“I was about 4 years old when I first started riding and going to the track,” he said. “I’m not exactly sure how I got into racing. I think I begged my mom to take me out there, we had my bike and I wound up racing.”
He grew up in Huntington Beach, Califor., and because his family didn’t have much money they would arrive at a track in a station wagon. From the Pee Wees he began his climb into the larger bike classes.
“I raced until I was about 17 then went through a traumatic incident in Ponca City, Oklahoma,” he said.
For the next two decades plus, Bone described his life as, “very unproductive.” It was a very dark time.
“I was not very smart. Drugs and alcohol possessed my life, it’s all I thought about, it’s all I dealt with, I didn’t have a normal life since was 17 until about 38,” he said.
During that time, for the periods he was out of jail, he lived in apartments or weekly rentals. His final release brought him here.
“I moved to Reno in 2005 with $29 in my pocket and a paper bag with my belongings,” he said. “I guess the biggest question was if I was going to do the right thing as I had never done that before.”
By then he had been sober for five years and decided to turn his life around.
So Bone went back to doing tattoos, which was the one thing he’d always done since he was young.
After working for someone else he chose to open his own shop, something he had done in his younger days.
“I decided that would probably be the best bet for me,” he said.
Since then he’s started several tattoo shops and now owns Static, which does graphic design and even window tinting. His tattoo shops are Sinnister, Undead Tattoo, Body Mods and Mob Syndicate Tattoo.
During his first years here, Bone felt his passion for motocross, which fueled his life as a boy, and returned to the sport.
“I knew that’s where I needed to go and it seems that God kind of pushed that along,” he said. “I met a guy and he was willing to sell me a bike on payments as I didn’t have any money. But he said he’d take $40 a week and next thing you know I had a dirt bike.”
His first race was at Fernley then he went to Mustang and met the Masterpool family, who owned the track then.
“I met their children and started with Jake and Jesse, just helping them and making them T-shirts,” he said. “I owned one tattoo shop at the time so didn’t have a lot to help but I always made time.”
Bone would go to the track to either help the boys or do everything from putting up signs and other things. He added his involvement spiraled up from that point.
“I always promised myself that if I was capable of changing the way my life went that I would do that,” he said.
Bone still races himself in the 40 Junior Class, “because I don’t race enough to change that.”
From that point Bone started helping young motocross racers.
“The more I could afford, the more I would help,” he said. “It started out with stickers and putting a little die cut of Jesse and Jake’s name on the side of my trailer and now we buy about six bikes a year.”
Bone explained he’s more of a manager to the young riders on his team. He does everything from trying to find sponsors to helping in any way he can.
Asked about his relationship with the young people on his team, Bone said, “”I’m 100% mentor, they all know my story and they all know what can happen if you drink and do drugs.”
He also requires that they maintain at least a B average on their grades in school.
Right now there are 24 riders on the team and receive different levels of assistance. For some its just stickers and T-shirts while others are in a traveling group that competes in Amateur National Motocross events.
He explained those traveling racers have qualified for the Loretta Lynn Nationals in Tennessee. And their numbers are growing.
Asked how he can run businesses while doing all this, Bone said, “I actually built it to where I can leave. My businesses run themselves, my tattoo shops are self sufficient so all I have to do is check in once in a while.”
As amateur nationals occur all over the country, Bone will be on the road for 10-weeks this year. His large trailer/motor home comes in real handy for these road trips.
“It’s a real blessing as a buddy of mine sponsors it and pays for half of that,” he said.
Some of Bone’s local riders are Jesse Sanchez, from Sparks, Zack Clauser, Billy Adams and Preston Joy, who turns pro this year.
One rider that has risen to the dream level is Gared Steinke, who is ranked 19th in the Arenacross Lites West series. And he’s competed in some Supercross events.
Bone added Steinke’s only sponsors are Sinnister Racing and Mob Syndicate.
“The TV coverage for us at this point is seeing a glimpse of Gerad. It doesn’t benefit us in any way, however it’s huge for the kids,” he said.
Steinke didn’t have anything when he started on the team. Bone explained his achievements are important to the kids as they can see their dreams maybe possible.
“Gerad’s their teammate and he treats those kids like they are teammates,” Bone said. “It was a full house when he raced at the Arenacross event here.”
Getting sponsorship has proven to be a tough nut to crack for Bone. But they riders do get help in the form of discounts and other things.
“It was really painful trying to get help for these kids. But we tricked the system by getting help for the team because it has so many national champions on it,” he said.
One example he cited is Sparks rider Jesse Sanchez, who has a different sponsorship level than some of the younger racers. He added that those younger riders do get a benefit because of Sanchez.
“They’ll get a discount because they race on Jesse’s team and that’s the deal I make with these companies,” he said.
Currently he’s putting together a different program to seek additional sponsorship for the team but Bone knows the current economy makes this an iffy proposition.
“Our goal is to attract people to the sport of motocross,” he said. “At one point Sinnister Racing was my national amateur team and all my kids competed in those. Now some of my kids now might never go to an amateur national.”
But for those that will compete at an amateur national event, Bone is hard at work trying to make that happen.
“I know there are people that would help these kids if they knew their story,” he said. Some of these kids are amazing and their resources are one-tenth of those they race against. And I’ve been putting a budget together to figure out how we’re going to get them to these nationals.”
Bone is one busy man, besides his business ventures he also has a wife and family. Still he gets great satisfaction helping young racers.
“Just the success of these kids and their accomplishments are amazing to me and I thrive on it. I have just as much fun watching a Fernley moto as I do an amateur national moto,” he said. “I might get a little sidetracked for a couple weeks but all I have to do is go out and watch two or three of my kids win a moto and I’m back on the phone as it just fuels me to get going.”
Bone and the team should be at Sunday’s motocross at LivFast/Exit 28 and he’s always looking for talented riders to help. Those wishing further information can e-mail him at: Mobsyndicate@ymail.com.
OTHER RACING NEWS
•This weekend the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam rolls in the Livestock Events Center for three days of mayhem. Friday and Saturday evening shows begin at 7:30 p.m. while the Saturday and Sunday Matinees start at 2 p.m.
•On Sunday the Northern Nevada Kart Club hosts its annual non-points tune up race starting around 10 a.m. at Desert Park Raceway. Local motocross riders that compete in the SMRA series will be in action, starting around 10 a.m., at the LivFast/Exit 28 motocross track east of Sparks.
•Two of NASCAR’s Nevada Quartet competed in the Camping World Truck race Saturday at the Darlington Speedway. T.J. Bell finished 29th while Brendan Gaughan ended up 25th.
Kurt Busch spent the weekend at the Gator Nationals NHRA event racing a Pro Stock for the first time. After qualifying 12th, he lost in Sunday’s first round to Erica Enders.