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MXP Chatter With Steve Simms Presented By Motovan

As most of you know by now back in late September Steve Simms had a crash while riding near his home. At the time most who witnessed the crash assumed that although he might be sore for a few days no one was prepared for what was to come next. Even when the news came out that Steve had to be rushed to St.Mike’s Hospital in Toronto for emergency surgery that same evening, most people thought that he would have his surgery, he’d have to spend a few days recovering in the hospital, and then he’d be back home and all would be okay. Sadly, that wasn’t the case as the days in ICU turned into weeks as Steve’s condition went from bad to worse. It was a horrible ordeal that Steve would love to forget, but thanks to the love and support from his immediate family, his friends, and the entire moto community Steve found the strength and determination to recover faster than any of his doctors thought was possible. Thankfully, Steve is now home and on the road to recovery, and each day he’s feeling stronger and more like his old self. Since we’re neighbours I asked Steve if he wanted to meet for a coffee at our local Starbucks and have a long chat. Here is what we spoke about while sipping on some overpriced gourmet drinks.

MXP: Hey Steve! You’ve been out of the hospital now for a few weeks and I must say each time I see you you’re looking better. How are you feeling?

SS: I feel okay and each day I feel stronger and I have more energy. I still have a long way to go before I’ll be back to what I was before my accident but I’m going to physio twice a week and they’re telling me that I’m doing well also. It’s a process but so far so good.

As we sit here today what are your physical limitations?

I think it’s strength and mobility really. Both are slowly coming back but obviously, it’s going to take time. I feel better this week than I did last week and hopefully things keep moving in that direction. I’m pretty strong minded so the biggest thing right now is not doing too much or overdoing it if you know what I mean. I have to take it step by step and just do a little bit more each day.

Well, it sounds like you’re on a good path to a full recovery. We’ve both been involved in this sport for a long time and unfortunately, we’ve seen a few of our friends and fellow riders get injured. It’s awful to see and selfishly you always prey that it’s not you. However, when these things do happen it’s amazing how we all pull together and support each other like one big moto family. I know you were sedated for a while in the hospital and weren’t able to initially hear about all of the support and well wishes for you. But when you were able to see it how did it make you feel?

The support my family and I have received since my crash has been absolutely amazing. Whether it was the GoFundMe that Donk started, the ride day at Track 15, or all of the people who either reached out to me or even came to see me in the hospital. All of it was amazing and honestly, it really gave me that extra drive to get up and get the hell out of the hospital. It was a terrible situation but knowing that the entire moto community was there for me and my family meant a lot. Thank you to everyone!

It was amazing and as I said it once again proved how close-knit the moto community is not just in Canada but around the world. We’re like one big dysfunctional family (laughs). You also did some bike raffles through Ryan Gauld and AMO. I believe you were planning of doing that anyway but overall it was a cool idea.

Yes, before I got hurt we were going to do a few bike raffles as an interesting way to sell a few of our bikes. But when I got hurt Gauldy added a few things to it and it became more of a fundraiser. Being self-employed I don’t have insurance so every little bit helps my family and me and as I said, I’m very much appreciative of everything that was done.

Steve Simms
Steve is one tough dude and it’s great to see him on the road to recovery. Photo by James Lissimore

I didn’t see your crash but I was on the track at the same time and I must admit that in the moments after and even when they took you away in the ambulance, I figured that you’d get taken care of at the hospital and that you might be home the next day. Then when I heard that you were being taken to Toronto for surgery I thought okay he’s going to have surgery and then recover and most likely you’d be home in a week tops. But man, the news just kept getting worse and your stay in St.Mike’s kept getting extended.

For sure, it turned into a much longer ordeal than I or anyone thought it was going to be. I knew a few things were wrong with me the moment I crashed as my chest hurt and I could feel things crunching in my back. But I didn’t think it would turn into almost two months in the hospital and having to go through all that I did. I have all of the doctor’s notes and all of my charts that I still have to go over and see what exactly the issues were. I want to recover a little more before I dig into them. When I went into the hospital I thought it was just for some broken ribs and maybe few internal injuries, I didn’t know that my liver was lacerated and that in the days after my surgery I would have to lie there cut open and then have a bad fever set in. As you said, it just went from bad to worse and I can’t even imagine what my family had to go through, especially those first few weeks when I was in really bad shape. Some of my issues were caused by just the nature of my injuries but the doctors did come in once I was getting better and apologized for the mistakes they made early on. That was hard to hear for sure.

It sounds like the entire situation was a nightmare from start to finish. How quickly a fun day of riding can change. So I’m sure the moment you walked back into your front door at home after being in the hospital for so long you felt a huge sigh of relief. You mentioned getting stronger and improving each day. There are two sides to a full recovery, the physical side which you’re doing every day, but there’s also the mental side of it. How are you doing mentally? Do you think in time you’ll be able to move past this nightmare?

I think so! I’m doing okay with everything and I feel like as I get physically stronger I’m getting mentally stronger as well. I’d like to think that I’m a stubborn and mentally strong person to begin with, but honestly, the past two months have sure tested me. It always could be worse and I’m thankful that at some point here in the near future I’ll be back to normal and fully recovered. I have some goals set for the new year and yes I do plan on getting back on a bike next spring.

That is great to hear Steve. As far as the team and business side of things go. How are things looking for the TLD/GASGAS/SSR Team for 2023?

Things are looking good right now. Before I got hurt I had secured TLD for next year so things were moving ahead at that point. Since I got out of the hospital I’ve been talking with GASGAS and things are going well there also. As far as riders go I haven’t signed anyone yet but I like where we were at last year and I think with a few adjustments we can win races and be on the podium consistently in both classes next year. I run my program a certain way as you’ve seen and to ride for me a rider really has to buy in. It’s not just a fly-in-on-Friday and out-on-Monday type of program so it’s not for everyone.

Gibbs 2022
Steve is looking for continued success with the TLD/GASGAS/SSR Team in 2023. Photo by James Lissimore

It sounds as though things are progressing nicely with both your health as well as your team heading into 2023. I want to ask you about the Triple Crown Series next year. Other than finding a way to go back to Wild Rose MX Park in Calgary for at least one round (something that we all agree on) is there one thing that you’d like to see improve for next year?

Yes, finding a way to go back to Calgary is a must for sure. To have that track in that location and not have a national round there is unacceptable in my opinion and between the teams and the series we must find a way to go back there in 2023. Other than that, I’d like to see us continue to fine-tune the rule book and the way it’s sometimes interpreted. I know Kinger and Murph work hard on it and together they do a great job. It’s not easy and I know I’m not always easy to deal with at the races but the rules are there for a reason. Overall, the series is headed in the right direction, and hopefully, it takes another step forward next year.

Well Steve, I think we either need to wrap this up or order another expensive drink. I wish there were refills on these. Anyway, thanks for the chat, and thanks for all of the help in 2022. Is there anyone else you’d like to thank specifically?

I definitely want to thank my mom for never missing a day with me at the hospital and for helping the team to still go racing. My family of course, also Andrew White, Tyler Gibbs, Jiri Mildner, and all of my friends for helping with the team as well as around my house while I was away. I couldn’t have gotten through this without them as well as everyone else who helped out. Thank you very much!


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