HJ/EDHerald Journal, Oct. 31, 2005

Motocross champion got his start on a mini bike

By Ryan Gueningsman
Staff Writer

What started by driving a minibike has led to motocross championships for Holy Trinity junior Nick Claire, who lives near Howard Lake.

Claire, who was originally from the Mound area, started motocross racing in 1997, and said he got his start when he got a miniature bike for a gift, and “one thing led to the next.”

He practices riding two or three times a week, and also trains hard and works out – running, lifting weights, and riding a peddle bike.

Out of 24 races that took place throughout District 23 last summer, Claire hit 22 of them, and through the course of the season, built enough points to earn three top awards.

“That automatically moves him to the A class, which is a step below pros,” Claire’s father Brian said. “That’s the class you go to to become pro.”

Claire won first place in 250B, 125B, and the “school boy” class, which both Brian and Nick said is the toughest class of competition.

Throughout his years of racing, Nick suffered several injuries – including a broken wrist, broken collar bone, hurt ribs, and a shoulder injury, but that does not discourage him. In fact, it drives him to continue training and conditioning, as well as getting in plenty of practice.

Claire and his father have traveled to many places to compete, including Rochester, Cambridge, Mora, Little Falls, Kellogg, and several out of state, putting more than 20,000 miles on their recreational vehicle. Brian and Nick travel together and stay in a motorhome each trip.

“It’s like you go camping with the same people every weekend,” Brian said. “You make a lot of friends doing this.”

Minnesota has more registered motocross racers than any other state, Brian said. The basic equipment a motocross rider wears includes shin guards, knee guards, boots, chest protection, and a helmet.

“Minnesota is kind of feared at national events,” Nick said.

There is also a lot of maintenance work that comes with running motocross bikes, including checks before and after every race.

This winter, the Claires will travel to Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin to compete at events, and keep in practice for the upcoming summer matches. His goal is to someday participate in the biggest motocross race in the world, which takes place in Tennessee, and features the best riders, and maybe someday taking it to the professional level.

While he is not doing activities to further his motocross interests, Nick enjoys hockey, fishing, and a pottery class he is taking at Holy Trinity.

More information about local motocross racing can be found online at www.armca.org.

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