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Getting started in Women's racing

By Debbie Matthews 

What is it like to be a woman in the sport of motorcycling ?  Do women possess the same desires, drive , determination and skill as their male counterparts ?  How do you get started in the sport if you are female ? Are there any obstacles to overcome ? Where do you go to get started ?  What kind of bike is best for you ? What kind of gear will fit ? What is your price range? Where do you ride?  Are there any female riders in your area ?  Is your boyfriend, husband or other riding partners supportive of your decision to ride?  Are there any schools specifically designed for women?  Is there a women’s off road organization that can help you get started and provide information on women’s events, ride areas, connect you with other riders?  What kind of support is offered through organizations such as the AMA, clubs, OEM’s, and aftermarket companies?  In short, HOW DO I GET STARTED ? 

Getting started can be somewhat overwhelming and intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  There is a growing market of female riders eager to help you get started into the exciting world of off road riding.

BREAKING OUT 

You are not weird, masculine, or trying to prove something to the male gender, because you love riding.  In fact the opposite is true.  Riding is a sport that is best enjoyed by riding with others.  Riding is one of the few sports in the world that almost anyone can do regardless of their age or gender. Riding is about families, friends, adrenaline, speed, trails, racing, laughter, and most of all fun !  The bottom line is if you have the desire, GO FOR IT !

GETTING STARTED 

Your first order of business should be learning to ride.  Odds are good that you know someone who rides, who can teach you the basics of riding.  Be sure to borrow safety equipment from them and wear it, before attempting riding.  Your riding partner and teacher should be someone experienced and patient.  Women riders learn on a different learning curve then men.  You may need to gently remind them that they were once a first time rider.  Be sure to start in an un-congested open area with easy terrain.  It may not be the most exciting area for your tutor, but is the best place for you.!  Start with the basics.  One of the first things I like to do is lay the bike on it’s side.  I know it sounds silly, but if you can’t pick it up without assistance, it’s too big !  Next, go over the controls on the machine.   Set the bars and levers for you in the proper positions.  Check the suspension, and set the sag.  As a general rule 95-105mm of sag or 3.5 to 4.0 " puts you in the ballpark.   This is done, by measuring the distance between two points with the suspension unloaded.  Translated this means, put your bike up on a stand and measure from say the fender edge to the center of the rear axle.  Next sit on the bike off the stand in your riding gear.  Bounce up and down on it a few times to settle the suspension.  With your weight evenly distributed (full weight on the machine) have someone take the measurements again.  The difference in the measurement is your sag discussed previously.  It is critical that you get this right!   Start the bike.  Again, if you can’t start it, it’s probably too big .  Once you have the bike started, work on feeling the release of the clutch, smooth and easy.  Next work on starting and stopping using the both brakes smoothly and controlled and shifting.  Remember to look ahead and be aware of your surroundings.  As you get comfortable on the bike, pay attention to how the suspension feels.  Is it too stiff and hard?  Is it too soft and wallowing?  Does it try to kick you over the bars?  In short does it inspire confidence, or terror?  Work on mastering these basics before attempting more advanced riding.  Always ride with a buddy and don't be afraid to ask questions!  You have now opened the door to the freedom and excitement riding offers.

VISIT YOUR DEALER

With the basics mastered and a desire to ride, your next stop is a visit to your local dealer.  They are your best source for information, set up and equipment needed to make your riding experience enjoyable.  Take someone with you to your dealer who is an experienced rider and has your best interests at heart.   Find out what bikes are available, that fit your height, ability. Be sure you can handle the weight of the machine, and that the controls are easy to reach and operate.  Once you have some idea, what bike cc is best for you, go out riding with some friends and try out the bike types and sizes you are interested in.  This will give you hands on experience about what your needs as a rider are, which will allow you to make a educated decision on what bike is best for you, before you buy. 

While you are in the dealership take time to try on all the equipment you will need.   Make note of the brands and sizes that fit you best.  Price the items you will need.  Ask the dealer to assist you with their knowledge of the products for value, durability and warranties.   This will help you make the best choice for you.  Don’t just go by the lowest price.  While these items can save you money getting started, they also have a tendency to wear out quickly.   Try to purchase the best quality equipment at a fair price.  Remember, the dealer wants your business.  Establish an open and honest association with them.  If they aren’t willing to answer your questions or educate you on the best value for your purchases, take your business to someone who will.

SO YOU WANT TO RACE

Where do you start?  Be sure that you have mastered the basics of riding before you attempt to race.  The best way to start is by attending open practice days at a track.   Call the track and find out what days and times they practice.  What is their track like?  Does it fit your skill level ?  Do they have a track area available for beginning riders?  Do you need to practice more before going to the track?  The last thing you want to do is go out and have a poor experience because you were not ready or you picked a Supercross track to start on instead of a wide, flatter style course with rolling jumps.

Some of the tracks that Beginning riders prefer for their rolling, flatter design are LACR, Perris, Glen Helen (some hills).  These tracks offer obstacles easier for the beginner rider while still offering a challenge for the advanced rider, when negotiating at speed.  Tracks such as Carlsbad, Lemon Grove, Glen Helen, Starwest, Castaic offer more hilly terrain, Supercross or advanced obstacles.  All are loaded for fun and waiting for you.  Most tracks require you to join a club, or pay a few dollars more to race with them if you are not a member.  Fees to join average about $ 35.00.  Average race fee is between $ 20-35.00, and gate fees vary between $10-15.00.   Your dealer, Cycle News and other publications can be a great source of information on tracks, legal riding areas, and equipment. 

SCHOOLS

WSMX ( Women's School of Motocross) is the only School to offer Motocross, Desert, Off Road and Cross Country training for women, men and children on a weekly basis across the country. WSMX offers private or group instruction, from learn to ride to advanced.  WSMX utilizes a staff of Championship Pro Women trainers in 6 states and will travel anywhere in the country to teach. Prior to opening the WSMX schools, Debbie Matthews organized Women only Motocross Schools offered once a year hosted by a factory rider. Previous schools have been taught by Doug Dubach, Mike Kiedrowski, and Greg Albertyn. The WML hosts a boot camp once a year. Other schools are readily available with mixed classes, such as the Gary Bailey school, Marty Smith schools and Gary Semics school, as well as others. Do your research and determine which one best fits your needs.

SUPPORT 

In recent years support for women riders is on the increase. Through the efforts of Debbie Matthews and 
Elaine Ruff (co founders of the WML in 1995) and DM Sports-WSMX founded by Matthews in 1999, information on womens programs is being networked across the country. Dealers are becoming increasingly aware of the female market. Women riders are recognized by factory efforts including the Team Green program. Contingency programs 
for women riders are also on the upswing, as well as support for deserving female riders. Women's clothing 
companies are starting to crop up everywhere. There is even a chest protector designed especially for 
women! AMA and Factory support is growing along with a strong surge from the aftermarket from 
companies such as Bridgestone, Scott USA, Dunlop, FMF, Pro Action, Competition Direct, Boyesen, Thor, Pro Circuit,
Ceet, Mothers, Answer, Fox, White Brothers, Motion Pro, IMS, Cyclelogic and RK, have also thrown their support 
behind the growth of the womens market.

WHO IS THE WML ?

The WML is the U.S. Womens Motorcycle League.  Debbie Matthews co founded the WML and created as Race Director for the WML, (1994-1999) the first Womens Stadium-cross Championship, AMA Womens Outdoor National Motocross Championship Series and promoted several AMA Ladies World Cup MX Championships, Motocross Schools, and contributed articles and photos for the newsletter, before retiring as an officer to Found DM Sports-WSMX, Inc.  

WHO DO I CONTACT? 

For more information on riding areas, clubs, or support contact Debbie Matthews at DM Sports-WSMX, 
Inc. at 949-837-2206.

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Remarks addressed to the Women’s Motocross League 1999 Awards Banquet

April 16, 1999 by Ed Youngblood                   

Good evening.  I am very pleased to be here, though I don't mind telling you I feel a bit intimidated and out of my element.  I am following some remarkable experts and speakers.  I have never competed in motocross and I am certainly not a woman, so what am I going to tell you?  Well, I accepted this speaking engagement because the Women's Motocross League is an organization I believe is important to the future of motorcycling.  Not just to the future of women in motorcycling, but to the future of motorcycling, period!

I first met Debbie and Elaine at a meeting in Las Vegas, I think in 1995.  I learned more about the WML when we were planning for the First National Conference on Women and Motorcycling that took place in July, 1997.   Probably 95 percent of the women who attended that conference were street riders with no experience or aspirations toward racing motorcycles.  However, the most popular and electrifying sessions at the conference were those that featured women who race.  I have some ideas on why those sessions were so exciting to an audience of non-racers, but I'll return to that issue later on.

Because I feel so personally unqualified to tell you anything about yourselves as women who race motorcycles, a lot of what I have to say this evening will not be gender-specific.  It can apply both to males and females who decide to race, and it comes not from having raced, but from my observations about racers and racing during my 28 years with the AMA. 

I want to share some thoughts this evening about the responsibility of competing.  In this country we consider competition a very good thing.  We attach patriotism and national pride to the achievements of our young athletes, and we constantly talk about competition in the marketplace.  We firmly believing that our capitalistic economy is the best system on earth because it is based on vigorous competition..  But I want to suggest also that competition can be very destructive.  It can cause wounds to ourselves and to others both physical and emotional.  It can spoil friendships, break up families, and wreck careers.  I've seen it happen among those who compete as AMA professionals.

Whether the decision to compete brings positive or negative results depends largely upon the attitude with which each of us approaches competition.  So you need to ask yourself, why am I doing this?  It is not a frivolous question.  It is a critically important question, and if you fail to ask and honestly answer it for yourselves, the chances are that you're doing it for all the wrong reasons. 

So why are you here and why are you doing this?  Are you here simply because you have and want to further develop a beautiful and satisfying relationship with your motorcycle?  Because you love the physics of you and the machine functioning as a single entity?  Because you love the ballet of it all?   

This may be the most legitimate reason of all for doing what you do, because every champion will tell you that the only ones who make it to the top are those who love the game.  In fact, the love of the game is the only thing that will sustain you through injury, defeat, and self-doubt.  If you don't really love riding that motorcycle all by yourself when there is no one to compete against and no one to beat then you should probably get out now and look for something you really love.  There's no shame in that decision.  Don't keep doing it because someone else wants you too, and least of all your parents.  Now don't get me wrong.  I believe parents should support the aspirations of their children, but parents also must know when to let go.  Parents, forcing their children to do what they wish they could do themselves, invariably brings bad results for all concerned. 

So ask yourself why you're doing this, and the answer must be because you love what you are doing, and you are doing it for you.

Once you have that understanding in place, you need to decide how far you want to go.  Maybe you just love it and want to stay fit, have some fun, and collect some trophies and titles along the way.  That is an honorable pursuit and you should never be ashamed of it.  Even at the amateur level, you are important to others in ways you may never know.

Or perhaps you have the fire in your belly to be the best in the nation or the best in the world.  If that is the case, chances are you decided that long before you ever threw a leg over a motorcycle.  When she was only five years old Billie Jean King told her mother she intended to be the best in the world at something.  It would be another six years before she discovered Tennis.

