Dan Dalton loves to share his love of motorcycles and Bicycle Motorcross racing — more commonly known as BMX — with his children and the community.
Dalton grew up in Hesperia riding motorcycles until 1982 when his father said he'd support him with BMX racing instead, because riding motorcycles was becoming too expensive.
He had his first race at Live Oak Park in January 1983 and raced off and on there until the track closed in the late '90s, he said.
Today, as a mechanic, he services race bikes to recreational riding with his own business, Dalton Race Prep., he said.
"That's all I've ever done," Dalton said of his move back and forth between the motorcycle and bicycle industry.
"The way his face lights up when he talks about either one — it makes him so happy," Dalton's wife of 10 years, April, said, explaining that "it's in his blood."
What is it about BMX racing that he loves so much?
"You ride your own race — it's all on you, not on anybody else," Dalton said. He said the sport requires aggressiveness, but too much will put a rider on the ground.
Richard "Richie" Lyons, an engineer for the San Bernardino County Fire Department at Station 304 in Hesperia, grew up with Dalton, although he got his start in BMX racing in 1975.
"When the gate drops, from the starting line to the finish line, it's all about what you put into it," said Lyons.
Dalton said he also loves that it's a sport he and his children — Liberty, 7, Kadin, 4, and 1-year-old Ryder — can do together.
Bad balance puts April Dalton out of the race, but she said Liberty and Kadin like it and she expects Ryder will too.
"It's definitely a large family sport," Dan Dalton said. It's unlike baseball, Dan Dalton said, where parents don't have the chance to play with their kids. He said that anybody can enjoy the sport with children as young as 18 months and adults older than 60 riding.
A two-year long process, Dan Dalton, along with the Hesperia Recreation and Park District and several volunteers are bringing BMX racing back to life for the community by getting the track ready at Live Oak Park for opening day.
"This is where I started my career," Dan Dalton said. "I know what it takes to make it happen — been there done that."
Dan Dalton will serve as track operator at Live Oak.
"All of us up here in this area and beyond are excited that Dan Dalton is doing what he's doing," said Lyons. "The amount of work he's put into making it happen is very appreciated."