Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Back in 1982, my brother and I attended the AMA National Outdoor Motocross at Castle Rock Colorado. Always the eurobike enthusiast I shot pictures of the Husqvarna's and Maico's. In the shot below, the third Maico rider, #490, is a young Micky Dymond in his first professional motocross race.

AMA Nationals CDR Micky Dymond #490

Micky had a rather meteoric rise to the top of the Motocross ranks, impressing Honda enough to give him a factory 125 ride in 1986 and 1987 which resulted in two 125 National Championships. In the 90's Micky helped pioneer the freestyle motocross landscape which now has him orchestrating the Nuclear Cowboys Freestyle Shows.

In 2003 Micky began racing AMA SuperMoto in the Unlimited class which resulted in his third AMA National Championship in 2005. That same year Micky raced Pikes Peak in the 750 class which resulted in a class win and record. 2013 brought a new direction in Micky's career when he began training for the 2014 Ride Across America bicycle race. California to Maryland nonstop, Micky's four man team won their division in a grueling fight lasting 3020 miles for 5 days and 11 hours.

Thirty One years after taking that picture of him at Castle Rock, I'm standing on top of Pikes Peak talking to Micky about his racing the Ducati Multistrada in the Hill Climb. His answers are carefully chosen and introspective. He is not an ego driven personality fighting for the spotlight, but rather a intense individual focused on the goals he sets for himself. During the week of practice Micky pays little attention to his times. His goal is in memorizing the course at speed which he can play back in his mind in preparation for the race. Most racers strive to memorize the Pikes Peaks 127 corners. Micky can not only tell you about the corners, but about the bumps in the corners. In a world of T type personalities, Micky is something of an enigma.

Micky Dymond, Bottomless Pit, Pikes Peak 2013


I had shot pictures of the 2013 practices and race so I had an image of Micky that I really liked. It captured his intensity and drive. As I looked at it and thought about Micky I began to develop an image of someone piecing together a puzzle. The huge pile of rocks the racers pass as they enter the W's looked to me like the puzzle pieces I was searching for in the painting. A Koan is generally know in the Zen discipline as an unanswerable question. A puzzle which redirects the student from thinking only in terms of the answer to contemplating the question itself. Merriam Webster describes it like this: "A paradox to be meditated upon that is used to train Zen Buddhist monks to abandon ultimate dependence on reason and to force them into gaining sudden intuitive enlightenment."

Undoubtedly, Micky loves to win races. But Pikes Peak doesn't always give you that answer. Pikes Peak is a Koan. Some racers get the answer they are asking and some do not. Yet even though the trophy may go on to the mantle, racers will show up again the next year ready to ask the question again. There is something greater than winning the race. It is participating in the race; not just entering the race up Pikes Peak, but participating in it, investing oneself in it, living it. I see this in the eyes and voices of the racers who have been coming to Pikes Peak for years. And not just the racers, the organizers and spectators ask the Koan as well. It is not just a race, but a life event. The true answer is in not in the winning of the race but the asking or participating in the race. Micky is good at asking the question.

"Koan" by artist Chris Woolley