Times like these really suck. I don’t blog much anymore, and I usually try to keep this blog on the lighthearted side, but this is one of those times where I’m venting, and if you want to read it, cool. If not, cool, too. I, like a lot of people in the sport, am anxiously waiting any real report on Tyler Hoeft’s condition, although from the chatter that has been going around, even the good news is pretty terrible. I never met Tyler, but saw him at tracks in California here and there. Good rider, and the family seem like good people, the type that make the track a good place.
I just saw a photo of Tyler racing from Thursday (above), presumably in the moto where he crashed. Stuff like that is tough for me to look at. It’s so hard not to think, “Man, if he just didn’t line up for that moto…” It’s enough to make you not want to ride a dirtbike. But then, where does that mentality stop? At what point do you start thinking like that and look up and realize you haven’t left your house in four weeks because it’s the safest way to live? Motocross is dangerous, no matter what. I know that there is no way to ease the heartbreak and hardship the Hoeft family is experiencing right now, and I am not even going to try to. All I will say is, no matter what happens, I am sure that Tyler Hoeft was happy riding his dirtbike, much happier than kids who grew up with their parents putting floaties and helmets on them when they got into an inflatable pool. Every day in life should be a roll of the dice, to some degree, if you are truly living.
I’ve spoken to a lot of people in the last day who use the “It just isn’t worth it” argument, and get kind of frustrated because that makes no sense to me. What isn’t worth it? I am not saying that a kid’s life is worth risking for motocross; all I am saying is that there is so much out of our control, to argue that racing a dirtbike isn’t worth it is to say that life would be better spent sitting on the couch, waiting comfortably for death. Tyler Hoeft doing something that he loved, that he was passionate about, and was damn good at was definitely worth a hell of a lot to him. Tyler’s crash was on a standard jump, and was a horrible freak occurrence. To argue whether this is worth it or not is to say there is a credible chance that he could have seen some scenario where this was coming, which is idiotic. It would be foolish to think that anyone who has ever swung a leg over a bike could have seen that coming. Don’t say “motocross isn’t worth it”.
I see more and more people coming out of the woodwork saying that amateur motocross is too dangerous now, that the tracks are too gnarly and the bikes are too fast. I will say that I don’t think there is any reason that a kid should ride a 450. Honestly, if you weigh under 200 pounds and are not a professional, you do not need a 450, straight up. I’m not talking about Tyler Hoeft right now, because I think he was riding a 250. This is just an observation on the state of amateur motocross. More and more kids are coming up in the ranks with unbelievable speed, but regularly taking unbelievable crashes, too. Amateur motocross now has a “just twist it” mentality that I don’t think it ever had – parents and training facilities are more often encouraging speed over technique, which is not the way to do it. Proper technique will always translate into speed in the long run, but such is not always true vice-versa. And while I hate two-stroke nazis, I will say that it takes a lot more technique to ride a two-stroke 250 than a four-stroke 250. But proper technique allows riders to stay out of trouble more often on the track, and ultimately leads to fewer crashes. Some people might argue against my opinion there, and they are stupid. There will always be forces out of our control working on the track; minimizing their effect is the only thing we can do.
Again, that last paragraph was in no way directed toward Tyler Hoeft or family. From what I could tell, Tyler is a great rider with great technique, like his brother. My relentless condolences and support to them in this, the hardest time of their lives. Nothing would make me happier than to see him pull through this. Eazy out.