Rynos Story

Ryan Hughes, September 3, 1995 Steel City, PA * Last Moto of the Season Tied for 1st in points

1994 had been a tough season for Ryan Hughes. His father had passed away during the Supercross Series and Ryan had raced just days after his father's passing. After losing the National Championship that year by just a few points he had dedicated the 1995 SX and Nationals to the memory of his father, Bill Hughes. Bill had almost never missed a race in Ryan's entire life; he was Ryan's biggest fan.

This photo was taken on a sweltering hot Sunday afternoon in Delmont, Pennsylvania, the site of the final round of the 1995 AMA 125/250 Motocross Championship. While the 250 class title was already wrapped up by Jeremy McGrath, the 125cc crown came down to the final moto of the season between Honda factory rider Steve Lamson and Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Ryan Hughes. Tied in points and only seconds apart, the grueling 35 minute battle came down to the very last lap of the moto, but it ended prematurely when Hughes' chain snapped within sight of the checkered flag. Though the championship was lost for him at that very moment, Hughes, with his never-say-die attitude, dismounted and pushed his KX125 through two turns, then used his head to gain leverage as he muscled it up the steep hill toward the checkered flag. Hughes finished the series five points behind Lamson. It was this determination and will that defined Ryan Hughes the motocrosser, and gave validity to his nickname, "Ryno", one of the fiercest competitors in racing.

The fans were brought to tears as they chanted "Ryno, Ryno, Ryno" urging him on. They had just witnessed two of the fastest riders in the world battle with little more than two bike lengths between them. It seemed as if neither rider ever let off the gas. The ending was not what anyone expected but the race will go down in history as one of the most memorable moments in MX.

This story meant many things, to many different people. Perhaps the most notable is Peggy Belmore. She was the mother of a motocross racer and was very familiar with Ryan Hughes as he graced many of the magazines in the house and the posters hung on her son's walls.

When Peggy was diagnosed with cancer the doctors had given her just one more month to live, a devastating blow to any person. As mortal thoughts ran through her head and all faith had left her, she vowed not to give up, she pledged to fight the cancer and not to abandon her family. As she lay in her hospital bed, sick from the medication and her body failing her, she would say to herself, "just keep pushing the bike, just keep pushing the bike", a reference to Ryno's battle that summer in Steel City.

Peggy went on to live six more years, not 30 days, beating cancer twice more along the way. We learned her story when she sent Ryan a letter telling him of her own battle to the finish. Peggy is inspiration to us and helped us realize how a true competitor can inspire people to get the most out of themselves, to push all the way to the finish.

We hope this picture and this story inspire you to be the fiercest competitor you can be. We hope you give everything you've got, every time you compete and that you always CHARGE LIFE!