By: Lindsay Premo
Aug. 13 was just another race day in Unadilla, N.Y. during the AMA Pro Motocross series for Jessy Nelson. Until the Troy Lee Designs/GoPro/Red Bull/KTM racer slipped a track marker and crashed, resulting in his bike hitting him in the back. In an eerie coincidence, Nelson had hit one of the markers earlier in practice.
Nelson broke his T4 and T5 vertebrae and stretched his spinal cord in the crash. He underwent surgery to stabilize the broken vertebrae and then was transported to a rehabilitation center in New York, where therapists are working with him to restore his mobility. He soon hopes to return to his home in California to pursue more aggressive therapy. Currently he has no movement below his mid-chest and is looking at potentially tens of thousands of dollars in medical costs. That’s why GEICO/AMSOIL/Honda rider Chirstian Craig, a friend of Nelson, teamed up with Cole Seely to organize Bike4Jessy.
“I hate thinking about how fast the tables can turn.” Craig told Racer X Magazine, “It sucks for sure. I’ve been through something similar, not as bad, and people were always there for me.
The initial cap of 50 riders was reached within the first evening of registration, resulting in 100 riders participating in the ride. From racers like Craig and Seely – who’s major form of training in the off-season is road biking – to mechanics who are typically working on a bike rather than riding it, riders will bike 30 miles through Costa Mesa, Calif. The whole ride is documented on a Snapchat account set up by Craig’s wife for Jessy to follow.
“It’s cool to see the love and support people have for him, as well as the impact he’s had on other people. It’s something to look back on and realize how much love I have for him,” Craig told Racer X.
If you are interested in donating to Jessy’s Road to Recovery fund, click here.