If this is what you have decided, I need not tell you that you will pay a high price, and whether you make it will depend upon your strength of character; not your ability to ride a motorcycle.  And whether or not you will succeed beyond your years as a champion will depend upon the education, knowledge, and interpersonal skills you have developed.  As proof of this, take a look at your male counterparts in the motorcycle sport.   Look at the number of champions who became nobody once their career began to turn downward; some of whom discovered they could not hold a job.  I can't tell you the number of times during my years at the AMA I saw the professional licensing files of young stars who were very nearly illiterate.  It's a damned shame.  I hope you will never let your love of riding or your will to win get in the way of your education or the education of your children. 

For whatever reason you have chosen to become a motocross rider; whether you're here to be a world beater or just have fun, I want to suggest to you this evening that you have taken on a big responsibility that you may never fully realize or understand.  I say this because of what I experienced at the Women and Motorcycling Conference in 1997.  As I told you earlier, the most popular sessions were the panel discussions featuring women who race motorcycles.  Once they had made their statements and talked about their careers and the discussion portion of the program began, one after another women came to the microphone and said basically the same thing: I don't race and I never intend to race, but you women are important role models to me.  What you have chosen to do is important to all of us who ride motorcycles. 

So don't underestimate your importance or the seriousness of the responsibility you have taken on.  Like it or not, you are role models, whether or not you become a champion.  Others from young girls to older women are watching you and taking encouragement and power from your decision to compete.  You have a responsibility to them.  And you have a responsibility to the sport.  How you carry yourself, what you say, and how you behave both on and off the track will have an impact on motorcycling and whether other women want to follow in your footsteps.   Sports rise and fall on their role models.   Think about what a pitiful spectacle professional boxing has become, and how those who follow it keep looking for the next Muhammad Ali.   Boxing doesn't lack great athletes; it lacks people of good character.

Good character will figure prominently in the kind of role model you become.   It is important that you keep your racing in perspective and try to confine your competition to the race track.  Don't let the rivalry of competition spill over into your personal life.  Don't let the desire to win destroy your friendships.  Maintain courtesy, civility, and your respect for one another.   Don't ever forget to say thanks to those who made it possible, and even to those who didn't, because there are far more people behind you and what you are doing than you can possibly realize.  You'll never meet many of them or even learn their names.  And even if it is your desire to be a world champion, I hope you won't decide to win at all costs.  Winning at all costs is precisely and literally what it says it is.  It will cost you everything.

Competing can seem like a lonely endeavor.  When you are out there on the track it is up to you and you alone.  But many, many others have made that moment possible.  Remember that you are a small but important part of a big community; a community of competitors, a community of motorcyclists, and a community of women.

And if you really want to do something important for both motorcycling and your gender, I urge you to look beyond your career as a racer.  Racing may be important to you now, but it is only the groundwork for what you need to achieve.  Motorcycling badly needs more women in executive positions.  It needs more women designing and marketing products.  It needs more women running dealerships.  And, especially, it badly needs more skilled and competent female journalists.   The attitudes and prejudices will not change until more of you have filled the decision-making and opinion-leading positions in our industry.

The fact that you have participated in this boot camp this week sets you apart and demonstrates that you have the will to make a difference.  You may think this evening that you have come here to improve your skills and prove yourself in motorcycle competition.  I promise you, that isn't where it ends.  You have the ability to build upon your experiences and skills as a racer to make contributions to motorcycling far beyond what you may imagine at this moment.  I hope you will understand and embrace that responsibility.   The motorcycle industry in America will never reach its full potential until a higher percentage of the leadership positions are held by women.  And motorcycling will never be accepted in America the way it should be until many more women are conspicuously involved, whether that's racing, road riding, or earning a living in the business.   I am absolutely convinced of that.

In closing, let me point out that I am wearing my 1999 Boot Camp dog tag, and I want to tell you why.  Please look around you.  Look at who you are sitting with, and think about the people you have met this week.  You are making history.  There has been nothing like this boot camp in American motorcycling.  I believe it is an event that will have a strong impact on the future, and some of you will have a big influence.  You will bring about change.  Keep that dog tag.  Take it home and put it wherever you keep your valuable keepsakes.  I promise you, 30 years from now you will look back and you will say, I was there and I was among the people who made things change.  I firmly believe that will happen. 

Thank you for your attention this evening.  I want to wish you the best of luck in your motorcycling career, or in whatever you may choose to do. 

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Interview with Shelly "Scooby Snacks" Kann

11/25/1998 - by Debbie Matthews

DMSports

Congratulations on your very successful season in 1998.  Could you give a quick recap?

SHELLY

Thank you.  In 1998 I earned the number one plate at the Ladies International Cup and the AMA Amateur National Championships and finished out the year with fourth in the WML/AMA National Championship Series. 

DMSports

First question is obviously, How did you do it ? 

SHELLY

Actually this year I settled down and just decided that I wanted to do it.  I just put in all my heart and desire and I went for it and I did it. 

DMSports

Who or what do you credit your success to? 

SHELLY

Mostly my parents for supporting me all these years, Frank Gallo for letting me train with him and Pro Action for being there for me and supporting me through everything. 

DMSports

A lot of people don't seem to realize that you have been a part of the WML since almost the beginning.  Can you tell us a little about that ? 

SHELLY

My first experience with the WML was during the 1995 Stadiumcross Series that Debbie Matthews organized with Mickey Thompson Entertainment.  We raced Supercross and Ultracross.  That was a good experience.  It worked out really well for the women and it just seems that from there we have progressed more and more.  I like the direction that it is going in and it seems to be working out really good. 

DMSports

You're racing career is filled with a lot of firsts.  You were the 1995 WML Stadiumcross Champion, the 1996 WML/AMA Outdoor National  MX Champion and became the first female competitor recognized at the AMA Pro Awards banquet that same year for your WML/AMA National title.  How do you do this ? 

SHELLY

I guess I just have the need for speed.  I live to race and race to live.  I just really like to ride.  Sometimes I just think I am at the right place at the right time. 

DMSports

What motivates you to be the best ? 

SHELLY

I'd have to say myself motivates me, but there are other factors that help me like I don't like to lose.  It's a combination of many things. My dad helped me through the years, with "You can do it." "You can do anything you want to do just as long as you put your mind to it." 

DMSports

Do you feel that women are beginning to get into the spotlight a little bit more in the industry ? 

SHELLY

Yes, I do.  I feel that a lot of the top women are getting recognized.  You can say one of the top women's names to a lot of the people and they respond with, "Yeah, I remember I saw her at one of the National races like Unadilla during the series."  It just seems like the word is spreading and it's looking good. 

DMSports

What are the pressures or responsibilities and demands of being one of the most recognized female athlete figures in the sport? 

SHELLY

Mainly just keeping your mind straight.  Don't do anything crazy, or make a bad scene for yourself.  Keep a level head and keep in touch with the people that you want to keep in touch with. 

DMSports

What about being a role model ?  Are the women riders now in a position of being role models ? And how and why is that important ? 

SHELLY

A lot of the mom's love the women riders.  They look up to them.  Even the little girls They look up to us too.  I think our responsibility is to talk to them tell them if they want to get out there and ride, tell them they can do it.  Sure, they're not going to be as fast as us right away, but we all practiced and we all got better.  Everyone else can too ! 

DMSports

Is your example as a rider important to those that are watching, be it sponsors, spectators, or potential women riders ? 

SHELLY

Yes, of course !  When I pick a role model, I stick with them.  Someone will pick a role model such as one of the women racers and stick with us, follow us and get more people to follow us.  You more or less do it yourself, but you must be able to stand up to the role model status. 

DMSports

What do you define the role model status as being ? 

SHELLY

To be friendly and easy to talk to.  To get along with other riders, have good sportsmanlike conduct, and get along with and be accessible to the fans.  

DMSports

In a sport that has been slow to recognize and embrace it's female champions and riders, what has kept you going all these years ? 

SHELLY

The desire to race, the desire to win, desire to just keep going.  It's all heart and desire. 

DMSports

Do you see the sport growing ? 

SHELLY

Yes, I do.  Since 1995, and that's only been a couple of years.  I've seen a lot more women come out and the women are riding a lot faster.  There is more competition, and it's growing quickly.  I like how it looks. 

DMSports

What is your role in that growth ? 

SHELLY

I think it is important that we keep our audience (the fans) happy with good competition and good races and that we have fun. 

DMSports

What legacy would you like to pass on to future riders ? 

SHELLY

Attitude.. The importance of having a good attitude, being sportsmanlike and friendly.  Also it's important to be there for the other riders.  Right now there is not as many women as there are men riders, so we need to stick together.  It will all work out eventually.  Maybe someday when I have a kid ( a girl) and she goes out there and she races we are paving the way for them.  

DMSports

We sometimes see ourselves as being out there with the machetes hacking out a trail . Because there has never been a trail that existed before.  

SHELLY

That's right. 

DMSports

How did you get started ? 

SHELLY

I was 3 or 4 years old.  I was very young.  I got my first dirt bike in the winter.  The first thing I did was get on that thing and run right into a snow bank ! (laughs)  I still have the pictures with my head sticking right into the snow bank. 

DMSports

It would be really fun to have access to those pictures. we could always put it up on the website. 

SHELLY

That would be really great. 

DMSports

Word is that you are attending school.  What is your course of study ? 

SHELLY

(Pause) I'm not attending school. 

DMSports

Oh, you're not attending school. 

SHELLY

(Laughs)  No, not yet 

DMSports

Oh, it's a fib.  Good rumor to start.  (laughs)  (Note-As of 2000-Shelly is attending school to have a career in Radio)

DMSports

Is it important for women to pursue their racing as well as their school ? 

SHELLY

For me, I made the choice to race.  I knew that if I made the choice to go to school and race that I could only do each half way.  Since I wanted to race, I decided to hold off school, since there is no rush right now for me.  As long as I still feel like I want to race, I might as well do it because I'm not going to have that feeling all my life.  I can go back to school, but I need to take advantage of the opportunities that I have today. 

DMSports

How do you keep it in balance, I know you are working.  with work, racing and training ? 

SHELLY

This summer all I did was work and train and ride.  Nobody else saw me except for the guy that I train with and a few other friends.  That's when you know that you want it. When that's all that you do.  That's the way I feel.  I don't think there is any way to juggle it around, other than just doing it.  You don't juggle it around.  If you focus, it will all fall into place.  If you try to incorporate anything else into your program it gets out of control.  

DMSports

Yes, you start making trade offs which affect reaching your ultimate goal. 

SHELLY

Exactly ! 

DMSports

What is the biggest lesson that racing has taught you ? (Besides running headfirst into snow banks) 

SHELLY

(Laughs)  Ambition. Aggressiveness .  Knowing that if you want something, you go after it and you get it.  To go after it with all your heart.     

DMSports

What is the most important lesson for a rider to learn ? 

SHELLY

The lesson of finding yourself.  When you realize that you are your own person .  That there are not a lot of girls that race  and you know that you are one of the few.  and  you realize that you are just there by yourself to race and have fun.    

DMSports

You are saying that you do it for you.  To have fun at it regardless of what anyone else says or thinks. 

SHELLY

Yes, exactly. That's exactly what I was trying to say 

DMSports

Lets talk about sponsorship for riders. Any advice  on how to get and keep sponsors ? 

SHELLY

The best way that ever worked for me is to go up and talk to them.  Sure, they are busy sometimes, but you can go up and introduce yourself to them and tell them a little about yourself and find out if they can do anything for you.  Don't just go up and ask for something, but see what they have for programs.  Send out resumes... You have to get your name out there. 

DMSports

You are talking about building a relationship with them. 

SHELLY

Exactly.  They need to know that you are there and for you to know that they are there.  

DMSports

It's definitely a two way street.  That's one of the biggest things a rider has to learn.  It's not just what they can give you, but what you can give back to them as a rider. 

