Jim Howard (51) had not ridden a motorcycle since 1983. In January of this year he decided he would give motor cross a try again and bought a vintage bike. Three months later he participated in the Ahrma National and won the 50+ Post Vintage 125 Intermediate Series in Jefferson, Texas.
Howard started racing motocross when he was seven years old: “Back then I had gotten some sponsorships but in 1983 I got hurt; I broke my collarbone and they dropped me from the program. Growing up, my family was not rich and it took money to do it. So at that time I figured it was better to let it go. I never stopped following it though.”
Jim lives in Muse with his wife Amy and dog Turtle on the edge of the Babcock Ranch. He rides horses and works cattle eight to ten hours a day but his true passion never left his mind.
“That’s why at the beginning of this year I decided to buy a vintage bike from a childhood friend of mine. Actually, he was my childhood hero,” Howard explains, “because he was one of the fastest guys in Florida and still to this day he is one of the guys I try to outrun,” Jim says with a smile on his face, “and that’s what keeps me young!”
With the Sunshine State Vintage Motocross Club, Jim races motorcycles all throughout Florida: “A lot of people think it’s just a lot of old guys riding old bikes, but there are a lot of ex pros that participate as well, and it is so much fun.”
Howard would love for motor cross to be more popular in LaBelle: “We have baseball and soccer fields and basketball courts everywhere. But a lot of kids are not good at or not interested in those sports. Thats why I would love to see a race track in the area. With motor cross it is just you and the motorcycle, you can’t blame anybody for how you finish a race but yourself, that’s why I love the sport so much. And its not just about motor cross, I just want to show that there is more out there than baseball or football for the kids.”