I cannot believe I have reached this point in my life. The point where I must explain to a new generation of how rad I was back in the day. [Ed note: He wasn’t. -Slaw] Am I really that old guy now? [Ed note: Yes! -Slaw] It all happened so fast.
The Vurb Red Program is a starting point for all of you up and coming kids who have begged for vurbmoto to come back. Apparently, this company has inspired a bunch of you to pick up some cameras and film/take photos of people riding dirtbikes. That is truly awesome. It inspired me too.
Well, not to toot my own horn here (I hate writing about myself) but I would like to think that I inspired the creation of this cool program for the next generation. I was the Red Program before the Red Program existed. Say Red Program again…Red Program.
Let us take you back to 2008 to a young Troy Dog who visited this new site called vurbmoto every day. I would literally sit on the computer during my high school classes just reading every single article, watching every video, and pick up everything this creative was putting down.
How cool would it be to be a member of this crew? Look how much fun these guys are having at all the races. I had zero plans for college or much of anything going for me at the time, but I knew one thing: I loved riding my dirtbike. I sucked at it, but I wanted to be in this awesome industry and watch all the races and go behind the scenes. That summer the National Security videos dropped as well as all the Motocross Shows.
At the Unadilla National in 2009 I was walking through the pits (I never told anyone this) and I looked up and I saw Wes walking through the crowd. We walked past one another and then I thought I should introduce myself. He then looked over at me and flicked me off. (He didn’t I made that up). Then I also thought, “Why would this dude care who I am?” So, I kept on moving. In hindsight I probably should have stopped to talk to him.
A few months later and a few days before the Mini Os at Gatorback that I was set to attend with current pro (13th overall at Loretta Lynn’s 2), but 50cc rider at the time Ezra Hastings and family, I had a great idea. It was a shot in the dark, but I sent Travis Steward a Facebook message telling him that I would be his assistant for the week to learn the ways of the Vurb crew.
The next morning, he had written me back and told me that I should stop by and he would teach me, and I could work the week for them. I remember being so excited about this opportunity. Here I was, a 19-year-old loser who should have been in college but instead chose to continue to work for his father at the family restaurant. This was the IN I needed, and I was not about to let it go to waste.
I followed the Hastings family down to Florida and slept in a tent on the farthest field away from vendor row. I found Travis, introduced myself, filmed a ton of content, and had the most fun in a week I have ever had to this day. I made so many lifelong friends that I keep in contact with today. Oh yeah, and I got my start in the media side of things. My dream all along.
Somehow the Vurb dudes liked me so much that they invited me to stay another week with them. We went to Millsaps Training Facility to film Justin Barcia testing for his upcoming rookie supercross season. Then we stayed at Justin’s house for the night before heading to Wes’ house for a few days. Truly a trip of a lifetime. Then I went home, and they invited me to the Oak Hill National, Loretta Lynn’s, and Ryne Swanberg and I road tripped to five nationals that summer. Each week I would get more work to do and eventually I was writing 4-5 articles a week for the best damn motocross website in the world.
I consider myself motocross media’s best kept secret. I have written, edited, filmed, and been a part of so many projects over the years and no one knows who the bleep I even am (which is okay). Working with this great company allowed me to get my foot in the door with Racer X Online as the Assistant Content Editor. That led to Steve Matthes picking me up as a Staff Writer at PulpMX. There was a point for a few years there where I made a living from this sport. It was not six figures by any means, but it was enough to live comfortably. I was even offered a full-time gig at Racer X in 2016, but I would have to move to West Virginia. I was not willing to do that at the time, but it made me realize how far I had come.
Working in this sport is a grind that never stops, which I got tired of doing. Hence the step back from all of it. Also, my wife and I wanted to have a family together and so I just focused on my real-life job. When Vurb shut its doors in 2017, I had one of the last articles posted. Everything just felt different. This company had been a part of my life for almost a decade and it was the best times I have ever had. Budget cuts forced Racer X into ending my contributing around the same time that Vurb left. My work with Matthes had doubled, but my passion was not in it anymore. I gave Pulp my months’ notice and disappeared.
Of course, I would not be where I am today without the people in this sport who apparently like me enough to keep me around. My list of people who have helped me out over the years reads of the who is who of motocross media. If they were/are involved with Vurb, Pulp, or Racer X they have all shaped me into who I am today.
I was officially with Vurb from November 2009 – when the lights were shut off in 2017. And now I am back. I told the crew, err “dogs”, that when it was time to open the shop back up that I was in. I’m enjoying myself again. I got really burnt out trying to create so many interesting articles each week. Now I can write as much as I want and not worry about deadlines or impressing anyone. No pressure means a happier Troy Dog. I hope to find my niche again.
Anyway, the point of this article is to show you young up and comers that you can do big things. If you work hard and grind hard you can have a place in this sport or any job you put your minds to. Also, never forget to send Facebook messages to Travis Steward in the middle of the night… he loves it.
Thanks guys. I am glad to be back.