I continue to be inspired by the many interesting women in off-road. I guess its like this in most sports – people come from all over from all types of backgrounds…but I tend to think ours is a pretty special group. Women that are comfortable pushing the envelope and testing the boundaries and then some that just like to dabble along the jagged edge.
There is no doubt that we are a unique bunch yet as unique as we are, we share that common love for a sport that requires us to gear up like modern day gladiators regardless of our speed.
I believe in my core that riding and racing a dirt bike teaches a plethora of life lessons… even when you think your just having fun roosting and rippin around a dirt circle – you are honing your skill, your mind is wide open – adrenaline is flowing your senses reeling.
What do we take from all this fun in the dirt? Where can it lead us? Educators, Business Leaders, Adventure Seekers… Having the strength and willingness to serve our Country and protect its citizen’s by joining the armed forces…
You are fierce… there truly isn’t anything you cannot do – You’ve been here before… Choosing the best line – studying the surface, preparing yourself and equipment for this “battle.
In the words of Mr. T “I pity the fool” – “I pity the fool that underestimates any woman that grips that throttle and hammers those sharp-edged rocks” And I celebrate you and encourage you to keep that momentum on that sketchy uphill we call life… Keep Striving because we – us – your “moto-sisters” we’ve got your back and we will cheer for you as you take all you have learned and sprinkle the world with it.
Meet this young lady – a racer – a seeker of adventure and thank her for her service… as she starts this special journey… leaving her home in West Virginia The Blue & Gold for a new adventure and career in the Navy…ironically also Blue & Gold at a time in her life where lots of other people her age are getting ready for summer vacations… A big salute to her for taking this step… I am sure she will be a wonderful asset to our military forces and join me in sending her positive vibes as she starts Boot-Camp this week…
I hope you enjoy this interview and its inspiring message to – Be That Change…
Talent: Ashley Shaffer
Hometown: Bunker Hill, West Virginia
- How did you get involved in riding dirt bikes and then racing them?
My dad grew up racing them so eventually he got my brother into racing as well. We originally started off racing BMX then upgraded to bikes with motors.
- What racing series do you follow and what classes do you race?
I race VCHSS (Virginia Championship Hare Scramble Series) I race 200C. I will race GNCC here and there in the women’s C class.
- What bike are you currently riding?
I am currently riding/racing a KTM 200 exc.
- Do you prefer…Two Stroke or Four Stroke? Cats or Dogs?…
I prefer two strokes since I race in the woods, I usually lean more towards a four stroke if I’m doing motocross. I like dogs more, who can resist a moto dog?
- Do you do your own mechanical work on your bike?
My dad is a mechanic for dirt bikes, I usually go to him for any mechanical issues but if it’s a easy fix, I’ll usually fix it myself. I do my own bike prep though.
- Most memorable race battle…
I would have to say last year, was battling for first place on a fun hill climb. Bar banging for the lead, it’s a awesome feeling.
- Best piece of advice you were given when you first started riding?
My best advice I was given…slower is faster. Slowing down and learning other techniques and watching faster people go through sections. Just sit back and watch, see what you’re doing differently. That has definitely helped me get to where I am today.
- Is there something you think needs to be improved in the industry to bring more girls into the sport?
I think it needs to be known more that just because you’re a girl doesn’t mean you can’t do what a guy can do. I’ve seen girls way faster than a guy on a bike. You don’t always have to run a females class either, if you wanna race with the guys, DO IT!! There is nothing stopping you, but you.
- A new chapter is starting in your life – You have joined the Navy! Congrats on that and Thank You in advance for your service and willingness to serve our amazing Country… Can you share a little on what prompted you to decide to make this inspiring decision?
I have always wanted to enlist into the military. I got tired of seeing all my class mates go down the wrong path and so I want to be that change. I want to show people from where I come from, you don’t have to go down everyone else’s foot path but you can make your own. Do better for yourself. Also, my whole family is military and it has always had a huge impact on my life. I figured why not sail the seven seas!
- Do you feel your motorcycling background and experiences in the sport will be a benefit as you take on this new chapter?
To never quit, to keep pushing. During a race we can’t really quit and we must keep pushing through to get points or a trophy. I feel like that would help me during basic, I’ve endured a lot of rough courses… I can handle boot camp. It’s all mind over matter.
- Everyone has someone that encourages them and supports them in the sport… Who would you like to give a shout out to?
A shout out to everyone in the VCHSS family, everyone encourages and helps everyone out. I’ve raced with them for 17 years and not once have I felt out of place or discouraged. They only helped and pushed me on the course and even off the course.
- Fun fact about you?
Fun fact? I think that’s the hardest question on here… My mom and I always had to take a selfie before all of my races, it was a tradition really. If we didn’t it felt weird and seemed like I always had bad luck during that race.