College Students Learn and Benefit from Motocross

In 2012, Greg Bingaman and three other fathers started Quadcross NW after several bad experiences at a series in California. Finally, the turning point came when 250 and Pro-Am races were combined. As one might expect, the safety of everyone involved was compromised and the father of the pro-am rider took issue with the head of the series. The response was not what they had hoped for. According to Greg, they were told something along the lines of, “Well that’s how we’re going to do things and if you don’t like it, you can do your own thing.” Driving back home to Spokane, the fathers decided they would do just that.

They wanted to bring ATV Motocross to their local area, something that was missing for two years. More importantly, they felt the need to run a series that would bring people together. Three years later, roughly forty college students from all across the northwest attend Quadcross NW during the six weekends of racing. The friendly, family-like environment provides stress relief and teaches them important values.

“Other motocross sports are very competitive,” Bingaman said. “While Quadcross riders are very competitive on the track, off the track it’s a huge family environment.”

For college students, this type of environment allows people to come together and participate in an activity together that is positive and builds friendships.

Important Lessons Learned

Another major benefit is the learning experience it provides. Students learn important values that they can carry over into their daily lives.

“You learn sportsmanship, you learn responsibility for you gear, for your equipment,” Bingaman said. “You learn value because everything is expensive so you learn to take care of things.”

These values are often unseen by people outside of the motocross community, and while they do not directly tie into the job world, riders and their families feel that these life skills are something unique to the sport.

“It keeps me motivated to stay in school and be able to get my degree, and get a job at the end of this,” said Tyler Nelson, a college student at Green River Community college and Pro Amateur class rider. “I want to be able to support this.”

Zey’ver Mott, another Pro Amateur class rider getting ready to attend college, is looking ahead to how he can balance racing and college to his benefit. He felt that the physical demands and stress relief of racing will aid him in staying healthy and at his best.

“There’s a lot of discipline required going into it,” Mott said.

He stresses that getting into racing requires a lot of time and dedication, but the experience is worth it. Nelson also points out the need to stay healthy as a racer

“It becomes more and more important what you put into your body,” Nelson said. “You start to become harder on it as you progress.”

Those who get involved in racing must eat healthy and workout on a regular basis to meet the physical demands of motocross. For students, this dedication to a healthy lifestyle is important to maintain while earning their degrees.

Getting Involved

Before hitting the track, interested students can start attending races as spectators and getting to know people. Through these connections, they can learn about the sport and what they need to join.

Many riders, including Nelson and Mott, began by riding at local trails and sand dunes to learn the ropes. They all agree that this is an important step to go through before entering a race.

“Find somebody that you know that may be racing or come out to a local event,” said Bingaman. “We have classes for all ages and skillsets, from beginner to expert. Figure out all of the basic safety equipment you need and we’ll help get you set up and get you involved in the sport.”

Ultimately, it’s about having fun, being safe, and getting away from the stresses of everyday life for a weekend.

Quadcross NW resumes racing Aug. 22 and 23 at Albany Motorsports Park in Albany, OR. The final rounds will be held Sept. 12 and 13 at Washougal MX Park in Washougal, WA. Riders will be going green in honor of Joe Green, a racer and EMT who committed suicide two years ago, to raise awareness for suicide among EMT’s and support Code Green.

Austin Rohr

Austin Rohr is a twenty two year-old graduate from the University of Washington Tacoma with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He writes for Pit Traffic, and has raced on and off since 2015.

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