(...Or in my case motorcycles, motorcycle racing and motorsports in general)
I had thought about sharing this story at last season's WMRC Awards Banquet but I don't think I would’ve been able to make it all the way through it. Since we have the WMRC Presentation planned at Bayview Elementary School in June I had a meeting with the Principal and told her the story which led me to decide to share it here even though it is very personal...
I lost my mom in a car accident when I was 5 years old. My younger brother and I were in the back seat of the car at the time when she lost control when her foot apparently slipped off the brake and onto the accelerator. We hit a big tree on West King Edward Avenue in Vancouver head on and she was killed instantly. I will never be able to forget the image of my mom in the driver's seat with her head slung back and blood everywhere. I had suffered a broken Femur in the accident but thankfully my brother was not hurt.
I was in a full leg cast from waist to ankle for a very long time and got around the house by crawling on the floor using only my arms and good leg - apparently I didn't want to use my crutches! When the cast finally came off, I would still be crawling around and refused to even try to walk. My dad asked the doctor for advice and he suggested that he get me a bicycle...well, once I got on that thing there was absolutely no getting me off of it!
Our house was only a block away from Bayview Elementary School and years later when they built a playground with a bunch of hills and a big metal slide that is where I would always be riding my bike. As a matter of fact, when the big metal slide was installed I was the very first kid in the neighborhood to ride down it on a bike...such a hooligan!
Incidentally, my dad had re-married a couple years after the accident and I've always considered my stepmom and stepsister to be anything but "step” - they are and have been as much a part of my family as my dad or brother. I have no idea how my dad had the strength to go on, he is and always be my biggest idol.
I think what drives my passion about motorcycles, motorcycle racing and motorsports in general is that I want to be the best that I can possibly be at something dangerous. It's kind of like me showing mom, who is my guardian angel that her son can excel something that is comparable to the type of thing that killed her.
I know a few other racers that have similar stories to mine and because of that we share a special bond when we are going handlebar to handlebar into a corner battling hard for race position.
As I said, I had thought of sharing this at the WMRC Awards Banquet especially since I had won all 4 of my WMRC Championships with zero crashes! Look Ma...I did it perfectly!