Some people are just born to do certain things.
Five-year-old Kyle Born of Windsor Township was born to ride motorcycles, and he and his parents are hoping to head to New Zealand later this year so the tyke can take part in a dirt bike competition.
The MX Mini Nationals are slated for Nov. 2 and 3, and the family is hoping to find sponsors or donors to help cover the $6,000 needed for airline tickets to get to the island nation and back, said Erika Born, Kyle's mother.
The family will put up some of the money but is also asking for sponsors.
MXAntix, an Auckland-based online magazine, will
provide accommodations for the family and a bike for Kyle to ride, she said.
"It's pretty profound when you have people offering to help you out and you don't even know them," Born said.
If Kyle gets to go to New Zealand, he will be the only American rider there. Kyle has an older sister, 17-year-old Desiree Martin, but she won't be able to go on the trip because of school, Born said.
The start: Riding dirt bikes has been in Kyle's blood since birth. His father, Dave Born, grew up riding and still does.
When Kyle was a toddler, he'd get on a bouncy zebra toy and ride it like a motorcycle, complete with self-made motorcycle sounds and tricks, inspired from watching motocross with his dad, Erika Born said.
Motocross is a form of motorcycle racing held on dirt tracks and includes jumps.
When he hit the 2-year-old mark, Dave Born got him a motorcycle, rigged up some training wheels and taught him how to ride. At 3, he got a KTM, made in Austria.
Dave Born said he's proud to see his son following in his footsteps but added he doesn't push Kyle to compete and is always quick with a "good job" no matter where Kyle places in competitions.
"I love it," Dave Born said. "It's my passion, and I get to share it with him. I don't need to race anymore because I'm there watching him."
Family affair: Nonetheless, being the parents of a young rider can be unnerving, the Borns said.
"At first when he started to get quick, I didn't know if I was going to have a heart attack or throw up," Erika Born said.
Though Kyle has been riding for about three years, Erika said she still gets nervous when he races, especially when he's at the starting gate.
The Borns spend most weekends traveling in their RV to races where Kyle competes in two age categories -- one for children ages 4 to 6 and the other for children ages 4 to 8.
Kyle averages a fifth-place finish, but he also knows the taste of victory, gaining more than 50 trophies. He has won a number of races and placed second in the Delaware State Championship Pro-Am last year.
"Most of the time he's the youngest one out there because he just turned 5," Dave Born said.
Asked what he likes about motocross, Kyle said, "Just riding."
Spotted: Kyle gained the attention of race organizers in New Zealand through social media.
Erika Born said she created a Facebook page in order for family living out of the state to keep tabs on Kyle's racing, and someone at MXAntix soon took notice.
Since then, he's been featured in the magazine and now could join up with MXAntix team riders for the competition in the Pacific nation this autumn.
When Kyle is in his protective gear and riding, it's easy to forget he's a young child.
But after a race, he's like any other 5-year-old, Erika Born said.
"He gets off the bike and puts on his dress-up clothes," she said. "He runs around dressed like a guy from 'Star Wars' or in a military outfit."
-- Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to help Kyle race
The Born family is seeking sponcers to help cover part of the airfare to get to New Zealand and back. To become a sponsor, contact Erika Born at (717) 817-8557 or at email@example.com.
The Borns have also set up an online fundraising page on Go Fund Me. To make a donation, go to www.gofundme.com/3hvhe4.