashed on a Cliffhanger backflip, breaking six ribs, his scapula in seven places, and bruising a lung. He was off the bike until January 2008.
At the beginning of 2007 Mike Mason tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) then shattered the tip of his femur near the end of the season. He was in a wheel chair for nearly two months, finally getting back on the bike five months after surgery.
While practicing for the 2008 Moto X World Championships, Nate Adams was going through a high-speed corner that was muddy and rutted. He hit his head and knocked himself out. Although he should have taken a few weeks off to let his neck and back heal, he was back at it days later.
"When you start to rush things that's when you start crashing a lot," says Adams.
No matter how prepared you are or how careful you try to be, crashing is a part of the sport. As Jones puts it: "You either deal with getting hurt once in a while or get a real job, and I don't want a real job."