DMSports

Who was the biggest influence in your racing ? 

SHELLY

I'd have to say my parents.  Definitely !  They brought me everywhere !  I raced from six years old to now. Racing almost every weekend during the summer.  Obviously, I didn't race during the winter.because it's snowing. 

DMSports

You didn't want to run into any more snow banks. 

SHELLY

(laughs)  No, but. They would bring me to races.  I have been to Loretta Lynn's for 13 years . They brought me there every year.  My dad always told me "You can do it.  If you want to do it Shell, ya gotta do it. "  More or less he just kinda let me do it by myself this past year, because he wasn't with me because I was in Pennsylvania.  He kinda left me alone and I ended up doing it myself.  Which is what he always told me "If you want to do it, you have to do it yourself, nobody else can do it for you. " 

DMSports

I have spoken to your dad recently, and he is very, very proud of you.  How did they help and inspire you ?  Why do you think they made the difference for you to help you become a champion ? 

SHELLY

What it is for one, is that they like to go to the races.  They support me all the way.  Sure, I've had bad races, but it's not like what did you do ?  They just know that maybe it just wasn't my day.  Other days when I have good days, it's good job.  They are always with me no matter what happens.  I just feel really good to know that they will always be there for me whatever happens.  

DMSports

You are from Minnesota.  You knew Donny Schmidt ? 

SHELLY

Yes, I did.  

DMSports

How did he affect your life and career ? 

SHELLY

Everyone called him Peanut in Minnesota.  When he raced in Minnesota he would just annihilate the 125 and 250cc A classes before he went Pro.  I was little at the time.  The first time I mainly met him face to face was at a banquet in Minnesota for district 23.  I was fooling around and I asked him to dance.  That's when we started talking.  He always wanted to help me and said whenever I needed help he would be glad to help.  He's a pretty busy man He helped me more than he thought he did.  Every time I saw him he would always give me good words of encouragement, and I went to a few of his schools.  He always used me as an example.  I always felt really proud just to be a part of  what he had to say because every one knows he is a legend.  

DMSports

Did you ever get to ride his famous Snow Supercross track ? 

SHELLY

No, actually not. I wish 

DMSports

Sounds like you could use a little experience racing in the snow. 

SHELLY

Yeah, those snow banks really jump out at ya. 

DMSports

What do you think about when you are racing ? 

SHELLY

Well, this last year I was pretty focused on what I had to do.  When I got out there I was pretty intense.  

DMSports

I can vouch for that.  This year I got to really watch and I learned a lot watching about your mentality and in essence kinda what goes on in your head.  If you ride long enough you can look at a rider and almost tell what is going on in their head just by their body language and how they attack the track.  

DMSports

What's your biggest complaint about racing ? 

SHELLY

Wow, I have to be honest with you, I don't see why I would have any.  Racing has given me nothing but good as far as life lessons.  I don't have any complaints.  I just like to race. 

DMSports

How do you stay so relaxed at the races ? 

SHELLY

(laughs)  oh, I'm glad I looked relaxed.  Honestly, all in all I'm pretty relaxed compared to some of the girls.  When I get on the starting line, I think in my head that this is what you came here for. Actually, I'm pretty nervous, but still all my years of experience being at big races almost all my life pays off.  I have experience.  I don't get as nervous.  I know what I have to do and I just go out and do it. 

DMSports

I'm going to give you some words, which have been given to describe you , based on what people see at the races. Intense, fun, crazy, moody, driven, cool. Are they accurate and would you like to add anything ? 

SHELLY

I like crazy.  Crazy is good.  That pretty much says it.  Moody I noticed right away.  I have to admit, I probably am a little at the races when I'm tuned into the races.  I try not to let that stuff get the best of me and a lot of times I can shake it off right away, but sometimes it gets the best of me. 

DMSports

You missed the Washougal National, which in reality probably cost you the 98 WML National Championship title.  Why did you miss the National and was it worth it ? 

SHELLY

In the whole outlook of everything, no, it wasn't worth it.  But, yes it was..  It wasn't worth it , but a big goal of mine was to win Loretta's, and when I found out how much the plane ticket would be to get from Pennsylvania  to Washougal to Tennessee to Pennsylvania, It was a little over my budget and I had to make a choice.  It's one of those things.  You win some, you lose some.  

DMSports

Those races are very close, they are literally just a few days apart.  It has to be very tough to make both.  You still ended up with a 4th in the National Series, narrowly missing the top 3.  What are your plans for 99, since it looks like the schedule is going to be very similar ?  Does it look like your support may be increasing a little bit to where you might be able to make both, or are you going to take it as it comes ? 

SHELLY

It's looking better as far as my support, that they will help me get to all the events.  But also, I've always played it as it comes.  That's kinda my style.  

DMSports

What do you think of the venues for the nationals ? 

SHELLY

I like the places that we go.  I think that they help us out as far as letting us race on a National track.  It's really not that easy of an accomplishment to have us race out there.  I appreciate them letting us come out there and I love the track. 

DMSports

You understand that, because your dad is a promoter.  It's a little bit of a different perspective from that of a rider.  As a rider you look at it as why can't they do it, but from a promoter's standpoint, when you are trying to get 1800 riders through a course in a day or two it is a challenge. 

SHELLY

For sure !  

DMSports

What do you think of the women's purses at the events ? 

SHELLY

 Honestly, I enjoy them.  Of course I like the money, everyone does.  I don't complain about the money one bit, especially if I win.  Who would ?  

DMSports

They are still small.  

SHELLY

Yes, you can say small, but there are different types of small.  They are small obviously compared to the guys, but we are not quite to that status yet.  That is what we are working toward. 

DMSports

A few years ago purses for women didn't even exist.  As an organization, this is one of our concerns to get the purse money up to cover at least some of the traveling expenses to follow the circuit But the flip side is it is a fairly new program and it takes time to get them where we feel they need to be. 

SHELLY

Exactly.   I think the purses are good, and will get better as the series grows. 

DMSports

Women's racing seems to be getting bigger and bigger.  Why do you see it growing  as opposed to years past ? 

SHELLY

I think the word is out.  A lot of girls are talking to other girls that race or seeing it on TV.  Or they go to a race with their boyfriend and they like it and they end up getting a bike or riding a friends for a little bit to see if they like it and they do.  Everybody is interested and everyone is having fun at it. 

DMSports

The Women's events have had several different winners for the last two years running.  How come one rider isn't dominating as in years past ? 

SHELLY

Honestly, I kinda like that.  That's pretty cool.  It keeps the points close, the suspense up.  You just can't get on the starting line and say " I got this race made."  You know you have to be focused.  You know there're other girls ready to beat you and it's pretty cool.  It's a good thing. 

DMSports

Why doesn't any one rider dominate ? 

SHELLY

(laughs) I don't know !   I could be because of the different style of the tracks, they are not in their hometown,  and there are a lot of different factors that go into it. 

DMSports

By going to different places you are going to bring in new and different riders and new skill sets that are going to elevate the racing and again you have created that excitement  of I want to do this and I want to see how I rank.  We are taking the races to the women as opposed to having the women go to the races. 

DMSports

Any sponsors you would like to thank ? 

SHELLY

Of course !  Pro Action, Yamaha, Scott Goggles, Racer X for the awesome article, Wiseco, Cometic gaskets, Fox racing, FMF, Pirelli. I don't want to forget anyone  A special thanks to my mom and dad and Frank Gallo for letting me train with him and keeping me focused.  My brother The WML and DM Sports for having series events and making it more available to women.  Everyone ! 

DMSports

What is you favorite National track ? 

SHELLY

Wow, You are putting me on the spot !  I like them all !  They are all very cool !  You can't  complain.  You get to race on a National caliber track.  I like the way they are prepped.  But if I have to choose. I'd have to say Binghamton. (NY).  It's a fun track. 

DMSports

That was a brand new track this year for us.  And a good one for you.  A Binghamton you wrapped up the Ladies International crown and narrowly missed the win in the final national of the year ! 

DMSports

How do you train ? 

SHELLY

Let me count the ways   (laughs)  This summer I worked really hard.  Mainly I worked with Frank.  The guy that helped me trainGod bless him.   He's the man, the myth, and the legend.  He had me hit the heavy bag 3 minutes on 2 minutes off and then we would run 2-5 miles any day that I wasn't riding, and sometimes, we would go riding and come home and run a couple of miles.  Not once did I ever complain.  That was weird to me.  But you know, that 's when you know that you really want it.  I just went out and I did it.  Whatever he told me to do I did it.  It was pretty intense.  I was pretty pumped because I felt good this year. 

DMSports

There was a definite difference this year watching.  You're whole demeanor on and off the track.  As well as the obvious physical differences you could tell before you ever swung a leg over a motorcycle that you had been training. 

SHELLY

I even felt it.  I can get on the starting line and feel good.  All right ! I'm ready !  It helped so much with my confidence.  I know that I can go to the line and I  am ready to race.  That's the one thing that I think that a lot of the girls don't realize yet.  They haven't hit the spot where it snaps for them.  Once they do, and once they feel confident Wow !  It's gonna make all the difference in the world.  

DMSports

You obviously feel your training has helped.  Do you feel training is important for Amateur riders ? 

SHELLY

Yes.  I told my brother He believes me, he knows You train, you run, you do whatever suits your needs as far as training.  It's not going to be the same for everyone.  You go and train !  And when you get on that track on race day especially, you just feel so much better.  You can sit on that line and know. You will do better.  Your mind plays a big part in how you do in these races. 

DMSports

Training also plays a big part in your concentration during a race, as well as you are less prone to get injured. 

SHELLY

Exactly.  Those are good factors to consider.   

DMSports

Last question.  What do you think about the training opportunities opening for women riders ?  

SHELLY

OOOHHHH  !   It's great ! I'm there !! (laughter)    The availability for women for an advanced course for them to be with other girls and train and not have to be with the guys at the school is going to help them.  Their confidence level will increase.  It will be a big moral booster going into the remaining events.    Just a few days with  isn't gonna do them wonders, but as they assimilate and apply what they have learned, it will pave the way for them to learn what they need to know to go faster. 

DMSports

Any final thoughts. 

SHELLY

Live to race, and race to live.  

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Interview with Stefy Bau 1999 WML/AMA Ladies International Cup Champion   

 

By: Debbie Matthews 

DMSports          Stefy, first of all welcome to America ! 

STEFY               Thank you very much.  I have been made to feel very welcome here. 

DMSports          First off we want to give the readers a little background about you.  Can you tell us a little about your accomplishments? 

STEFY               Yes, I just won the WML/AMA Ladies International Championship Cup in both the 125 and 250cc Pro class,  so I am World Champion!  In 1998, I took second at the Cup.  There was a 3-way tie for 2nd.  !  In  1994, I finished third at the Cup.  In 1992 I was the Women's World Cup Champion in Italy, and I have been ranked as the top woman rider in Italy for many years now. 

DMSports          We understand that your goal this year in the United States is to go for the Triple Crown of Women's racing.  (Ladies International Cup, WML/AMA National Championships and the AMA Amateur National Championships).  What are your chances ? 

STEFY               Well, I think they are good, although the racing here is very hard.  There is a lot more competition for me here than in Italy.  So far, I feel good.  I won the Cup, and the first two rounds of the Nationals, so it is very good for me now.     

DMSports          Who is your biggest competition? 

