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Bikes, beans and babies: Dungey has new passions after retiring from pro motocross

Ryan Dungey grew up racing motorbikes at Spring Creek MX Park near Millville and he went on to become one of the best pro racers of all time. After retiring in 2017, the Belle Plaine native has found new ways to direct his time and energy.

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Three-time AMA 450 class motocross national champion Ryan Dungey (5) rides with young racers at Fox Raceway in California during an event for the All Kids Bike organization. Dungey, a Belle Plaine native who retired from racing in 2017, has started a coffee company and a charitable foundation that has raised more than $100,000 for St. Jude Children's Hospital and All Kids Bike. Contributed photo

The wheels were turning — grinding, more accurately — in Ryan Dungey’s mind while he was ascending to the top of the professional motocross and supercross world.

The Belle Plaine native knew there would be life after his racing career ended, and he knew that the shelf life for even the best riders isn’t lengthy.

So, while in his mid-20s, and while in the midst of winning 92 professional races and nine national championships between 2007-2017, Dungey started planning for his post-motorbike life and career. He needed a place to channel and focus all of the energy he put into testing, riding and training to become one of the best riders ever to compete in the sport.

“I took the time that I had dedicated to my racing career and focused it in a new direction,” Dungey, who turns 32 on Saturday, said this week. “The time and attention to detail, to quality, it’s kind of my new goal, my new challenge.”

That new challenge comes in two forms: Coffee and kids, not necessarily in that order.

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No, the motocross superstar who cut his racing teeth at Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, hasn’t developed a coffee for kids, but he has found a way to connect two of the things he’s most passionate about.

Over the past two years, Dungey and his wife Lindsay founded RD Coffee, an online coffee outlet that has six different roasts or blends, all with motocross-themed names such as “REV,” “ACCELERATE” and “HOLESHOT.” The company is also offering a limited-time Holiday Blend this winter.

The small-batch roasted coffee is available at RDCoffees.com .

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Three-time AMA 450 class motocross national champion Ryan Dungey, a Belle Plaine native who retired from racing in 2017, has started a coffee company and a charitable foundation that has raised more than $100,000 for St. Jude Children's Hospital and All Kids Bike. Contributed photo

“Me and my wife, it was kind of our thing, when we’d travel to cities or countries, we’d stop at coffee shops and bond and enjoy that time together,” said Dungey, who lives in the Twin Cities. “We’d learn about other cultures that way, too. That was the beginning.

“Around 2010 I decided I wanted to start a coffee company or shop when I was done racing. So I started learning about quality of beans, where to get them, the roasting process. … I always thought about opening a coffee shop, but I wanted to roast my own coffee and thought this is the best way to move forward and be able to share it with anyone.”

While consumed with perfecting his coffee blends, Dungey is still heavily involved with his long-time charity work for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and more recently, a program called All Kids Bike. The latter works to get bicycles to elementary schools for use in physical education classes.

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Ten percent of all of RD Coffee’s sales goes directly to the Ryan Dungey Foundation , which has raised more than $100,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which is based in Memphis and has affiliate hospitals in six other states.

Dungey said he is inspired by the work the doctors and research scientists at St. Jude have done to help battle children’s cancer.

“The work they do, from cancer research to working around the clock, 24/7, finding cures, these kids have special protocols so attention to detail is so important,” he said. “If the doctors there find a cure, they share it with the rest of the world. For us, maybe we’re a small piece, when you have hundreds or thousands of foundations and organizations like us that give to St. Jude, we’re all small pieces, but together it’s making a difference.”

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Ryan Dungey competes in the 450 moto at the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Saturday at Spring Creek MX Park in Millville. He placed first overall.
Elizabeth Nida Obert, enida@post

Dungey said he’s grateful that his success on a bike has given him a platform to help others.

“As you get older … there was always a piece of me that, wanted to leave motocross better than when I came in. As I got older I realized I had a platform I could use to benefit other things, not for my own selfish benefit, and that’s the mindset I try to take.

“These things are beyond personal gain. I want to be a positive influence.”

Related Topics: MOTORSPORTS
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