POWDER MOUNTAIN -- Austin Jamieson has been riding motocross for nine years, half his life, and said the death of a rider at Powder Mountain's races Thursday won't stop him from continuing.
Dylan Perkins, 16, of Surprise, Ariz., died during a practice run Thursday when he landed wrong on one of the higher jumps on the course cut into the hillside next to the resort's parking lot.
Jamieson, 18, of Roy, said he didn't know Perkins personally but saw the accident and could tell how he got into trouble.
Perkins hit the jump too fast, he said "and got nose-down," meaning the bike's front wheel turned too far toward the ground as the bike and rider flew through the air.
"He just basically face planted from 40 feet. It was like falling four stories."
Riders were not taking it easy Friday on the motocross course at Powder Mountain.
Engines roared and dirt flew as riders soared 30 feet or higher to make jumps. More than 250 professional and amateur riders from around the country are competing in Powder Mountain's third annual motocross races, which continue through Sunday.
The official opening of the meet will be at 12:30 today, but the first races were held Friday afternoon.
Greg Greer, Powder Mountain CEO, said Friday the resort will hold a short tribute for Perkins. It will be at a time when Perkins' family can be at the track, or at 12:30 for today's opening if they can't attend.
He said the track isn't undergoing any special alterations because of the accident.
"You know, we're constantly working on the track. We're a ski resort, obviously, so we know there's no such thing as perfect conditions. The conditions are constantly changing. When we have a break, we water the track. We take the tractor out and repair the track."
Jamieson said the death of one rider won't dampen anyone's vigor. Mostly, he said, motocross riders are used to getting hurt.
For example, the collarbone on his left side is so lumpy from healing that it looks like a bunch of grapes are stuck under the skin. A thin incision scar follows the bone for about four inches.
The surgery was needed for the last break, his father Mike Jamieson said, "because he'd broken it three times before. The bone was getting kind of short."
That's not his son's first break. "We know some pretty good bone doctors," he added.
But that's the risk all riders take, Austin said. "I've gone down. I've had multiple surgeries."
As he talked he rubbed heat lotion into his wrists, elbows and shoulders. Small scars pock his body. His right wrist is still swollen from breaking his hand in another race.
Even so, he said, he practices daily and races three or four times a month. He recently went professional, with a corporate sponsor.
"You know what the risk is," he said. "Once you start, the adrenalin high, there's nothing like it.
"And there's nothing like being in a race. You're your own team, it's all up to you."