- Associated Press - Monday, April 11, 2016

FRUITPORT, Mich. (AP) - It didn’t take long for Christopher Blackmer to go from a pedal bike with training wheels to his first dirt bike.

And he hasn’t slowed down any since, The Muskegon Chronicle (https://bit.ly/1M9AdB5 ) reported.

Blackmer, a 13-year-old who attends Fruitport Middle School, has become a multiple winner of state titles on the American Motorcyclist Association motocross circuit.

He’s already got nearly nine years of racing experience despite his young age.

“My uncle, Tim, and my dad (Chris) actually got me into the sport,” Christopher said. “When I was little, my uncle had an ice bike and they were riding in the winter and he took me for a ride and I loved it ever since.”



The story is Chris told his son if he could remove the training wheels and ride his pedal bike, he would be able to get a dirt bike. The same day, as a 2-year-old, Christopher did just that. For Christmas that year, he received his first dirt bike.

“His older brother rode and he just had the passion to do it,” Chris said. “He just wanted to do it.”

Tim remembers watching Christopher ride his pedal bike on top of the street curbing in his neighborhood at a young age. That was a signal of some natural talent. It wasn’t long after that Christopher started racing.

“He’s got good balance. Motocross takes good balance to be a good rider,” Tim said. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years, I’ve been racing since ‘73 and I’ve helped a lot of people do it and he’s about the best one I’ve helped so far.”

Racing is a year-round passion for the Blackmer family. Christopher races ice bikes in the winter and on the dirt-bike courses in the summer. His dad, uncle and mom, Amy, are regulars around tracks nearly every weekend somewhere in Michigan or outstate in national races. His home track is Big Air in Newaygo and he also works with a trainer in Stanton.

“My dad that helps me with transportation and parts and my uncle is the one that’s the mechanic,” Christopher said. “They just do everything for me every weekend, spend their money on me and their paychecks to get me to races.”

For the 2015 season, Christopher totaled four championships, including a national Ice Racer of the Year honor in the 85cc class. Studs and screws are used on the tires for traction in ice racing on oval tracks where speeds can reach 70-80 miles per hour.

“It’s not really much different. The only thing with motocross is you’re hitting jumps and going not as fast as you do on the ice,” he said. “On the ice, you’re just going in the circle and you can get going real fast.”

He also qualified for the third consecutive year for national races in Tennessee, but said there is more to the sport than winning.

“The things I like about motocross most are hitting jumps and going fast, but the main part of motocross is I like seeing my friends,” he said. “I like seeing them on the line and after races I like hanging out with them and having a lot of fun.”

That’s why Blackmer took it hard when fellow motocross rider Zach Holloway, a 15-year-old from Greenville, was killed in a crash during the final race of the summer season last November. Blackmer has the words “RIP Zach” on his racing jersey.

“He is definitely missed by many. He was a funny kid. He was really friendly,” Blackmer said. “Every time I get on the line, I always pray to him and tell him to keep me safe and that I miss him. Everybody really misses him.”

The worst injury Blackmer has suffered during his career is a broken hand.

Outside of racing, he keeps busy competing in football, wrestling and track at Fruitport.

But motocross is his favorite sport and he enjoys the chance to race and hang out with his friends.

His dream is to someday become a professional in motocross or supercross.

“Even if that doesn’t work, I’ll keep trying to reach my goals, so I’ll never quit on that,” he said.

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Information from: The Muskegon Chronicle, https://www.mlive.com/muskegon

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