ATR Test Rider Seth Fargher’s Year in Review

Published on December th, 2010
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2010 was one for the memory books, at least it was for me. Some of the things I’ve been blessed to be a part of over the last year were so far fetched that I wouldn’t have even put them on my bucket list. While 2010 was filled with many great experiences, it has not been without its challenges.

Technically my big move to California came in October of 2009 but things didn’t really start to pick up speed and get exciting until after the new year. I spent my first few months getting acclimated to a bigger city and the hustle and bustle of southern California living. The excitement started in mid January when our manager asked if I thought I’d be ready for a show by the end of the month. I felt confident in my tricks but at that point I still hadn’t jumped the full 72 foot gap. We went back and forth and he finally decided it would be best if I held off. I reluctantly agreed but the phone rang only days later and I was told I had a plane to catch to Texas. Marco Picado had managed to take a spill and I was going to fly to Texas, rendezvous with Dylan Mason at the Moore’s house in Krum and travel to Louisiana for my first fmx show.

I arrived in Texas amidst the chaos of winter X and managed to meet Wade and Michelle (Caleb and Colten’s parents) as they were heading out the door for Aspen. The next three weeks were nothing short of spectacular. I managed to over jump and split my eye open while practicing which left me to deal with a pit in my stomach for the entire 13 hour drive to Louisiana. The first show turned out great and it was an insane experience to finally get to perform in front of a crowd. In three weeks time we rode eight shows and then I hoped aboard a plane back to California.

Upon returning I was determined to up my game. I wanted to dial in all of my tricks at the full gap of 72 feet. Because we were riding in some tiny arena’s, we never jumped at more than 65 feet and one show we had the ramps set up at only 40 ft. That was comical.

I came out the next week and went to work and surprisingly, 72 feet came fairly easy. What’s more, it allowed me more time in the air to learn bigger tricks like Holy Grabs and other combos.

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I settled into a routine of riding a few days a week to stay polished and it was about this time that Wes began talking to me about doing some WORCS racing. Fresh off a win at the San Felipe 250, he was eager to stay in shape and WORCS provided a fun format that seemed to combine all disciplines of racing rolled into one.

We happened to pick one of the most hated tracks on the circuit for our first race, Lake Havasu Arizona. I had no clue what I was doing but I heard the voice of my college football coach ringing in my ears, “at all cost…make memories!” That was enough for me and without even seeing the course before the gate dropped, I found myself lined up against a bunch of people who I would consider real racers.

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I’m pleased to say I survived the day and actually managed to finish ahead of last place. We spent some time on the river and were even able to watch the days Pro Race from the comfort of a boat anchored offshore. While the course was brutal I discovered a new found excitement with racing. There is so much going through your mind before the start of a race and so much adrenaline flowing you can’t focus on anything but hitting the gas. At least I couldn’t.

When the next race came around, Wes again talked me into taking my stock Honda up to Adelanto. Fortunately we were able to put some laps in prior to the race and aside from three people being airlifted from the motocross track, practice went pretty smoothly.

The track at Racetown 395 was infinitely better than Havasu with plenty of room to pass and a few larger jumps that allowed me to make up some time during the race. The offroad section was brutally rough and I found myself pressing the throttle with the palm of my hand by the last few laps of the race. Despite my being incredibly out of shape I managed a third place finish in my class. That was completely unexpected as I don’t consider myself a racer and I’m far from being prepared for this type of racing.

After the WORCS race things began to taper off and I started wondering what the future was going to bring. I tagged along with Wes and the Matlock Racing crew as they successfully defended their title again by wining the Baja 500. That was an exciting and at times intense trip as we raced around the Baja Peninsula in a chase truck trying to beat Wes to each pit stop. The guys took the win again have since gone on to claim their third straight Score Baja Championship.

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Another highlight for me came when I connected with Blake Shipman while he was out shooting for his latest release The ATV Movie. Ed Rosi and Clint Esposito had made the trip out with Blake and they came by the Bomb Squad compound and we put in one of the best sessions I’ve ever had. To that point I’d ridden a few times with Marco Picado and then on tour with Dylan Mason but most of the time I would ride by myself. We rode for a while and then started putting trains together and it was unreal to see a dirbike upside down a mere ten feet in front of me.

The ride session with those guys pumped me up to start doing shows even more and fortunately I got a call not long after to head to Texas. I was to rendezvous with the Moore’s and ride a few shows in Canadian Texas before taking my skills to the foam pit and start training for the back flip. In short the trip didn’t go quite as planned as I managed to take a nosedive while practicing one day and land myself in the hospital.

Getting hurt is standard procedure in freestyle motocross and while I’d had a few close calls and minor injuries, to that point I’d never been seriously hurt. I recall coming too in the emergency room and since I could feel my feet and wasn’t in a great deal of pain, I knew things were going to be ok. The next ten days were somewhat up and down as my family flew in and we learned that my head injury was worse than originally thought to be. Thankfully, for all that had happened I was able to walk out of the hospital and after a few months of recouping, the only lasting injury is mild hearing loss in one ear. After getting out and seeing my helmet and re-creating the crash from my injuries and the damage to my quad, I’m confident God was looking out for me that day.

Since my crash and recouping from the head injuries I’ve been able to make a few plane trips, one to the Oregon dunes and a few desert trips to Ocotillo Wells. It’s been so nice getting back on the quad and while I’m not riding ramps, it’s been refreshing to be able to throw a few tricks here and there and know that to some extent, I’ve still got it.

I’m also trying to stay as involved in the industry as I can by attending races, shooting photos and producing videos. A HUGE leap forward for me that I hope will open new doors in 2011 is contributing to ESPN.com’s action sports blog. I was able to produce a video covering the Big Air Bash in Las Vegas as well as one for Mike Metzgers “Hits Out” event a few weeks ago in Ocotillo.

I’m not sure what 2011 will bring but for now I’m working to stay involved in as many different areas of this great sport as I can. I don’t know what’s around the corner but if the coming year is anything like the past one has been, I’m in for one wild ride!

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