Wasting a Racing Legend’s Time and Experience


Last month, Monster Energy Supercross invited me to East Rutherford, NJ to attend a media event with the penultimate race of the year. Unfortunately, due to personal issues I was unable to stick around for the race, but I did make a day trip that Friday for a number of press events. We got a tour of JGR Racing’s team trailer and got to meet some of the riders. We were supposed to get some basic on-bike dirt riding training, which I was really looking forward to, but the non-stop rain the northeast has had for the past couple of months washed out those plans. We got to sit on some bikes and try a virtual reality simulation, which was cool, though not the same.

The Supercross folks can’t be blamed for the weather, and safety was definitely a concern. Since moving to New Hampshire, I’ve been wanting to switch to a dual-sport motorcycle and explore the numerous dirt roads and unmaintained (class 6) roads near me, so I was really looking forward to some basic training. Instead, I did the next best thing: pick the brain of a guy who knows a thing or two about dirt.

Rather than asking seven-time AMA Motocross champion and five-time AMA Supercross champion Ricky Carmichael about his career, his success, and his views on racing, I was completely selfish and asked him how a hypothetical (not) middle-aged guy with years of street riding experience but no dirt experience should make the transition from tarmac to trails. It may seem like a complete waste of an opportunity to talk with a living racing legend. But Ricky was extremely gracious, and gave me some great advice to answer my questions.

If anybody wants to buy a Honda PC800 or Shadow ACE 1100, and/or trade me their Kawasaki KLR 650 or similar, let me know…


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