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I’ve been involved in motorsports since I was knee high to a grasshopper, as my dad says, and today that translates into 25 of my 27 years.

As I look back on all those good times I’m hard-pressed to find too many that don’t rate 10 out of 10 on my personal “fun-o-meter”.

Whether it was running myself over with our 80cc Suzuki Tri-Zinger or getting hopelessly stuck miles from home on a school night (years before cell phones were pocket sized), motorsports have shaped my life and made me who I am today. Within that 25-year life lesson, some of my fondest and most memorable moments were racing.

Lets put the thoughts of having to go out and buy a huge trailer, finding sponsors and sacrificing every weekend for racing to bed and come down a notch to the recreational or club racing level. This is a branch of racing I’ve found to be incredibly rewarding the past few years.

The reality is, a weekend out with the boys mudding it up or slaying the trails is gonna run you the same out-of-pocket amount as participating in a club race, so the expense argument is a wash.

You’ve already got the ATV or SxS and I know for a fact there are club racing events within a stone’s throw of your front door. So, go racing!

In the last five years I’ve taken the plunge into recreational and professional SxS and ATV racing, all in the name of telling you the story (and, usually, because no one else volunteered).

In that time I have come to truly enjoy, not just the friendly challenge of competition, but the friendship and team skills that are built by working with a group of family or friends trackside.

As a kid, I learned real world lessons about conduct, sportsmanship and dealing with fame and failure, all while spending time with my family at the track.

If you’ve never thought about entering a race series or even a local cross-country event, you should consider it. At the minimum, research your local ATV club and find out if it has a Poker Run or a Hare Scramble planned for the summer.

While the word “competition” makes some nervous, the true goal should be simply finishing the race. I entered my first-ever cross-country ATV endurance race last October and while I knew I would eventually get competitive during the race, I went into it with one goal: Finish in one piece.

Similarly, two years ago Luke and I entered both motocross style and endurance side-by-side races and set out to just do our best and finish the races. Except for one mechanical failure, we were able to accomplish our goals and surprise ourselves with respectable finishing positions across the board.

While I’m not saying you need to be involved in every form of 4-wheel racing, you can find great pleasure and a true sense of accomplishment by challenging yourself through competition.

If you’re lucky enough to take your family or friends along with you, the bug that bit our family 25 years ago may just get you, too!

AJ Lester
AJ Lester
AJ is Co-Host of DIRT TRAX Television which can be seen on OLN and Sportsman Channel in Canada, Outdoor Channel across America and globally on our YouTube channel.

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