Right after I retired from professional racing, some people thought I would feel a bit down in the days and weeks afterwards, since I wouldn’t be in the racing ‘limelight’ any longer. And I know that has happened to other people I know. But I’ve never felt down or depressed about not racing. Actually, I’m much more excited about the new beginnings for myself and my family.
Sometimes it’s scary when you think ‘What am I going to do now?’ since all I’ve done as an adult is race motorcycles. But now I have the world at my feet! I’ve got 25 different opportunities in front of me. Which one do I choose? How do I make the correct decisions?
So, after racing, instead of anything being a negative, everything has been very much a positive.
Of course, during my racing career there were many, many times where I felt ‘Am I doing the right thing?’ or ‘What the heck is going on here? Why am I struggling? Why am I injured?’ Those were my tough times. I was always looking for a break-thru during those times. The Bible talks a lot about perseverance. It’s not about winning a race or a championship and then kicking back for the rest of your life. It’s about perseverance. If you persevere, it helps with many other aspects of your spiritual and mental growth.
One of the things I wanted to do after racing was try to make up for some lost time. I went back to South Africa to see my family. I spent over four months there, just hanging out and catching up with my family and friends.
|Amy & Greg Albertyn|
After a while though, I felt a bit restless. I’m not the kind of person that likes to take ‘time off’. I wanted to get my new career going. Being a professional athlete, you are very focused and used to working hard. Sitting around is not something to do.
I didn’t stop racing and not know what to do next. I’ve never been a person to not move forward. One of my goals was not to rely on anything I’ve done in the past, including my earnings. I couldn’t say ‘Oh great, I made some money racing, now I’ll sit back and relax.’ I always want to be moving forward.
One of my initial plans was to do some consulting within the motorcycling industry, and I’ve been doing that for the past 18 months with Suzuki and Parts Unlimited. And during that time I’ve been getting my other career opportunities established.
Now, one of the other things I’m doing is property development. The Lord has opened up so many doors for me, especially in an area where I had very little experience such as real estate development. I’ve been building homes in Southern California, and this area is a booming market for that industry right now.
I am partners with gentlemen that have been in the industry a long time. One has been in it for over 20 years, the other has over 40 years in real estate. I learning quite a lot from their experience and wisdom along the way. I’m an investor, and an active member of the partnership.
I also have a company that takes people to Africa to go on Safari. It’s truly the trip of a lifetime. You experience a real Safari environment – elephants, lions, the whole deal. That is called Albee’s African Bike Safari. It’s at MotoSafari.com.
|Can you believe this? Moto Safari!|
My other main project is my web enterprise, How2Ride.com. It’s something I’m very excited about. I think it’s a further extension of doing riding schools, because you can only be in one place at one time with a school.
I want to get real, in-depth information into people’s hands with How2Ride.com. If people take in the info, then it’s something they can put to use themselves. It’s educating people so they can learn on their own and develop those possibilities.
How2Ride.com was a concept I’ve been thinking about for a long time. A lot of riders do schools after they retire from racing. That’s great for some, but not for me. With schools you can only give individual attention to a maybe 15 or 20 riders at a time. I want to do things a little bit different.
I want to be able to educate people on not only what to do, but why to do it. When you start educating people on the real, in-depth reasons why you are doing something on a motorcycle, it makes more sense. How do you do a seat-bounce? How does Jeremy McGrath go thru the whoops so well? How does Travis Pastrana manage to stay so low over the jumps?
My goal is for others to really know how and why they are doing these things on the motorcycle. I want to take what the pros have learned over the years and help others – that’s where the name comes from How2Ride.com. We want to cover all aspects – bike set-up, training, and of course the #1 thing that I can offer is how to ride, with all the technical aspects of riding.
The sport has been fantastic to me. It’s given me opportunity that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I want to put something back into it, and I see How2Ride.com as a way to put back into the sport. Some people might say ‘Well, if you are going to put back, you should make it free’. That’s fine, but that’s not the real world. Efforts like How2Ride.com and Supercross.com cost great sums of money. Our subscription basically covers the cost of running the operation.
One thing I can do at no cost is give riding schools. There are so many people out there that want a riding experience with a pro or ex-pro.
I almost raced three Nationals this year. I wouldn’t call it coming out of retirement, but rather helping out Suzuki. Suzuki has a very big team program, and suddenly both of their premier riders (Kevin Windham & Travis Pastrana) are out.
|Greg today. Fast, still fast.|
I’ve been riding quite a bit, and I talked with Suzuki about it. I feel like I’m physically fit, and my speed was on pace. Then I sat down seriously to talk with Roger DeCoster (Suzuki’s Team Manager) and we decided I’d come out to race three races. I told him what I wanted to do it, and if it was something Suzuki wants to do, let’s do it. Roger was for it, and agreed to it, but told me that obviously it was something that Suzuki’s upper management would have the final decision on.
They thought it was too much money, and I have no problems with that, since I wasn’t looking to race. I think maybe Roger was disappointed, but it’s probably a lot of money to them.
I’ve been blessed to race all over the world. I started in my native country of South Africa. I moved to race the world championships in Europe. And after that I moved to America.
If there is one thing I could modify in American racing today, it would be the formation of a Riders Union. Riders are getting exploited in many ways. Yes, salaries of the top riders are tremendous. But there are dozens and dozens of riders out there getting almost nothing, risking their lives every time they race, and many are getting hurt. And, most riders, if they get hurt, they get nothing after that.
|250 National Champ!|
Obviously, not everyone can be looked after. But if there was a Riders Union, I believe it could go a long way towards taking care of most riders. Health issues would come first on the priority list, instead of the bottom line.
Part of life is about new beginnings. I’m excited about my new beginnings with property management and the web-site How2Ride.com. I encourage you to find something that excites you, and go out and pursue your new beginnings!