Nathan L.

The Team Riley Motocross Racing Team has only been around since 2006.

But, Richard Riley, one of the team's mainstays, has been racing since


"My first race was in 1999 when I was 10 years old," Riley said recently.

"I've raced most of the time through high school, except for when I had a couple of bad injuries with broken bones."

Riley said the feeling he gets before a race is beyond description.

"The feeling you get when you're sitting at the gates, when they hang

the flag out and say you have 30 seconds, I can't explain the feeling.

"Then when you get the 5-second flag the butterflies start. When the gate drops it's down to business."

Riley said he started riding at an early age because he loved to ride the bikes.

"I've been riding so long now that I just can't quit," he said.

"Racing is a very family oriented activity. We have lots of family in Idaho where we do most of our racing. My family has made lots of sacrifices for me to compete," Riley said.

"My dad rides and he got me started. We have lots of close family friends that I grew up riding with."

Team members can be found regularly practicing on Virtue Flat.

"There are a couple of tracks there, although they aren't maintained," Riley, who plans to turn professional within the next year, said.

"We practice four to five times a week, at daylight before work, and at night until we can't see to ride any more."

Team Riley competes in the American Motorcycle Association Western Idaho Motocross Series.

"It's very competitive," Riley said. "You do have to watch for the other riders during the race. It's not just a free-for-all."

Riley said race officials use a similar flagging system to that used in auto racing.

Riders are responsible for maintaining the quality of their machines.

"We spend countless hours the week before a race working on our bikes," he said.

At the track, Riley and his teammates have been up since 3 or 4 a.m. just to arrive at the race site on time.

There, they sign in, and the team does a track walk to review the course.

"We do the walk as a team because we're at different levels of racing. We give each other pointers about what we see on the course," he said.

Each team member then watches his teammates' race and critiques the ride.

Team Riley came into existence when a friend of Riley's operated Dirt Cheap Racing in Baker City.

"My buddy and his family, the Rosins from Durkee, had an older bike. They got us to go to Enterprise for a race," Riley said.

"Ian Warner's, one of our current members, dad owned the track."

Riley then suffered a couple of injuries that shut his racing down for a while. Then, in 2006, with Josh Rosin, Rick Stephens, Jake Walters and Heath Paxton, Riley started Team Riley.

"Heath only rode with us part time," Riley said. "That year, with four riders, and my dad as our coach, we got started."

Every team member won his racing class that season.

Then, just as quickly, all of the teammates moved away.

Riley continued to keep the racing bug alive and started the second version of Team Riley in 2007.

The current team consists of Riley, Warner and Kyle Ritch. The team's mechanic is Nick Proffitt.

This season the team has raced at two series - the Western Idaho Motocross Series and the Owyhee Motorcycle Summer Series.

At Western Idaho, Warner took first in both the 250 intermediate and open classes. Riley placed second in both classes.

Riley said dollars are a big factor in where the team competes.

"We have many businesses around town that support us," he said. "They've been faithful since we started the team."

The team resumes racing Nov. 29 in Boise at the Pleasant Valley Winter Grand Prix.