“Know Your Amateur” – Colin Henderson
Hi my name is Colin Henderson and at age 18; I live to race! Although I have been riding since age 10, I didn’t actually start racing competitively until age 15. When I first started riding, it was just for fun on a good ol’ rt100. That bike is a boss! The bike still starts in two kicks to this day. It wasn’t very fast, didn’t handle well, and rode rough, but the bike started and accelerated on command. I began to love riding but quickly began wanting something more. I decided to try racing once I got a rm80. Motocross just wasn’t for me though. It seemed like whenever I got on a MX track I got hurt and I really just like riding the trails around the house. After one of my dad’s friends recommended I look into off-road racing, my Dad and I went to the opening round of the SE&TRA season when I was 13 or 14. I loved racing but wasn’t sure I was ready to fully dedicate all my time to it. Fast forward 2 years (age 15) and I was ready to take on the challenge! I tried a few different bikes before settling on a Yamaha YZ250; I continue to compete on this bike today. At times I feel like I am at a disadvantage from other racers which started racing at a much younger age, but I realized what I lack in seat time I make up in dedication, hard work, and overall enthusiasm. I’m currently competing in the Southern Eastern Enduro and Trail Riders Association (SE&TRA), AMA National Hare Scrambles, some Grand National Cross Country (GNCC), Southeast Cross Country Association (SECCA); I also try to fill any gaps with Southern Off-Road Championship Series (SORCS). Quite a schedule! My father is with my every step of the way. He has supported me from a young age and always encouraged me to find my passion and pursue it. My father is a phenomenal man who, I believe, can do anything he sets his mind to. He is very smart and extremely practical. If there is anyone in my life whom I look to for advice and as an exemplar, it’s him. While he did not inspire me to race, he sparked my interest in motorcycles and modeled perseverance, fervor, and diligence. When I first decided to start racing, it was my dad who helped me attend Jason Raines’ riding school to learn the basics and then fine tune my technique as I progressed. Anyone who has met Jason knows that he teaches with tolerance, enthusiasm, and patience; he eagerly shares his knowledge and delights in his student’s triumph. For me, he was truly inspirational! I’m blessed to my father, my family, and great riders for friends as a part of my life. They all have contributed in some way to my racing success so far.
In racing, my main accomplishments have been 4th in 250C SETRA championship 2011 and 1st 250B SETRA Championship 2012. I’m currently working hard and moving up the charts in 250A. This current season I have moved up into 250A in regional races. At first, I was nervous to move up because everyone in A is fast! There are no “gimmies” in this class and it seems if you have a bad day, you quickly find yourself in “butt-naked last” as my overly-blunt dad would put it, ha-ha. The first few races were rough and I never felt like I had a good finish. I did feel like I was getting faster though and recognized that the reason I moved up was so that I could ride with faster people and get faster, faster. I’m proud of how far I’ve come in such a short amount of time and I feel like this in its self is an accomplishment. I feel that this past weekend I was able to demonstrate my growth as a rider and prove my potential. I competed in a double header with a race on Saturday followed by another one on Sunday (9/29/12-9/30/12). I pulled off my two best finishes to date and harnessed some speed deep down. I foresee a great season!
Thus far, my favorite tracks tend to be in the Georgia/South Carolina region. Perry, GA, and Sumter, SC always host good races. Although I ride for the sport and try to take blame for my mistakes instead of fussin’ about the track, West Virginia has consistently been a tough place for me. It seems that every time I go there I have trouble with something either physical or mechanical, sometimes both! Ideally, if I could ride anywhere, with anyone, I would want to go riding with Randy Hawkins on a trail in the mountains of north Georgia. Randy is an incredible man and role model. A fun day of riding with him would be a dream come true!
My personal life and professional racing goals have blended together. I want to become a professional off-road racer and try to get a factory ride for a few years. After that I want to start a racing team and a school to give back to the racing community so that I can stay involved in the sport. I continue to train hard and strive to learn all I can from the exceptional people who stand beside me. With all of the resources I have surrounding me, I see my goals as very practical and obtainable!
I am grateful to so many people who have believed in me throughout my life. My family and all my friends continue to support me and I am grateful for their encouragement and love. Also, I cannot thanks all my sponsors enough for the constant support they give me: Mega motorsports, Vee rubber, MSR, Gaerne, ProTaper, Twin Air, Acerbis, Fx, Leatt, Rk, Excel, Motul, Cv4, Eceldyne, Wiesco, FMF, Cycra. I am grateful for their sponsorship and faith in me. I look forward to making them proud and bringing home the trophies!
You can follow my racing and progression at
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