He started riding with a group of talented misfits who were interested in a more creative form of Motocross."That's when the guys from Crusty Demons began filming for their series, and XXX started filming as well," say Hart.To date, he's stopped counting broken bones—"It's somewhere in the eighties." With more surgeries than he'd like to admit and several major surgeries ahead of him to get his body into a somewhat normal functioning condition, Hart says, "That's what you sign up for."But repeatedly breaking his body wasn't the only challenge in the pursuit of his dreams.Supercross overlooked Hart, at a time when the organization was looking to maintain a more corporate image."Its riders couldn't have tattoos, colored hair, or visible piercings"—Hart fit into the other category."I remember seeing the contracts back then," he recalls. They were trying to turn motocross into NASCAR—thankfully, that never happened."Hart nearly forfeited his dreams, enrolling in school to pursue a career in accounting.Over a few pints of the house's strongest IPAs (our ride was finished for the day), Hart shares what fires his fervor for life on two wheels; while I let sink in what Hart has come to represent.Hart is an icon in American motorcycle culture, authentically linked to freestyle motocross and its beginnings.
"My old man invited me to come out and take a few laps on the track so they could figure out lap times and whatnot," recalls Hart.
"I caught the bug early on and by the time I was around six years old, we were racing every single weekend." Hart grew up in Las Vegas, spending time on his dad's construction sites, where they would set up cones and practice racing. Jeff Ward and Ricky Johnson were my guys and that was something I wanted to do – race Supercross.
And I did that all through my junior high and high school years. I was straight edge, because I was so serious about being an athlete." Far beyond natural talent, Hart's revere in motorculture is deeply rooted in something that cannot be taught—resilience and relentlessness.
Hart is clearly enjoying the Land of 10,000 Lakes, toying with the occasional sidewalk or curb, his rear tire spitting rocks and dust my way as he rips over mixed surfaces.
The sporadic scent of road kill punches me in the face in a way only a biker can truly appreciate.