Meta: Chad Reed Against The Current
When we aren’t working on Transmoto, we love to take a peek at what the wordsmiths and creators over at Meta get up to. This recent insight into Chad Reed’s historical career – from junior racing to the present day – is no exception. Here’s a little glimpse into the piece…
Tampa, Florida. Saturday, February 24, 2018. 10:45pm
The checkered flag stopped waving an hour ago, but in a grassy parking lot in Tampa a crowd swelled, the Coors Light flowed and a team member passed out commemorative T-shirts. Aside from one subtle clue, the scene looked like a championship celebration: The person responsible for the party—the reason for the gathering—struggled to have a good time. Chad Reed just wanted to go home.
Three dozen people gathered around Reed’s Team CR22 truck as his four crew members packed up, working around the revelers. Children played, running with the elated enthusiasm one possesses when fighting the urge to fall asleep. Selfie-seeking spectators loitered with their screens aglow, ready for the chance to grab a moment with Reed. He obliged every request.
Wearing street clothes—dark work shorts, a navy blue T-shirt and team hat—his smiles revealed both gratefulness and grimace. For a professional motorcycle racer, a two-time Monster Energy Supercross Champion in the middle of his 17th consecutive season in the series, the 2018 Tampa race wasn’t a good night. He seeded in 19th, transferred through the last-chance qualifier, and didn’t finish the main event because of an electrical problem. After his bike cut out for the third time, he pulled into the mechanic’s area and handed the motorcycle to Mike Gosselaar. Instead of heading back to his truck in warranted frustration, Reed stood in the dirt and watched the rest of the race.
Maybe he wanted to study the lead riders who, in better circumstances, he believes he can still beat; maybe it was just because he loves motorsports and wanted to watch the battle between Eli Tomac and Marvin Musquin. Maybe he wanted to spend a few more moments absorbing the one positive moment from the night. Competing an hour away from his adopted hometown of Dade City, Florida, in front of 42,411 spectators, Reed became the new ironman of supercross by starting his 228th premier class main event, surpassing a record Mike LaRocco owned for 12 years.
Winning the last-chance qualifier, he gave the crowd a nac-nac over the finish line and then stood on the podium, where the event announcer whipped up the crowd in recognition of Reed’s long—and continuing—career. Ninety seconds later, the moment ended. He went from genuine joy and thankfulness right back to preparing for the one record he truly has his heart set on: oldest supercross winner, which is 33 years, 11 months. Reed turned 36 on March 15.
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