Tyson Brooks is a 7th grade science teacher at the school where I work in the library. I knew something was up when he always wanted to read our Dirt Rider Magazines. When he told me what he did, I thought, “Good story idea!” I hope you agree. If you do, please leave a comment!
When Tyson Brooks of Craigville rode a pit bike (a mini dirt bike) for the first time in 2006, he experienced something new inside of him. “It was like something was satisfied in my soul,” he said. “I felt free for that little bit of time on the bike.”
Brooks graduated from Southern Wells in 1995. He began dirt bike riding, or ‘motocross racing’, as the term is used by those who do it, after he was married and had a child. “My parents would not let me have a bike when I was at home and in school,” he said.
Brooks’ brother-in-law, Bryan Aschliman, introduced him to the sport. They rode mostly on Sunday afternoons when other local riders could join them.
Brooks and Bryan were soon given a certain moniker by their friends for the types of bikes they rode. “They said we looked like circus clowns riding around,” he said.
Today, Brooks rides a Honda CRF 250 R 4 stroke (type of engine) dirt bike. It has 27 horsepower. Brooks loves motocross riding so much that he built his own small track at his Craigville home. He and his friends – all of whom are in their 30’s – ride nearly every weekend year-round, weather permitting. “We’ll go until snow is on the ground,” he said. “Basically we keep going until we can’t feel our fingers.”
Brooks, a Science teacher and cross country coach at Bluffton Middle School, admitted motocross racing is the most demanding sport he has been involved with. “The rider has to handle a 200-pound machine that can go from zero to sixty miles per hour in a few seconds,” he said. “Sometimes we ride in mud, sometimes sand and gravel. Everything is always changing. It is a dynamic sport. A person could learn all there is to know about motocross racing and never learn enough.”
There have been a few mishaps along the way. During one ride, Brooks missed a 45-ft double jump on his pit bike. The result? Three ligaments destroyed in his left shoulder. According to Brooks, he was injured because he was not wearing the right type of equipment. “If I had been wearing what I should have, I would not have been injured,” he said.
Currently, Brooks wears a Helmet, neck brace, knee pads, riding boots, riding jersey and pants each time he rides.
Another time he attempted a double jump with two large hills. Although he didn’t make it at first, he has cleared it successfully since then.
According to Brooks, his wife Rebeka doesn’t mind if he rides, although he admitted, “She is concerned about the possibility of me being injured.” It’s possible in the future she’ll have more than her husband to worry about while riding motocross.
The Brooks couple now have three children — Kahlan, age 7, Shae, 5, and Noah, 3. While the younger two have yet to voice their preferences about riding like Dad, the same is not true for Kahlan. “She has already said she wants to ride a pink motocross bike,” said Tyson.
“I’m willing to teach them what I know about motocross,” he said. “If the kids want to ride when they get older, they are more than welcome to do so. I still have my old pit bike when they’re ready.”