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RIP Jeff "Ox" Kargola

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Well, I'm going to just go ahead and do it... Ox deserves to be commemorated outside of the Rip to the Tip thread. I'll share a personal story I have of Ox that I think speaks to his character and role as an ambassador for FMX and off-road racing.

I ran into Ox prerunning for the 2009 San Felipe 250. He and I were each riding by ourselves, prerunning the start to Morelia Junction. I caught up to him resting under a tree and introduced myself. Prior to meeting him, I have to admit I had a very ignorant and judgmental opinion of this Metal Mulisha FMX dude who was making his JCR Honda debut that year. As soon as I actually met the guy, shook his hand and commiserated over the brutality of the course, it was immediately apparent he was no stereotype - a very likable and friendly guy. We drank some water and carried on. Needless to say, there was no keeping up with him.

Ox and Quinn Cody finished 2nd in the SF 250 that year. He followed that up with back-to-back SF wins with Colton Udall in '10 and '11.

Meeting him changed my opinion and attitude about FMX and who/what can be a front-runner in Baja. One of the recent updates I remember seeing on his Facebook profile was about taking possession of a new GasGas trials bike and commenting on surfing one day, racing trucks the next and jumping his bike the next... "Life is good," he said. He certainly lived a life I envied. Baja lost a good one. RIP.

Edited by Justin Hambleton
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aman justin, met him a few months ago, very friendly and personable, and definitly on the edge! rip ox

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Thanks for sharing your story, didn't know Ox but certainly admired his accomplishments. RIP

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+1

Had the pleasure of meeting him pre-running in SF a few times, real down to earth friendly, likeable guy. Like many others, I couldn't believe this tragic news and what a loss for his family, us and our sport...

RIP

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i will miss Ox like crazy he was always a great guy with a big smile on his face!

If he wasn't out riding his dirt bike he was surfing or flying to a different event....i got a text a few min after he crashed from a friend that was there and my heart sank..i know he's in a better place now watching over all of us.. OX you will be missed..

OX at the SF250 he saw me and poped a nice wheelie

OXsf-1.jpg

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Thanks for sharing your story, didn't know Ox but certainly admired his accomplishments. RIP

Well put Dave.

Thanks for sharing Justin.

... I too didn't know him nor had ever met him, but am saddened by the news. Godspeed.

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I didn't know Ox, I don't know anybody that did really know him, so my exposure has only been what I've seen on the internet and TV. I've never been a fan of Metal Mulisha, but I realize that there's a lot more to everyone involved than just what the masses are exposed to.

I was just down in the same area on my own trip to the tip. It really hits home to think that someone of Ox's calibre can have that kind of problem down there and how quickly things can go bad.

I am incredibly saddened to hear of his passing, much like I was to hear of Nathan Woods, another pro I had never met. I appreciate all the posts on various forums about Ox, he sounds like a great guy that had a lot of friends.

My thoughts are with his loved ones and friends.

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I did know Ox... my heart is heavy.... The world lost a true gentleman...

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RIP Jeff "Ox" Kargola

I used to really enjoy Ox's facebook posts. Off to Hawaii surfing, down in baja prerunning, traveling to or from some freestyle show, short course racing, etc. Living large but not pretentious or boastful. I was great reading his exploits and adventures.

The weekend before Christmas I was out at Ocotillo Wells. It was one of those rare weekends when it was pretty much empty - raining along the coast but beautiful in the desert. I'm at the Blu Inn getting some lunch and I check my phone for emails and messages, and I go to the facebook account. "Jeff Kargola" post right on top. It was something like "out in OW with friends". Right then, I look up and Ox passes me and sits with his group a table down. No one in the Blu Inn that day knew who he was. He was just one other guy enjoying the weekend with friends out at the desert.

He was off the clock - no need to walk up and do one of those "big fan" thing on Ox. I just assumed another day I would head over to the JCR pop up at a SCORE contingency and give him and the others a fan's shout out.

Not going to be able to give him that shout out at the 500 this year. Not bummed that I didn't walk up to him at the Blu Inn though. He was relaxed and enjoying himself with what looked like a group of close friends and their family. I'm sure they made some great memories from that trip to remember their friend Jeff by.

The Zero-X for the win at the 500 this year.

==

Pab - condolences to you, your family and all those that made Jeff "Ox" Kargola part of your family. You are all in out thoughts and prayers.

Edited by soylent_green

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Thanks

RIP Jeff "Ox" Kargola

I used to really enjoy Ox's facebook posts. Off to Hawaii surfing, down in baja prerunning, traveling to or from some freestyle show, short course racing, etc. Living large but not pretentious or boastful. I was great reading his exploits and adventures.

