The thrill of the ride

Motocross racer, 14, ranks
third in Missouri
Sunday, November 20, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 2:52 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

Friends say Lance Wade’s latest motocross track is tough.

It’s a series of hills packed closely together for maximum challenge and high-flying action.

He rebuilds the track whenever he gets bored. He uses farm equipment to move the masses of dirt in the family backyard.

Lance is 14 years old, he’s third in the 125C class in the state of Missouri, and he’s hungry for more. On weekends the family usually heads to locations throughout the Midwest to watch Lance compete. His mother, Donna, videotapes the action from the stands. They recently got back from Iowa, where Lance took first place in a competition.

“He put on a real show,” his father, Jerrold Wade, said.

Wade bought Lance, a ninth-grader at Jefferson Junior High School, his first bike three years ago. Lance went to his first race wearing Levi’s, cowboy boots and a helmet. Despite the unorthodox attire, he did well, but he complained that the bike was too slow, a “piece of junk.”

His parents have since upgraded bikes and Lance now sports a full neon-green motocross suit.

Inside, a corner of his room is stacked with glimmering gold motocross trophies.

On this sunny afternoon, his parents watched Lance try his first run on a 450C bike, a much bigger and faster bike than he’s used to.

He hopped on and after a few tries, got it started.

He took to the course and before long, was flying through the cool air, engine roaring.

“He looks smooth,” Donna Wade said.

Finishing the course and removing his helmet, he said to no one in particular, “This thing is faster than crap.” Everyone smiled.

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