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Melvin Cepeda is from a family of riders

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MELVIN Cepeda is into the extreme sport of motocross — like his three daughters.

The 50-year-old veteran rider, his daughters Elyssha Reyes, Edinna Cepeda and Emelsha Cepeda, and his wife Eleanor Cepeda, who is the secretary of the Marianas Racing Association, are at the forefront of the efforts to revive motocross on Saipan by holding exhibition races every Sunday at the Kan Pacific track. 

Melvin’s love for the sport started when he was just a little boy riding kiddie bikes. He never had the chance to actually ride at the track until he was 30 years old. In 2001, he was finally given the opportunity to experience motocross at Cow Town and the Kan Pacific track where competitions were being held.

He then made his own track at the back of his house in order to prepare for the next competition. Unfortunately, he could not participate when he suffered a spinal injury during one of his training sessions, forcing him to sit out for a year.

After a long period of recovery, Melvin got back on the track, earning first, second and third places in competitions. “Before I could get back to [motocross], I really had to convince my mom. Even today, she is still concerned about my health, but the doctor said to start exercising so I might as well ride and race. Now I really have to be cautious while riding. To all riders out there, ‘Know your limits.’”

Melvin Cepeda

At this time his eldest daughter, Elyshha Reyes, has already taken an interest in the sport, and started riding her own bike. Today, she, her husband Jude Reyes and her sisters Edinna and Emelsha  join Melvin on the tracks every Sunday.

"I love the sport! And so do my kids — they really enjoy riding," Melvin said. His wife Eleanor  may not be a rider, but as MRA secretary, she is one of the sport’s staunchest supporters.

Melvin said he cherishes every moment spent with his family doing the thing they love the most. "It's like going to the beach — it's family-oriented.”

It has been nearly 12 years since he last experienced a ride on the track, so "it feels good to be back on the track," Melvin said. In MRA's very first exhibition race, he placed third.

"We do this for the kids, the youth,” he said. “We want to teach them safety precautions. There are a lot of new riders and this new track gives them the chance to experience what it feels like to  race."


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