On Saturday, the 11-year-old had a new motorcycle to ride in the 66-85cc two-stroke class in the American Motorcyclist Association Hillclimb at Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area.
His motivation, ever since he started riding at the age of 3, is to have fun. His goal on Saturday: “To make it over the hill on this bike,” he said.
“Every year, he gets higher and higher and uses different bikes,” his father, Dave Graham said. “He really enjoys it. He doesn’t like football or baseball or soccer. It’s what he does here.”
“They get thrilled when they get to the top,” Graham added. “It’s a big thing for them.”
Saturday’s portion of the weekend-long hill climb event, the first round of the AMA California Championship Hillclimb and Verticross Pro-Am Series, includes the classes with the smaller bikes and younger competitors.
Frank Ross of Elk Grove races in the Old Timer class Sunday, but Saturday is when his children, Bailey, 6, and Parker, 4, competed in the 0-50cc class. Both have been riding since about age 2.
“They get the structure, and how to compete, and how to stay focused,” Ross said.
That latter skill came into play when Parker ended up taking a U-turn where most other riders would have fallen. With the bike pointed downhill and into the crowd, Parker was one of the few who didn’t panic. He stayed in the saddle until he reached the bottom of the hill and emerged unscathed.
His father said the races are memorable even without the scary moments.
“They love camping out and hanging out with their friends, having a good time,” Ross said. “They love winning the trophies. They usually do fairly well in the classes.”
Josh Rogers, 9, of Tracy was a little disappointed when he fell short of his goal on one run in the 51-65cc class, but he kept his perspective on why he keeps going back to try again.
“I just come out here and have as much fun as I can,” he said.
His father, Dan Rogers, got into the sport 10 years ago and got Josh interested when he was 4 years old.
“It’s a good place to bring the family. Otherwise, what are the kids going to do but get in trouble?” he said. “That’s all it’s about — having fun with your family.”
Results for Tracy competitors, including place, class and time (in seconds) or distance (in feet):
Brock Soares, first, stock 251-550cc A class, 17.425
Rebecca DeStefano, second, stock 51-65cc B class, 221’
Robert Wirt, second, vet stock 251-550cc B class, 23.536
Frankie Aloise, third, stock 51-65cc C class, 280’
Jared Bridgeman, third, stock 0-50cc C class, 160’
Hunter Graham, fifth, stock 51-65cc C class, 180’; 11th, stock 66-85cc C class, 275’
Joshua Rogers, sixth, stock 51-65cc C class, 167’
Devon Hartenstein, seventh, altered stock 0-700cc B class, 19.572; 17th, stock 126-250cc B class, 490’
Mike McManus, seventh, stock 126-250cc B class, 18.285
Bruno Silva, 10th, altered stock 0-700cc C class, 481’
Tim Sawyer, 13th, vet altered 0-700cc A class, 20.408; 32nd, pro 451-700cc, 19.174
Jake Flanigan, 14th, pro 701-open, 19.047; 15th, pro 451-700cc, 16.764; 20th, pro 125-450cc, 17.642
Tyler Sanders, 14th, stock 66-85cc C class, 255’
Jake Lewis, 15th, stock 66-85cc C class, 206’
Garrett Law, 16th, pro 125-450cc, 17.473; 29th, pro 451-700cc, 18.71
Bobby Boudreau, 20th, pro 451-700cc, 17.393
Josh Hall, 24th, altered stock 0-700cc B class, 275’ Tracy riders to compete in verticross, which featured side-by-side racing up Sportsman Hill:
Jake Flanigan, extended verticross 451-700cc and 250-450cc; Mario Marques, verticross side-by-side 251-550cc C class; Daniel Robertson, verticross side-by-side 125-250cc B class; Dave Shipman, verticross side-by-side 125-250cc C class; Bruce Sanders, verticross side-by-side 125-250cc C class.