weekend, we get to watch the best riders in the world, race in the best series in the world, racing on the best equipment money can buy. And with all the action a supercross or motocross weekend has to offer, it's easy to forget about the people "behind the scenes" who keep all those riders looking good.
To gain some insight on "behind the scenes" of gear preparation, we contacted the crew at O'Neal to see just what goes into making a rider look their best every weekend. Just before the AMA Pro Motocross season ended recently, we discussed the daily duties that include taking care of pro riders such as Matt Buyten, Kyle Chisholm, Garrett Ahlf, and Davi Millsaps
We spoke with the former pro rider turned rider rep Chris Honnold just days before he took another job in the sports gear industry and passed the torch to Marc Shear of O'Neal's rider support department.
ESPN.com: Hey guys, how are things going over at the O'Neal offices today?
Honnold: Great, working on e-mails laying out the new gear for the last couple outdoor nationals and on the phone working with riders.
With outdoors winding down, it's that time of the year when the 2013 gear begins shipping out, I have seen the new gear, you have to be happy with the new lines.
Yes, super happy! Rudy, our head designer, and the rest of the guys worked hard testing and working with our riders to make sure everything looked sharp but also functioned properly!
Any of the gear sets in particular stand out for you?
Most of us have always been fans of the Hardwear gear, but lately we have been wearing the Mayhem gear and really like the fit and function of the gear.
The business cards say you are rider support, but what is a normal work day like for the rider support department?
A normal day consists of working with all the professional athletes and agents, then handle all the amateur support riders and prepare the gear for all our athletes for that coming race weekend. We also work with the product development department on new ideas and testing gear.
Preparing the rider's gear for each race seems like it would be fun, do you get to go to any races and deliver the gear yourself?
It's a process each week; the pants go to the cleaners for their leg patches to be sewn on, then we print the names and numbers on every jersey, it is usually two jerseys per one pair of pants, depending on the rider … then it gets packed up! We hand deliver to the riders as much as we can, but we can't get to every race. So in that case, we UPS it to their hotel rooms.
Who decides what riders get what gear at each race?
We do, we pick different colors out to mix it up and make sure our guys are not always out there matching.
How many sets of gear does a guy like Kyle Chisholm or Davi Millsaps get on a weekend?
Both riders get three sets a weekend depending on weather and we have extra gear stocked in their locker, for those just-in-case tines
Of all the racers and FMXers, who goes through the most gear and who is the pickiest about what gear he rides with?
[Laughs] Davi Millsaps is pretty picky, but in a good way he just knows what he wants. Kyle Chisholm, Matt Buyten and Lance Coury are all pretty easy.
Of all the riders you've had over at O'Neal … who has been your favorite to work with?
Man, a tough one, they're all great to work with, we spent a lot time traveling and working with Timmy Ferry, and he was great to work for.