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little trail bike for my broth- er and I to share. We had a horse corral at our parents’ house where we could ride it, so we used to just burn lap, after lap, after lap, after lap. We’d take turns. So that’s how we got started. DI: Who were your early off-road heroes? Mitch: When you’re young you have a few of them but for me there were always the guys I really kind of idolized as I was a kid be- to them. Probably the two biggest for me were Mitch Mayes and AC Bakken. DI: Did you consider a rac- ing career starting out? Mitch: No, we just used to go to the desert and ride on the weekends. My parents had one of those Smuggler trailers, where you open the back doors, fold the floor up and your bikes go inside then you get out there and fold the floor back down. We used to go out to Lucerne Valley and camp at ing to do the desert thing so that we can all do it together as a family and so that was cool. We got into desert rac- ing; I just kept with it until I got hurt. DI: What happened? You were racing pro? Mitch: I was an expert des- ert racer; I was sixteen at the time. The day that I got hurt was the day before my 17th birthday. There was a race out at California City; it was a timed event, kind of like an enduro start. But by “You’re not going to able to ride down this hill, no one’s ridden down it.” cause they were older and they were already success- ful. Mitch Mayes, AC Bak- ken, everybody idolized Malcolm just because he was Malcolm in the movie, (On Any Sunday) so he was pretty cool. I rode a Hodaka, so Bob Rutten was an idol because he was an expert desert racer, a Hodaka guy. I met Larry Roessler when he was young. Those are the guys, they were older than I was so you always look up Soggy Dry Lake and ride around all weekend. We were out there one time and there was a District 37 race. We rode over to the finish line and saw these guys going so fast I couldn’t believe it. So then we started do- ing family enduros. Doing it as a family, real chill, and then that turned into want- ing to race. Some of my friends raced motocross and I wanted to try that. It was a little bit different but my parents said, no we’re go- speed you might be able to win the overall. I rode a 125. So if you could get a good start, if you could get through some dust, depending on what happened you had a better chance of winning the over- all than say, a mass start. I wasn’t really trying to but there was a possibility in my head just a little bit. They had this hill where they said no one had rid- den down. They put it in the rider’s meeting, on a little