BUTTE – Motocross is one of the most risky sports in the world and when the adrenaline junkies from the Metal Mulisha hit the ramps at Evel Knievel Days, they hold nothing back.
“My first year was last year and I was super excited when I got the invite to come back because this show is one of the ones that you want to be a part of,” said Destin Cantrell, an FMX rider.
The risk of danger is always present, but it’s never guaranteed. Unfortunately, there are days like Friday, where that risk becomes reality.
At the beginning of the day’s first show, Bozeman native Sam Rogers took his first snowmobile jump of the day and wound up just short.
Moments before the crash, Rogers talked about the difficulties of the heavy machine.
“It’s obviously a little trickier in the summertime when you take the snow element out of things. You just have the heat issue it is always super hot here. Six jumps is pretty much all you get and then it loses power dramatically pretty much after every hit,” said Rogers.
Friday it took just one attempt before paramedics arrived to treat a serious leg injury.
“Hitting a new setup like this for the first time is always kind of tricky because, especially on a sled on a dirt bike, you just put it in second gear and you get kind of get a gauge of speed, of how fast to hit it on a sled,” said Rogers. “You have no gears so it’s kind of hard to gauge the speed and especially when it loses power every hit, it makes it pretty technical and hard to judge things.”
As the crowd and his friends looked on, it was clear the show was over. But injury is nothing new to these riders. And, in the spirit of Evel Knievel, the show will go on for the remainder of the event.
“Evel Days is a big event, just because of what it stands for, what it represents. He started the movement of being crazy on a motorcycle and doing big jumps and stunts and that’s where we came from and that’s where we’re at now. The doubt of fear is always there. I mean, you can’t live this life thinking that nothing’s ever going to happen, that fear is not there,” said Brian McCarthy, an FMX rider.