Motocross builds competitors and strengthens families

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High winds and soaring temperatures couldn’t keep racers from competing on Saturday as the fourth round of the Rocky Mountain Motocross south series rolled into Mountain West Motocross Park in Mona.

Motocross racing is about pushing the physical limits of your body and the known limits of a dirt bike in order to ride faster than others. It’s about picking the fastest lines around the racetrack and maintaining momentum. It’s also about strengthening families and building friendships.

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A rider jumps through a section at Mountain West Motocross Park in Mona, UT.

“That’s what it’s all about,” Bettfreund said. “It’s not about winning or money. It’s about a family out for the day having a good time.”

Bettfreund still enjoys the thrill of taking off after the gate drops and racing with friends, but that doesn’t mean his children do too.

“I have a daughter that loves to ride the track and probably is faster than me, but she won’t race,” Bettfreund said.

As a family, they have fond memories of time spent together at the track and even some trail riding by Lake Powell at a place called “Big Water.”

“You can jump. You can trail ride. You can hill climb. There are big, natural jumps,” Bettfreund said. “We just fell in love with the place. It’s all clay and no rocks. It’s just so much fun.”

Daxon Jones, 9, from Cedar City, is also part of the group racing in Mona and in-between his own races – cheering on the two old-timers. He too has enjoyed time at Big Water.

“For my birthday we went and camped over there. It was a fun place to ride,” Jones said. “I was in the soft stuff going really fast and then my front tire got stuck in the dirt. I thought I broke my ribs.”

Jones has been riding since he was five years old, but this is his first full season of racing in the 65cc beginner class. At a typical Rocky Mountain Motocross (RMX) weekend event, Jones is just one of an average of 650 entries (accounts for riders entering multiple classes) racing motocross.

Courtney Brough, RMX Owner, from Kaysville, and her husband Gary are always on-hand to help the riders with questions and safety.

“We always feel that we’re approachable,” Brough said. “If there’s something out there on the track that’s not safe, people can come and tell us which section it is and we’ll do our best to fix it.”

RMX separates itself from other regional motocross organizations in several ways. The series recently started running regular Saturday races, an option not available in many states such as California. In this region, fewer riders actually race on Sunday.

“In Utah, because there are more LDS riders than there are in Idaho, we drop off 50 percent from Saturday to Sunday,” Brough said. “In Idaho, it’s more like 30 percent.”

Another element that separates RMX from other organizations is their awards. Aside from race awards, the staff decided that each week they would award or support a rider with bike problems, a rider missing a trophy by one place and a rider or spectator that “goes above and beyond.”

“It keeps the environment friendly and helps people know that we’re not just here for their money, but that we really do care about the riders and their families,” Brough said. “It’s not just another gift card or another trophy but something extra so that everybody felt they were being recognized.”

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B. Weppner speeds by during a Rocky Mountain Motorcross Series race on Saturday

“There aren’t a minimum number of races you have to attend to qualify for awards,” Robb said. “If you’re really fast and you show up to four and you take first place, you’re going to get your award.”

Some organizations require racers to attend a certain number of races to receive series awards. Overall, the RMX series offers longer motos and better motocross to the riders, which in turn creates an environment conducive to strengthening families.

“We have a great staff that helps us do this. I feel bad even calling them staff because they’re friends. They’re like family,” Brough said.

At the end of the day, Tom and his family didn’t come away with big trophies or gift cards. They did however come away with a great day of motocross with their family and friends.

Tom said of his wife, “She told me, ‘you truly enjoy riding your dirt bike and if that makes you feel good, then that makes me feel good too.’”

Results from the weekend and other information regarding the series can be found at rmxseries.com.

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