STEFY               Everyone !!!  In Europe we do not have concrete start areas, so this is difficult for me.   My biggest worry is probably Kristy Shealy (4 time AMA Amateur National Champion and former International Cup Champion) and Tania Satchwell (New Zealand National Champion).  Shelly Kann (current AMA Amateur National Champion and 1998-Cup Champion) can also be difficult. 

DMSports          What challenges do you face coming to race in the USA ? 

STEFY               The only challenge for me is to travel from Italy to here.  In Italy I am paid by Yamaha Italy to race and win championships.  I race in women's class and also men's national pro class.  So, I must travel back and forth to USA and Italy to race in all the races.  The trip is ten hours each way and it is very boring!  I like the USA, the people are very good, and I would like to stay here, but I make my money in Italy. 

DMSports          Who supports you in youre your racing efforts? 

STEFY               Well as I said, in Italy I am a factory rider.  Yamaha Italy pays me to train and race.  When I come to the USA to race I have a contract with Team Green Kawasaki, and Eric at Crossroads Kawasaki  in Pennsylvania gives me a motor home to go to the races.  UFO supports me In Italy with money and clothing.  It is the best. 

DMSports          You have two contracts with competing factories ?

 STEFY               Yes, I signed two contracts so if the American's don't want me I can still go home and race in Italy.   Since I race in two different countries the factories have no problem. 

DMSports           This is a very unusual arrangement for this industry.

 STEFY               Yes, but it works for me.  I hope the American people like me and I can get paid next year in America.  I like it here and I would like to stay. 

DMSports          How does women's racing in America compare to Europe ? 

STEFY               In America the magazines and TV give more space to the women's events, but not women riders individually.  In Europe, only I am considered because I am champion. I beat all the other women riders and I have fans.  If you are number two, nobody knows you.   I am on the cover of cooking magazines and on television.  In the USA, if you are the number one, you are very good but if you are 2nd, people still know you.  This is better, because you can have more opportunity. 

DMSports          Are there a lot of women racing in Europe, or is it small ? 

STEFY               In Europe there are not a lot of women.  In Italy we have the Championship, so we have plenty of women for race.  I know of two women riders in France and England, but not many like in Italy.  I think the best thing would be to move all the riders from Europe to  ride here in the USA.  In the USA you have the  DMSports and DMSports that make races for women and do a very, very good job for the women.   

DMSports          Is that what motivates you to race in the USA ? 

STEFY               Yes, I think the more women that come to the USA to race, is better competition.  The women from England, Sweden, and France are very fast, and it could be a very, very good Championship for the women here in the USA.  But I only think this is possible in the USA.  In Europe and other countries we do not have organizations like the USA has to help us. 

DMSports          Do you have any advantage or disadvantage coming to the USA to race ? 

STEFY               Now, no. Except now, I pay for all the tickets to fly back and forth to Italy and it is very expensive.  In Europe I win very much, so I want to be here.  I want to do a very good job here racing and then I want to move here and raise a family.  Motocross is my job.  I want to be an example for the other women.  I want to make the sport better for them.  I want the American women to see that there is another woman who rides very fast.  I want to help them get to where they can make this their job in the USA too.  

DMSports          What is you opinion of racing in America ? 

STEFY               I think that it is a very, very good thing.  I raced the Cup in Italy in 1992, when there was only the 4-woman team from the USA.  When I came to the USA in 1994 for the Cup, the TEAM effort had grown.  Now when I came back, the TEAM has become a League.  This is very important. 

STEFY               In Europe there isn't a large league for women riders.  When I am in Europe I talk about the opportunities available in the USA.  They are very excited.  They hope that maybe in the future there will be a league or branch in Europe for them as well. 

DMSports          What are the differences between the tracks here and in Europe ? 

STEFY               The tracks are very similar.  As far as the riders, the top 4 or five in Europe rider very much like the top 5 American riders.  In Europe, in the women's class, you have only Amateur and Pro.  Here in the USA, you have many classes, Pro, Amateur, Novice, 60, 80.  In Italy you have only one class for women.  I would like to stay here ! 

DMSports          What do you like about America ? 

STEFY               I like America, because in America you have more opportunities to do the job you want to do.  I am a rider.  I want to ride for a few more years.  I am 22.  I think I can be competitive until I am 29.  In Europe there is not many opportunities for riders. 

DMSports          Do you get paid in Europe to race ? 

STEFY               Yes, but only because I am number one woman rider.  In 1995, I won an Amateur Championship with the men in Italy.  I am the only woman to ever do this.   

DMSports          What do you dislike about America ? 

STEFY               The food !  (laughs)  I do not like the food in America because I am Italian and Italian food is the best food in the world I think.  I don't like the food, but I like the people.   

DMSports          What is the best track in Italy ? 

STEFY               The best track I think is ASTI.   

DMSports          Why is that ? 

STEFY               It is in Northern Italy.  It is the best for me because it is similar to Budds Creek, MD, ASTI has big tabletops and big doubles.  The people that run the track are very, very good.  They work very hard for Motocross. 

DMSports          Thats, it.  We wish you good luck. 

STEFY               Thank you very much.  See you at Budds !  

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Adventure in Canada

 

By: Debbie Matthews

Oct 2-3, 1997-Thurs, Friday

A TRIP TO THE AMA

My Canadian adventure began with a trip to AMA headquarters to address the AMA congress for the addition of an "A" class for women in motocross. I boarded the plane excited and nervous. This would be my first visit to the Congress and I would have 5 minutes to convey to 38 delegates, the need for revisions in the way AMA, districts and promoters perceive, recognize and promote womens motocross events. As I headed out the door of my hotel room, I was overwhelmed with the enormity of the task. I literally almost lost my breakfast, and I hadnt even eaten yet ! With a few moments of video education and discussion, the AMA off road rule committee unanimously voted to institute a Womens "A" class effective 1998, and to review the rule book and revise any rules which may discourage participation by female riders. This is a huge victory for women riders. By recognizing women with "A" rider abilities, the AMA has paved the way for future womens professional teams, riders and recognized AMA Pro Championships.

On a huge high from the AMA congress I boarded a plane from Ohio to Colorado, and from Colorado to Canada, where I hooked up with Lisa Gallo, (96 AMA Ladies World Cup Vet Champion), and the Reeds (Tiffany and Dave) from Ohio. My racing buddy and rival of 15 years ago, "Krazy Kay Attwood" was there to greet us in Canada and offer us shelter for the night.

Oct 4-Friday

THE TRACK

Following a 3 1/2 hour majestic romp spotting elk and ram horned sheep along the way, we arrived at the track at 9am. The air is a crisp 12 degrees and the skies have opened up for 4 days prior, turning the pristine track into a sea of mud. Undaunted the world cup riders, don their helmets and slither around in the muck. Even with the poor conditions the riders smile through their helmets and echo the statement, "This track is awesome."

Rain begins to fall steadily. Despite the conditions, several riders clear the monstrous 90 table, double doubles and slimy hills. Canadian spectators anxious to get a glimpse of the riders shake their heads in disbelief at the abilities displayed by the world cup contenders.  The current LWC champion Dee Wood (TX) is still without her bike for practice. A local rider loans her his bike, but the set up is too soft, and Dee cases a jump badly and decides to wait for her ride.

12:30-Practice ends... Riders scrape off 300 pounds of mud, gas up and head back on to the track for the MX school. The rain falls heavily.    20 minutes into the school, the track officials offer to end the school due to the poor conditions. One competitor pipes out, "Screw the rain !" Silently all heads bob in agreement and the school continues...At 2:30 the school ends. Still no sign of Wood's ride for the weekend... Riders and spectators wait anxious to get a glimpse of the champion.

3:00- Woods bike finally arrives. Rain continues to fall steadily. The champ mounts her bike, pulls on to the track and despite the conditions, vaults easily over the 90 table. Eyes pop out of their sockets, as respect for the women competitors grows. One Canadian rider pointed and said," I cant do that." I replied, "Yes you can ! The mere fact that we are here,  and several riders have cleared it, proves you can do it!" "These riders are showing the world that female riders are talented and gifted athletes."

SO JUST WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF RUSTIC?

5:00- We secure the bikes for the night and head to our "rustic" cabins. When they say rustic, they mean rustic!   Night is falling fast and we are deep inside the forest of the Canadian Rockies.   The trunk on our rental car has decided to refuse to open and we haul our gear out through the car seat.   We enter the cabin and find the cabin lit by oil lamps and candles. This could be kinda cool, so we venture into the adjoining rooms. There is no running water inside the cabin and personal facilities are located outside in the trees.  We pull back the bed spreads to discover no sheets or pillows ! Glad we brought sleeping bags! We head back down for the nightly dinner, which by all accounts was , well...interesting. GULP !

OH WHERE OH WHERE CAN THE OUTHOUSE BE ?

9:00pm-Head back to the cabin. Finding the cabin in pitch conditions was challenging.   But not half as challenging as finding an outhouse 60 feet away in the dark at 1am !  Now don't get me wrong...  Ive always had respect for our pioneers, but my respect grew as I ventured into the darkness.   With 12 degree rainy weather and my trusty oil lamp to guide me,  I exited the cabin on to the porch and into the rain expecting to be able to see.   With the oil lamp in front of me, I discover interesting point number one...I cant see !    Diverting my eyes away from the lamp, I found interesting point number two...I can barely see my feet!   I felt my way out the cabin, onto the porch and carefully negotiated down steps I couldnt see.   I never did find the outhouse in the dark ! (I had to laugh the next time I watched Dr. Quinn...Ever notice how they can see perfectly with their oil lamps?)

Oct 5-Sun

MAKING AN IMPRESSION

5:00 AM-We get up and head to the track.   The windows on the car are frosted over so I roll down the window and lean out while driving down the dirt road to the track with mud slinging into the windows of the car.   Gallo and the Reeds cant decide whether to laugh or be terrified with me behind the wheel.   Upon reaching the track, we are told to park near the gates as the road is impassable to small cars.  Supremely confident,  I head into the pits anyway, with the car pitching from side to side as I negotiate the mud at speed to avoid getting stuck.   I entered the main pit area in a full pitch slide and slid neatly into position next to Fleming's motor home.   Wood came sliding in behind me a few minutes later, also exiting a perfect slide into park.   With the racers howling their approval, we got down to business...

 The race....

Riders are greeted to cloudy skies race morning, but thankfully the rain had stopped.   Practice began after the crews tried to resurrect the track.   Riders braved the sloppy conditions, with even the men pros struggling in conditions that were reminiscent of the 97 Hi Point National.  While the women pros and amateurs powered up the slippery inclines and mastered the jumps, the back sections were another matter. Camille Baker, literally got swallowed up in mud up to her handlebars when her bike sank in the mud.   Following practice the track crews went to work scraping mud and eventually eliminating the back mud monster section altogether.

At 11:00 the races began. Race action is awesome! This is some of the best elbow to elbow, heads up racing I have ever witnessed ! Be sure to get a copy from Speedvision. You wont be disappointed.  Fleming draws first blood with Wood and Harris following.  Moto 2 finds Fleming in the lead, but feeling the pressure.  Wood and Harris go for the kill and deflate Fleming's hopes of victory.  Wood sails across the line with yet another LWC title.

VICTORY DRIBBLE

Following the races awards were presented to the riders in front of the spectators and Speedvision cameras. The crowd would witness a extremely humorous victory podium.   Whether it was a great practical joke or just an unfortunate error, the results were quite hilarious. 

