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GTPulse: Maple City Father and Son Bond Through Motocross

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With the passion Collin Egeler has for motocross, it’s no wonder that nothing has stood in the way of his dream, including a few scrapes here and there. The Maple City 14-year-old has been riding for most of his life, and with the loving support from his father, will continue to do so as long as he can.

“It’s always a big adrenaline rush,” Collin said. “There’s always someone behind you you’re trying to stay ahead of or someone in front of you you’re trying to catch.”

“At three, he could already ride a pedal bike with no training wheels. By four, he didn’t want training wheels on his dirt bike anymore either. At five, he started racing,” said Collin’s dad Steve Egeler.

Steve grew up in California riding dirt bikes, and when his father gifted Collin one, the love for riding motocross was passed down with it.

Collin grew interested in racing after watching a motocross competition at the Northwestern Michigan Fair. Steve promised him that the following year, he could race.

“I said, ‘I’ll see what I can do,’” Steve said. “So next year, when the radio ad came on for the fair, the first thing Collin says is, ‘Hey Dad, you said I could race at the fair.’ So I knew I’d have to call somebody and find out how to sign him up for this. We did that, and in his first race ever he took second place.”

There’s an indescribable fulfillment when someone finds out they’re good at something they love to do. I think people go their entire lives searching for that feeling. Once found, it easily dictates the rest of your life. For Collin, he experienced that fulfillment that day at the fair. And though it was only his first race, it sparked the motocross career he’s been working on for the past nine years.

Collin and Steve started hitting other local fairs to compete which eventually lead to statewide racing through District 14 in the American Motorcycle Association (AMA). Two years ago, he started racing nationally. He’s a part of a small, family team, Barringer Racing. The family has four boys of their own and have made their support and resources available to him.

“Now we travel all over the country,” Steve said. “Two weeks ago we were in Florida. We’ll be in Texas soon at our team’s training facility. There’s another facility up north in Frederic [Twp.], Michigan. These boys always have somewhere to ride.”

Because of all the traveling he has to do through training and competing, Collin transitioned to virtual schooling at Highpoint Virtual Academy so he could fully commit to his dream of pursuing motocross racing professionally. Even when the sport gives him a little more aches and pains than he planned for.

With each leg broken once before, a lacerated kidney, and collapsed lung. These injuries would keep many off the track permanently but like a moth to the flame, Collin can’t stay away.

“I kind of knew where I made the mistake,” Collin said. “It was my first year on a big bike and I was just trying to keep up with everyone else. I love motocross and I really want to make a career out of it, so when I crashed, I knew I’d work hard to get stronger and race again.”

“You have some kids who would never touch a bike again after some of what Collin’s been through, and then you have those kids who have that passion, have that drive to get back on the bike. They’re going to keep going. Collin has pushed through the adversity and just keeps pushing himself. As long as he has the drive and wants to do it, then we’re going to do it.”

Even if Collin doesn’t go pro, his dad is immensely proud of how hard he’s worked and all of his accomplishments. Through motocross, this father and son duo has been able to spend more time together than parents typically get to with their children. Through all the traveling and racing, they’ve created a bond and forged memories that they’ll never forget.

“He’s grown so fast, that he’s got stretch marks on his back! It’s funny how fast they grow. Now he’s actually taller than I am now, or at least close. I wouldn’t change any of it for anything. In this day and age, parents just parent differently than they used to. The kids are with their video games or their tablets. So, I love embracing the time Collin and I get to spend together.”

“I like hanging out with my dad,” Collin said. “Working on bikes, talking about stuff, he teaches me how to do stuff for myself. It’s really cool to spend time with him.”

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