Sound Bites: Interview with Dryden Resident and GNCC National Champion Paul Best


By Tim Donnelly

ESPN Ithaca


Recently on ESPN Ithaca’s Between the Lines, host Tim Donnelly spoke with Dryden resident and middle schooler Paul Best who competes in cross country dirt bike competitions. Best, just 12 years old, was the 50 cc National Champion in 2015 and has remained at or near the top of his class ever since. Here is a snippet of that conversation; to hear the full interview, visit ESPN Ithaca’s on-demand PodCenter at


Tim Donnelly: When I think of motorcycle racing, I think of what you see on the X-Games… Your races take an hour plus. So what are some of the challenges that come with basically doing it for twice as long, three times as long, five times as long as some of the other races?

Paul Best: It’s just having to keep your endurance throughout the whole race. You have to keep the same pace or you have to start it out slower and then work your way and be twice as fast as the guy in first towards the end.


TD: What did your parents think when you first started saying, ‘I really like this thing where I get to ride around on two wheels and go through the woods for an hour and a half?’

PB: Well, it didn’t start out as an hour and a half race. It started off as, like, 15-minute races and then it slowly worked up as I got older and I’ve always just had a love for being on a motorcycle.


TD: What’s it like when, and this is coming from someone that played sports where you have two feet on the ground, so I’ve never been in this situation, but what is it like when you’re coming down a stretch, all the way down to the finish, and you are neck and neck and it all comes down the end?

PB: It gets really intense and really if it comes down to the last corner, it comes down to pushing and shoving them.

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Between the Lines with Tim Donnelly can be heard weekdays 4-6 p.m. on ESPN Ithaca (1160 AM/107.1 FM) and at


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