When your last name is “Hayden” and you’re from Owensboro, Kentucky, motorcycles are embedded in your DNA. And, when you’re not racing on asphalt or dirt, you’re most likely riding motorcycles for training or fun. The fact is, motorcycles have defined Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing Superbike rider Roger Hayden almost since birth.
Most people know that Roger Hayden spends quite a bit of time on two wheels of the pedal-powered variety. He rides his bicycle almost on the daily, and often with the “OWB Gang” consisting of other MotoAmerica stars Jake Lewis, Nick McFadden, Hayden Gillim, and JD Beach. Hayden and his MotoAmerica peloton regularly traverse the backroads around Owensboro in order to maintain their fitness between MotoAmerica rounds, as well as during the off-season.
That’s a lot of riding, but have you ever wondered, “What does Roger Hayden do for fun besides motorcycles and bicycles?” A lot of Roger Hayden fans already know that he is a huge fan of the National Football League, in general, and the Chicago Bears, specifically. Roger loves football, and it’s a subject that he can discuss at any time of the year: draft season, while NFL summer camp is in session, or during the preseason, regular season, playoffs, or the Super Bowl.
But, away from the track, the road, or the gridiron, Hayden is a four-season outdoorsman. He enjoys pretty much all forms of fishing, whether it’s taking his nieces to a pond for an afternoon of hooks on bobbers awaiting bluegill or sunfish, casting from a boat or dock for lurking largemouth bass or catfish, or sportfishing for seabass or mackerel when he is visiting Florida or the California coast.
“Fishing came about because we had a pond at our house while we were growing up,” Roger raid. “We used to catch a lot of bluegill and sunnies when we were kids. The pond is no longer there, but I still love to fish, and there are lots of great places to fish in Kentucky. It’s a fun thing to do with my nieces, too.”
Roger pays close attention to the calendar, and he is always ready to go dove hunting or deer hunting in the fall after the racing season ends. He’s also gone duck hunting a few times with his buddies, but his go-to activity in the fall–besides football–is deer hunting.
“I like deer hunting because it’s right when our off-season starts. I enjoy watching them, seeing how they interact with each other, and when they’re in rut. I hunt with a bunch of my buddies, and Nick McFadden has gone with us the past couple of years. We usually make up a bunch of venison jerky, which is great to have while watching football, and we donate most of the venison to a local homeless shelter. They use it to make chili, sausage, whatever. It definitely goes to people who need it.”
Roger hunts and fishes with a purpose, many purposes, in fact. Not only for the enjoyment and relaxation of being out in nature, but also to sharpen his vision, hone his hand-eye coordination, and improve his reaction time–all important skills that he uses on the racetrack (talk about motor skills). Good thing, too, because he’s never too far from a motorcycle, which is naturally where Roger Hayden the outdoorsman is most at home.