Monday Morning Coffee Opinion Column

By Billy Rainford

Welcome to another Monday Morning Coffee, opinion and yarn spinning column. As I sit here typing, I’m on the eve of another trip down the I-75 to Florida. Of all the intros I write before a road trip, the one that sees me preparing to do this drive is the one I do more often than any other. It’s only twice a year, but as the years go by I find it feels like I’m writing that a lot. Having said that, I realize now that I’ll also be doing it as far as the north end of Georgia for the Atlanta Supercross very soon. I think it’s pretty well known that I love a road trip, but this one is starting to lose it’s lustre.

It’s not like it was back when I was a youngster. Many of you reading this right now probably have someone in your household who is bouncing off the walls at the thought of doing this exact same drive to either go race in the mystical state of Florida or enjoy a week at the magic of Disney World.

Like many of you, the first itme I made the trip was when I was in elementary school, probably grade 6, if I had to guess. As a side gig, my dad was involved in a company that rented out RV’s to people. It was called Howard’s Holidays. I can still remember being the local commercial for the business with my sister. What a laugh that was.

Anyway, they had a fleet of 10 or 12 motorhomes, some A Class and some C Class. I don’t even know what a B Class on is! We decided to take our neighbours on the trip and we loaded 6 or 8 of us into one of the bigger ones they had. Now that I think about it, I can’t remember if it was an A or a C. Memory details fade over time.

Most of the drive was spent running up and down the centre aisle or pretending to surf my way down the highway while standing just over my dad’s shoulder as he put in all the miles without a single complaint. I wasn’t the “King of urban surfing” like Stiles in Teen Wolf, but I did what I could. (This road trip was many years before that movie came out, by the way.)

I do remember that as we got farther and farther south, the amount of billboards at the side of the road increased dramatically and started to look like nothing more that litter and junk. That is until my dad finally gave in and pulled into a Shoney’s somewhere at the south end of Tennessee.

We pulled in for breakfast, got seated together, and waited to be served. The money they spent on advertising must have meant the food was delicious, right? Who knows, that part of my memory has blurred considerably. The server came over and without a lick of sarcasm said, “I’m sorry but I have to tell you before you order that we are completely out of grits.

I think I laughed out loud. For starters, I had never eaten grits and didn’t even know what they were. My only contact with the word was from TV when Flo would snipe back at her boss, Mel, “Kiss my Grits!” I guess I just laughed at her catch phrase back then without understanding what she meant. Kind of like I did on sleepovers when we’d watch political skits on Saturday Night Live. Not a clue, just laugh when the audience does, and when is Mr. Bill coming on?

Back to the story.

We let the server know that their lack of grits [Grits are made with whole dried white corn kernels from dent corn (a variety of corn with a higher starch content, which gives grits their creamy, soft texture). Traditional grits are made by either using stone-ground or steel roller mills. –] made little-to-no difference in our decision to eat breakfast there and went on to order the usual 2 eggs over-easy with toast and bacon.

What was my point again? Oh ya, trips to Florida when you’re a little kid.

There was nothing more magical to listen to than when someone came home from a trip to the Sunshine State and told stories about palm trees and lizards during recess. I was always glued to every word the storyteller would speak.


I was still a year away from racing dirt bikes, so it was the stories of Space Mountain and River Country that intrigued me the most. My head would have exploded had I known anything about riding different MX tracks in the middle of winter!

What I question is if social media and the new trend of instant gratification has killed any of the sense of wonder in young kids these days? Before you go anywhere now you can take tours on Youtube of absolutely anything. I have to imagine that takes some of the mystique out of travel for youngster, no? All we had to compare to were snap shots in crappy little tri-fold pamphlets picked up at the CAA travel centre.

