“Everyone has to start somewhere,” Gibson says.
Gibson, a former factory rider for Honda and Yamaha, has over 30 years of riding experience and was part of the U.S. team that won the gold medal at the 1982 Motocross des Nations and a bronze at the 1983 World Championships. Now he’s showing his tricks to beginners, intermediate and even highly skilled riders.
“Most of my skills were subconscious, so the biggest challenge for me doing this was bringing those skills to a conscious level so I can teach other people,” Gibson says. “A friend of mine told me about this opportunity. He used to like to help people and told me about a possible training facility in Lake Elsinore. That didn’t really work out though, so I went on my own to work with people.”
Specializing in off-road racing, Gibson offers weekly, daily and hourly training sessions for groups or private sessions. His 4-day training camp offers not only training on a bike, but also insights on what it’s like to be a professional racer.
“Most of my classes are beginners to novice to intermediates; occasionally I get some pros,” he says. “They are usually veteran riders that want to get their skills better.”
For beginners, Gibson offers the basics to get anyone started. “I typically focus on the brakes, clutch and throttle. Sometimes I will get on the bike with beginners to show them how things work,” Gibson says. “One thing with the throttle is that when people panic they might turn the throttle the wrong way and that is very dangerous. I try to have them learn to react by turning the throttle off instead of on.”
Having raced for many years professionally, Gibson is also able to give insight to veterans. “The veteran riders usually come to improve their skills and for the safety factor. They want to be safer, faster and better—to sharpen their skills or have better control . . . or to beat some of their boys,” Gibson says. “Some don’t race; it’s just for recreation.”