A Quote from Becca Sheets after winning at Unadilla: “There were times I got frustrated but you have to remind yourself to breathe because when you get frustrated things get worse”
Current WXC points leader Becca Sheets, continues to showcase her off-road talents, yet this year she seems to be in that “Zone” racers speak of… winning three Grand National Cross Country Series races in a row and sounding extremely confident yet humble in post race interviews.
This could very well be Becca’s year…
If Championships are won by talent and determination then I say this could quite definitely be a Championship year for Becca. However there is no shortage of talent and determination on the WXC line – on any race day you will see a display of women ready to rip the courses holding nothing back. This year the WXC class has been incredibly exciting to follow…yet there is no denying that Becca is also quite consistent this year. With only a few races remaining in the series we’ll soon see who will be on the top box gripping that #1 plate!
Women are no different then men in their strive for success and no place is that more evident then in this sport. The trials on the course are equally endured. Watch any woman work hard to conquer, succeed and continue to improve is an inspiration. N
I hope you enjoy this fun interview with Becca!
- How old are you, how many years have you been riding and where do you call home? I am 23 years old I have been riding for 16 years. Ohio is my home!
- Relationship Status: Tyler!
- Current Bike: 2016 YZ250 FX
- Favorite Riding Spot: That’s a tough one. Any place with awesome flowy trails.
- Lefty or Righty? Lefty!
- Cats or Dogs? We have a cat and a dog. They are both awesome!
- 2 stroke or 4 stroke? 4 Stroke, but I don’t mind ripping a 125 now and again!
- Becca will never leave home without her…….(I don’t even have a creative answer for this!) PHONE.
- Did you come from a racing family? My dad raced when I was little, so I’ve always been around bikes. But I have three other siblings and I’m the only one that rides!! My whole family is very supportive of me and always have been! So I’d say we are indeed a racing family.
- You have been riding dirt bikes since you were a little girl – have you ever had people tell you that you shouldn’t do this type of sport because you’re a girl? If so what was your response to people like that? I’ve never really had anybody tell me that directly. I think in this day in age there are so many females participating in “men’s sports”, that most people just accept it.
- Being a woman racer racing in a male dominated sport – would you say that for the most part the guys you compete with play fair or have you experienced rough tactics out there on the race track that you feel were because they didn’t want to be passed “by a girl”?…
HAHAHA!! I would never say that the guys try to be unfair about it. But I have had some races in the past where I just felt bullied a bit. But hey, that’s racing and it only makes us tougher. (I only cry sometimes)
- Is there a woman in the sport either past or present that you admire or look up to if so who and why? When I was younger I always looked up to girls like Tarah Geiger, Sarah Whitmore, and Jessica Patterson. They were and still are successful in this sport and I think that was the coolest thing to me. Now that I’m older I’ve had the chance to race some GNCC’s along side those ladies so I think that’s pretty awesome!
- Are you happy with the way women are supported in the industry? Are there improvements that still need to be made that will encourage more female ridership? I really think there are series and companies that give women the support they need. As far as improvements to be made, there’s no one answer. I have a lot of different opinions about us as women in this sport. I could go on and on. The one constant reminder I am given is to just work hard when it doesn’t pay off, keep working. I believe if you work hard and dedicate yourself, the support will come.
- What series other than GNCC do you race? I try to do as many of the Full Gas Sprint Enduros that I can (hopefully all of them next season). As for local series I just jump around and race whatever I can!
- Congrats on currently being the WXC Grand National Cross Country series points leader! After this latest round at Unadilla you have four wins which is the most out of your WXC competitors this season and with three of those wins being back to back that’s really killer!… This year you seem to have so much more confidence – Without giving away too much – whats going on – whats different – is it a certain level of maturity and gained experience? Bike set-up on point? People in your corner? Peace and Happiness? Well thank you! Honestly, it’s a little bit of everything you said. Last year was my first year on a 4 stroke and the first year for the new YZ250 FX. So we have definitely made some major improvements to my bike set up and I’m a bit more experienced on the four stroke this year. I am surrounded by great people and great sponsors that believe I can win this championship. So it all kind of creates the peace and happiness.
