Progression is a natural part of life. It’s a hard thing to measure, however, because progression is different for everyone. For some, it’s winning the next race. For others, it is conquering a fear. Whatever the case may be, if the end results are positive, then the feeling is mutual: a sense of pride, independence and self-worth.
Keylan Meston gets it. This young man from Calgary, Alberta, has worked his way up from junior to pro level motocross racer who finished 2015 in the Top 15. Now, as he enters his fifth season on Canada’s national circuit, Meston faces some stiff competition. Names like Brett Metcalfe and Davi Millsaps come to mind. But it’s not just the other guys that Meston has to beat—it’s himself.
In an April 2016 interview, Meston tells RidersWest what propels him in the sport of motocross, as well as what he loves and dislikes about it:
First of all, what have you been up to?
I actually just got home from California. I usually go down for two to three months at a time, just to get my pre-season training in—usually, ’cuz the snow doesn’t melt until this time anyways.
How do the tracks in California compare to Canada?
I’d say they are faster, but they don’t seem faster. It’s really hard to explain. If you go to a track down south, it seems like you are able to carry more momentum, whereas, up here, the tracks are still fast but the corners are so tight that it’s really stop and go.
Meston leads the very competitive MX1 class during a round of the 2015 CMRC pro motocross nationals. — photo courtesy Keylan Meston
Do you have a favourite?
In Canada, on the west, my favourite track is probably the one in Lethbridge—Raymond. On the east, there’s a track on the pro circuit called Ulverton. Then down south, they are all pretty good. A lot of my favourite tracks are out in the hills, though—the ones that are secret.
Do you have any specific goals for this race season?
Yeah, I’ve always wanted to be a top-end guy or a household name, you could say, in Canadian moto. But each year, it seems like new guys are coming up. And this year, it’s definitely stacked. There’s a lot of Americans coming up so it will be quite a stretch to even break into the Top 10. For me, as long as I’m just having good rides and not fading mentally and physically, then I’m happy. If I have a ride where I’m being a bit of a baby or just not pushing through the pain, then I’ll get really upset afterwards. So for me, it’s just to be really mentally strong and push through any stress and challenges there might be in a race.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
I’ve had a few good rides in the Top 10 at nationals and running up front sometimes. And I hole shotted one of the nationals last year, which was big for me. But my biggest accomplishments are the races where you come from dead last and you get pretty close to the front or even make it to the front. I remember the greatest race I probably ever had was at the Western Canadians in Raymond. I think I was in Intermediate, 16 years old, and I crashed twice—once in the first turn and then in the third turn on the first lap—but I managed to get back up to third by the end of the race. That was a great race. The ones on paper are cool but it’s the memorable ones.
Meston has been riding dirt bikes since he was 10 and racing since he was 12. — photo courtesy Keylan Meston
What do you like most about the sport?
I really dislike the competition, until it’s over . . . . For me, it’s stressful leading up to the race because you don’t want to get beat and there are all these fears and things that tie in with your ego. Aside from the competition, I just love being a talented rider. It feels good when you nail your marks. Or, you just feel like you’re riding well or you’re smooth, carrying good momentum, not out of control. It’s a really good feeling being connected with your bike and just knowing all your ducks are in a row. It’s a good feeling being in the zone.
Are there any non-motorized sports you are good at?
I’m really big into backcountry touring, splitboarding and snowshoeing. Actually, I shot a short film for what I think is going in the Banff Film Festival.
Anything you’d like to add?
I would like to say a huge thank you to my main sponsor this year, JC Seitz, at Foothills Cycle Works. He’s been a huge help and a key player in helping me make it a good year this year.
Keylan Meston is also sponsored by Meston Transport, FXR, Yamaha, Oakley, True Game Apparel, Dissent Labs, Sosa Originals, Action Sports Clinic, Evans Coolant, FMS, Amsoil, Ride Engineering, LRX Performance, VP Racing Fuels, Race Tech, DT1 Moto Seats, Matrix Concepts, Kimpex and Surf N Turf.
Want more? Check out this cool video of Meston at Blackfoot Park (Wild Rose Motocross Association) in Calgary: