T.J. Montgomery teaches son about motocross
Picking a sport for his 4-year-old son to play was easy for T.J. Montgomery.
He just looked into his own past.
Logan Montgomery, now 6, was among the more than 400 riders participating in the Yampa Valley Sports Riders Club and Rocky Mountain Motocross Association weekend event in Craig.
The two-day event featured riders from ages 4 to older than 50 racing around the mile-long track.
And racing is just what the younger Montgomery wants to do.
“It feels good to race,” Logan said. “I like jumping, and going fast.”
Being on the sidelines gives T.J. a completely different view of the sport.
“I do get nervous when he gets some air,” he said. “I guess you do get used to it after a while, I’m just not there yet.”
Donna Zulian and her family, along with the YVSRC, hosted the races for the 10th year.
Zulian said this year’s event featured more riders than usual.
“I think a lot of people, especially those with trailers, didn’t want to make the trip before because of gas in the $4 to $5 a gallon range,” she said.
“But this year, there are a lot of people, which is good for Craig, too. It fills up the hotels and restaurants.”
One of those families, the Montgomerys, didn’t need to travel very far.
For the weekend, Logan rode his new KTM bike.
“I like it better than my old bike,” he said. “It’s bigger and faster, and has better suspension.”
On Sunday, Logan had a small spill on his bike, which resulted in a small bruise near his elbow.
He was thankful he was on his new bike, though. Had he been riding his older one, the bumps might have been worse, he said.
“When I jump, the suspension helps me not hit hard,” Logan said.
“It stops me from going off the bike and crashing.”
Logan knows he has a little ways to go before he can call himself a champion, and it comes down to experience.
“I need to use this bike more before I go to the championship,” he said.
His father couldn’t be happier with the zeal Logan has for riding.
T.J. was thrilled when his son got on his first dirt bike.
“It’s something I’ve done all my life,” T.J. said. “It’s something I did for a living.”
Although he might have nudged Logan towards the handlebars, it is Logan who continues to have a passion for motor sports.
“It might have been the other way around,” T.J. said, thinking about who wants Logan to race more, him or his son. “He watched me race and wanted to do it.”
Racing has brought the two closer together, but not just because they both enjoy it.
Unlike most other sports, motocross gives T.J. more time with his son.
“It’s good, because afterwards we talk about his run, and we discuss lines,” he said. “We talk about what he could have done differently.
“He listens, too. He’s starting to find his own lines, but he still listens.”
Being out on the dirt track filled with jumps serves as a classroom in life lessons, T.J. added.
“The one big thing is he gets out and builds confidence,” T.J. said. “It instills confidence at a young age, and confidence is everything. And that carries through in everything you do, no matter what.”
Motocross is filled with other lessons, as well.
“They learn to compete at a young age,” T.J. said. “And they learn to lose gracefully.”
T.J. gets something else from watching his son race, too.
“Yeah, I might live vicariously through him,” he said. “Just a little bit, though.”
Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or email@example.com.