What’s your name?

Val Jantzen

Where are you from?

Madrid, Nebraska (literally the middle of nowhere Nebraska)

Who is(are) your rider(s)?

My husband Dave and I have five kids. We have four boys, Kahle 14, Isaac 13, Jake 8, and Nik 6, racing motocross, and daughter, Madi 22, who wishes we knew about racing when she was young!

How long have you been a moto mom?

I have been a moto mom for only about a year and a half. We raced three races two years ago, just to try it out then jumped all in last year. Even going as far as to go live and homeschool this winter for a month and a half in Texas at Underground MX! It feels like a second home to us! When we went to our first actual race two years ago, we rode pit bikes. (I had no idea that wasn’t what everyone was riding!) We left that race with one of my boys getting 3rd in both of his races. My husband turned to me as we left and said, “We’ve got to get them on race bikes!”  I had no idea what I was in for! Now we are usually carrying ten to twelve bikes everywhere we go.

Were you into motorcycles before becoming a moto mom?

My kids and husband have all been riding since they were 5 years old and we’ve always enjoyed seeing this great nation from the seat of a Harley!

Describe a typical race weekend for you.

During race season this year with the youngest racing, we will be racing eight or nine classes between all four boys, so a typical race weekend puts Dave or me somewhere between staging and the start gate for a good portion of the day!

What’s your family’s favorite meal at the track?

The boys love when I make homemade crepes with fresh fruit for their race day breakfasts. It’s become kind of a tradition!

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions while spectating?

One thing we do with our boys every morning is read the Bible, my husband loves to do this even before the craziness of a race day!

Most nerve-wracking moment watching your kid(s) race/ride?

My most nerve-wracking motocross moment was definitely watching Jake, 6 at the time, at our home track lying on the ground after his throttle stuck crying, “Mommy! Mommy! I broke my leg! I broke my leg!” By the way, his leg was laying, all I could say was, “I believe you, baby!” Still crying, his next words to me were, “Is my bike okay?” and “Does this mean I can’t race anymore?” So yeah, he got the important questions out of the way first. That night he got a sling for a broken collar bone and a three-hour emergency surgery to plate his broken femur. Memorable indeed.

Favorite part about being at the track?

My favorite part about being on the track without a doubt is photographing this sport. I always say that photography pumps through my veins! I love every bit of the behind the scenes; the light streaming through dust hanging in the air, the gear, the laughter, and the defeat, too. Mud slung on roosted riders and of course, the triumphs! Capturing my kids and their friends living this amazing MX life is just so ME! (How do I get a press pass??? Just kidding!!!!)

Favorite and least favorite part about traveling to the races?

I don’t actually think I have a least favorite part of traveling to the races, but my favorite is definitely time with my family and the scenery. I’ve always loved road tripping and this is no exception.

Craziest travel story?

Craziest travel story...should I tell about the one where we had a blown camper tire every seventy miles or the one where we dodged two tornados five miles on either side of us… OH WAIT… that’s all the same story! Yep, tornados and blowouts! That year we changed sixteen tires on our toy hauler. Needless to say, we swapped out to bigger wheels and went with truck tires and haven’t had any trouble since.

The most important lesson motocross teaches at a young age.

The thinking! Being able to test your limits, know your limits and push your limits! Always thinking!

What’s your secret to getting all the dirt stains out of riding gear?

Haha! My secret comes down to this… “Boys, I don’t want to see your gear in this house until you’ve pressure washed it all off!”

Proudest moment of your career as a moto mom thus far?

With four racers I’d better not pick just one! But personally, having a good portion of our home race circuit riders put my pictures on their end of the year plaques was pretty cool for me!

What’s your favorite track?

In Nebraska, the Lincoln Sports Foundation MX Track totally rocks!

Who is your favorite pro racer?

Eli Tomac! He gave me an awesome smile right into my giant camera lens pointed directly at him!

What is your favorite genre of music?

90’s Alternative all the way.

What is your favorite movie/tv show?

My favorite bumper sticker is “Kill Your Television” so I guess that’s probably my answers for that one! Haha!

What is in your red solo cup?

Ice water all the way!