Gary Bailey

Gary Bailey had a motocross school that he conducted in the 70s at the tracks where he was racing. I attended (kinda/sorta) his school in 1971 (I think) at DeSoto Cycle Ranch in Horn Lake, Mississippi. Gary was the first, and only, Motocross Professional that I met as a child. When I attended his school, I did not have a motorcycle. He let me and a friend follow him around and watch/listen to what he told his students. A friend of mine, Mark Rakestraw, attended the school that day and I watched Mark take lessons from Gary. Gary was big on teaching the importance and use of the front brake when entering a turn. I remember Gary shaking his head when Mark entered the turn and Mark's Yamaha 90 did not even have a front brake lever, nor cable. Mark was still super fast, though. 44 years later I found myself racing at Gary Bailey's track in Virginia. I went up to Gary and told him this story, he smiled and was very nice to me. I can only imagine how many people Gary influenced over the years with his teachings. "The Professor" is truly one of the Motocross Legends. I recall that he used to balance his Bultaco and walk from the front to the back of it, while balancing it....that's right, no kickstand, no one holding it, he balanced it while he walked from the front to the back of it.

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