My point is, I’m not filled with wonder anymore as I get ready to make this drive down the I-75 like I once was, and I wonder if kids are as in awe of the experience as we were back when all we really had was our imaginations. These days, I just hope the engine doesn’t fall out of the #DMXVan! One. More. Trip…

So, what are your thoughts on the Triple Crown format like we had in Arlington, Texas, Saturday night? It seems that I get a different answer every time I ask someone their opinion. I believe I’m already on record in a MMC column from years gone by as stating that I do not like them.

I gave it my best shot Saturday night but I’m still just not a fan of it. I think it makes the entire thing more of a spectacle than a real racing event. Go ahead and disagree, but that’s my opinion.

I think people just watch looking for more chaos. I’m willing to bet 50% of them don’t even know who wins when the 3rd checkered flag has waved in the 250 or the 450 class. They definitely wouldn’t know who got 4th overall. “OK, so he won the first one, got 6th in the second one, and now he’s 2nd. So…..who wins? Did my favourite rider get 5th?” We try it with our series too and I’m not a fan of that either. We’re all entitled to our opinions.

What do you think? Go ahead and let us know here or in the Facebook comment section.

Daxton Bennick took this one from wire to wire and looked good. A few of the riders dipped their lap times under 50 seconds so they were moving. Canadian #622 Preston Masciangelo lined up for his first-ever Futures race and did himself proud, especially after coming back from double broken and dislocated wrists! We’ve got a podcast interview to do today, so be sure to watch for that one to hear all about it. He was in a van with 10 people on their way back to SOBMX in South Carolina so we thought it best to wait until today.

#29 Nate Thrasher took the overall in the 250 East class. He didn’t light the candles in any of the 3 races but his 2-2-3 was good enough to get the job done. The show was stolen in the 3rd race as #6 Jeremy Martin grabbed the win and was pumped. It will be a good Club MX ‘Beyond the Race’ video this week, that’s for sure.

#96 Hunter Lawrence is still in control in the East, and I don’t see a chink in his armour that leads me to believe he shouldn’t take this one home.

As I’ve been preaching the past few weeks, I think we’re witnessing Championship #2 Cooper Webb again this season. They say the season doesn’t start until Daytona, so if Cooper can challenge #1 Eli Tomac this weekend, then we are in for a barn burner of a second half. As we’ve all seen, #23 Chase Sexton is arguably the fastest rider on the track but he’s becoming his own worst enemy. In pro sports, there’s nothing worse than being thought of as someone who crumbles under pressure. I don’t put him in that category yet, but he’d better close out a few wins fast!

Next round is at Daytona International Speedway. I love this race. However, I would have liked to be showing up to an unknown track design. We’ll see just how close it is to last year’s when I get there.

The week starts with the Pro Circuit Open on Thursday night at Tampa MX. I’ve hit this race a few times and it’s always a good time with great showings by a number of Canadians. I hope to see a few there again this year.

Canadians Crush the MX191 Dash for Cash

I didn’t know anything about this race until Greg Poisson sent over a photo of the results. Wow, nice showing by the Canadians! The race was at MX191 in Milton, Florida. Never heard of it? Neither have I!

I Googles it and it’s halfway between Panama City, FLA and Mobile, Alabama.

Check out these results:

MX191 2023 Dash for Cash results

Tyler Medaglia and I are going to do a quick podcast interview to talk about it as soon as he’s back from his cycle this morning, so watch for that one too.

OK, I hope that got you through another cup of coffee to get this week started. I’ve got to go change the oil in the van AGAIN before hitting the road tomorrow. Of course, they’re calling for freezing rain here later today so fingers crossed I get out of here on time. I think I’ll bring a mountain bike and a road bike for this trip. I stay at Brendan Goldstein‘s house in Palm Cost just north of Daytona on this trip. Brendan owns the Bed and Biscuit with his wife as well as K Deam sunglasses. Check them out! Oh, Brendan is also the guy who went Tik Tok viral when he slipped on his driveway and went nuts on a palm tree. I’m sure you’ve seen it.

Have a great week and I’ll see you from the races in Tampa next…