Five Minutes with … Darcy Lange
APRIL 24, 2008
Darcy Lange won his third U.S. national arenacross title last winter with Babbitt's Kawasaki.
photo: Tony Scavo
By Danny Brault
“The Deputy” is back to work. After fighting through a battle with Hodgkins Lymphoma (a form of cancer), Darcy Lange is riding dirt bikes again. However, the 26-year-old from Courtenay, BC isn’t racing for dollars or championships; he’s just riding for the fun of it. In fact, he raced the season opener at Campbell River two weeks ago in the Plus 25 class. We caught up with Lange today to see what’s up, and if we can expect him back chasing AX or SX titles anytime soon.
RXC: Hello, Darcy, what’s going on?
Darcy Lange: Not too much. I’ve been working for my girlfriend’s dad and started riding again, doing some local stuff around here.
I heard you raced the opener in Campbell River.
Yeah, I’m definitely not in shape; it was my first time racing since May of last year [laughs]. I went down and did that. I only raced one moto; they were running 25-minute motos and I was done after ten minutes. I’m glad I stopped there because on Monday I couldn’t friggin’ move!
Did you think you were in better shape than you are?
No, I knew I was in shitty shape.
And I heard you even showed up with electrical tape numbers!
[Laughs] Yeah, yeah I did! I went to Spunky’s and all they had were zeroes and eights.
I’ve never heard of the place, but I like the name.
[Laughs] Yeah. I could only find number 8, so I said screw it. I have some number 105’s coming up from California.
How did you make out in your moto at Campbell River?
I rode Plus 25 so there wasn’t anybody fast in it anyways. I got a 250F because I figured I’d ride the 250 pro class, but the 250 class doesn’t exist; it’s an Open Pro class so I would've had to ride against everyone on 450s. I would’ve got second, but I got tired, so I settled for third.
It must feel good to be back at the races.
Oh, yeah. I had fun out there; I’m not doing it for a living.
Speaking of that, I heard a rumour that you are retiring?
Yeah, I don’t know. I have another month to decide, if I want to go back. Right now it’s up in the air. I don’t want to get greedy and end up with nothing or a broken whatever.
Is it because of the illness you suffered that you’re thinking of hanging them up?
Well, just being home all of the time … it’s just been relaxing. I’ve done a lot around the house and I work two seconds down the road. I got another month to decide because that’s when I would head to California. One thing to, that is in the back of my mind, is that the doctor said I would never be able to again. At the same time, I would like to prove them wrong, but do I bother trying? I don’t know. One day, I’m pumped to go back, and another day, I don’t want to. It’s been good being home, my brother has two kids so I get to watch them grow up.
What are you doing for work?
It’s a pole yard, where they build telephone poles.
I’m guessing you have a little money put away from your racing success?
I got some money put away; my mom cut me off all my money when I started working. She does everything for me; I wouldn’t have nothing if it wasn’t for her. She’s done all that from day one.
If you decide to race again, professionally, what are your options?
Well, the first year I would go to arenacross to see how I feel; to see if my body can handle it. The chemo shrunk my heart and lungs, so my lungs can’t produce the oxygen that they used to. Like I can’t go scuba diving, not that I want to, because my lungs can’t handle pure oxygen. There’s nothing bad if I do go back; I won’t die or anything, but she said my lungs won’t handle it. I’m really not sure what I’m doing, though, it’s all up in the air.
How is Ian Woods doing?
Good. He’s working construction and tinkering around. The only way he’s going back to racing is if I go.
What would you say is your biggest memory from your career up to this point?
Obviously, last year’s supercross series is the best year I ever had. It sucks because it would be crappy to retire now, but I don’t want to jeopardize the rest of my life for a couple of bucks.
After racing every weekend, for your whole life, it must be nice to relax and enjoy being normal.
Oh, yeah, you definitely look forward to the weekends. I just built a house and I’m starting to get all of that stuff wrapped up.
I’m sure the girlfriend likes you being around more often too!
Oh, yeah, we get along way better [laughs].
Have you been on the bike this week?
Yeah, we went out on Tuesday, and last week we rode Tuesday and Thursday. The race was canceled last weekend because it snowed. I’m going to seattle this weekend, we have a weekend off, and then a race in Port Alberni. I have five buddies who bought bikes. It’s now more about riding for fun. I don’t have to pound 40-minute motos; I can just ride two laps if I feel like it [laughs].
Well, we’re glad to hear you’re back riding again, Darcy.