Utah is well known for outdoor recreation. One of the more popular forms is riding off road vehicles on everything from sand dunes and mountain trails, to huge washes and more. There are wide varieties of places to ride and riders who enjoy them. Then there are those who take it to a higher level, those who race.
Racing is found all over the world, but the type of racing commonly found in and around Utah is desert racing. Here at Snow College most students would not know that among them there are two of the top desert racers.
Ty Bartholomew and James Rhodes are both fellow badgers during the week, but on most weekends you will find them on their dirt bikes at the front of the pack in a dusty fight to win a race. Ty and James both race in the Utah Sportsman Racing Association (USRA) series which takes place in Utah and Nevada. Both are in the Open Expert class which is the top class in the series. James also races select rounds in the National Hare and Hound Association (NHHA) and World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS) series in the Open A class and won the NHHA championship title in 2012 in the )pen Amateur class.
Ty finished the 2014 season second overall and first in his class. James finished third overall and second in his class. The Rhino Rally, the most recent USRA race for the 2015 season, was held in St. George, Utah. In this race Ty finished third overall and second in his class and James finished eleventh overall and eighth in his class. This goes to show these fellow Badgers know how to ride.
Both Ty and James say that their fathers were the ones who got them into riding and racing at a young age, especially for James starting out when he was just four. “It is an awesome family sport,” was how James put it. In both families riding and racing is something that a lot of their family does together.
Ty, who is 21, grew up locally in Mayfield, Utah. He loves to ride his 2015 KTM 450xcf in his local town of Mayfield where the popular White Hills are located, along with riding in St. George. James, who is 19, grew up in Nibley, Utah. He rides a 2014 KTM 300xc. He says he really enjoys riding here in Utah. “It’s a great state full of diverse terrain. My favorite spots to ride would have to be up Logan Canyon, out at Jericho, down south around St. George and even right here in Ephraim at these areas: The Black Hills, Ephraim Canyon and Manti Canyon.”
For these two, riding dirt bikes is more than just a hobby. It’s a passion and a way of life. They are proof that talent is everywhere and fun is found all over Utah for those on dirt bikes.