Riding for a loved one


Savannah Upson

Behind the love for riding

First the helmet.

Then the jersey and boots.

Is that what a student wears?

It is when they ride dirt bikes. Sophomore Dylan Urice rides dirt bikes to honor his father and keep his family’s tradition going.

In Urice’s family, the love for dirt bikes is passed down from father to son. The tradition started with Urice’s grandfather, Oris Urice, who gave his son, Robert Urice (Urice’s father), his first dirt bike when he was a little boy. They started out riding by having father and son riding days at a spot near their house in Bermuda. When Urice’s father, had a son, he knew instantly he would want to give him the same experience he had with his father.

“Before I got the dirt bike, I wanted one so badly and he [my father] had a bigger one,” Urice said. “All I wanted to do was ride with him.”

When Urice was seven, he received news his father had kidney stones in both of his kidneys. He could barely walk and took off work for nine weeks. Focusing on his health, he immediately stopped riding dirt bikes.

“When I heard the news, I was so sad because I only had gotten to ride with my dad once,” Urice said. “I wish I would have had more opportunities to ride with him.”

Swinging heavy branches back and forth while cutting them down can be physically challenging on someone’s body. With working in the tree business is whole life, Urice’s father recently he is facing spinal injuries. The C3 vertebrae was pushing on a nerve causing him to not walk. The surgeons went in through the front of his neck to repair the problem, he lost the ability to eat or swallow.

“After my dad had kidney stones, in the back of my mind I thought I would be able to ride with him again because it was one of the best feelings to be able to do a father and son kind of thing with him,” Urice said. “I was absolutely devastated when I found out he would never be able to ride with me again. That is why I push myself so hard to be good, for him.”

Photo courtesy to Jacob Smith.

Not having the ability to ride, Urice’s father never looked at riding the same.

“He does not go watch me anymore and he seems not interested in even watching it,” Urice said. “I think because it might make him remember that he cannot ride with me anymore.”

No longer able to ride with his father again, Urice developed his skills and still rides today. He uses dirt bikes as a way to honor his father and rides for him.

“I ride in honor of him, so I can show my grandpa that I can do what my dad was not able to do,” Urice said. “He really wanted to show my grandpa that he could do at least a forty-five foot jump.”

Riding for a passion

Before making a trip to Pax Trax in Bunnell, Urice makes sure it is the proper conditions, making his riding experience as safe and enjoyable as possible.

“I choose to go out on the track during the weekdays when not very many people are there and I cannot really throttle myself up the jumps and not have to worry about landing on anyone,” Urice said. “I try to go on days that it is or cloudy, so it is not so hot outside and I do not have a heat stroke or dehydration problem.”

Although Urice rides with his friends at their houses, he prefers riding at tracks like Pax.

“There are many more jumps at a track and a lot more people you can race or have little competitions against,” Urice said. “Myself, I feel that I obtain better skills at a track than say a friend’s house.”


While riding, Urice was going up a vertical jump at the speed of 45 miles an hour and the nose of the bike went down. He fell sideways and crashed into the ground.

“What goes through your head during a crash can be pretty intense physically, you cannot feel anything because you have so much adrenaline rushing through your body,” Urice said.

“Mentally you do not know what happened to you until a couple of minutes late, then you realize everything, and you come to find the pain.”

Feeling like he is escaping and relieving stress, Urice enjoys the feeling dirt bikes give him.

“What makes riding so exciting is just the intense rush you get when actually riding,” Urice said. “When you clear something that you set as a goal you also get a sense of happiness and joy and you feel like you could do anything in the world.”