WELLSBURG - When Jessica Good jumped on her neighbor's motorcycle, her father, John, was petrified.
When she started taking a strong interest, he figured it would be nothing more than a phase. I mean, a girl on a bike?
But five years later, that interest has turned into an obsession and that obsession has led 12-year-old Jessica to a successful stint on the motocross circuit.
Wellsburg’s Jessica Good will compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Air Nautiques/
National Motocross Championships beginning today in
The Wellsburg Middle School student will participate in the Loretta Lynn's Air Nautiques/AMA National Motocross Championships, starting today in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.
Jessica competes in two classes - ages 12-15 and bike size 85-105cc.
She qualified for the country's largest amateur motocross race by placing second in a regional qualifier recently in Pleasure Valley, Pa.
''She took an interest and it just escalated from there,'' John said. ''It's her life. I can't keep her off the bike.
''When she first wanted to do it, I thought 'sure, let's go for it.' At the time, I didn't think it would grow to where it has.''
Jessica has competed in more than 300 races from all around the country.
During the national level competition, Jessica will compete against girls, but she normally does so against both girls and boys.
She is 1 of 42 girls across the county taking part in the event and the lone from West Virginia.
''She likes to be on the edge,'' John said. ''Ever since she was born, she was that kid that was climbing on all the countertops.
''She loves the thrill.''
But the sport is more than just riding a bike. It is one of the most physically demanding sports around.
Even that doesn't deter Jessica.
A normal workout routine is a running more than a mile each day, along with 50-60 push-ups, lifting free weights, and sit-ups by the hundreds.
''It amazes me that a 12-year-old female can do the things she does,'' John said. ''The dedication it takes to go out in January and get yourself mentally and physically prepared for a race in April.
''It's a good, clean sport, and you get to see the country and spend a lot of time together. It's been a wonderful experience.''
She is also considering taking her love to the next level, going to various schools for MX training and schooling to see how she could fare on a professional circuit.
Jessica is sponsored by Guy Longwell of Fly MX Park and Big Guy's MX School, Troy Barth of TNT MX Schooling, PR2 Suspension, John Mitchell of JNM Racing, and Hometown Honda in Marietta.