Zachary Meyers soars through the air at Splinter Creek Motorcycle club in Alton.
All Zachary Meyers wanted for his fifth birthday was a dirt bike.
Eleven years later, Zach’s birthday request has flourished into a bond that brings him and his father, Moe Meyers, together nearly every weekend for eight months out of the year.
By competing in motocross races throughout the Midwest for more than a decade, they have had the chance to work and have fun together by sharing similar interests and goals.
“Fathers don’t always share the same interests with their sons, but that’s not the case with us,” the eldest Meyers said. “I’ve got a background in mechanics, so we’ve always been able to purchase used bikes and fix them up.”
Zach’s motocross season lasts from March through October. Now a 16-year-old sophomore at Civic Memorial High School, Zach’s come a long way from the Suzuki JR-50 his dad bought for him 11 years ago.
“We’ve mostly bought what other people were done with,” Zach said. “Motocross is an expensive sport, but when we get new bikes we always move up.”
Zach has been through eight bikes in the 11 years he’s been racing. And as his love affair with the sport increases, so does his need for bigger and better bikes.
Zach got his first brand new bike last March; something he said helped him win the championship series of the Mid-America Motocross during the summer of 2013. The series consisted of eight races, with Zach winning five to take first place.
Now, a little over a month into the motocross season, Zach and Moe are back after a long winter, ready to reunite with their motocross family.
“You’ll see people ages 4 through 50 competing at these events,” said Dan Michel, owner of Winners Circle Tire and Automotive in Bethalto. “On the track, everyone is competitive, but off the track, people treat one another like family.”
Michel is a family friend of the Meyers, and he, as well as Zach and Moe, will be the first to tell you that the family element and camaraderie of motocross is what makes it all worthwhile.
“I told Zach from the beginning that if we’re not having fun, we’re not doing it,” Moe said. “But it’s next to impossible not to have fun; we’re all a family, and we all help each other out on and off the track.”