JEFFERSON, Texas (KLTV) - In these days of canceled events, there’s a pretty big one going on in Marion County. It’s Diamond Don’s International Vintage Motocross. And the riders don’t have to be vintage, but the motorcycles do.
Everywhere you look you see signs of age, and the bikes aren’t new either. But these guys are young at heart, and in their heads, like Don Rainey, founder of Diamond Don’s Vintage Motocross race.
“I’ve got world champions and champions of motocross here this weekend. They’re retired, but you know what? They still got game, and they love the sport of motocross,” Rainey said.
Many of these guys, including Don and his buddy Trampas Parker are members of the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association and have had two wheels in the dirt for a little while.
“I started when I was seven back in 1974 and been riding ever since,” Parker said.
And if you’ve never motocrossed, well here’s a point of view look at Don’s course. As for why these guys never quit, or got back on that horse, or bike:
“As we get older, most of us want to relive our childhood. And everybody’s looking for something to make them feel younger again, and a lot of people fall back to doing what they did,” Parker said.
They are a happy and friendly bunch, this group of old children.
“I think most of them were probably friends when we were young. A lot of us grew up riding together,” Parker said.
And they seem to be one really big family.
“And I think it’s just a way to come out and tell lies bigger than we did as kids. Everything seems to have gotten a little bit bigger and better as we get older,” Parker said.
They all look forward to next year’s bragging rights when they get that big win this year. And they say if once upon a time you rode a motorcycle, well:
“You will see something out here that you rode as a kid,” Parker said.
And as far as those tall tales, well Trampas may keep them a little more down to size since he made a jump about three years ago.
“If somebody would have told me in the first 50 years of my life that I’d be preaching, I’d have laughed at them,” Parker said.
That seems to have happened to a few of them, actually, but you can bet all of them agree with that old saying:
You don’t stop riding when you get old, you get old when you stop riding.
Attendees of the event are asked to follow COVID-19 guidelines set forth by Gov. Greg Abbott and the CDC.
Tickets are $15 a day, children under 16 are free and there are a few primitive camping spots available. It’s located just northeast of Jefferson on Highway 49, just follow the signs.
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