Kenneth Matthie on a mission to lift motocross in Bermuda
Standout motocross rider Kenneth Matthie says he is determined to change the negative perception of the sport in Bermuda and believes he can contribute to the development of the island’s gifted young riders.
The 28-year-old also called for more purpose-built facilities to be developed for motocross participants ‒ a move he believes will provide opportunities for riders to safely practise, while limiting the impact on the wider community.
Matthie, who followed up his success at the New Years Race Day meet with another win last week Sunday in the Expert Class at the Bermuda Motocross Club St Johns Appreciation Race Day in St David's, is going full rev into the rest of the season as he looks to continuing his purple patch.
He is hoping his performances will not only inspire young riders, but also provide a positive reference for a sport, not always viewed in the most positive of lights.
“I want to continue bringing excitement to the sport. Ride with flair, aggression, engage with the fans and to get motocross back to where it used to be when the Ruddy Cann’s, Scrwedge, Body Joel, Chris Shanks and Moja’s use to ride,” said Matthie, who won his New Years Race Day assignment hours after losing his grandfather.
With an eye on the past, Matthie is also squarely focused on the future, listing the mentorship of the island’s upcoming talent as a major priority of his.
“My biggest goal is to help pave a way for the next generation of riders. The better I do and the more I can put motocross into the public eye in a positive, exciting way, the more the next generation of young riders can benefit,” said Matthie.
“The likes of Ajahni Foggo, Tino Tucker Wall, Aiden Simmons and Zano Tucker, who is 15-years-old and is already faster than half the expert class. It's unbelievable how fast these kids are going, it’s great to watch. All these kids have what it takes to compete with the best in the world,” Matthie exclaimed.
Driving his ambition is the reputation around motocross bikes and riders, a situation that he believes will be largely solved with the creation of dedicated space, separate and apart from the competition venue in St David’s.
“(There have) been a lot of tension when it comes to bikes in Bermuda, especially motocross bikes. Countless of calls from residents of people disturbing the peace with motocross bikes.
“When I was a kid you had spots where you were allowed to ride your bike other than at the track, like training school by South Shore Swizzle, the quarry, and even at the dump, where we were allowed to ride,” Matthie said.
“Now you don’t have those places to ride, but you still have the kids and young adults, who want to ride but can’t get to Southside race way. It would be nice to come up with some type of solution. I hear the stories of motocross at Horseshoe Bay in the trails, racing held at PHC Stadium Lane, Ferry Reach and Coney Island. It would be a dream to ride once a year at each of these locations,” said Matthie.
Meanwhile, the rider took time out to thank his sponsors, family and friends for their support and is looking forward to the next event on the BMC calendar, which is set for January 30.