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Banch

A privateer, a filmmaker, and the New England motocross scene. Road 2 Recovery donation link inside!

Banch derives from the phrase, “driving like a banshee.” According to Urban Dictionary, it’s a Vermont/New England term, used generously by locals when talking about radical speed or maneuvers. “Let’s banch up Stage Coach Road!” Getting your tires spinning, going extremely fast and incredibly out of control, is what “banching” is all about. The gears were spinning in my head from the second I first heard it.

“We can’t call the movie that.” Andrew shot at me.

I didn’t understand why. It was such a perfect word, a word I had no prior knowledge of that encapsulated the essence of what Andrew and his friends were all about: living life wide open on two wheels, consequences be damned. It’s as free spirit a word as it is a lifestyle.

Andrew’s apprehension came from the fact that it was a term used exclusively in jest, with heavy sarcastic/ironic undertones. Only the goons went banching. Its use among the baddest riders in the Northeast was merely an in-joke. Wouldn’t the ultimate stinger be to flip around the word’s meaning, though? If we took “Banch,” a joke, and turned it into something cool, wouldn’t that be the ultimate? I wasn’t sure if it could even be done myself (maybe we failed?), but I pleaded with Andrew. I had to at least try.

You can guess how it played out.

Our vision was unified when we thought up this ridiculous idea: make the movie, invite all of our friends to Connecticut for the premiere, rent the theater out, and have a raunchy, Animal House-style party until the break of dawn. It seemed pretty sweet in my head. I can’t speak for Andrew, but I never went to any parties in high school, or the singular year I attended college. It sounded pretty fun to get a group together and let loose, free from the insecurities of teenaged peers.

Then, well… you know what happened. I don’t even like hearing the word anymore so I won’t say it.

Pieces were still there to be picked up, though. The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross tour resumed in the fall, after a courageous seven-race Supercross finale inside Rice-Eccles Stadium, and Andrew and I were both itching for an excuse to get on the open road. That’s where the true genesis of Banch formed. We couldn’t have our blockbuster night, much greater issues were at hand. That’s where the mission turned personal, and we got the hell out of dodge. We were making our film in any way possible, so long as we were here to do it.

Thank god for YouTube premieres.

Why’d we do this shit? Fuck man, I don’t know. Why not? “I have to get out of this town.” Andrew would tell me. “I feel like I’m going crazy here.” We needed an out, and a national motocross tour was the perfect getaway.

They say if you love something, let it go. I’m not so sure about that. I love moto, the people its brought me and the places its taken me. I gripped it tighter this year than ever before, stared it right in its ugly face and gave it a big fat kiss. And I’d do it again, too.

The money it took to make this trip happen doesn’t matter. The time, well, that’s out the window right alongside the money. The miles driven don’t add up as they’re well into the thousands, which couldn’t be right because it feels like we just got back yesterday. In that same moment, it also feels like a lifetime. Let’s not even begin with the taxation on our bodies and minds, be it at the track or behind the lens.

This sport is antagonizing. Brutal to its core, truly. In order to be the best, you’ll probably wind up hating everything about it. Hell, just to be good requires significant sacrifice. And we ask ourselves over and over again: why?

I think you already know the answer, as you were always meant to.

Photos by Jared Conley, Andrew Boccarossa, Charles Bakke, and Matt Rice.

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