Photo of: Jared Mees
Rider Spotlight – Jared Mees
Jared Mees is no stranger to the excitement of flat track racing. Born and raised in Honey Brook, PA, he started racing at the age of six on a PW 50, which, incidentally, he still owns. Since then, racing has been in his blood. His very first race was on a TT track in Pennsylvania. An oval track followed the first race and his love of flat track was born.
Beth Rauch with Hard Tales had a chance to catch up with Jared, who is sponsored by Twin Power.
BR: So Jared, how did you get started riding?
JM: My dad is a big motorcycle enthusiast. He wanted to race but never got into it. Now, he works a sa mechanicon Harley-Davidsons. He really likes the old classic stuff. I started riding when I was about five and then racing at six on the PW 50. I started out doing laps and then ran my first race at Pine Grove, PA. I haven’t looked back.
BR: You’ve been racing most of your life. You obviously have a favorite course by now.
JM: I do. Peoria TT. It’s the one track I have not won a race at yet, even though I’ve come close. I have been beat by the same guy 12 years in a row. It’s fun to be the guy that beats somebody, but it’s also fun to be the guy that chases somebody. I want this year to be the year he’s chasing me.
BR: So, what inspires you to keep racing?
JM: I’m competitive by nature, but I think the prestige of being successful in something I have put a lot of work into has inspired me to keep racing. I enjoy working hard and seeing the success that comes with it.
BR: You won the 2001 AMA Horizon Award before going pro. Then you won the Sportster Performance Championship in 2002 and then the Grand National Championships in 2012. What are your goals coming into the 2016 season?
JM: I want to win at Peoria TT! That course is a challenge for me because I don’t have a win there yet. I would like to get a gold at the X-Games.I missed it in 2015 by half a lap when my bike brokedown. And I want to win three in a row for a grandslam.
BR: Those are some worthy goals and we know you can do it! What’s been your greatest life achievement so far?
JM: Getting married to my wife, Nicole. We met on the flat track circuit and raced motorcycles together. From there, being able to say that I am a multi-Grand National champion. I won my first Grand National race in Lima, OH, in 2005 and I felt like I could walk on water. Nicole and I have become promoters for the Lima, OH, Half-Mile Flat Track Grand National, so that’s pretty cool, too.
BR: What advice do you have for new riders just starting out?
JM: Don’t dwell on the negative. Focus on the positive. And what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!