Heart arrhythmia doesn’t slow teen motocross racer

Riley Busse is not your average teenager.

At Aztalan Cycle Club in Lake Mills, you’ll find the 15-year-old doing what he loves most: motocross.

There are high speeds and big jumps.

“Just whipping pretty big to the side is pretty fun,” said Riley Busse, a sophomore motocross racer from New Berlin West.

Motocross is Riley’s passion and livelihood.

“I appreciate it so much,” Riley said. “The track is my happy place.”

It turns out that sports is a family affair.

Riley’s dad, Karter, and mom, Jessica, both raced and held pro licenses, but watching their son on the dirt road is a different experience.

“I’m kinda white,” said Karter Busse, Riley’s father. “I’m on the fence doing oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. I’m still nervous for him, but man, he’s pretty good on a bike.”

He is sure. Recently, Riley again qualified for the Monster Energy AMA National Amateur Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Tennessee.

It is the biggest amateur motocross race in the world.

“They’re basically the top 40 kids in his class in the whole nation and actually outside of the United States,” Karter said. “It’s pretty good to have a kid who is in the top 40 runners among everyone.”

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Riley will compete in the Super Mini 1 and Super Mini 2 classes at the Ranch, and he is aiming for the title.

“I’m really focused this year and hope to be up there,” Riley said.

He has the heart of a competitor, in more ways than one.

“I was born with a false beat in my heart,” Riley said.

Riley had to deal with something other racers don’t.

“It’s definitely a little frustrating sometimes not being able to be completely normal, but at the same time, I guess it’s kind of cool that I’m different from other people,” Riley said.

He has a cardiac arrhythmia. Four procedures later, Riley has a heart monitor in her chest.

When riding motocross, he wears a chest plate for protection.

“At night I have to sleep next to some kind of little machine that I plug in, and it gets sent to the doctor what’s going on every day,” Riley said.

It’s a small price to pay if, at the end of the day, it still manages to ride.

“Honestly, I try not to think about it and put it aside and do what I do,” Riley said.

“There are times when we have to take a step back from how much he trains,” Karter said. “He doesn’t want to overdo it, so there are times when we hold back a bit, but most of the time he’s all in.”

Nothing is slowing Riley down and he hopes to get his pro license next year when he turns 16. You can see all of her highlights on her Instagram feed: @RileyBusse404

“I hope to race on TV every weekend with all the pros in the pro nationals and super cross racing,” Riley said.

An achievable goal for this motivated and wholehearted motocross phenomenon.

Riley will compete at Loretta Lynn’s Aug. 1-6.

About Frances R. Smith

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