Local dirt biker caps off big year with another world championship

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PERRIS, Calif. — Colton Haaker’s drive to work looks quite a bit different than most, and his renewed drive for work keeps him turning laps in the track he built in his backyard. It’s all helped him have an eventful year.

“This is the workings of my every day,” said Haaker. “This is my office and put in the work my nine to five.”

The professional dirt biker and his wife had their first child, released a movie tracking his life from a young dreamer to a winner and just captured his third world SuperEnduro title in four years — all after he nearly gave up riding for good.

At 29 years old, Haaker has also won two national titles in the discipline of endurocross, a race on an indoor track featuring rocks, logs and other obstacles.

But not long ago, Haaker wondered if he had the drive to keep riding and admits he considered shutting it down.

“For sure,” Haaker said. “Multiple times. From injury to pressure really. It never leaves you.”

Haaker felt so conflicted that he decided to look inward and make a movie about his rise through the ranks. Called “Rare Exception,” the film tracks his life from his dream as a 7-year-old of becoming a pro, to reaching that reality and the pressures, demands and stress that goes with it.

“The realization that dreams realized also cause an equal and opposite reaction of nightmares and the fear of failure or not living up to those expectations or carrying out those dreams is what I found myself in,” Haaker said.

But with his wife Hannah and new daughter London by his side, Haaker realized he needed to climb back on his bike.

“This is a part of the journey,” Haaker said. “This is something that you want to do. Live in it for the moment for what it is, but you have a lot more to look forward to here in the future now and after.”

When FOX 5’s Troy Hirsch reached out to share his story, he offered to take him on a quick — and what he called “mellow” — ride around his home in Perris.

What he considered mellow challenged Hirsch’s abilities but also demonstrated why the roar of the motorcycle keeps calling him back.

“I don’t know what I would do without motorcycles in my life,” Haaker said. “It’s pushed me to accomplish goals and dreams and also kept me out of massive amount of trouble, too. It’s given me so many opportunities to test myself and grow and learn and to fail. Failing is a part of that. Those are life lessons. I think other people who ride motorcycles feel those, too.”

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