PAMX president reflects on motocross history

Motocross is a growing sport, and continues to increase in its popularity. 

“PAMX is an organization that promotes motocross in Pennsylvania,”  President of PAMX Jeff Cernic said. 

The PAMX season is from March through Oct. With only a month left in the season, there are still a few more races to look forward to. Some are even coming up as soon as this weekend. 

“It’s going to be a great weekend,” Cernic said. “It’s going to be packed.” 

While popular in America, the sport originated in the United Kingdom in the early 1900s. Auto-cycle clubs held time trials that evolved into regular events called scrambles. As they became more popular, more competitions happened throughout Britain. 

As a result, they began making motorcycles that would be better for off -roading. In the 1970s, it gained popularity in the United States. The first motocross stadium in the United States was the Los Angeles Coliseum.

“I’ve been racing all my life,” Cernic said, “for over 45 years.” 

The organization has riders from ages four to 50. Despite being a growing sport, some people do not know how races work and how much riders must train. Many professionals go to the gym several times a week. 

“The hardest thing about motocross is that it is an individual sport,” Cernic said. 

Riders must wear helmets with chin straps so if they wreck the helmet will not fly off. They wear shatter-proof goggles, body armor, knee pads and steel-toed boots. At an event, the riders start at the gate, which is a metal barrier that drops when the race starts. If a rider starts too soon, their wheel will get stuck and they will lose time. 

“It takes about a week to set up for the races,” Cernic said. 

The track has large ramps and sharp turns that riders must be prepared for so they don’t wreck their bike. If they do wreck on an obstacle, they must try to get to safety with their bike so other riders do not land on them. 

In one race, there are about 20 to 30 riders, and the first one to make it through the finish line after completing all the laps wins. First place gets 25 points and second gets 22 and so on. At the end of the event, judges look at the scores and whoever has the most points is the winner. Depending on the race, they can win prize money. A rider can have a sponsorship from a company. They wear the company’s gear and in turn, the company will pay them. 

“If you want to get into PAMX motocross,” Cernic said. “See your local dealer or go to” 

The PAMX Fly Racing Pennsylvania State Championship is Oct. 5, starting at 7 a.m. and ending Oct. 6 at 5 p.m. A weekend pass is $10 with children being under 6 entering free of charge.