Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Passion...Cody Church

One last deep breath. Head down, eyes closed and taking one more second for yourself. Silence the crowd, pray for safety and tap the front number plate twice for luck. Then...eyes open to stadium lights and 60,000 screaming fans, 13,000 rpm and the gate drops. 

It's a routine that privateer Cody Church has become very familiar with, living out his dream as a professional supercross racer. That's just Saturday nights for the 21 year old from Grand Junction, Colorado. We as fans see all these guys as superheroes, making a living doing what we only dream of. Every kid with a dirt bike wants to be a pro when they grow up. There's more to it for a privateer. Long work weeks, being your own agent and mechanic. Long drives between rounds and the stress to perform up to your own expectations. Good results gain publicity and help obtain sponsors. A bad night can make you question the path you've chosen. 

Photo: Diffysmooth
The weekday grind for Church has him installing heating and air conditioning systems. "On occasion I do some plumbing." Mainly working on new construction units, he's grateful he hasn't had to call Mike Rowe for a Dirty Jobs interview yet. When it comes to relaxation he throws a little golf and mountain biking into his life although it's fishing that really makes him happy. "I could get lost in the woods with a fishing pole and be the happiest man on earth."
The journey as a privateer for Church began in 2012. "I was 17 and thrown to the wolves!" The Salt Lake City supercross would be a debut he still considers the highlight of his career. The number 284 would qualify 28th for his first ever professional event. Shortly after the 2012 season Cody would suffer a broken femur. He'd struggle to find confidence in 2013 as in his first full season he'd only make two night shows. Disappointed in himself, Cody described his dad as "pissed" as well. It was a hard pill to swallow. The man who got Cody involved in the sport at just two years old was about to pull the plug. A father and son relationship at an awkward stage. His dad quit watching him ride and avoided dirt bikes all together. "We would eat dinner in silence...just tension all the time." Unhappy with he and his fathers relationship, Cody worked to show his dad his dedication to the sport. "I feel as a privateer you have so much passion." His dad has seen that passion and their relationship is stronger than ever. 

Last season Cody made his first main event. "That one was real special for me." His dad was unable to attend many races but made a last minute decision to catch a flight to the Santa Clara, California round. It'd be a night they'd both remember and embrace together.

2017 is right around the corner and Cody looks to build on a decent 2016 season. He'd qualify for 6 of the 9 supercross events he attended and make the main gate at 3 outdoor nationals. He wants to be a regular in supercross main events. Precision and smoothness along with his hard work on corner speed makes Church a real threat for 250 main events. Supercross just fits his style.

Photo: Diffysmooth
Privateer...It's just a temporary position for a guy chasing a dream. Cody Church wants more. He's hard working and a self motivated individual. "I always strive to be the best I can."
Sponsored by: All-Terrain Motorsports, Team Green, Dirt Candy, Yoshimura, Proven Moto, Race Tech, Pirelli, Scott Goggles, Novik Gloves, Dubya, VP Fuels, 6D Helmets, Asterisk, Light Speed, SDG Seats, Golds Gym, Hays Precision Welding, Milestone MX and Risk Racing.

Surrounding himself with fellow racer Todd Bannister and friends like Justin Andres aka Larry, Scott Denison and Ziggy, Church will be heading into 2017 with a new found confidence. He'll also have a little motivation from his good buddy Jessy Nelson. "He took me under his wing a few years ago." Nelson was recently paralyzed as result of a crash at the Unadilla, New York national. Realizing that anything can happen at anytime, even to the best in the world, Cody has found a way to block the situation from his head while on the track and is inspired by the fight in his friend. 

Follow Cody Church on Instagram @CC284 or search "Cody Church" on Facebook.

It's not all glitz and glamour but it's guys like Cody Church who really show us a love for the sport and can make us really appreciate the privateers. 

#cheerprivateer for 284

-Kyle Pesci

This article is brought to you by: Dedicated Ride Co.

No comments:

Post a Comment