The family and I spent the week in Freestone, Texas for one of the AMA Amateur National’s so I didn’t get to sit and hone in on the Indy SX Saturday night. However, since there is not a Daytime Program “SX Edition”, I can offer you all a consolation prize with some top thoughts from the week at a big amateur race such as Freestone. Here are some “Top 5” thoughts on why you may or may not want to show up to one of these with your family.
Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Come To A Big Amateur MX National
- Family: Honestly this could go on either side right? Getting to spend the weekend with your loved ones is pretty cool (or not, depending how you and your family interact) as you are locked in the same area for a week straight. Same pit, same hotel space, same restaurants, same everything. It’s like experiencing the COVID-19 lockdown but without a mask. LOCKDOWN! Sharing the happy times as well as the tough times that you will experience within the week at an amateur race is something you will remember for the rest of your life. Aden had his head up his ass a time or two during the week as I was explaining to him how to unhook the trailer from the van as well as watching him try to back the van/hitch into the trailer receiver. WOW! Patience can run thin as a parent but seeing him treat others with respect at the track as well as achieve some of his own racing goals wipes away all the mouth breather shit this kid does off the bike.
2. Racing On Good Tracks: Aden and I never had the chance to race Freestone so getting to ride on a track we have heard about for so long was enjoyable. With the rain we experienced before the event here in Texas it left the track very soft and rutty, which made it difficult to choose lines. All of this is similar to an outdoor national, which can only help your child if he/she plans on going to the big show someday. Kudos to the track crew at Freestone for giving all of us a challenging yet safe track to ride/race. The staff was also friendly and talkative which is rare.
3. Accomplishment/Rewarding Feeling: Racing an event that stretches out over the course of almost a week takes some planning as well as some attrition. You can’t just come into moto one on a Wednesday and blow your wad then wake up on Thursday and expect to do well. You have to learn how to turn it on as well as off for more than a few days which can be difficult to do at any age. However, once the week is completed and you look back at your results from the few days of racing, that feeling you get when driving home is indescribable. Reflecting on all that you have accomplished over the whole event (parent or racer) should be something to be celebrated. Let’s say you do crappy, you still can learn and feel good that you even got there and made an effort. It’s a lot more than most do ever in their life.
4. Racing With Likeminded People: Maybe this isn’t on the top of your list but even that asshole that is talking shit about your kid or maybe is trying to protest you is still similar to you, in the fact that they want the best for their child and is there because he or she loves the sport just like you. Maybe they don’t act like they should but everyone there in that paddock enjoys the sport and is giving their time and money to race. I do think 99% of the people at Freestone were enjoyable to be around and were very kind, which is something I couldn’t say when I was a young amateur racing with my dad. Even though we didn’t go to a lot of races back then it still wasn’t as friendly. Back then people were less friendly and weren’t willing to help you out or give you some advice. Today’s amateur scene seems way more “off-road” like than ever before. Even in the competitive “B” classes.
5. Memories: When I look back as a kid, I don’t have many memories of my family and I at the races. My mom was in a wheelchair so she couldn’t go to many races with us and my dad took me racing sparingly because he worked so damn much. Giving these days/races to Aden is giving him memories that will last him through his lifetime and he will be able to tell his kids about how big of an asshole his dad was at times. Or maybe he will get it by then and understand why dad was an asshole because he will be sacrificing the same for his kid when he is my age. Mind blown!
Top 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Race An Amateur National:
- Money: Holy hell it is expensive! This is the top one on my list because I am not rich and I see my bank account dwindling down as I am sitting here typing this. Yes, I am still here because there are TWO big amateur races in the Texas area so why not stay another week! GEEEEEEZUS! As of right now we are in almost 4,000 for this trip! I mean it was $500.00 for entry fees and then it was $200.00 to get us all in the gate for the week. This 4K comes from fuel costs, Air BnB costs, food, bike parts (and I get a lot of stuff for free) and all of the other shit that pops up while you’re here! OUCH! Good bye date night, Heather!
2. Time Off Work: HOW THE HELL DO ALL YOU PEOPLE GET OFF WORK FOR TWO WEEKS?! Please tell me how you do it! I am sitting here stressing out as my work at home is piling up yet you people are driving huge motorhomes, smiling, enjoying yourselves on a Monday afternoon in the pasture of some Texas property. I am sitting here with a frown, irritable, thinking about work all day! Was I an idiot as a young adult and should of taken another direction in life for my employment? Do you have rich parents? Did you get left a ton of money? What is the secret? We are sitting here in a van and a trailer (which to me is luxury) and I look out across the Texas plains to see hundreds of rigs just hanging out on a Wednesday. It is tough for me to leave my work for this long so I struggle with this at times.
3, Waiting: Just like Tom Petty said “waiting is the hardest part”! You have a moto at 8:30 AM and then you’ll be sitting around until 3:00PM until your next moto. This part sucks about amateur racing! I don’t do good with sitting around so I constantly am tweaking about the pits! Oh and vets don’t race until the weekend so I am really freaking bored! How the hell do you know where to go on the track at 3:00PM, when you haven’t ridden it since 8:30 AM! Let’s see where this rut takes me! Oh! Nope! That one goes off the track! Holy hell, man! You get a parade lap at certain times but figuring when that time is, is like being part of some secret underground cult group so you “hear” about it fifth hand from someone else in the pits. “Oh hey, there is a parade lap after race 28” and it is race 27 as you sit in your lawn chair with a PB&J in your mouth (yeah, PB&J because I am broke now)! Oh shit, thanks man!
4. Scheduling: Trying to figure out which race will be the last race of the day is like finding that last egg you hid on easter. You just can’t seem to find it or know where it is. So you’re race 28 and they are on race 20 at 4:00 PM right? Getting the promoters to announce what race they are running to by 3:00 PM on any given day is like winning the lottery or having a hot chic ask you out! IT DOESN’T USUALLY HAPPEN! “Have you heard what race they are going to today”, is a common question throughout the pits at any amateur national. The answer normally is, “no I haven’t but I will go up to the tower to ask”. You see said person later that day walk out of that tower dejected and beatdown by life afterwards. Usually what happens is you’ll wait around all day and they’ll stop on a race right before yours, so you get to go back to the hotel around 7:00 PM, only to get back to the track at 6:00 AM to be ready for the first race of the next day. Yes, you would be correct, it is barely light out and you’ll like it damn it You’ll have to, because you just sold a kidney to race this damn thing! FML!
5. Internet Service: Getting service on your phone is like trying to get into a chat room in the 1990s. Oh and if they do have some type of service they will make damn sure they charge you for it if they have it! Usually these amateur races are out in the sticks so service is sketchy so if you can afford it, get some type of personal hotspot for your internet needs!