By John Basher
I’m an adrenaline junkie to the core. Stopping to throw a
line in the water or trimming the jib is like hitting the pause
button on the tilt-a-whirl. A mild case of attention-deficit
disorder could be the culprit, though I’ve never been
diagnosed. To me, there’s no greater joy than going fast. I’ll
go boating, but it had better be on an 8000-horsepower Top
Fuel Hydroplane. I’ll hold a fishing pole, just as long as there’s
a great white on the end of the line. Why wait around for a
fish to decide whether to take the bait? I don’t get it.
“THE RUSH OF ADRENALINE
CAUSED FROM CRACKING THE
THROTTLE SENDS A JOLT OF
ENERGY THROUGH MY BODY LIKE
FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER. I FEEL
ALIVE. NOTHING ELSE REPLACES
Some would say that I’m one-dimensional. They’re probably
right. I blame motocross for my serious disinterest in any
other activity. The rush of adrenaline caused from cracking the throttle sends a jolt of energy through my body like
Frankenstein’s monster being hit by lightning. I feel alive.
Nothing else replaces that sensation. Trust me when I say
that I’ve tried everything. From baseball to
downhill skiing and shifter karting to scuba
diving, those things pale in comparison to
motocross. Some sports get close to replicating the exhilaration, but all come short of the
feeling of ripping laps on two wheels.
People often ask why I do what I do. It’s
hard to put into words. They bring up the
dangers of going fast around a rough track
and soaring through the air. Self-preservation
and motocross go together like oil and water,
they say. Why would I tempt fate lap after lap?
They don’t get it. I ride because it is freedom
from the daily grind. Motocross keeps me
sane. If gone too long without twisting the
throttle, I start to daydream of motocross
The Mecca of motocross is in sun-drenched
Southern California. It’s where the movers and
shakers live, because the weather is perfect
and the tracks are plentiful. An energetic
individual can ride every day of the week on a
different track if he so wishes. It’s the reason
why I moved from Buffalo, New York, a dozen
years ago to live the life of an MXA test rider.
However, my life has changed dramatically
since I purchased that one-way ticket to SoCal.
I got married, and two bouncing Basher baby
boys soon followed. That’s when I reevaluated
my future. Family became my top priority, and
so I had to make a change. Why? I couldn’t
bring myself to raise my kids in the concrete,
traffic-jammed jungle of Los Angeles. Instead,
I pointed the grocery-getter towards greener
pastures and wouldn’t let off the throttle until I
hit the Atlantic Ocean.
A toddler and baby don’t make very good
travel companions. Add in a tense wife at the
end of her fuse and it became the
perfect storm. Tornado alley had nothing on
my wound-up family. I had to deal with the impossible chore
of keeping everyone happy in a car for five days. That’s when
I learned that the mind is remarkable at suppressing stress.
I blocked out the yelling and screaming coming from the
gremlins in the back seat by daydreaming about motocross.
Strange thoughts entered my brain. While passing through
Edgewood, New Mexico, I wondered why the welcome sign
didn’t say, “Welcome to Edgewood, home of Jason Anderson!”
When driving by Shawnee, Oklahoma, I looked along the I- 40
to see if Trey Canard was putting in long motos. Sadly, I
never saw the #41 Honda. Along the way from California to
North Carolina, where I moved to the same town that
Cooper Webb is from, I spotted thousands of places to
build unbelievable motocross tracks.
I’m still at MXA and livin’ the life. It was agreed that moving
east would expand MXA’s footprint from coast to coast. It will
strengthen a magazine that is already so dominant at testing
and deliver even more valuable information to your mailbox.
Our coverage will include cutting-edge stories that aren’t
so SoCal-centric, but sometimes derived from the often
overlooked hot spots of motocross. Through growth comes
opportunity, and I look forward to what’s in the future.
North Carolina is said to be a great place to sail and fish.
I’ll pass and stick to motocross. Most of all, I realized that
motocross doesn’t belong to one specific area or region.
The sport’s epicenter may be SoCal, but it’s alive and well in
places like Texas, Georgia and the Carolinas. Best of all, I’m
presented with an opportunity to ride in a new part of the
U.S. while seeing different faces and raising my kids in a
better environment. Isn’t that what life’s all about?