- At Unadilla there was another record turnout with over 750 racers in the 10 o’clock show on one of the shortest GNCC courses, which leads me to ask… What is the most challenging part of GNCC? The courses or the lappers? At Unadilla the lappers are definitely more challenging than the course. It just depends on the track really. But all in all I think it’s the combination of the course and the lappers that make GNCC’s challenging as a whole.
- If GNCC added a Premier Womens class with payback in the three hour afternoon race, would that be a class you would move up to…even though it may not be the headlining class? If that’s what they decided to do for our class then yes I would. The WXC class is the highlight of the morning race and I think GNCC does a pretty awesome job of showcasing that. And I think sponsors appreciate it as well. So I don’t really see a major benefit of moving our class to a mid pack row in the afternoon race, even if it did have a payback.
- Do you have any interest in racing the ISDE? Maybe someday!!
- If not racing – what other sport or career would you have wanted to pursue? I’ve always been interested in physical therapy just from having to go through a lot of it. I think I would enjoy helping people get back to playing sports they love after injuries or even helping people with disabilities become stronger.
- I know there isn’t much money to be made in off-road – people that focus hard and show up to race on the weekends are usually squeezing it in between a full-time job which makes it difficult to have time to train and ride… How do you balance work and training – What do you do between races to stay prepared? It’s pretty hectic during the weeks throughout race season. Usually as soon as I get off work I’m headed somewhere to ride or cycle. And if I don’t do that because I have things to get done at home, I’ll go for a run and then do things around the house. It’s stressful and I miss out on a lot of things sometimes but it’s all part of the the sacrifices that have to be made. Luckily the people around me understand that which makes it easier on me.
- Future Goals?…. Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years? Right now I’m just trying to focus on being the best I can be in the present!
- Best piece of riding advise you have been given? “Toes in!”
- What advice would you give some of those ladies a few rows back from you in the Amateur Womens class that hope to some day advance to the WXC class and lineup beside you? Just keep working towards your goals. Practice technique on the bike and surround yourself with better riders to learn from. That is one of the things that has helped me improve the most over the last few years.
- I know there is a pretty big list of family, friends and sponsors you would like to recognize for their supporting Becca Sheets Racing ~ Please feel free to give a shout out to them!
Fly Racing, Maxxis, Seat Concepts, and of course my track crew. Johnny G and Tyler and all my friends and family!
- DBGA COMMUNITY QUESTION: Jason Hooper founder of the Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series asks: “How has racing some Full Gas events affected your results at the GNCC‘s?” The Full Gas Sprint Enduros are awesome practice for me. I think it’s pretty challenging to do short sprint races as fast and as perfect as you can, without making a mistake. So for me I have to learn to minimize mistakes at a high speed. I think that has really helped. And racing that series during the GNCC summer break just kind of kept me on my toes. Some of the other girls in the WXC class race the series as well which is cool to me because it’s something we are all fairly new at.
- DBGA COMMUNITY QUESTION: Dixie Poe Brooks asks: “What’s the best thing you do “off the bike” that helps you the most “on the bike”? Of course there is cardio and strength training but I really think that when I eat well and get plenty of sleep, I feel the best on the bike. You can be strong and in shape, but if you don’t have the proper energy to utilize it, then it’s not going to come together. I really enjoy cycling and running but everybody is different and benefits from some things more than others. Also, I typically train with guys. They are (almost always) stronger than me so it really helps me push myself!
- “Are there certain drills/skill practice that you do on a regular basis that you feel helps you the most?” Practicing basic bike skills and techniques really help me. And when I say techniques, these are all different things I have learned from riding schools and other professional riders along the way. If I ever feel out of a groove or something I just remind myself to look ahead, change my body positioning, whatever it may be that I realize I’m not doing properly. I think knowing to correct those things when I’m having issues is something that helps me on the track. So if you ever have a chance to go to a riding school, it will be worth your time!