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Rider profile: JL Bitz

The 2000's in the 775 was a formidable time for JL, as there was really not better guy than JL Bitz. Lotsa guys had raw speed, like Jimmy Hazel, Jimmy Nelson and Nate Tierney, but damn, was JL a stylish dude. I remember, on this very website, a picture of JL shredding the gnar and handing everyone their ass on his CR250 with a flannel flying proud, before you lumbersexuals made it so contrived. JL was faster than you, funnier than you and he has always been a good dude. During his mini career, he was an unstoppable force here in the 775 and he talks a lot about that below. I had the pleasure of working with JL at BVH for a couple of years and got to know him pretty well. A couple of scraps on the Peavine whoops and we were pretty good buddies. I will always respect him and call him a friend. JL has really turned his life around and we should watch out for him! Ha.   He gave me an interview, over email and here are his answers to his questions. He answered them honestly and frankly, and its refreshing to hear him talk about his...

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775 Icon – Motomouth aka Bob Cavakis

So, this story has taken a bit to get up, because I wrestled with how I wanted to present it; do I present it as Bob the person, or as the personality that is Motomouth? Well, when I did the interview, I told Bob that I wanted it to be about him, Bob, and not about the persona. I thought about it at night, while putting up fences and digging holes and I got my answer; they are one in the same.   Bob, a former state director of all youth services in Nevada, has long been a crusader for the troubled and misfortunate youth of Nevada. He directed all of youth services and that included all boys and girls homes, youth corrections and he even oversaw orphanages in Boulder City and Carson City. To say that Bob has been, and will continue to be a great man, with the best interests of the kids in mind, is a serious understatement. He was also a juvenile court traffic master and wanted to be a school teacher.   Since 1973, Bob has had his part in all of youth corrections for the State of Nevada and in 1995, he retired from the state of Nevada,...

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Just win, baby!

  When the late Al Davis, legendary coach and later owner of the Oakland Raiders, took over as head coach in the late 60's (his second stint), his Raiders' teams were a powerhouse. Raiders' teams under his tenure won their division title four out of five years from 1970-1975 and were eliminated by the eventual Super Bowl winning team on seven occasions from 1967-1975. His teams appeared in the conference championship game SEVEN times from 1970-1981, winning two Super Bowls during this time. Its because of this winning tradition that Al Davis coined the term "Just win, baby!".   Last week, at Anaheim 2, Trey Canard and Chad Reed came together in a tricky section of the track; Canard landed on the back of Chad Reed, taking them both out. Chad had been taking a different line prior to this for the entire race and Trey anticipated Chad doing this again. Chad did not, as he was taking an inside-out line in the s-turn during the previous laps, but this time, he jumped over the table top to the inside of the next turn, going inside-inside. Trey, knowing this, was going to go outside-inside and he was planning to jump the entire table,...

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Staff Insights – Anaheim 1 and Phoenix

As usual, the hype around Anaheim 1 was big; new bikes, teams, big changes with a few top stars changing teams and more than a few, highly touted rookies making their debut in the premier class.     Sticking with a conservative track design for Anaheim 1, the track was definitely the one thing lacking excitement and widely regarded as simple, fast and only separated the top 20 qualifing riders by two seconds. The track caused the racing, in the mains to be uneventful and anti-climactic, but the racing during the qualifying races had their share of excitement.     Fast forward to week two at Phoenix - the track was definitely more technical, with more passing opportunities and more random obstacles to break up the flow, allowing more chances for mistakes as well as better competition.     There's lots to talk about after the first two rounds, so let's go over some points below.     - Ken Roczen holeshot the main at Anaheim 1 and checked out. He looked fast and looked like he was on cruise control. He will be tough this season. At Phoenix, Roczen led for the first half of the race before being passed by Eli Tomac. The question now becomes; how much has Tomac...

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MX775 Icon – Rich Thorwaldson Jr.

By Clifton Kump, with Ty Erquiaga and Robert Beaupre   Welcome to the first installment of the MX775 Icon series. This area of MX775 will showcase local motocross history and highlight deserving people in the 775 moto community. There are plenty of worthy candidates for this distinction, and our hope is that we can tell their stories and give them the thanks they deserve.   Rich Thorwaldson (Jr.) is the subject of our first MX775 Icon feature. Rich and his father, the late Richard Thorwaldson (Sr.), both deserve massive credit for their contributions to local motocross in northern Nevada. Today, Rich is a motorcycle service and customer service leader in Reno through his Mill St.-based shop, Moto Source. But to fully understand his commitment to motocross, we need to go back several decades. ********** Richard Sr. founded Big Valley Honda – a shop Rich would later manage – after a highly successful career racing dirt bikes throughout the 1970s, which included a ride with Team Suzuki alongside Roger DeCoster. Richard (a.k.a. “the ol’ man” to those that loved him) was also the founder of the now legendary “Thor Swingarms,” which were as commonly found in the AMA pro pits in the late 70’s as a pair...

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James Stewart, Adderall and the Brain Game

On Dec. 17, the FIM announced that it was suspending James Stewart for 16 months, retroactive to his failed April 12 drug test. Stewart responded by saying he will race again and appeal the suspension, but it appears likely that he will not compete in any FIM- or AMA-sanctioned events until the 2015 season is all but over.   The reasoning behind Stewart's suspension has been discussed extensively by the motocross media, so there's no need to go into that here. There’s also no need to beat the dead horse that is the performance-enhancing capabilities of Adderall, the drug for which Stewart tested positive.   What’s worth talking about instead is the link between Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).   Stewart's career has been rife with crashes -- and concussions. Brain injuries in contact sports have come under scrutiny in recent years, prompted in part by well-publicized cases of former NFL and WWE athletes who have battled mental illness or even committed suicide, allegedly due to deteriorating brain function caused by repeated head injuries.   Because of the speeds and jumps involved, motocross and supercross pose a considerable TBI risk to their athletes. In a way, Stewart epitomizes the risks confronting these riders,...

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