Crap! I had to ask dad to help me take it to the Yamaha shop we bought it from in McMinnville to get it fixed. The service techs just shook their heads.Dad was not a happy camper when he found out we could've bought a cheaper motocross version that was already made for dirt riding. He let me hear it! I survived the tongue lashin’ and went on to ride the poor bike into the ground for several years. I rode just about every time I could, and started to get pretty good. I learned of different places to ride from other riders. One really fun place was in the woods. We called it Indian Flats. In order to get to it, we had to ride down the middle of the train tracks that came through town to get to the east side of town. Some riders would go even further and ride over the long train trestle bridge. I hadn’t got the courage up yet. It was very high and very long. All I could think of was a giant train steaming toward me, whistle blowing and me flying off in the middle and … Soon after that the Newberg police were stopping us and warning us to quit riding the tracks anyway, so I never had to cross the trestle. The cops were really cool back then and didn’t really bother us otherwise.
We had lots of room on the farm to make a track with jumps and whoops and all kinds of crazy turns.So pretty soon we started getting riders showing up and riding at our place. Tim Bredemeyer was the “wheelie poppin’ KING.” He could ride ‘em forever, over hills, around corners… everywhere. Kenny Burthol had this new Honda XR75 that was really fast for a small bike. I begged to ride it all the time. It was perfect for this separate little track we built that went inside the back end of the big chicken barn, around and back out again. One of my cousins, also Greg, had just gotten a nice new motocross bike. So his parents would bring him out from the city so he could ride. One time we took him to this other track at a friend’s place. His name was Calvin Christy. He lived in a place a lot like our neighbors, the O’Halloran’s. It was probably five to ten acres along the creek. There was a pretty steep hill down to the flats by the creek. Calvin had put a jump in the middle of the downhill. It was really pretty easy to go over – you just had to gas it a tiny bit and you were good. Well, this time my big brother Dennis came with us which was unusual, he didn’t ride much. He got onto my cousins MX bike and was riding around the track, not too badly. But when he came to the downhill jump he was going too fast and then gassed it way too much.
He flew right off the track, upside down into this mountain of blackberry bushes. They have long sharp stickers on ‘em and he was stuck! We were all rolling on the ground laughing.He was yelling for us to help him – which made us laugh even harder! My cousin was more worried about his bike after we knew Dennis was ok. Dennis didn’t ride much after that. One time our cousins, the Molenkamp’s, came out to the farm. They would come out from Portland a lot and we had a blast. Cousin Jack was riding my Yamaha around our track as fast as he could, we were timing each other. He crossed the finish line and didn’t stop! He was barreling along straight at the side of our big chicken barn. He went right through the electric fence and up over a big heap of rubbish and old wood. His legs flew out to the side and he bounced up from the seat but somehow stayed on. We were helplessly running after him. There was nothing we could do, we thought he was gonna plow right into the barn! Then right at the last second he found the brakes and skidded to a stop just inches before impact! I still don’t know exactly what happened, but thankfully he didn’t get hurt.