One of the track officials chilled the champagne, making it nearly impossible to pop the cork or spray. With the cameras rolling, the three riders tugged, pulled, twisted, pulled with their teeth, and shook till their arms fell off to no avail.   After receiving help to pry loose the corks, the tops still refused to budge.   Finally, when they did pop, the spray came out in little more than a dribble, sending everyone howling with laughter as the riders scurried after each other trying to provide some kind of show for the fans.

5:00pm-Back to the cabin to load up and head back to Calgary.   Our Canadian adventure was far from over...In fact it was just beginning....

BEAR LEFT

6:45pm-We head down the mountainside, anxious to meet Kay for dinner and get on the road to Calgary.   Its 29K just to get to the road, and we still have a 2 hour drive from there.   Darkness is falling fast. We are still in the forest when we lose sight of the road markers.  Obviously we missed one of the cutoffs in the dark.   Since there are three possibilities, we decide to continue onward since it appears we will pop out on a ridge soon to get our bearings.   As we continue down the dirt road, Lisa Gallo is talking about all the wildlife weve seen and how just once, shed really like to see a bear.   A few minutes later, out pops a large black bear!   I quip, " Well you got your wish ! Here comes Smokey."   The bear lumbers across the road in front of us.  AMAZING !!

HEAD FOR THE LIGHTS

9:30pm-Just over the ridge city lights pop into view. According to the makeshift map it looks like we are approaching the town of Imevere which means we are 18 miles off course.   We decide to head for the lights.   So we went down into the town to get directions on the quickest way to get to Radium without heading back into the forest and getting really lost..   We figure well just stop at a gas station or restaurant for directions.   Only one problem... As we enter the town, there are no restaurants.   There are no gas stations !   There are barely street lights !   Talk about rural !   So, with this twist of events we decide to go knocking on some doors. Lets see.... Eenny, meenie, miney, mo... 

Door #1. " Hey, can you help us out ? Were lost. We are here from the states for the race, and we need to get to Radium.   Can you tell us the quickest way to get there ?"   They reply, "Oh you raced ?   We were there ! That was so cool !"   We thank them and again reiterate the point that we are lost.   "Can you help us ?"   They reply, "sure, just turn left and make a second left and it will take you to the road."   Within 30 seconds we were lost again!  

IT'S A DOG EAT DOG DAY

 Lets see.... Door # 2. We drive into the driveway.   As I am halfway out of the car, I am greeted by a huge lab that is the height of the car door. OK... Is it going to eat me or just lick me?   Since hes just curious, I get out of the car.   I look at the house and notice a large black dog on the upstairs balcony pacing back and forth.   I decide to go to the door and knock. The house is well lit.   No one answers so I decide to try the door.    I twist the door expecting it to be locked and it opens.   Before I can close it, out pops the head of the big black dog.   Its not a lab, its a Roetweiller !   !   

 I start to block the dogs way with my knee, and decide no... it might be viewed as aggressive, lets not do this.   So I let the dog out.   The dog decides he is more interested in the lab then me which is just fine, except that the two dogs start fighting.   Now I have let this guys dog out of the house, and hes fighting with this other dog. Hes either going to split, or get chewed up, and to make matters worse the dogs are between me and the car!   

I motion to Lisa to get out of the car and help me." NO WAY !   UUH UUH. THIS IS YOUR MESS, IM NOT GOING OUT THERE! "    I began debating... Do I just want to leave before it gets any worse or try and do something about this ?   About then the dogs decide it is a draw, and they turn back to me. I decide to call the dog to see if I can get it back into the house. "Come here, come here", I call out in my most cheery voice. The lab comes right over. Hey, how ya doing ! Is his enthusiastic reply. " No, not you ! I need the other one !"   The other dog is ignoring me so finally I issue a command.   The Roetweiller approaches and loses interest.   I get to the door and command it again. "Hey, I said get over here!"   The Roetweiller approaches.... Im thinking, please dont eat me, please dont eat me... I open the door , the dog goes in, and I quickly slam the door behind it.   Everyone in the car is laughing hysterically !  . I approach the car and take a big bow.   

Remember, were still lost !   Ooo Kaay !   Its now 9:45 when we get to door # 3.   Knock, knock.   The door opens. " We came here for the World cup race from California, Nevada and Ohio. We are lost.   Can you help us get to Radium?"   Reply, "Oh, wow ! You were at the race ? That was so cool !" (appreciative, but really wanting to be somewhere else at that point... Can you please get us out of here, echoed in our minds) "We need to get help.   We need to get to Radium." They reply, "Sure, just go down the road and turn left at the stop.   It will take you where you need to go." Well by this point, we werent very convinced. "Can you please take us to Radium ?" After a few minutes, they decide to show us the way to Radium.  Its a good thing they took us there. There were four left turns instead of the two they suggested.  We would have been lost again.  

We arrive at the restaurant in Radium at 10:30pm. By now the restaurant is closed.   Kay and Walt Healey (84 years young, and Tiffanys sponsor for the event), have been waiting at the restaurant all this time knowing we were lost, and have eaten by now.   We head across the street to a Husky gas station (gourmet dining at it's best) to get dinner.   At 11:00 we head for Calgary and arrive at about 1:30 am. We unload and get to bed about 2:00.   Remember, the trunk still will not open,  so we have to drag our luggage through the back seat. What fun !

Oct 6-Mon

PLANE MEMORIES

Kay and I get up at 5:00 am to wash the rental car.   With 2 days of driving in the mud at the track, the car is wasted ! It has a solid layer of mud on it about 3 inches deep in addition to the mud on the inside of the car from the riders getting in and out of the car, and me driving down the road with the windows open.   I decide to use her garden hose.  We go out to turn on the hose to discover its frozen solid.   So, at 5:00am, Kay and I cruise to downtown Calgary looking for a car wash.   We locate one and drop about $ 5.00 Canadian to clean the car.   Kay keeps looking at me and exclaiming.... "Its not coming off!! " With the car finally done we arrive back at the house at 6:45, load the van with our bags, and shove two pieces of toast down as we head for the airport. We say our good-byes to the Reeds and Kay and depart.  Lisa is on a connecting flight with me. We arrange to sit together.   All the way to San Francisco, Lisa keeps laughing.... "If you could have seen the look on your face when you let out the Roetweiller !"

In all we had a great time and certainly a great adventure ! Anyone want to travel with me ?

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Negotiating contracts

By: Debbie Matthews

As sports gain popularity, opportunities increase for the participants, sometimes at an accelerated rate. When this happens it becomes imperative that the participants in those sports become educated on the opportunities available and the responsibility that follows.

As Women's racing gains popularity and exposure, sponsorships will follow, and it is important to understand the role you play as a supported rider. With any type of support, comes a responsibility to those that support you. You are contracted to perform certain duties or services for your sponsors, in exchange for their support of your racing efforts.

Contracts come in several types both verbal and written. It is vital to understand that A VERBAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN PEOPLE OR COMPANIES IS EVERY BIT AS BINDING ON YOU AS A WRITTEN CONTRACT!

In my 26 year racing experience I have been involved in many contracts, some verbal and some written. It is imperative that you as a rider UNDERSTAND CLEARLY WHAT IS EXPECTED OF YOU in exchange for the support you receive. ANY HELP YOU RECEIVE whether in the form of discounts, free product or cash, CONSTITUTES SUPPORT, and an agreement between two parties, THAT IS LEGALLY BINDING TO YOU.

For this reason I have learned by experience that IT IS BEST TO GET A FORMAL WRITTEN CONTRACT. This is important for two reasons. First, it makes all parties aware of the responsibilities consequences, and expectations of the agreement. Second, it is an insurance policy for you. This paper is a written account of the agreement between you and your sponsor. For example: If ABC company offers you clothing but there is no written contract, how many sets are you allotted per year? Are there any exceptions? If you exceed the allotment are there any penalties? Do you have a clause that allows you to purchase any additional product should you exceed the maximum?

Most of all from a riders perspective, THIS IS YOUR INSURANCE POLICY that they follow up on their commitment to you. I can't tell you how many times reputable companies have fallen through on an agreement with a rider because the person that was handling your DEAL, left the company, and no one there knows about the arrangement. Usually when this happens, it wasn't a REAL support ride in the first place. It usually is help from an individual at the said company, rather than the company itself, in which case the company is not legally bound. These deals however are not always bad.  Sometimes this can be a great way to get your foot in the door, and expand on the support you receive from there. Many of my support rides started out in a similar manner only to evolve into full support within a year or so.

It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT WHEN YOU RECEIVE A CONTRACT TO GET A COPY OF IT. I usually take a photocopy of it before I return it to the sponsor. I also make sure that they send me a copy SIGNED by the person offering the support. The reason I take a copy prior to returning my signed copy to them is so I have a record should anything go wrong.

I also negotiate contracts for my daughter, which we have been doing since she was 7 years old. When we receive the contracts, I go over them with her line by line and make sure she understands what her responsibilities are as a rider, BEFORE she signs anything. By doing this we have avoided many headaches that could have arisen, had we not followed this procedure.  

It is important that you FOLLOW ALL AGREEMENTS YOU MAKE on your contracts. Believe it or not, by simply omitting a sponsor decal, you could jeopardize your ride. It never fails; the one decal that you fail to put on your bike, gear, or vehicle belongs to the sponsor who happens to show up at the track to witness your contract failure.  

It is also very important to realize that people constantly surround you from the industry that can affect your ride even if they do not represent the company you ride for! If they witness improper actions by you or your crew these can be reported to the company you ride for. The other possibility is that they might have been a potential sponsor for you, but you just blew that opportunity by your actions. If you are upset, or speaking about things, be aware of your surroundings at all times. THE RIDE YOU SAVE COULD BE YOUR OWN! Take the time to cool off and discuss problems calmly and professionally.

Finally, BE LOYAL! In an industry where loyalty is a rare thing, you can EXTEND YOUR VALUE to your sponsors by being loyal. A rider that is honest and loyal will keep their sponsors longer and build upon them. I hope this article will be of value to you as you negotiate the sometimes-tricky waters of sponsorship.

CONTRACT REVIEW

1. Understand the role you play as a sponsored rider

2. Know your responsibility as a contracted rider. Contracts come in both written and verbal forms, both are legally binding!

3. Any help you receive constitutes an agreement and is considered a contract

  4. Be a role model

5. Be professional in dress and conduct at all times

6. Memorize your sponsors

7. Be knowledgeable about your sponsor, products and services

8. Use your sponsor's products

9. Your sponsor belongs to you! You earned that ride! Don't jeopardize your ride for anyone !

10. Get a written contract

11. Know the limits of your agreement, can they be altered ?

12. Get and keep a copy of the contract for your records signed by you and the person offering the contract

13. Be sure the contract is has contracted period of support on the document

14. Be sure you understand the contract and what is expected of you.

15. Follow up on all agreements

16. Professional presence includes stickers on your bike, gear, trailer, etc.

17. Remember and be aware of your surroundings

18. Know who your sponsors are.

19. Keep your sponsors informed of your progress. Good or bad

20. Develop a personal relationship with them

21. Be loyal

22. Be honest

23. Evaluate the product and it's performance. Report back to your sponsor in a clear, concise and professional manner. A good Sponsor will appreciate your input

24. If possible hand out cards or flyers at the events with your name and sponsors info. Tell them to contact your sponsor and tell them you sent them. This lets your sponsor know you are working for them and deserve the help they are giving you. Usually this results in more support from that sponsor because of your efforts and professional manner, and more sales for your sponsor

25. Discuss problems rationally and professionally

26. Extend your value

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TFS (The Factory Spectator)

Interview with MotoNews-Steve Bruhn

8/23/2000

WSMX DEB:     Hi Steve, 

SBroon:              Hey what up?

