Motocross racing is one of the most popular extreme sports today, and it’s called an extreme sport for a reason. Riders fly from one jump to the next, piloting in the air 70 feet or more at high speeds as they race around a motocross track. For Denair motocross racer Brandon Jones, the danger of the sport is an addictive adrenaline rush, keeping him returning to the track year after year, despite the dangers.
“The speed, the competition, the danger — it’s an addictive adrenaline rush, which is why so many riders love it,” said Jones. “I’ve been racing in the tracks since I was 3 years old, and have no plans of stopping any time soon.”
It’s not unusual for motocross riders to compete as long as their bodies allow them to, but even when they’ve broken too many bones to continue, many still continue going to the track.
“I’ve broken 28 bones in my body and am currently recovering from two knee surgeries. I’ve been out from competition for seven months,” said Jones. “Back in February, while I was competing, I was turning in my last lap. I jumped 20 feet into the air; before I knew it, this rider is rolling the track and turns in front of me when I’m in the air coming down. The collision broke my leg. Despite the bumps and bruises along the road, I am ready to go back into the track.”
Jones’ professional career began in 2002; since then he’s competed in over 300 races nationwide with the help and support from local sponsors.
“State of the X snack company and Merced Power Sports are some sponsors that help me with my races,” said Jones. “Merced Power Sports gives me all my bikes and parts that I need in order to prepare for a race event. My sponsors supply me with the necessary equipment to compete.”
Sponsors aren’t the only piece of the puzzle a rider needs in order to compete. Before going to a race, Jones makes sure he’s physically fit.
“A lot of people think that riding a dirt bike requires no physical training from the rider,” said Jones. “Being able to control the movement of your bike requires a lot of upper body strength. A good workout would be going for a long or fast bike ride with my wife. A lot of cardio requires more strength and gets your heart pumping faster,” he said.
Many people may not realize it, but being mentally strong for a race is just as important as being physically strong, said Jones.
“You have to have confidence in yourself to race at your full potential,” said Jones. “You must be able to focus and channel out other things. If you are physically and mentally strong for a race competition, you are more than likely be ahead of your other competitors. ”
After more than 10 years of competing at an amateur and professional level, Jones is not ready to hang up his gloves just yet.
“I don’t know when I’ll stop competing,” said Jones. “Even if I stop, I’ll still be involved in the sport one way or the other.”
— NANCY ANGEL