Freshman Does Dangerous Stunts on Motor Bike

Zachary Daudet, Writer

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Freshman at Clairemont High School, Jack Gradyan, participates in one of the most dangerous sports in the world; dirt biking. Dirt biking is a death defying sport that has competitors race at top speeds along a course filled with bumps, turns, and massive jumps. These athletes fly through the air putting their lives on the line.

 

Gradyan has been racing bikes his whole life. “I started BMX biking at age five and I fell in love with racing. I recently got into dirt biking last year and I’ve been training ever since,” explained Gradyan.

 

He said he was drawn in by the incredible speeds and daring jumps dirt bike racers face; however, there are not very many dirt bike tracks around San Diego so he has to get his training in other ways. “I lift weights and do balance exercises everyday at home during the week. Over the weekend, my dad and I drive a couple hours to practice on actual courses,” said Gradyan.

 

Gradyan’s dedication has paid off. He has climbed the rankings in the San Diego area earning the respect of other riders. Ethan Lamb, fellow freshman at Clairemont High School and dirt bike competitor said, “Jack is very fast and not afraid to shred up the track. He goes 100% percent all the time.”

 

Gradyan has won many competitions and tournaments throughout his career. “The trophies and medals are great,” said Gradyan. “But right now I’m more focused on improving and just having fun.”

 

People familiar with dirt biking know what type of mental and physical skills these athletes have to have in order to perform in such an insane sport. Motocross riders like Gradyan have to face their fears of flying through the air at crazy heights and reaching speeds of 60 mph. “It is a little scary at the start,” stated Gradyan. “But once you get the hang of it, it’s really fun.”

 

A normal motocross race consists of a one mile lap around a track of tight turns, bumps, and jumps. Competitors do six laps around the track and the first one across the finish line at the end wins. Gradyan said, “Right out the gates it’s a battle for first place.”

 

Adrenaline junkies, like Gradyan, love the sport because of the rush they receive while racing. “I love dirt biking because it sends me to a different place. As soon as the race starts I zone out and forget about everything but riding to the finish line,” he said. However that adrenaline rush comes with a price.  

 

Since 2004 there has been a 33.7% increase in injury ratings while racing. This is due to the spike in popularity of dirt biking has in the last couple years and the increasing number of kids now competing in motocross events. “I’ve had numerous injuries such as broken bones and even being knocked out,” explained Gradyan. “But falling down and getting hurt has taught me how to persevere through pain and not give up.”

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