WSMX DEB:     Finally opened my own personal MN acct Whee !!! 

SBroon:              Cool

WSMX DEB:     Things are looking good for 2k1.   I'd like to do an interview with u for the site. You up for it?? 

SBroon:             Sure 

WSMX DEB:     Who is Steve Bruhn??? What should we know about the creator of the first true online MX mag?

 SBroon:             All you need to know is send money.  (laughs) 

WSMX DEB:     What prompted you to start TFS ? 

SBroon:              Hey is this the interview? Doh!? 

WSMX DEB:     Little slow off the gate ,,,eh...no wonder you took up journalism. (laughs)

SBroon:             Ok, TFS just happened. I was flying to races and my friends thought it was funny when I drove     into the pits in a rental car just to watch. 

WSMX DEB:     So who is Steve Bruhn really, underneath the super journalist cape? 

SBroon:             Just a failed racer with no life! I guess my racing career took off when I quit racing and started watching.

 WSMX DEB:   You aren't getting shy on me now? 

SBroon:             Who Moi? 

WSMX DEB:    What is the best and worst aspect of your job

SBroon:             Best is being at the races, and trying to cover each one better every time. There is always a ton of cool stuff to try like different photos, or ways to pry info out of the team people. The worst is bozos who get in the way-"Don't stand here, don't park there. Photo people have to go in that gate.... Every track seems to have people who don't know what they are doing and I just have to tell them .  I do this every weekend, I know what I'm doing... 

WSMX DEB:     Yeah, it's hard sometimes, with different security people and officials every week. 

WSMX DEB:     Who do you feel are our sports greatest ambassadors and why? 

SBroon:             We don't really have enough people who have the luxury of working like an ambassador. People at the races are there to race, or support a specific team or company. The sport hasn't figured out how to create and use a strong PR base. People like Davey Coombs at Racer X really stands out, but he is a rare find. 

WSMX DEB:     Yes, DC is definitely a stand out, with his new mag format and being unafraid to be cutting edge.

WSMX DEB:     What did you think of the Sept issue featuring an article on the Women's MX movement? 

SBroon:             Yea, Racer X is a full-blown pro-racing magazine. Before we had to put up with cranky magazines that most race people really don't like. The women's article was great! Women's racing has never been stronger I think, and its not slowing down. I was just at Loretta's and was impressed both classes had full gates with very fast riders. 

WSMX DEB:     What are your personal and professional views on women in the sport? 

SBroon:             Both personal and professional are the same-Women's racing is good racing, and its a real part of the sport, even if it takes a life of its own. 

WSMX DEB:     The AMA recently opened a women's section to the Hall of Fame. This is an important step in recognizing the contributions and love of the sport made by women. Have you had a chance to view the museum and if so, what are your thoughts on the addition? 

SBroon:             I would have to go to Ohio right? That is a scary place! No sorry haven't seen it. 

WSMX DEB:    Scary because it's home to the AMA or because it's Ohio ? LOL 

SBroon: Ohio.   It is an amazing state, e-mag regulars all know every trip I take through Ohio reports the state is practically shut down with "out of order" signs on everything. The place seems to be falling apart all the time. (laughs) 

SBroon:             I'm not making this up! I went to the national at Troy once and stopped at a Taco Bell. The people working there were confused, they had a crowd of angry people with orders screwed up, then I ordered just a drink and the ice machine was broken, and the drink mix screwed up. I gave up and left and the door was broken off the hinges and just leaning on the building....(OK back to racing) 

WSMX DEB:     Do you think Women's MX will ever have a true pro series and status...complete with their own sponsors, teams, and fans?

 SBroon:             To be honest a pro series status will depend on its economic result. Forget about motocross is a men's sport that women can do too. The bottom line is factories make a sport out of racing that sells bikes. If women bought more bikes than men, you have your answer. 

WSMX DEB:     Do you feel support of Women's MX helps the sport, and how?

SBroon:             Sure. The more people interested and racing the better. 

WSMX DEB:     What do you think needs to happen in the sport for that level of acceptance besides bike sales...as far as the public is concerned ? 

SBroon:             I think women's racing is already taking its own identity and acceptance. Web sites for women's racing, riding school's for women, and things like that help the women's racing define itself. Its working already. 

WSMX DEB:     What do you think needs to happen to elevate the entire sport of MX to the next level where it is seen as a prime time sport by the masses and outside corporate sponsors and media? 

SBroon:             Media outside of motocross racing is very, very stubborn. It could be the only way to deal with them is an overthrow, toss the bums out! You can have the coolest photos and call a paper and they just say "We don't cover that." 

SBroon:             In a way the web is a bit of an overthrow. People chose what they want to see, not what editors think people want to see. Motocross on the web is booming. 

WSMX DEB:     What or who do you attribute the success of the women's motocross movement to? Is it just time and socially accepted or have individuals or companies helped to shape it's destiny? 

SBroon:             A movement won't start without people pushing it forward. People like yourself that worked for years promoting women's racing got it here. 

WSMX DEB:     Thank you. Thank you very much. But a lot of men and women have risked a lot to put it on the map. People like Ed Youngblood, Kerri Klied, Kasey Rogers, Kitty Budris to name a few. You know, a lot of people don't realize that I raced the first women's national ever...1974....There's a history lesson...(laughs) 

SBroon:             That's heavy duty. I had a bicycle in 1974. (laughs)

WSMX DEB:     Lets not overlook your contributions Mr. TFS...I believe you were not only the first online mag, nut also the first online mag to cover women's racing! 

SBroon:             Thanks, yea we were the first ever all web magazine. TFS emag debuted in January 1998 with a magazine format. I covered the WML races you promoted that were held at the Nationals. 

WSMX DEB:     Seems to me I remember meeting you there on the starting line while I was still racing and creating the women's current race format .

SBroon:             1997? 

WSMX DEB:     Actually, I started the program reformation in 1994 with some local test programs, then in 95 with the MTEG SX/Truck series-where we coined the phrase-Stadiumcross, and 96 I created, organized and managed the national program.

WSMX DEB:     I'm going to give you a list of men and women riders...can you give me your assessment of their best traits and weaknesses? McGrath, RC, Bau, Gonzalez, Patterson. 

SBroon:             Mean question! OK. McGrath, he has won more races than anyone. It's hard to find a weakness there, he definitely has it together. RC is wild and is all raw speed and guts, he has had more than his share of days on top-but just about all his bad days have been mud days or 250 Supercrosses. 

                        Stefy is a remarkable rider and has all the confidence she needs, if I were her coach I would have her spend three months getting ready before trying a Supercross again. I didn't get to watch Gonzalez race except for the crossover events at Anaheim recently. I don't know Patterson real well, but I know she is very strong and smart. She takes riding lessons from my high school racing buddy Ricky Palmer, who is a very good instructor. I haven't seen her screw up yet! 

WSMX DEB:     Ok, weeks ago, we had some fun, and I said RC and Pastrana would win the nats, you had different riders-Roncada and Tortelli,,,,now that there are only 2 rounds left...care to revise your picks ?? lol.... 

SBroon:              Ask me again in three weeks.  (laughs) 

WSMX DEB:     Well, that's about it...any parting shots ??? 

SBroon:            Here's one.. I remember last year when Sarah Whitmore won Women 12-15 at Lorettas, she got her #1 plate and goofed around with it like it was an item on "Price is Right" or something. It was pretty funny. The guys are all so serious. I think that image says a lot about the whole women's racing movement. It's racing but its your own version. Keep it that way and it works. 

WSMX DEB:   How did you like being grilled ? 

SBroon:            Interview was fun, thanks 

WSMX DEB:   Thanks Steve for the great interview...your support and contributions to the sport are appreciated! 

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How to obtain sponsorship 

11/22/95

By Debbie Matthews

One of the most frequent questions I am asked, is for information on how to obtain sponsorship. .

Everyone wants sponsorship and the recognition that comes with it but few are willing to accept the responsibility for that support. When you are picked up by a company for support, they in exchange for your endorsement and use of their product or services have expectations of you. You are in effect a representative of their company and products. You are expected to act professional in your appearance, manners, and actions. Everything you do and say reflects upon the company supporting your efforts. When this system works properly, both parties benefit. The sponsor receives much needed advertising , visibility, and promotion, while you as a competitor, receive the reward of financial freedom to pursue your dreams.

The first thing you should do when you decide you are ready for support, is to make a list of the kind of support you need. What companies products do you use most frequently ?

Next, you should ask yourself, what kind of service can I offer a potential sponsor ? What races am I planning to attend ? You then should get a list of the contingency programs offered by the factories. Find out which races are the most important to them, and are you in a position to attend some or all of them ?

Next you need to decide which companies you will seek assistance from. Locate their names and addresses out of magazine ads, or ask your dealer for assistance. If possible, call the companies you are interested in. Find out who is in charge of support and when the best time is to submit your information to them.

Pick only the products and companies you believe in !!!!! You will be a much more effective representative for your sponsor if you truly believe in the product you represent.

Create a concise resume. Be sure it is typed. Include your name, address, phone, age, experience/ranking, class(es) competing in, and memberships. List in order your accomplishments, goals, and what you can do for them. A photo isn't necessary, but it does dress up the resume. You are now ready to send out your resume.

After sending the resume allow 2-3 weeks for a response. If you haven't heard back, make a follow up call to your prospective sponsor. First, this allows you to verify they received it and get some idea of their timetable. Second, this will show them your serious about their support. This tactic is useful as it makes them take a second look, and places it on top of the pile (and I do mean pile) of resumes they need to review for support.  Wait patiently for a response. As the timetable deadline approaches they gave you for a response, you may wish to contact them one last time, to again show your desire to ride for them. DO NOT BECOME A PEST !

The moment of truth has arrived. You run to the mailbox and find a letter from your potential sponsor. Read it carefully. If it is a favorable response, CHEER, and then set it aside, until you receive all the competing companies responses to your request for support. Compare the responses to determine which company has the best program to benefit you. If the response is negative, be positive ! Be sure to thank the company for considering you for support, and you will contact them next year. Do not get discouraged. Stay positive and keep trying. It is important to build rapport. When they get to know who you are, and what you can do for them, you will gain support.

Read all contracts carefully for your responsibilities as a rider. Be sure you can follow through on all that is expected of you. Once you are sure of what they expect from you, and of what they will do for you in return, sign the contract and return it to them, after you have made a copy for yourself. REMEMBER: BE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND CLEARLY YOUR OBLIGATIONS PRIOR TO SIGNING ANY CONTRACT !

As your season progresses, keep your sponsor updated. Even if you cannot compete, let them know what's happening. Be enthusiastic ! Your sponsors will hear about it !

Lastly, If you experience a problem with a sponsor or product, DO NOT bad mouth them. Try and rectify the problem, and then if it cannot be resolved, ask them for a release from your contract. If one is not granted, be professional and finish out your contract before seeking elsewhere. If they release you from your contract, thank them for their assistance, and then, pursue other options. This way you will not burn a bridge you may need later on.

One last tip: Remember, Be Professional in all your dealings. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES SELL OR GIVE AWAY PRODUCT YOUR SPONSOR HAS DESIGNATED FOR YOUR USE ! The company is sponsoring you, not the neighborhood ! People will tell you, you can afford it, they won't know, but this is a lie ! SPONSORS MONITOR USAGE ! Don't jeopardize your ride because someone is too lazy to work for support. You worked for and earned your support, they didn't.

