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Roaring engines

Published 11:00pm Monday, August 13, 2012

Family finds common bond in motor sports

Motorsports fans will tell you it’s the sound of the machines that hooks you. The rumble of engines, the changing pitch of gear shifting and the squealing of tires are the soundtracks of raceways and race shops around the country.

Those noises are common in places such as Daytona, Charlotte and Indianapolis but not rural Pike County. That may change soon.

Richard and Debbie Troyer own and operate a Wide Open Motor Sports on County Road 7724 near the Friendship community.

Wide Open Motor Sports is a performance shop specializing in motorcycle, ATV, and utility vehicle maintenance and repair. But in the past the family enjoyed racing motorcycles throughout the USA and abroad.

“When we first started racing it was out of Indiana,” Richard Troyer said. “We moved down here and raced for several years out of Florida. The racing we do is all endure and hare scrambles. It’s all through the woods racing, and there isn’t a whole lot of it in Alabama.”

Troyer said he first fell in love with motorcycles when he was just 1 year old. His dad brought home a brand new 1953 Harley Davidson; Troyer loved from the second he saw it.

Troyer received his first bike when he was a young teenager and never immediately began working on it.

“I got my first bike when I was 13, and put a rod in it and it started working on it,” Troyer said. “It started then and it just kept on building.”

The couple has four sons: Ricky, Travis, Glen and Steven, and each has raced in the past for the family-owned team.

The Troyer family called Indiana home before moving south to be closer to Debbie’s family, and because the couple said that Indiana was “just too darn cold.”

Troyer said the family traveled all throughout the USA to race and while trophies were on the minds of their sons, the time spent together is what they will look back on as the best part of it..

“We would make a weekend out of it,” said Debbie. “We were racing every Sunday, so sometimes we would pack up the truck and camp out for the weekend.”

Though his racing days are behind him, Troyer said his sons continue to race in Indiana. In Pike County, the couple operates the shop to as they say, “Do people right.”

 

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