Star Track: Sam Gale

One of the best pre-teen motorcycle riders around comes from Middlesex County – Locust Hill, to be specific. Sam Gale, at age 12, won all six of his races in recent District 13 American Motorcyclist Association competition. He won the 85-cc class in the age 9-13 and age 12-15 divisions, and he also captured the title in the Super-Mini class, in which he was one of the youngest competitors. Those races were on Aug. 8 at Budds Creek, Md. Gale then went to Virginia Motorsports Park in Dinwiddie and enjoyed similar success, priming him for a repeat trip soon to Budds Creek for even tougher competition. Gale, who has been a successful racer for about four years, relies on his father, Jim, for being his coach and mechanic. His mother, Ginny, and sister, Ellie, also attend races and support him. Jim said, "He's pretty dedicated, and the bikes require a lot of maintenance. He burns 'em up, but he won the race with them, so I don't complain." Jim said Sam's longest jump has been about 90 feet. When asked about the attraction of motocross, Jim said, "It's the perfect marriage of man and machine. NASCAR is more machine than man. Bicycle racing, like with Lance Armstrong, is more man than machine. … (Motocross) is the only motorsport where you have to be a top-notch athlete. … It's like skiing – your legs are your suspension. You're in the air most of the time. If the seat ever hits you in the butt, you're going over the handlebars."

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