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Bau Re-Bounds to claim DM Sports Women's World Series MX Title

By: Debbie Matthews

In a see saw battle for the 2000 DM Sports Women's World Championship Series, which saw several different winners emerge victorious, Italian, Stefy Bau battled all the way to the series final to claim the crown in the final race of the inaugural Championship.

The series boasted nearly 100 riders, with rounds in six regions of the country. Series support ran strong with support from companies such as Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki, Motion Pro, Scott, VP fuels, Engine Ice, Answer, Ceet, FMF, Mothers, Maxima, Fox, Thor, Pro Circuit, White Brothers, Boyesen, Uni, Bridgestone and Tom Morgan Racing.

Round one of the series was held in Ocala, Florida at Hardrock Cycle Park. It was here that the battle lines for the series championship were drawn. 99 Pro National and World Cup Champion Stefy Bau, 99 AMA Amateur National Champion Jessica Patterson and 98 Rookie of the Year Angie Keuntjes squared off in an epic battle separated only by inches. Patterson would draw first blood, but not until being severely tested by Keuntjes and Bau. Bau, rode strong, but was hampered by an ankle injury sustained in SX, while Keuntjes suffered a flat tire, and still nearly pulled off the win over Patterson. Tiffany Reed and Heidi Cooke rounded out the top 5. Amateur action was strong as well with April Hodges and Patty Whitehouse trading wins, with Angela Ferro, Michelle Trefethen and Jackie Kelly rounding out the top 5. In Mini action April Hodges outlasted Angella Ferro and Ashley Fioleck for the win.

Round 2 was held at Lake Whitney, TX under tornado warnings and stormy conditions. This proved to be prophetic in terms of the action on the track. Bau, Holeshot moto 1 but slid to third a few corners into the race. Patterson took the point position and disappeared, while Tania Satchwell, Bau, Jacki Hudson Keuntjes and Dee Wood argued over second. Keuntjes crashed hard and dropped to seventh, with Hudson falling a few laps later. Bau remained consistant, finishing third with Satchwell pushing past Bau late in the moto to claim second. Hudson rebounded to fourth over Wood in fifth. Hudson held the initial advantage on the start of Moto 2, but at the holeshot flag, it was Patterson. Tania Satchwell stormed to the front of the pack a lap later passing Patterson after applying pressure to the AMA Champ. Patterson slid out when Satchwell dove to the inside of a slippery off-camber corner and dropped to seventh. Patterson set a torrential pace regain lost ground, her pace causing some anxious moments as her desire over rode her equipment in the conditions. After several near falls in her quest back into the lead pack, the champ wisely settled for fourth. Keuntjes, despite riding in severe pain rode to an impressive second over Bau, Patterson and Wood. In Amateur action, Kristi Myers dominated the day with a perfect score over a vastly improved Erica Cook, with Patti Whitehouse in tow. Angie Stephens and Naheed Irani rounded out the top 5, while mini action was dominated by Erica Cook with a perfect score over Elizabeth Mc Farland and Rachael Blatt.

Round 3 would go to the irrepressible Patterson. Denied at Whitney, and on home soil, the AMA champ pounded the competition into oblivion in front of the Tri Star media camera's much to the delight of the partisan crowd. Moto 1 was holeshot by Patterson with Keuntjes pulling to the rear of Patterson and beginning a battle that would last for the entire weekend. As the two riders distanced the pack, only a bike length separated the warriors. With Keuntjes working the tight sections of the track and Patterson holding the advantage on the horsepower sections of the track a tight battle of cat and mouse ensued.. Keuntjes stayed close playing possum and waiting for the opportunity to strike. As they approached the front section of the track, Patterson narrowly avoided striking a lapped rider, almost going down. Keuntjes, pulled even, but Patterson was able to hold the point position. Patterson and Keuntjes blistering pace soon lapped the entire field and brought them up to the battle being waged between Amateur contenders Whitehouse and Hodges.

Entering the corner at the same time was Patterson, Whitehouse, Hodges and Keuntjes. No one offered any quarter, as each was involved in a battle for the overall in their respective divisions. Patterson got through the traffic quickest, as Keuntjes paid dearly, losing valuable time to Patterson as she became entangled in the battle between Whitehouse and Hodges. Keuntjes, once free from lapped traffic tore through the Dania sands after Patterson. Keuntjes made up a large amount of real estate and closed within a few bike lengths of Patterson when Patterson bobbled. Keuntjes was unable to pull the trigger on the national champion before motos end. Moto 2 holeshot money was again won by Patterson with Keuntjes only a bike length back, hungry for the overall. As they approached the step up, step down, Patterson and Keuntjes were wheel to wheel. Keuntjes gambled on the downhill double and hit the dirt. Keuntjes remounted and set out after Patterson. Keuntjes, nibbled away at Patterson's lead, picking up a few seconds every lap. Keuntjes was definitely making time on Patterson and closed to within a few seconds. Keuntjes got a tough break, choosing the wrong line in lapped traffic and quickly lost everything she had gained. Patterson went on to win the moto and the overall with a perfect score. Series amateur leader Whitehouse, held the advantage over Nichole Flanders, but soon the duo were trading plastic and the contact nearly sent both riders to the turf. Late in the moto Flanders crashed giving Whitehouse a comfortable lead. Whitehouse, worn from her battle with Flanders soon had her hands full with a charging Hodges. With two laps remaining, Hodges placed her Kawasaki in front of Whitehouse for the win. Whitehouse holeshot moto2 with Hodges in tow. With just one lap remaining, Hodges made her move around a tired Whitehouse, securing the amateur class win. Whitehouse may have lost the battle, but her strategy paid off at day's end as she retained the amateur points lead over Hodges, Bridgette and Jacki Kelley. The mini class winner was April Hodges over Sarah Bazin.

Round 4 graced the shores of the New England coast for the first time in the history of women's racing and the race action was intense. A large contingent of riders, hungry for an event of this magnitude to reach the eastern coast, made their way to one of the nations most beautiful tracks, the famed Jolly Roger Motorsports facility nestled in the back woods of New Hampshire. Julie Thompson., a former top ten competitor at Loretta's was just getting back into racing and was anxious to see where she stood. Thompson wasted no time sightseeing and grabbed the holeshot . Tina Biello gave chase in second with Nichol Balboni and Laura Yenik in battle formations. Suzanne Norcross slid briefly into the top five with a pass on Megan Mc Dermott, only to have Mc Dermott, return the favor. Thompson stretched her lead as Balboni moved into second dropping Biello to third, with Yenik fourth followed by Mc Dermott, Kerry Mahoney, Sonya Hall, Suzanne Norcross, Bonnie Thompson and Jocelyn Newhouse. Yenik made a move on Balboni for second, only to have Biello take advantage of the situation and pass Yenik relegating her to fourth with Mc Dermott staying close to the battle in 5th. Yenik rebounded back into third challenging Balboni for second. Moving through the pack virtually un-noticed into 4th was the YZ piloted by Sherri Hutchins, who was under attack by Mc Dermott in fifth, who was feeling the heat of the Kawasaki of Mahoney in sixth, while Biello dropping to seventh. The order remained unchanged at the finish. In the 60-105 (9-15) class Sonya Hall, who had to be encouraged to race, swept the class with first place honors, followed by Jocelyn Newhouse, Cindy Mc Dermott and Lauren Twomey.

Round 5 was held with the Sierra mountains as a backdrop at the famed Mammoth Mountain, in California. Mercedes Gonzales-Natvig shocked the regulars by posting a 1/3 finish to steal top honors over a heavy pro field. Event favorite Patterson suffered a broken bike on the last lap in moto one, carding a 13/1 which would place her in sixth by the end of the day, tightening the points battle. Keuntjes suffered the same fate both motos, dropping her to third on the day with 3/4 finishes. Candace English was riding especially well and kept Natvig honest, passing her near the end of the first moto only to fall a few turns later dropping her to fourth. English was unable to find the magic in moto 2 and finished a disappointed 5th in moto 2. Bau struggled with a 5/2 finishes for second, while Hudson picked up the pace in moto 1 to vault into second after English's fall, only to place 6th in the final, good enough for fourth overall. The Amatuer class was loaded with talent as well with Tamera Madden having a perfect day, while Kadie Garrett and Tanya Elbers and Layne Swanson each posted consistant resultsin both motos to nail down 2nd through 4th with Brenda Burson rounding out the top 5 with 5/7 scores. Tayler Lacey was brillant in the 60-105 class with a solid win over Elizabeth Bash, Elizabeth MC Farland, Connie Kaczanowski and Lindsay Myers.

The final round of the series held at Glen Helen in California would determine the champion. Only a few points separated the contenders for the crown. Glen Helen was especially important as it was a two day-four moto format so every point was vital for the championship. With the absence of series rivals Angie Keuntjes and Jessica Patterson, both who lost motors the previous week at the Mammoth event, Bau wasted little time pressing her advantage on the start of Moto 1. Bau took the Holeshot in Moto one of the two day event, followed closely by Plano Honda's Hudson, Kelly Yancey, Lynette Wosick and Kristy Myers in fifth. Bau was under heavy pressure from Hudson and Yancey, who were determined to relegate the champ to the pack. Yancey hung tight to the Bau, Hudson battle as Wosick slipped 4 seconds back. Wosick, riding a 250, was the leading the Amateur division and still holding off Rookie pro Myers. In the battle for sixth, was the rest of the Amateur pack of Alisa Wallingsford, Tamra Madden, Tamera Neitzel, Sarah Schlike, and Amber Pickett. The 60-105cc class pulled up into the thick of the Amateur battle with a battle of their own. Elizabeth Mc Farland led Tayler Lacey of Las Vegas, Nevada, briefly, but Lacey, riding flawlessly, effortlessly clearing the infield doubles and tabletops to take over the lead from Mc Farland and Brooke Campos. Up front, Bau was putting on a riding clinic. Hudson could smell blood, but was unable to force a mistake from the Team Green rider. Yancey dropped it on the hill the following lap, elevating Myers to third. Madden was on a tear closing the gap on Wosick. Following Madden were Neitzel and Schlike who were locked in a battle of their own. Mini pilot Lacey had impressively worked her way into 8th overall with the big bikes by the 1/2 way point. Late in the moto Hudson fell up the face of a jump, giving Bau breathing room to secure the win. Third was Yancey who eventually passed Wosick with an aggressive move to 4th and followed suit a few laps later on the unsuspecting Myers to claim 3rd by the checkers. Moto 2, was Holeshot by Amateur ace Wosick, Bau muscled her way into the lead with an inside move that Wosick wasn't able to match. Hudson also made short work of Wosick, chipping away at Bau's early lead. Yancey rode strong and poised in 3rd waiting for her chance to strike. Layne Swanson was having a great Moto, running second in the amateurs over Madden in 3rd, with Pickett and Wallingsford rounding out the top 5. Hudson used her mastery of the infield to close the gap on Bau and make an inside move. Bau countered, relegating Hudson back to 2nd. Hudson continued to show Bau a wheel again and again, with Bau countering her every move. Six laps into the race, Bau used lapped traffic to pull three seconds clear of the determined Hudson. Bau won the moto with a solid no mistakes moto over Hudson, Yancey and Myers. Wosick claimed Amateur bragging rights over 2nd place rider Swanson, who was able to hold Madden in third followed by Neitzel, Schlike, Wallingsford, Pickett and Denise De Vines. In mini action Lacey again showed the fast way around the track over Mc Farland, Campos and Breker.

