On this day of reflection I thought it would be nice to write about some of the things we have to be thankful for in the motorcycle community. After all, we are all part of a community of individuals, by which the dirt bike has been a central part of our life; to the point where it has shaped who we are as individuals—how we look at life. The dirt bike may have even saved our lives, provided us with a point of focus; a goal to strive for; with structure and discipline and work ethic—where otherwise we could have gone astray down the wrong path. That is why as a member of our group, we should be thankful for what we have been able to do with our lives.
For me personally, the dirt bike became a part my life at a young age; twelve to be exact, after a few dabbles in stick-and-ball sports with little interest other than I was doing what I thought I was supposed to be at that age. My attempt at football included a little shared glory; I happened to play for the local northeast Ohio championship winning Dallas Cowboys flag football team, where due to my small stature (and lack of skills) I was relegated to left tackle but still earned a championship-winning silver medallion necklace. Even that didn't do much for me. But at the age of twelve, when my dad introduced me to dirt bike racing, I knew immediately I had found my sport.
As dirt bike riders and racers, for the most part, we control our own destiny. Yet we have a team to support us; and that team is family—something we most certainly should be thankful for. The family support system around dirt bike racers are the pieces that assemble into memories we will cherish for the rest of our lives. We work together as a team towards a common goal; we camp at the track on the weekends; we work together on race day like a well-oiled machine: father and son and daughter; mechanic and support crew and rider. Family is the first race team every rider rides for. These are the personal memories of my own that make me smile to this day. I cherish those days past at the practice track with my father, who happened to pass away too soon in 1997. Those days still feel like they were yesterday. He may be gone, but my memories of those days together as a team will always be with me. These are memories I am thankful for.
The dirt bike community is a family that takes care of its own. When a rider is down, we circle the wagons and do the best we can to help that rider. Whether it is a charity event, a raffle, or a fundraiser, we are a good group of people that helps each other in hard times. We are one big dirt bike family and we should cherish the times we spend with one another; be thankful for the friends and family we have at the race track and in the dirt bike community.
Lastly, thank you for reading this. Thank you for visiting this website. Thank you for allowing me to do something I've always wanted to do: write and share the things that run through my mind, often unchecked—often unspoken. For that I am thankful. I am thankful for all of you because you make this possible. Have a happy and thankful Thanksgiving.
~ Dale Spangler