The Jokes On Me | Durham's Adventures Continue
In spite of a couple crashes that kept my seat time to a minimum this year, I’ve been riding a lot over the past few weeks, and I’m feelin’ good. “We race… sometimes.” A joking moniker that became a serious reality of 2016, thanks in part to those crashes, has somehow become the theme of 2016 for me. We've been hard at work riding, racing sometimes, and filming all of it for an upcoming four-part series dubbed, "We Race, Sometimes." It's action-packed with freeriding, fun, and "sometimes" racing. Be on the look out for the first video to drop in the coming weeks. For now, I just wanted to get you caught up on what’s been going on.
I've had a loose, yet serious, outlook on racing since I was a kid—I always have fun with it. When I was younger, my brother was the fast one, and I was the goof off who was doing tricks and chasing chicks. But even after all these years, when I really think about it, I'm starting to realize that I'm still exactly the same. After 25 years of racing, earning a lifetime AMA membership, and having more good times than I can remember, this party is just getting started! Over the past few weeks, I’ve been back home—which I wrote about last week—enjoying some family time and a little racing.
This past Saturday, we went riding at Rick Kresic's track out by the Pittsburgh Airport. While we were there, a friend mentioned a money race at Briarcliff in Ohio. It sounded like a good idea, so I went home, prepped the bikes, and left at 4:00 AM the next morning to make it in time for the two-lap practice sessions. Luckily the races were long, as I had to learn the track on the fly since it was my first time there. It was a great layout with some of the best dirt I have ridden anywhere in the country. I was able to win all four motos, and our cameraman Mike even hit the track for the 125cc Legends race, and promptly faded like a black T-shirt out there!
The next morning, I went on an epic mountain bike ride with my brother Shane. I figured out quickly, though, that he wanted to kick my ass, as he turned up the heat on the trails at North Park. If that wasn't enough to be sore, the next day I jumped on the road bike with Broc Hepler to tag along as he preps for the International Six Day Enduro next month. After all that, I have to be getting in shape. More importantly, though, all that training earned a couple cold ones with Mike. Just as the brews cracked, and we began to relax at Mike’s house, his Mom said she had free Kennywood tickets—one of the oldest amusement parks in America. Without hesitation, we pounded our drinks and headed out the door for Kennywood.
Opening in 1899, my favorite rides are the old wooden coasters built almost 100 years ago. The Jack Rabbit was built in 1920 and has a double dip where I swear the coaster gets some hang time. Another ride dubbed The Racer was built in 1927 and has two coasters racing side-by-side all the way to the finish. The craziest part, though, is that if you start on the left side, you end on the right, meaning somehow the train switches sides—I still haven't figured it out. It was a weekday, so the lines were short and we had a blast. If you're ever in Pittsburgh and someone hollers Kennywood's open! Check your zipper.
I'm only home a few more days before I head back to race the 125 Dream Race aboard the Hell Raiser 125 built by Jeske MX Customs. The bike looks badass and I'm excited to line up for my first-ever 125 race! I might have to dust off the old Honda of Troy 125 for a few laps this week. We’re headed up to the Pacific Northwest next Wednesday, and we’ll be documenting the whole trip and posting updates along the way. Stay tuned!
Photos by Mike LeGrand and Rupert Pellett