I never imagined that a girl like me would be on a dirt bike, flying up in the air and racing against a bunch of boys. I never thought I could do it or thought I had it in me to be so fearless, or so strong. When everyone thinks of riding motorcycles or doing anything dangerous they think that it’s a man doing it. I was a girl who weighed 120lbs and had never ridden my life. Growing up my dad and my older brother both had dirt bikes, and every year took trips out to the desert when riding season came around, and every year I wanted to go with them, but they wouldn’t let me. I would always ask my dad if I could get a bike of my own, but he never wanted his fragile precious daughter to ride a motorbike and hurt herself.
When I got older and was able to make decisions on my own, a boyfriend I had at the time, had a dirt bike and would go to a track that was nearby and ride or race when they had racing events. One day he invited me out to the track to watch a race. I had never been to a track before or even knew they were around. When we got there, he explained to me there were a few different tracks that had different levels. There was the beginner, intermediate and the main track. The main track was the hardest and had the biggest jumps, and these were the kind of jumps that if you didn’t land where you were supposed to, you were most likely going to land in the hospital. When I got out of the truck I was so excited, all I could hear was the motors. These people were going as fast as they could, trying to pass each other and souring through the air jumping these huge jumps, and as they went around turns dirt was flying from their back tires. I had never seen anything like it, other than on the tv. Out with all of the them, I saw this bad ass chick riding a dirt bike jumping all the same jumps they were, I thought that was so awesome, I wanted to go out there so bad and ride with her. They all made it look so easy, and I thought if she could do it, so could I.
I was so stuck on that day, literally two weeks later I went out and got a dirt bike, a CRF 250. Now, the first time I rode it was definitely not on the track or else I would’ve been murdered from getting ran over by everyone riding, or just hurt myself because I had no idea what I was doing. So, we took the bikes up to some land his parents owned, and he began to teach me. I started off slow, and when I say slow I mean I was totally afraid to take my feet off the ground and go. Plus, the bike was tall and heavy, so I was on my tip toes trying to keep it up, I probably looked like a teeter totter. If you don’t have the muscle memory, or just muscle in general, its really easy to tip over. So, there was a lot of falling down without even going anywhere. Eventually, I got a hang of taking my feet off of the ground and at least moving. We went to his parents land a few more times to practice so that when It came time to go to the track I could at least ride without killing myself.
When it came time to go to the track I was so nervous. As you can imagine, I started on the beginner’s track. The beginners track was the easiest, it was smaller than the rest and all the jumps were tabletops. Tabletops are exactly how they sound, they look like tables, they’re jumps where you could jump on top of it, or jump the whole thing and land in the landing. Well, I rolled over them, as these little kids on their tiny bikes flew by me like I was standing still. I was definitely a fish out of water. While I had my boyfriend on his bike riding next to me yelling out “lean”! or “Faster”! encouraging me to ride better. One of the next times we went, I finally built up the courage to go faster over a jump and I actually got the bike off of the ground. I ran to my boyfriend and yelled “I finally did it”. Now, it might have just been a few inches off the ground, but I was so happy. We started to go a lot more and I would practice and practice. Eventually, I was able to jump the whole jump! I was obsessed with the rush. After going so much, I was able to ride the whole beginners track and was ready to move on to the intermediate track which was harder.
On that track I had to start over again, rolling jumps and slowly turn without tipping over. Sometimes, I would get frustrated from not being able to jump the jumps since they were a lot bigger, there was a lot more people, and the track was more strategic.. The biggest jumps on that track were both tabletops, one was about 30 ft and the other was a little bigger. I tried to jump them but would end up just jumping on top of the face of it, too afraid of going so fast and didn’t want to hurt myself. My boyfriend told me that if I wanted to jump it, I was going to have to go faster, to get it out of second gear and pin it, so that’s what I did. I came at the jump in third gear and cleared it! I eventually ended up clearing both the big jumps and was able to ride the whole rest of the track without a breeze. I fell in love with it so much, I started loading up my bike up and go to the track by myself.
One day I heard there was going to be a race held at the track, so I decided to enter it. I entered men’s beginner. I was so nervous that day and the days before it. I remember gearing up, riding my bike to the starting gate, almost having a heart attack. But I was ready, the gates went down and off we went. I rode as fast as I could I jumped all of the jumps and finished all five laps, I felt so accomplished, I ended up last, but I still felt accomplished. I did not care at all that I got last, all I wanted to do is say I raced and finished! A few month later ended up in another race, signing up for the men’s beginners and women’s beginners . In men’s I ended up beating one of the guys. I actually almost landed on him because he didn’t jump one of those big table tops. He should’ve pinned it. He wasn’t too happy that I beat him, but I sure was. And I ended up getting first in the women’s race.
Now whenever I tell anyone I rode dirt bikes they look at me funny, because they would have never expected me “a girl” to do anything so crazy, or dangerous. But they also thought it was pretty awesome. I proved that I could do anything I wanted to do, even if i am a girl. Thanks to that bad ass chick I saw out there riding, I became one myself. Sorry Dad, I’m not so fragile after all.