I have had some awesome opportunities come my way recently and went for it all the way. First, I switched from Yamahas to KTMs, not news anymore, but worth mentioning as the KTM has been a total blessing for me. Thanks again to Brooks “Hollywood” Hamilton for the opportunity. Second, and this is the big one, I moved to Texas (at least for the winter [Y’all]).
Here is the back story
Last year at the Tennessee Knockout, dad and I met a crew from Texas; these guys were awesome. When I got in trouble and needed major bike help, they jumped in with no questions asked and went to work. They found clutch covers for me, changed tires, and did whatever else was needed. It was pretty unbelievable, considering they really didn’t know me at the time. Dad was in shock, and I think the race stress was totally taken off his shoulders.
We have stayed in touch with the Texas boys ever since and have become good friends.
Fast forward to November
When I was kicking around the idea of finding a way to spend my winter in warmer climates so I could train and get ready for 2016, the Texas boys came through again. Mark Weeks offered me a job at his new shop NTX Off Road, and my adopted family, Mark and Beth Koch offered a place to stay. The move to TX was a pretty emotional decision for me, mainly because all my friends and riding buddies are in New England. But now that I am here, I have ZERO regrets. I am chasing my dream, and that does require sacrifices – and I’m game. I go to the gym with Mark Koch every morning at 5.30, Mark and Beth help me with my diet and anything else I need. It’s pretty unreal.
But I don’t just train and play, I work at NTX Off Road with Mark Weeks. He is also my coach, mechanic, and all-around teacher. He makes sure I get to the track 3 to 5 days a week, helps me with my bike setup, and pushes me to get faster. You may be asking, “What are his credentials?” Well, wonder no more. Mark Weeks comes from Monster Energy Kawasaki and has worked with riders like Blake Baggett and Dakota Tedder. I’m in great hands, and I’ve been putting in some serious time chasing my dreams. I am definitely living the “Funner Life.”
Racing here is very different from what we do in the North East.
Last weekend I decided to enter my first Texas race, I rode the TSCEC Red Canyon Enduro. Racing here is very different from what we do in the North East – it’s fast! The terrain felt like a desert to me, it was wide open, windy, and dusty, with some awesome technical sections thrown in. I’d be hammering in 5th gear tapped, slightly out of my comfort zone, as I’m just not used to that speed yet, and then the course would funnel us down into a gnarly rocky “New England Like” ravine where you are just trying to conquer the obstacles. I have honestly never ridden anything like this. Cactus (Cacti?) and Mesquite trees are just part of the game. Did I mention that I had an ungodly amount of fun? Anyway, this was my first-ever pro race, and I felt awesome. While I didn’t have anything for the winner Cole Kirkpatrick, I pushed hard, put in a solid ride, didn’t make any major mistakes and rode to a 4th place overall. I’m pretty pumped to start my pro racing career like that.
Rode my way to a solid 4th place in the pro class today at the TSCEC enduro. Terrain in west Texas is somthing out of a movie. It’s like your on the moon. These boys are no joke. 📷 my mechanic/coach @ntxoffroad can’t thank @flyracingusa @magicalgogo @stsmotorsports @kendatire @xbrandgoggles @edelmann.sales @bhamilton022 @fcsuspension @srtoffroad @fahqracing enough for the support!
Now its back to work
I’m getting ready for the GNCC season opener in Florida and then there is Erzberg, yes! If I can raise the money I am going back for redemption in May and I can’t wait. Look for some announcements on that soon!
Thank You to Mark and Jenny Weeks, Mark and Beth Koch and the rest of the Texas Crew. Thanks Zach Huberty and his soon-to-be better half Markie Koch for making me feel welcome.
To all my sponsors: Thank You!!! I am super grateful to have you on my side:
NTX Off Road, Fly Racing, Kenda Tires, Magical Gogo, Spectro Oils, STS Motorsports, Edelmann Sales, KTM USA, FAHQ Racing, Team SRT,, Factory Connection, Tube Saddle, Eks Brand Goggles, EVS, FMF Racing, Zero4Fitness, Offroad Paparazzi, Poacher 27, Loud Fuel/Carbon Zero, and the Colin Krenzul memorial fund.
Thanks for reading!!