The weekend before Christmas I was out at Ocotillo Wells. It was one of those rare weekends when it was pretty much empty - raining along the coast but beautiful in the desert. I'm at the Blu Inn getting some lunch and I check my phone for emails and messages, and I go to the facebook account. "Jeff Kargola" post right on top. It was something like "out in OW with friends". Right then, I look up and Ox passes me and sits with his group a table down. No one in the Blu Inn that day knew who he was. He was just one other guy enjoying the weekend with friends out at the desert.

He was off the clock - no need to walk up and do one of those "big fan" thing on Ox. I just assumed another day I would head over to the JCR pop up at a SCORE contingency and give him and the others a fan's shout out.

Not going to be able to give him that shout out at the 500 this year. Not bummed that I didn't walk up to him at the Blu Inn though. He was relaxed and enjoying himself with what looked like a group of close friends and their family. I'm sure they made some great memories from that trip to remember their friend Jeff by.

The Zero-X for the win at the 500 this year.

==

Pab - condolences to you, your family and all those that made Jeff "Ox" Kargola part of your family. You are all in out thoughts and prayers.

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I didn't know him well enough as I wanted to but I wanted to share a cool memory with TT bros:

At the last SF 250...Colton was about to finish and the buggies were still leaving the start...it was OX who came up barking at SCORE officials and, ultimately to Sal to stop the outbound buggies at the starting line because OX knew Colton was coming in to the finish any moment. At this last race JCR had no eye in the sky and so OX raised hell to Sal right there at the finish. (unlike the prior year, SCORE was totally unprepared for the fastest bikes vs. the late starting buggies)

Sal lost his freaking mind trying to accommodate 6x's safe finish and snapped off on the radio to paul (fish) and Weatherman...sal was just snapping. "How do you know 6x is coming in?!!!"

IMG_4263.jpg

Alas, Colton came in carefully with the win. Just after we did interviews in the finish area, Ox took the 6x from Colton, jumped on without a helmet, rode 20 yards to the pavement...all the while Sal was screaming at him "Hey No, No Hey...Hey..No No....Ox defied SCORE and laid down this burly burnout...

IMG_4333.jpg

Sal just walked away and turned a blind eye.

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That video is great, very touching. I believe it is same as was played at the memorial Tuesday afternoon.

Watching it Tuesday on the big screen it reached minute 3:15, "offroad...see where it takes me" he says. For me it was like time stood still, like a TwilightZone episode where I looked around and everyone was frozen, like someone had hit the 'pause' button on the video, but they hadn't. Those words really hit me.

I wiped away tears of sadness but know I had a smile by the end of the video thinking to myself what a special person, a bad-ass, a role model, an over achiever he was.

The church service was incredible too, I couldn’t look anyone in the eye, it was heavy. We all felt Camerons & Coltons pain when they spoke. And Tanner, Ackerman, and Sunny, those guys made me cry. Strong people for sure.

Prior to meeting him, I have to admit I had a very ignorant and judgmental opinion of this Metal Mulisha FMX dude... Meeting him changed my opinion and attitude about FMX...
I'm right there with you on that Justin.

Years back Cameron had bugged and bugged and bugged me to go ride with him and his buds. I was like the anti-black-sock, anti-flatbill, anti-Mulisha.

Finally I reluctantly agreed I'd take 'em on a 3-dayer. Cameron told me the names of the riders he'd bring, including Ox.

I wasn't at all stoked, probably the most non-stoked to have a jumper guy showman along on a trail ride.

I even brought my own truck & driver so I could bail at anytime.

I don't know, maybe Cameron picked specific people just for that ride he knew would positively influence me (jk), but damn if it wasn't the end of day one I'd mellowed and realized how wrong I was about these guys and especially how incredibly polite, fun, down to earth, and positive Ox was.

At the end of the ride Cameron asked me (in front of all the group) what I thought of the weekend. My answer was less than PC, I know they laughed, I told 'em how wrong I had been about the stereotype, and I bet they thought I was the most closed-minded person ever & they cracked me.

I remember talking about it on TT. I know people didn't believe what I was saying about how great the guys are.

Heck, I've even met Trigger a few times since the big "15X incident". Fifteen minutes before bikes fired-up for this ’11 Rip I was installing Triggers bikes grafics kit, trying to help him get his act together (he still forgot to fill his bike with gas). He's obviously appreciative. He's a nice guy too.

Since that weekend years back I'm proud to say I've become good friends with that group and introduced to many more (and I'm wearing black socks right now).

Ox lived his life to the gnarliest. He lived fast for himself but with many living vicariously. Not many are created like he was.

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