Abraham Lincoln’s Guide To Motocross
Abe Lincoln Didn’t Really Do Motocross, Did He?
In truth no, he was born in 1809, long before anyone swung their leg over a dirtbike, and longer still until the first documented motocross scramble at Camberley Heath (read about the History Of Motocross here).
Abraham Lincoln had a hard, tough life. He had to withstand many a setback and tragedy, including at the age of 7 being forced along with his family out of their home, losing a sister at 17 years old, failing in business in 1831 (age 22).
A year later in 1832 he ran for State Legislature and lost; to ensure his year could only get worse, he also lost his job. Abe then decided to go to law school but was refused entry, so then decided to borrow money from a friend and in 1833 he started a business… but was bankrupt before the year was out.
1834 saw him win this time for State Legislature, and the following year in 1835 he was engaged to be married. Just as things were looking up his fiancée died, which tore him apart and in 1836 he was bedridden for almost 6 months and a total nervous wreck.
Never giving up, he was unfortunately defeated whist running for Speaker of the State Legislature in 1836. 4 years later in 1840 he was defeated to become Elector.
1842 saw Abe married (to Mary Todd) and together they would have 4 boys (only 1 lived to maturity), and in 1843 saw him run for Congress, which he lost.
Not ever giving up, 1846 he decided to run for Congress again, this time winning (yay go Abe!) and so he moved to Washington. In 1848 he was not re-elected, so in 1849 he sought the job of Land Officer, which he was refused.
The 10 years between 1850 – 1860 was more of the same bad luck for Mr Lincoln, his son died, he lost for the Senate of the United States, he earned very little in the way of votes for the Vice Presidential nomination, losing again in 1858 when he ran for the Senate.
1860 saw a turning point; Abraham Lincoln was elected President Of The United States.
Enough of the History Lesson
So what has Abraham Lincoln got to do with motocross? He is a great example of someone with determination, stamina, unwavering in his quest for what he wanted, and no matter what setback he faced, he never gave up. These are qualities the motocross greats had, and if you apply them too, you can achieve great things not matter if you are a weekend warrior, or someone looking to hit the big time as a Pro Motocross Racer.
There are some great quotes from him over the internet; here is how I think they can be applied to the sport we all love:
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.
Bit light hearted to start us off, but it’s often been said to test a man’s character give him a Honda CR500 to ride.
When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.
That feeling when you get the holeshot, do the double for the first time, hit the whoops flat out and make it out the other side. Feels good right? Or when you lose the race on the last bend because you overcooked it rather than staying smart, bottle it hitting the jump when you know you can do it – we’ve all had those moments. If you’re a rider, Motocross is our religion.
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
Here he is telling us to make sure the work is done before we get to the track. Prepare for the challenges you will face. Make sure you have the right tires for the conditions, spare pads or new ones fitted if required, air filter cleaned and the rest of the crucial maintenance to ensure your bike doesn’t let you down at the races. Put in the time preparing, it will make the day run smoother. I also like to apply this to the race starts – on an average meeting you may only do 3 – 6 actual race starts, but you should be practicing them many more times. It’s a lot easier to win from the front!
I do the very best I know how, the very best I can, and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.
Do your best, on and off the track. And don’t give up!
Determine that the thing can and shall be done and then… find the way.
Your down to the final few laps, you’re in second place, 1st is in sight – Decide you want that top spot, then make it happen.
Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality.
When I read the commitment Abe had to follow his passions or goals, my mind wanders to Ricky Carmichael. I often imagined that at the height of his career the GOAT would look at something, and if it didn’t help him achieve his goals of total domination, he would give it a wide berth. Go for a beer down the pub with his mates, I can just hear him now declining and hitting the track in the pitch black just to get that edge over his competitors. Ricky made a promise to himself, committed and as we know it certainly turned into reality (didn’t his competition know about it!).
The setbacks that both had in their lives never stopped them. Remember when RC had knee surgery, took a long time off, and came back the following year to go undefeated in the outdoors (with sea biscuit as his butt patch lol) when many people had wrote him off. RC had the focus and determination to match our subject matter. I think Ricky & Abraham would have been good friends.
If you are interested in the history side of this article, namely Abraham Lincoln, you can find more information out here: