Darius Glover is one of those tough as nails paraplegics we keep seeing more and more of. Why is he awesome? He’s the first paralyzed motocross racer to ride in a AMA (American Motorcyclists Association) sanctioned race, proving that yes – you can be paralyzed and still be competitive on a bike. So incredibly rad.
But racing from the waist up (he’s a T5 – T9 paraplegic) definitely weren’t in his original plans. Everything changed when at the age of 15 (while practicing for an upcoming race at the MX track “Field of dreams” in 2006), Darius crashed his bike on a slick double jump. But even though his parents were hesitant at first (and even he wasn’t sure he could do it), Darius decided to not give up on his love and was back on a bike again within a few months of his injury.
Why he’s fearless
Originally from Maryland, Darius’ early life was all about motocrossing. He started riding at the age of 7, riding daily with his best friend (and a now-famous motocrosser as well), Daniel O’Brian. And it was this friend who helped him get back out on the track right away. Darius equipped his 2012 CR450f with his own fabricated custom bars, seat, slipper clutch and brake in order to make it work for him, and it’s working amazingly well.
So well in fact that Darius went on to qualify for Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Motocross Championships in Florida in 2011. But here’s where it gets sticky, with discrimination starting to show its ugly face. After traveling hundreds of miles from his home, he was told he couldn’t race, but they wouldn’t give him an answer ‘why.
After badgering them again and again, the AMA finally allowed Darius to race. Watch this news clip of his fight to race at the Loretta Lynn race
Once he was given the go ahead in 2011 to still race in the amateur motocross bracket, Darius has been training extremely hard. Now 21 years old, he trains at the Millsaps Training Facility, his home track. Here, he’s been able to train with infamous motocross trainer Colleen Millsaps, the mother of Pro Motocross Legend and JGRMX team rider Davi Millsaps.
But Darius is certainly not letting his paralyzed lower half to stop him from doing what he loves, but it’s not as easy as it was before and it took him a lot of practice to get where he is today. At this year’s Mini O’s in Gainesville, Florida (in a stacked class and forced to start on the far outside of the gate), Darius pulled ahead of the other able-bodied racers, showing that it is still possible to kick butt. He led his race until he fell while doing a sharp turn (one of the toughest challenges when motocrossing with paralyzed legs).
In the world of motocrossing, it’s all about getting sponsors too, and Darius is finally attracting some of the much needed attention he deserves. Several sponsors are coming to the table, including Race Ready Fitness, Alpinestars, Oakley, One Industries and Rekluse Clutch. Having sponsors will definitely help him fine tune his adapted bike, not to mention traveling to races all over the country.
Darius is also busy working on a documentary about his life by Interlaced Films, “Live and Learn” (love this tagline). You can watch a clip of it here. And when he’s not riding, Darius likes to keep his life as normal as possible, attending classes at Florida State University.
You know, ya gotta love these youngins tearing the glass ceiling to shreds. No one accepts, “No, you can’t do that” anymore after their injury. And they’re making the world a better place for all of us.
Have you ever raced? Would you go back to doing what you loved that even if it made it much more different? Has Darius Glover motivated you?
Watch his videos
Image courtesy of YoungandReckless.com