Local 8-year-old boy dives into the thrilling world of competitive motocross
by Erick Torres
Jul 03, 2014 | 1451 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A hard day’s work: Austin Cousins smiles with all of his hardware sitting in front of him. The 8 year old has been racing competatively for one year. Courtesy Photo/Patterson Irrigator
A hard day’s work: Austin Cousins smiles with all of his hardware sitting in front of him. The 8 year old has been racing competatively for one year. Courtesy Photo/Patterson Irrigator
slideshow
Popping a wheelie: Sporting his full racing gear, Austin Cousins, manning his number seven Cobra dirt bike, zooms around the race track. Courtesy Photo/Patterson Irrigator
Popping a wheelie: Sporting his full racing gear, Austin Cousins, manning his number seven Cobra dirt bike, zooms around the race track. Courtesy Photo/Patterson Irrigator
slideshow
Motocross had its humble beginnings in Europe in the early 20th century. The sport has since spread globally, attracting riders of all ages and origins to test their mettle on the racetrack. One Patterson youth has taken on the challenge of taking his hobby to the dirt track. Austin Cousins is 8 years old and has already completely immersed himself in the motocross world. The son of Brandon and Marisha Cousins competes year round in any regional 50cc events.

“He has probably done at least 50 to 60 races in a year,” Marisha said.

This includes a first-place finish at the Los Banos Fair and the 408 San Jose Motorcycle Club. Austin has also managed to finish third place at the 50cc event and second place in the 7 to 8 year old bracket at the Turlock AMP racing series.

Recently, at the Sacramento Raceway Park Austin was able to finish second place in the Friday Night Motocross Spring Series event on June 18. He competed in the 50cc 7 to 8 year old bracket, which had 25 total racers from across the state vying for the chance to win first place.

They raced a total of six races, with the best five times counting towards the final score. Regardless of how he finishes Brandon and Marisha are always supportive of him.

“Take every race one at a time and just have fun,” said Marisha, who always reminds her son to not worry so much about results. These sentiments are reflected in Austin’s attitude towards racing.

“My favorite thing about racing is having fun at the track and being with my mom, dad and my uncle Tim,” Austin said.

Riding dirt bikes has always been a family tradition.

“It has been in the family for a long time,” Marisha said. “My husband got his first bike when he was a kid. When we met we started riding together. Then we had a family and it all just came together.”

Brandon and Marisha did not wait long before handing down this tradition to their kids, letting Austin ride recreationally when he was just two years old. The family, led by Austin’s father and uncle, have spent the last year coaching Austin, who loves to ride on the wheels of his Cobra dirt bike. Even at his young age, Austin’s transition into racing is made harder by the headstart many of his competitors have.

“A lot of these kids have been racing since the age of four,” Marisha said. “He’s only been racing competitively a year and he’s achieved so much in the last year.”

When asked the most difficult part about watching her son race, Marisha replied, “Watching period. When I can’t see him in the back is when I get the weariest of him.”

Her worries are understandable as the sport is not without hazards. In October of last year, Austin broke his ankle while racing at the Hollister Hills SVRA competition. Then, after recovering, he broke his foot. But these risks have failed to deter Austin from getting right back in the saddle. He continued to compete regularly after taking a few months off to recover. The Cousins family has already made preparations for Austin to move up to a 65cc bike that he will ride in January over his 50cc bike that he rides now.

“It’s a really big step up,” Brandon said.

The jump from 50cc to 65cc bikes is especially difficult because Austin will go from an automatic transmission to a manual transmission. Brandon is excited at the prospect of moving to a higher class.

“He’s got the heart for it,” Brandon said. “We’ve been training hard for it.”

Competitive motocross racing is an arduous endeavor. “Extreme amounts of pressure,” Brandon said. “It’s unlike team sports. When you lose you lose as a team. When you lose in an individual sport you can only blame yourself. A lot tougher when you are by yourself.”

The Sacramento Raceway Park hosts motocross events on the second and fourth Fridays of every month, running until October 24, which marks the season finale. Austin’s last race at this track will be on July 11.

Austin’s ability to race every weekend wouldn’t be possible without the help of his friends, family and his sponsorship from Storm Cobra Dealer. Anybody interested in seeing the sport of motocross firsthand can find more information at their website, sacramentoraceway.com.

Contact Erick Torres at 892-6187, ext. 28, or erick@pattersonirrigator.com.

Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet


We encourage your online comments in this public forum, but please keep them respectful and constructive. This is not a forum for personal attacks, libelous statements, profanity or racist slurs. Readers may report such inappropriate comments by e-mailing the editor at news@pattersonirrigator.com.