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Motocross in the Southwest Borderlands: Motocross age and Injuries


Although it should be obvious, people seldom think about how much there is to learn from different conversations. An important one that occurs details why people who are “older” in motocross age don’t ride or race – anymore. While age and the various associated effects that come from hard living, smoking, drinking and poor eating can certainly contribute to reluctance to take the bike to the track and ride, more commonly people point to injuries: Too many broken bones.


It’s true that motocross can lead to many close calls, and as history shows, deaths, always unexpected. But as a sport, motocross has one of the highest injury rates and these are frequently accompanied by poor healing because riders will modify or remove casts, and often, ride long before medical knowledge says they should. Sometimes, these decisions made at a young age can have long-term consequences.

But one of the frequent reasons for accidents in motocross is insufficient understanding of the demands of the riding environment. What are the course conditions? What are the obstacles “really like,” as opposed to how they appear to be at first or second glance, or even the obligatory, frequently cursory roll-over? Young riders often fail to ask how the pros do it, believing in their own intuition to ferret out the best way to ride or clear an obstacle.




The back triple at FMX la Frontera MX Park is a typical example of this: riders fail to grasp the need to set a momentum line while still on the second double, setting themselves up for the outside seat bounce and inside landing, allowing them to avoid the outside radius of the turn and position themselves for the next double. Pros know these moves seemly intuitively, as Jorge Bujanda demonstrated Friday, May 7th.


But more often, riders struggle to master the jump by “practicing,” riding the same obstacle in the same way, hoping for different results. Ironically, the same people who hope to succeed in the nationals, who work to create teams of cooperative riders with whom they will develop their skills, seldom initiate conversations about the physical details of obstacles, or about the different approaches others have used to navigate them successfully.

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