By Dale Spangler | All Photos: BreeAnn Tracy
The EVS design team is driven to create products that protect action sports athletes. It's one of the main reasons we continue to do what we do and create protective equipment to help keep our enthusiast customers protected no matter what the activity. For the latest installment in our 'Why Wear' series, we interviewed motocross racer Josh Tracy to ask him why he uses EVS Knee Braces when he rides moto. Here's his story.
The path to motocross for Josh Tracy started when he was around five years old and living abroad in Okinawa, Japan, where his father was part of the military. Starting on a Yamaha PW50, he soon traded up to 60cc and 80cc motocross machines and quickly became the local fast kid, eventually racing pro on the island with support from Suzuki. Then around 1996, he and his family moved back home to the United States, and racing took a backseat to life and an eventual career as an electrician.
That is, until around three years ago, when after nearly 20 years of being away from the motocross track, Josh Tracy decided to go "all in" on a return to racing after purchasing an RM-Z450. This time around, he was joined at the track by a pit crew and support team made up of his dad, wife, and five kids—two of whom now race also. Soon after — with a few bikes lined up in the garage — Josh set to work teaching his kids the joys of riding motocross while also instilling in them the drive to work hard at whatever they choose to do in life.
One of the less glamorous lessons one has to teach a new rider is that crashes are an inevitable part of riding. It's not a matter of "if" you'll have a crash; it's a matter of "when," something that's often learned the hard way, through personal experience. Josh is teaching his kids the value of wearing protection for crashes while also setting an example. Such as how after being off the bike for so long, he chose to wear EVS Axis Sport Knee Braces, despite no prior knee injuries. Instead, he took the preventive approach, something he believes helped him walk away from a recent crash with only minor bruising and soreness.
As Josh explains it, "There was a double-double section at AMP Motocross Park with some elevation change that was followed by an off-camber bowl turn. I was already committed, and what happened is I tried to shift up to 3rd gear mid-air and missed the shift. I was stuck in second, and I was like, 'okay, stay on the gas, you're going to come down hard and possibly case it.' The next thing I remember, I was waking up on the ground." As is often the case in motocross, things can (and do) happen in the blink of an eye. For Josh, it was a single missed shift that left him battered and bruised with a broken left knee brace but thankfully no major injuries.
"I think I ran my left leg over because I had tire marks on my boot, and I broke my left knee brace," recalls Josh. "After the race, I took off my gear, I was in a lot of pain, but nothing was broken. It definitely could have been much worse. If I didn't have those on, maybe a broken kneecap or something. Wearing those knee braces was more of a preventative thing for me, but I also wanted to teach that to my kids. I even got them the TP199 Knee Pads."