Day two offered a clean slate, as rider's received points for both days, but trophies were awarded individually for each day. Hudson came to the line with one thing on her mindget Bau. With a new longer track, Hudson would have to match Bau's long course speed to take the win. Hudson got her wish with a Holeshot in Moto 1 on day two, with Bau getting pelted in second. Hudson hung tight, with Bau shadowing her every move. Bau, at the completion of lap one, tired of eating Hudson's roost, made the move, relegating Hudson to her customary position for the weekend. Hudson tried everything but was unable to retake the lead or seriously threaten Bau's dominance in Moto 1. Madden got a great start and was running third over Wosick, Yancey and Myers. Yancey and Myers were each giving no quarter as they battled for 5th. Pickett had a nice battle going with former women's promoter Denise Devines riding a Gas Gas for the weekend. Madden was under heavy pressure from Wosick and Yancey as Yancey pulled clear of Myers. By lap 5 Bau had stretched her lead to six seconds over Hudson. Wosick under pressure from Yancey folded under the attack as did Madden. Myers followed Yancey's cue to getting around Wosick and Madden who were followed by Swanson, Neitzel, Wallingsford, Schlike, Pickett and De Vines. At the checkers Bau held a commanding lead over a demoralized Hudson, with Yancey bullying her way into third with Myers following suit in fourth over Madden, Wosick, Swanson, Neitzel, and Wallingsford. The last motos of the weekend featured only a few changes in the pecking order for the weekend. Bau Holeshot the final moto and never looked back, while Hudson soldiered on in second followed by Yancey and Myers in the pros. In amateur action, Wosick again used the holeshot to her advantage taking the second moto overall and the overall for the weekend over madden and Swanson. Lacey made it a clean sweep of the mini division with 4 perfect motos over McFarland and Campos.

With Bau's perfect score for the double points weekend, she moved from 3rd to first in the series points and wrapped up the championship over rivals Patterson and Keuntjes. Tamra Madden used consistent scores of 2/3/1/2 to outscore all others in her quest for the championship as she took home the number one plate for the Amateurs, while Elizabeth Mc Farland rode smart with consistent 2/2/2/2's to wrap up the mini title.

2000 WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES FINAL POINT STANDINGS

PRO: 1. Stefy Bau (Kaw) 220, 2. Jessica Patterson (Kaw) 176, 3. Angie Keuntjes (Kaw) 160, 4. Jacki Hudson (Hon) 158, 5. Kristi Myers (Kaw) 141, 6. Kelly Yancey (Kaw) 106, 7. Heidi Cooke (Kaw) 61, 8. Tania Satchwell (Yam) 47, 9. Mercedes Natvig (Kaw) 45, 10. Nichole Flanders (Yam) 40, 11. Tiffany Reed ( Hon) 36, 12. Candace English (Yam) 34, 13.  Dee Wood (Kaw) 32, 14. Brookie Renker (Yam) 32, 15. Aubrianna Dunn (Yam) 26, 16. Bonnie Warch (Suz) 26, 17. Sheena Patterson (Suz) 26, 18. Heidi Henry (Yam) 19, 19. Jamie Pamintuan (Suz) 19, 20. Sherri Stephens (Kaw) 12, 21.Jennifer Nelson (Kaw) 0

60-105cc ( 9-15): 1. Elizabeth Mc Farland (Kaw) 170, 2. Tayler Lacey (Kaw) 150, 3. April Hodges (Kaw) 100, 4. Lindsay Myers (Kaw) 80, 5. Brooke Campos (Kaw) 80, 6. Erica Cook (Yam) 50, 7. Elizabeth Bash (Yam) 44, 8. Angela Ferro (Kaw) 44, 9. Sarah Bazin (Kaw) 44, Rachael Blatt (Yam) 42, 11. Ashley Fioleck (Kaw) 40, 12. Connie Kaczanowski (Kaw) 34, 13. Sonya Hall (Yam) 25, 14. Jocelyn Newhouse (Suz) 22, 15. Cindy Mc Dermott (Yam) 20, 16. Autum Breker ( Hon) 18, 17. Lauren Twomey (Yam) 18, 18. Kristy Myers (Kaw) 0

Amateur: 1. Tamara Madden (Suz) 168, 2. Patty Whitehouse (Suz) 131, 3. Layne Swanson ( Yam) 118, 4. Tamera Nietzel (KTM) 98, 5. Lynette Wosick (Yam) 97, 6. April Hodges (Kaw) 97, 7. Alisa Wallingsford (Yam) 80, 8. Bridgette Kelley ( Kaw) 71, 9. Jacki Kelley (Kaw) 67, 10. Sarah Schlike (KTM) 60, 11. Amber Pickett (Suz) 57, 12. Denise DeVines (Gas Gas) 52, 13. Kadie Garrett (Kaw) 44, 14. Erica Cook (Yam) 44, 15. Tanya Elbers (Suz) 40, 16. Angela Ferro (Kaw) 40, 17. Angie Stephens (Hon) 36, 18. Michelle Trefethen (KTM) 34, 19. Naheed Irani (Yam) 32, 20. Brenda Burson (Kaw) 30, 21. Amy Rogers (Yam) 29, 22. Cera Horn (KTM) 29, 23. Christine Nance (Hon) 29, 24. Julie Thompson (Hon) 25, 25. Nichol Balboni (Suz) 22, 26. Carloe Franks (Yam) 20, 27. Tiffany Smith (Yam) 20, 28. Lauren Yenik (Hon) 20, 29. Michelle Johnson (Yam) 18, 30. Tracy Toscano (Yam) 18, 31. Sherrie Hutchins (Yam) 18, 32. Megan Mc Dermott (Yam) 16, 33. Laurie Schipper (Suz) 15, 34. Gale Webb (Kaw) 15, 35. Kerri Mahoney (Kaw) 15, 36. Jerri Reeves (Kaw) 15, 37. Tina Biello (Yam) 14, 38. Elizabeth Bash (Yam) 13, 39. Stacy Bremner (Yam) 13, 40. Suzanne Norcross (Kaw) 13, 41. Bonnie Thompson (Hon) 12, 42. Dawn Flagg (Hon) 11, 43. Devon Olson (Hon) 7, 44. Maria Gonzalez (Kaw) 5, 45. Heather Matthews (Kaw) 4, 46. Sherri Cruse (Yam) 4, 47. Monica Drake (Hon) 0, 48. Tina Handelin (Yam) 0

TOTAL RIDERS FOR SERIES 87

 

 

Interview with 2000 AMA Womens Pro National and AMA Amateur National Champion Jessica Patterson

 September 14,2000

 DMS                  Hi Jessica. Its good to talk with you again.  Congratulations on your titles in 2000, and happy 17th birthday !  So to recap, what titles did you capture this year?

 Jessica              Thank you.  I won the AMA Womens Pro National title and my second title at the AMA Amateur Nationals at Lorettas.

 DMS                So what have you been up to? 

Jessica              Well its been a real interesting week.  Everything is going crazy getting ready for the new season.  There are a lot of new opportunities coming up.  Im concentrating on deciding what I am going to do for next season. 

  DMS                How does this affect your school?

Jessica              It really doesnt too much, because Im home schooled.  This allows me time to get my schooling complete and still train for racing.  This week I went training and as I landed off a jump the linkage bolt broke.  It was pretty wild.

  DMS                Do you realize that you are one race short of becoming the first woman to win the triple crown of womens racing-The AMA Nationals, Lorettas and the World Cup?

  Jessica              Yes, I think I can do it.  Im really looking forward to it.

  DMS                The World Cup has been postponed.  How will this affect your preparation?

  Jessica              Well, I still feel really good about the race.  Postponing the event will allow me more time to prepare on the 250, which should improve my chances for winning the cup.

  DMS                What drives you to be the best?

  Jessica              Well, knowing that I can go out, and have a good time.  I like to win.  I want to move womens motocross to a higher level, and get people to take us more seriously.

  DMS                What do you think it will take us to get taken more seriously?

  Jessica              The more women we can get into the racing environment and put on a good show, the better.  Just like Ricky Carmichael, keep raising the bar.

 DMS                How have you achieved becoming the best?

  Jessica              The biggest thing is training.  I try to keep it really fun, go out and practice hard, but also do some cool jumps and whips to enjoy riding.

  DMS                The biggest area of improvement I see needed in womens racing is increasing the level of fitness training.  If you look at all the champions over the past 5 years, the ones who became champions are the ones who really stepped up their physical training and it really showed.  (Kann, Wood, Patterson, Fleming)  those who trained correctly, dominated because they had the whole package and could race hard the entire moto.  The problem comes in when there isnt sufficient purse or support to allow the riders to continue racing and practicing at that level.

  Jessica              Yes, although the opportunity is much better, the ability to make a living at the sport as a female professional still isnt there yet, but were getting there.

  DMS                Specifically, how do you train?

  Jessica              I run, bike, go to the gym, stairmaster, work on my upper body 6 days a week.  I take every Monday off and of course race on race day.  On race days I do a light jog to warm up.  I usually do my weight training on the same days as I practice.  I try to keep it fun, work some turns, and some days I just ride really hard

  DMS                Is burn out a problem?

  Jessica              Not really.  Last week I took the week off because we had a break with the cup being postponed.  It was good.  I went out riding with some friends.  We were all pretty motivated.  Everyone wanted to ride, it was a lot of fun.

  DMS                What are your hobbies?

  Jessica              Riding of course, soccer.actually soccer is where I broke my feet.  I like running with my friends, Basketball.  A few weeks ago my brother gave me his football uniform and told me to put it on.  He wanted to tackle me.  He chased me all over the field, I ran away and scored a touchdown.  As Im standing there he just drilled me.  I go tumbling down the hill(laughs)

  DMS                Sounds like interesting cross training (laughs)  Did you get off any good shots to your brother?

Jessica              Well hes pretty tall and hard to get, but it was really fun.

  DMS                What are your goals for 2001?

  Jessica              I want to try and win as many championships as I can.  I also have some special plans for the men.

  DMS                Oh, what are those?

  Jessica              I want to try racing some mens pro events.   .Phone rings.Hey Jess are you gonna ride??  My bike is broke hey you can ride mine.not right now, Im doing an interview..

  DMS                Well, is he any good?

  Jessica              (laughs)hes ok, he just doesnt like getting beat !

  DMS                Back to your goalsracing pro with the menwhen do you plan to race them?

  Jessica              Well its wherever I decide to.  I feel I have an excellent chance to do well.  Im ready. 

  DMS                Stefy Bau has gotten a lot of press in her attempt to race in the mens pro class.  You beat Stefy every moto this year except for 2 or 3.  Do you ever get tired of all the hype concerning one rider, especially when you were so dominant?

  Jessica              I can take it.  Its really no big deal.  Soon they will know who is best. 

  DMS                You tend to be a little shy and quiet till people get to know you.  You just quietly get the job done, where Bau is flamboyant, in your face and well marketed.

  DMS                Where do you see womens motocross headed?

  Jessica             I dont really know.  I hope it is headed to get bigger and better.  I want it to grow.

  DMS                What did you think about the Racer X article on Womens MX?

  Jessica              Very cool

  DMS                Will we ever see women on pro teams? Why?

  Jessica              Yes, I think women will be on pro teams in the future.  Maybe, it just depends on how women take it seriously and train.  Its definitely a possibility.

  DMS                Who are your toughest competitors?

  Jessica              Everybody is somebody.  You need to respect everybody ! 

DMS    Thanks Jess for the great interview.  Good luck in 2001 with all your goals!

 

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