Cael Bagby- Walking-Riding Miracle
MADISON- Cael Bagby is a walking and riding miracle.
The 15-year old Bob Jones sophomore has a steel plate in his right shoulder, an orthopaedic wire in his left knee from ACL reconstruction and a steel rod in his left leg after breaking a femur during an accident last November. With all of the accidents and eventual required surgeries, Bagby will again suit up and crank the engine of his 250cc motocross bike and make his way to the biggest race of the year in the 2020 Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship set for Aug. 5-8. He was one of 42 who qualified for the elite race.
“I’m ready to race and be among the 42 best riders in the country,” said Bagby just prior to exiting his home for the trek to Hurricane Mills, Tenn. site of the 39th annual national event. “I always think positive in my racing as it’s a great way to get my confidence ready for the competition.”
The world’s largest and most prestigious amateur motocross racing program will be held at Loretta Lynn Ranch located just west of Nashville. Bagby will take to the enormous and challenging race course in “Schoolboy 2 (ages 12-17)” division where he will use his two new KTM cycles costing $8,000 each. He will tangle with the difficult course in three races with points being given per the finish in each outing. At the completion of three races a national champion will be named. Bagby hopes to be that rider raising the championship trophy.
“I’m ready. I’m pain free and not afraid of taking to my bike and course,” said Bagby. “I prepared for this outing by practicing at local tracks, some within an hour or so from home. I’ve crashed a couple times, but I’m okay. Racing is in the moment. Whatever happens, happens.”
Since his severe crash just days prior to Thanksgiving, 2019, and the next day undergoing major surgery at the University of Florida Hospital in Gainesville, Fla., Bagby has gone through a battery of intense physical therapy sessions. After six weeks post-surgery, he was able to put full weight on his injured leg and by February stepped back on his bike and entered his first competition race in April.
“Getting back on my bike the first time made me super happy as I went through some wild emotions,” said Bagby. “I wasn’t sacred. You can’t be sacred and race.”
Bagby attended two qualifier races in both Indiana and Florida. He waited until looking on the race website to see his name as one of the 42 qualifiers for the national event. He added, “I had just awaken and saw my name on the website. I was freaked out. I ran downstairs and told my mom and dad.”
Heart, dedication, being fearless and the race to glory is what Bagby is made of. His determination to return to elite racing status and doing so knowing another severe crash could be just around the corner in any race, makes his miracle attempt even more remarkable.