It seems appropriate that we celebrate the “Moto-Mom” on Mother’s Day… That special woman that always has your back… is always cheering you on – and always there with open arms whether it was a good day or a bad day on the bike.
She has been with you since the very beginning of your beginning.
She has that natural instinct to protect you and defend you without fail.
Even when you think she isn’t watching… she somehow seems to know whats up.
A “Moto-Mom” embodies strength and courage. She has to fight back any anxiety she may have pushing back those nerves and allowing you to grow. If you fall she is there with concern yet she is also there with that drive to see you pursue your dreams – she’ll dust you off and watch with bated breath till you taste that victory you have been striving for… all along she only hopes for your safety and love.
She is fierce –and you must never underestimate her…
Celebrate her and all that she has done and continues to do for you… because life as a Moto-Mom isn’t always rainbows and unicorns.
This year I would like to introduce you to a special “Moto-Mom” If you’re a regular on the off-road scene on the East Coast you may have seen her around a time or two. She may be at a registration table one minute signing up anxious racers or You may have seen her helping to organize the chaos in the staging area… heck, you may have even seen her 7 miles into an off road race course pointing racers lines up to her knees in sloppy mud.
There is no doubt that there are many amazing “Moto-Moms” out there in the pits, on the fence lines or even patiently waiting at home… much of what they do in support of their kids unfortunately may go un-noticed… However this year I was inspired by this particular woman after seeing her in pictures from the Wild Boar GNCC…Knee deep in mud and being constantly roosted by racers… It struck a chord with me because it occurred to me how involved this women gets on any given day. She isn’t Only at races that her son competes in…she can regularly be seen at other races still giving her all to our race “family”. Many may search for a dry line someplace else…but not this woman – which kinda sums it up… She lives the life basically 52 weekends a year and wouldn’t change a thing… and she is always willing to lend a hand – the moto-community is stronger with her no doubt! I wanted to take a moment and recognize this lady…
Say hello to: Tina Marie Wicker… “2017 Moto-Mom”
Moto-Kids: Kaliub Russell & Makayla Marie
I got started into the sport in about 1981, friends that I went to school with raced local events in Ohio and of course I tagged along to be part of the pit crew. I started riding motorcycles when I was 5. My brother and I had a Sears and Roebuck manual 3 speed 50cc bike … my dad and mom both had Honda 125 dual sport bikes. Dad would ride the 125 up to the side deck where I would be waiting, he would hop off the bike … I would grab the clutch jump on the bike and take off. At only 5 years old I could not touch the ground so when I was finished I would ride back over to the deck and jump off… lol good ole days… I won’t tell you I didn’t own a helmet had no boot or gloves and usually had a dress on as my mother was trying to make me into a refined young lady. Whoops sorry it didn’t work.
I only ride when I have the chance to hop on a bike, usually a pit bike. One day I will surprise everyone and show up at a Full Gas Sprint Enduro and sign up to race…but I am too rusty right now to try that!
You’re a mom of a couple of amazing kids who happen to both be involved in the sport – did you ever imagine your lives would be so entrenched in the sport that nearly every weekend would be spent at a race track?
Yes both of my kids are very involved in the sport and I have been at some type of motorcycle event during race season nearly every weekend since I was 14 years old… So I cannot imagine my life any differently. I wouldn’t change anything for that matter. It has been a great ride.
You don’t seem to mind getting dirty – I’ve seen you nearly knee deep in mud pointing lines to racers – sometimes deep in the woods on the race course and not just your own son… Have you always been so involved – you seem to really enjoy it!
Yes, I have always been deeply involved with the riders and helping where ever I am needed. Years ago long before we had race teams for the 100 miler series/GNCC, Nation Hare Scrambles, National Enduro Series and Hare and Hound Series there would be a group of us on all colors of bikes riding together across the country to race coast to coast and many times I would be the pit crew for several of the pro riders. I helped work on the bikes (2 strokes) did pit stops alone, helped change tires etc. whatever it took to live the dream and lived on peanut butter and snickers bars to stay awake.. no more snickers for me though…
Congratulations on being a new grandmother! Do you think the little guy will get into racing like his dad? Are there any similarities this early on between the two of them? Do you see yourself 10 years from now pointing lines for Krue?
Thank you I love being Krue’s Nan … He is amazingly awesome! I wish I could say he will play golf but it doesn’t look like it. As you know he has been around the races since before birth… and yes he and Kailub both have and had a favorite go-to toy… MOTORCYCLE toys! They both made dirt bike noises even before they uttered their first words. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. As a matter of fact poor Makayla made motorcycle noises and played with toy dirt bikes from the get go and of course Kailub was that instigator…
This is a hard question as I don’t know what it would be like not being a Moto-Mom. One thing is for certain I have lots of moto kids… most of them are grown up but they will always be my moto kids… anyone in the industry knows… it takes a whole race family to raise successful, respectable racers. Sometimes it was another parent looking out for my kids at the races… The kids that grew up with my kids use to all get together on Saturday night and play kick the can in the dark. Or play hide and seek. All of us parents would watch out for each other.
Wow how has it shaped my kids. They learned accountability, respect, honor, dignity how to get along with others and help the underdog. How to be disciplined, what the meaning of delayed gratification is. What hard work is. Honesty and integrity and above all of this they learned Love… love of self and love of others and that all glory is given and received from God who allows us to be a part of this journey. Keep in mind that for the past 20 plus years I have known pretty much where and what my kids are doing on the weekend and we have done it with our entire race families. They did not have time to get into things that could have taken them down a destructive path.
Advise to moms… If your child has a passion for our great sport, encourage them, support them, be their biggest fan. Drag the rest of your kids to the event and make it a family thing. Yes I said drag. Because 20 years will pass by quickly and you will be able to look back and say WE did that together. It doesn’t matter if you have to tent camp or sleep in your van, eat peanut butter or sponge bath for two days. You are making memories together as a family and not apart in two separate locations. Never-NEVER be that parent that stands on the side line screaming and yelling at your child because you feel they didn’t go fast enough. It isn’t about winning or losing as the parent it is about being there and loving them for where they are and helping them to grow and make decisions and life choices while giving them guidance and stability. They will decide when the time is right to move to the next level and will look back and say… My mom was there to support me and encourage me through the good races and the bad and she always loved me at the end of the race… no matter what the outcome!
My happy place… Buried deep in the mud with the other teams standing toe to toe with me making decision’s together… deep in thought as to where next to move a line to get all the racers through all while knowing… Makayla is in the pits holding pits boards for Mike and Chandler is assisting Kailub’s mechanic and my precious Krue is standing nearby watching his daddy race and the rest of my race families are all nearby doing the same and at the end of the day we are all together as one family…
When I am not at the races or working my job I still like to be on the road. I would rather get in my car and take off to an unknown destination just because I can… I cannot say that one person inspires me but things inspire me. The journey of life and helping others, reading what I can about motivation and self-growth are of great inspiration. I can eat peanut butter for every meal and don’t talk to me if I haven’t had coffee. I am a very picky eater and would rather eat nothing than send my food back at a restaurant. Sometimes I only sleep 2 hours a night for several days and then I crash… my brain will not shut down it seems to be on overdrive. I want to zip line across Niagara Falls… I love to climb trees and just sit there and listen to nature… I drive for hours in complete silence just so I can hear the words that the Lord entrusts within me… Life is a great journey and in my world and the world of racing … it is a RIDE and great RIDE!!
Full Disclosure… I had the pleasure of meeting Tina back in 2015 at a GNCC in Georgia. Billy and I had asked the ladies at the sign up tent after the race if they knew any place we could park our motorhome until the next round of racing… Tina quickly offered us to park in her driveway which was on the way to the following round. We didn’t even know who she was… yet she never hesitated and we were so grateful that we wouldn’t need to drive the unnecessary miles back and forth… She wanted nothing in return…she just wanted to help a racer out. Ever since then through racing and hanging out at Full Gas Sprint Enduro’s we have gotten to know her and her super fun daughter Makalya – They are fixtures at the races… and always eager to help and get involved. We are blessed to know her and I’m very happy to feature her in this “2017 Moto-Mom” feature!
Happy Mothers Day to all you Moto-Moms out there-Enjoy Your Special Day!
Special Thanks for the great pictures from Wild Boar GNCC: Suzanne Conner Smith and Stacy Mundy Photography!