Erin L Malcolm wrote to us a few weeks ago about contributing to this here site. It was a well-written email, so we decided to give her a shot. We told her: “write something creative and send it back.” Well, we were not expecting this. Erin killed it in her first article for Vurb.
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Moto parents. They are passionate. They are loud. They are opinionated. They are everything you love (and/or hate) about this sport. What kind of moto parent are you? Or if you’ve kept it in your pants and don’t have mini mes mobbing mopeds around the pits, wheelieing your brand new golf cart with seven or more kids on it all night long, or using the neighbor’s freshly planted garden to build miniature supercross tracks for their K-Dub replica toy dirt bike (true story), consider this your official moto parent breakdown so you can pre-plan to make the right decision about what type of moto dad or mom you’ll become down the line.
He’s the first true “moto parent” you ever remember meeting back in the day. If you’ve never met Steve, it’s because you are Steve. And if that’s the case, check yo-self. You know exactly who I’m talking about. He’s the one that makes you go, “Oh, so that’s what a moto dad is.” He knows everything you don’t know and makes sure you know, you know? He thinks he’s too good to get caught, but it’s obvious he ports and polishes his kid’s “stock” bike. He stands on the face of that gnarly triple at the local track and screams, “PIN IT,” then when little Billy doesn’t hit it, he throws goggles, packs up, threatens to sell all the moto stuff, then drags the kid to the track for more the next day. Newsflash: You don’t have the balls to hit that triple either, Steve.
She’s the life of the pit party. And she makes sure everybody knows it. You might as well shout that from the announcer’s tower, Wes Kain and Kevin Kelly. Who wants to hang out with Sheryl? Trick question. Everybody wants to hang out with Sheryl. She doesn’t know the first thing about dirtbikes, but she sure loves her moto kid, will to be at every race for moral support, and really just wants to have fun above all else. Forgot your alcoholic beverage of choice this weekend? Don’t worry, she’s got plenty to go around.
Ron and Sheryl always run in the same circle. They aren’t married—and good thing, because the camper would be on fire and the kids would be missing if that was the case. Much like Sheryl, Ron is new to the sport and doesn’t know a T-handle from a torque wrench, but he’s there for a good time regardless. Ron is also known as the money bags dad. He brings the most expensive whiskey, drives the freight liner-double decker cargo trailer combo with a full wrap, and decks his bratty kid out in the flashiest gear Hook-It can buy. He’s always drunk from the night before, misses at least one moto per weekend, and forgets to return the transponder every single time. He doesn’t care, though, because he’s too busy double-fisting beers while railing his kid’s race bike down the street.
Honestly, we don’t know much about Tiffany. She stays in her air-conditioned rig the whole race weekend with her private schooled daughters and only opens the door for a brief moment to let Hubby know dinner is ready and to let Princess the Chihuahua in a tiara out for his potty break.
Everybody likes Will. And everybody knows Will, mostly because he will stop at literally anyone’s rig to talk their ears off about moto and bring enough beer to make up for it. He’s the moto dad that keeps the sport going because he actually helps foster his kids’ love of the sport instead of forcing them to ride until they burn out by the time they hit Supermini age. He’s that guy who wears the same faded, sweat-stained race shirt from a local series in 2008 because he spent his last dollar on parts at the local bike shop (or more likely because he just doesn’t give a heck since he’s not there to impress anyone… and because it annoys his wife). He doesn’t yell at his kid when he leads the whole race only to tip over in the last corner before the checkered flag. He doesn’t brag when his kid wins national title after national title. He lends parts to strangers whenever they need them, even—especially—when that stranger is a competitor. He does it all. If you’re going to be anyone, be Will.
Patty is rare. She’s the ultimate moto mom in the best way, but the other moms would never admit it. While they’re all in Sheryl’s camper drinking White Claws and making “Moto Sis” and “Kiss Me, I’m a Moto Mom” shirts with their Cricut machines, Patty’s in the blistering heat changing oil and checking tire pressure on her kid’s bikes. She pushes her little guy to staging, packs a mean gate, and never forgets the starting blocks. She watches the moto on the back side of the track where she can keep to herself and pray. When her kid finishes first, she’s thrilled and humble. When her kid finishes last, she’s supportive and level-headed. And watch out, Steve, Patty will put you in your place if she sees you rip Billy off the bike like that again.
Not all moto parents are created equal, but they all (hopefully) have one thing in common: they love their moto kids and they love this sport. And if that’s not the case, well, we’re sure there’s plenty of room left on the soccer field.
Main image: Erin L Malcolm