You make so many sacrifices to make this racing thing work. Sometimes it’s a Sunday evening and you’ve loaded the trailer after late awards. It’s a middle of the night cross-country drive home fueled only by bitter gas station coffee so you can be at a back breaking job by 7:30am Monday.
There’s days that you wake early to tune up my bike before loading the farm truck to head state racing. The Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons you’d like to be working on the house, watching the game, or simply relaxing - you’re standing, arms stretched over the fence, smile on your face because you want to be there, cheering me on, a wrench in one hand, shop rag spinning in the other.
Some years you’re wearing the same pair of ratty track shoes day after to day to make sure I have on the latest Alpinestars. Maybe you don’t get to be with Mom or MotoSis or the rest of the family because, well, We’re Gone Racin’.
It’s you and me against the world. We will ride with bikes packed like sardines in the van. It might not have AC but the radio works just fine. We don’t have GPS, and your old Rand McNally is tattered, but every sand track from Michigan to the Mississippi has a perfect red circle.
There’s some people rolling in American Eagle motorhomes and Prevost busses to the races. And there’s us, Dad; you scraping your American Dreams so I can live mine. Sometimes we save some money and camp in a tent, “on an adventure.” Some races we stay in hotels and take hot showers. The bikes get to come inside, too. But don’t tell the front desk lady.
It’s always fun. You find a way to make every race a lifelong memory. I’ll forever remember you showing me how to change a tire, first on a bicycle, then on my race bike. You show’ll
show me how to bleed forks and bandage my own scrapes.
Dad, there’s things you do that will stick with me forever. I hurt when I see the disappointment in your face after I don’t give my all, but my heart soars when I see the joy and pride you have when I’ve left it all out there.
I probably don’t tell you enough, I likely don’t show it. But. You’re my guiding light, Moto Dad. On and off the track. I need you to be around for me as long as you can. You’re my coach, my mentor, my sponsor, my friend. Thank you for everything you do. Happy Father’s Day.
Dear MotoDad is adapted from an article first written for our sister site, JournalBMX in 2017.