Chilliwack’s Jake Hayes had a scary weekend in Calgary.
Jake and his father, Norm, traveled through the Rockies for the Alberta Mini Roadracing Association Canadian Nationals.
The 10-year-old was raring to go, and blazed around the track on a warm-up lap. His qualifying time was good enough to move from 16th on the grid to third, but Hayes ended up running full-speed into the back of a completely-stopped bike.
Witnesses said Jake flew eight feet high and 20 feet forward before landing. Norm watched anxiously from the sidelines while medical crews rushed onto the track. He wasn’t allowed on the track, and got updates by radio.
“It was the most frighting 30 minutes of my life,” he said.
Jake was eventually brought back to the pit-crew area, where he was tended to by two nurses. He had severe bruising from going over the handlebar and crashing into the other rider, and he was extremely upset about his totaled bike.
“Frame bent. Wheel twisted. Tire punctured and body work destroyed,” Norm said.
Father and son could have gone home at that point, and no one would have thought any less of them.
But Jake wasn’t going anywhere.
He still had his KTM bike and a Formula race on the schedule.
“He insisted on racing, and after a long consultation with medical staff, he limped to the starting grid,” Norm said. “I lifted him onto his bike because he could barely walk, and he went out and won the race.”
The crowd went nuts.
“I had dozens of folks come up to me and saying, ‘Your kid is beyond amazing!’”
With a lot of duct tape and donated parts, Jake and Norm patched the NSF together and got him on the track for three races on day two.
“He finished fourth, fifth and sixth on a bike that looked like it was pieced together,” Norm said.
The next rounds of Canadian Nationals are in Chilliwack on the August long weekend.
Get more info on Hayes’ racing exploits at jakehayesracing.com