The Roots MX August 2014 - Page 89

A REASON TO RIDE AGAIN After his pro motocross career ended in injury and loss, Sean Collier garaged the bike to get a 9-5 job. Almost two years later, Collier dusts off his dad’s KX500 and finds a reason to ride again. By Rachel Witt, Photos by Jason Witt It’s midday at Mammoth Motocross. The sun that streams through the pines is warm to the skin. I’m sitting on the tailgate of a toy hauler with Sean Collier. He is shirtless, the scars on his shoulder visible as he eats a deli sandwich out of a plastic Ziploc. The braaap of 2-strokes plays in the background. Collier’s young son wheelies a toy motorcycle across the seat of the KX500 parked in front of us, as Collier’s moto medals jangle around his son’s neck. Earlier in the week, Collier took the KX500 to the track in the FMF 2-Stroke Challenge and despite weighing in at a mere 160 pounds, he handled the beast of a machine effortlessly, leaving his competition in a whirl of dust. When I inquire on the history of the bike, he says, “It’s a ’97 KX500 that my dad bought back in ‘97 to cruise the desert on. Pretty much got parked I’d say in like 2000. He only rode it a few times too, because he was focused on helping me, you know, go through all the amateur stuff. It was pretty much full-time work for him, plus he had his job, so it was gnarly.” Like the KX500, Collier parked his moto career in 2012 at the Lake Elsinore Pro Motocross National after a series of injuries and hardships whittled away his dreams of making a life out of motocross. There are aspects of Collier’s story that are all too familiar: a young kid with raw talent earns titles and accolades in his youth; injuries early in his pro career hinder his performance and limit his chances of earning a factory ride; struggles as a privateer force him to sacrifice everything—money, time, health, and relationships—for moto; generosity from family and friends piles on an ever-growing pressure to succeed in order to prove their sacrifices worthwhile. Until he has no more left to sacrifice and giving up becomes inevitable. To be a pro motocross racer, one needs more than just talent and tenacity. He needs to have the luck of good timing and few injuries. He needs small acts of pure serendipity. Such was not Collier’s luck as a pro motocross racer. theROOTSmx.com 89