BY BILL PHILLIPS
Six. Eight. One.
Lyndon Patenaude is six years old. He placed eighth in Canada in his motocross division this year. Next year he wants to be No. 1.
It’s that simple. The young motocross rider, who competes with his 50cc KTM, is following in his father Trevor’s footsteps as a competitive motocross racer.
“It’s incredible,” Trevor says of watching Lyndon take to the track. “I grew up riding with my dad since I was nine years old. Now, being able to share with my own kids, it’s unlike anything that I’ve ever felt before.”
And watching his children is where Trevor will be from now on as a serious motocross accident earlier this year left him with a badly broken leg. He’s since sold his own bike and is officially retired.
“Nothing substitutes riding, when you get on your bike you don’t think of anything else, you just disappear,” Trevor says. “One thing that might substitute riding is watching your children and their passion.”
Lyndon entered his first motocross race in May last year and raced 24 more times since then, most recently his eighth place finish in Grand National Amateur championships in Kamloops.
“It feels really good,” says Lyndon of riding, who points out he can jump 55 feet at about six feet high.
With the season over, there be a lot of looking towards next year and that No. 1 finish. Lyndon was one of 10 athletes the Brink Group of Companies singled out earlier this year for $500 to help them with expenses.
For Lyndon and Trevor, the money is a big help. They train at a track near Vanderhoof, so there are plenty of expenses going back and forth, not to mention the 10 tanks of fuel he burns through every time he goes training. And he needs to train a lot if he’s going to reach the goal of being the best in Canada.
“There’s nothing that substitutes for training than just pure seat time,” says Trevor. “It takes a lot, from parents, from sponsors like Brink, to do what we do. He puts in the work to pay it back, that’s what I’m so proud of.”
So what does Lyndon say about practice?
“You try as hard as you can,” he says.
They practice ‘heaters’ where Lyndon goes out an does a few laps, which are timed, before Trevor gets out on the track and yells “heater” at him. At that point he goes as hard as he can.
“That simulates qualifying, which is what he has to do for a lot of his races,” says Trevor.
This is Lyndon’s first year in the four- to six-year-old class and Lyndon has shown a real aptitude for racing.
“What you put in to the sport is exactly what you’re going to get out of it,” says Trevor. “Right now, I see him putting in more than anyone else, at any age.”