Hey Ladies!…. This is such a neat opportunity to get some inside tips at Wicomico Motorsports Park before the popular Hangover Hare Scramble Race from Pro Off-Road Racer BECCA SHEETS!
I am over the top excited to be able to make this announcement as well as being part of the planning to make this happen and I’m really hopeful for its success.
Many women feel more comfortable learning and taking direction from other women… its just natural. Becca is incredibly talented and accomplished – she was a motocrosser and then shifted to off-road where she has really honed her skills. Becca is incredibly driven and doesn’t shy away from her competition – she puts her head down and pushes through… that may be one of the biggest things I admire about her.
When I approached Becca about this opportunity she was more than eager to jump in and is really looking forward to meeting up with some ladies that are looking to improve their skills and techniques. Everyone has room to improve and sharpen some skills… I for one can’t wait and I hope you’ll join me!
The Hangover Hare Scramble is an iconic off-road event that takes place in Southern Maryland. This rider clinic will be on Saturday, January 6th the day before the event!!!… So yes I can think of no better way to prepare for Sundays FUN!
Ladies… you are in good company…GR8 company actually… Take notice of the amazing women out there shredding tracks and trails and get to know them and their stories of grit and ambition – they will surly make you smile – laugh and just plain…WoW YA!
Last weekend at round 8 of the 9 round Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series Womens Amateur Racer, Christy King made her Honda 250 sing! Christy was really enjoying her race weekend as the course was suited to her moto-background and wide-open moto-style. Coming in after 12 special tests with a time of 1:37:47.063 this is close racing to the finest degree… you have to be perfect and Christy was perfect… toping the class in all twelve tests!
Christy is always smiling…she is a happy soul and I love to see her as she strives to tame that moto-throttle through the woods throughout the weekend.
It was super cool that the Full Gas Sprint Enduro series founder Jason Hooper decided to recognize Christy
with third place money from series sponsor PRI Insurance from the premiere womens class – inviting her to the premiere womens podium for a sweet trophy and interview… Never before has it been done – podiums are usually reserved for the premiere class – but not this weekend…this weekend one of our own was up there saying her thank you’s…you can’t help but imagine that the near future we will see King on the box with the fastest off-road women in the sport on more of a regular as she continues to develop her skills and work to move up in class.
So I caught up with Christy to learn a little more about this powerhouse in the womens amateur class, she sits in the lead currently a mere 14 points ahead of Heather Cosner who is an absolute ripper on the technical courses! The final round of the series is at Big Buck, November 11th and 12th and should be exciting! It’s a great mix… but the cross test is usually fast – real fast and that may be just what King needs to put it all together!
MEET CHRISTY KING!…
Age and Hometown?
I’m 23 years old from Canal Winchester, Ohio.
How long have you been riding and how did you become interested?
I’ve been riding a dirt bike since I was 6 years old, so going on 18 years! I have 2 older brothers that used to race, so I’ll say I got it from them. My brothers had friends that rode too and they would always come with us to the races. Mostly local motocross races but we always went to Mini O’s and a few other big nationals. It was always a good time. In 2005, my brother Jimmy had a bad crash that left him paralyzed from the chest down. After that, my other brother Jason didn’t ride much and it’s just been me ever since.
When did you decide to try racing and what was your first race experience like?
My brothers raced and I always had to do what they did. My first race was in 2000 at our local fair. I was just this tiny little 6 year old girl on a pw50 lined up with a bunch of boys. It was a full gate and I ended up 9th I think.
What is your current race bike?
I have a 2010 crf250r as my motocross bike and a 2012 crf250r as my woods bike.
Do you prefer 2 stroke or 4 stroke?
Probably the 4 stroke. I’ve ridden the 65’s and the 85’s and decided to have a 125 as my first big bike. I switched to the 4 stroke in 2012 and haven’t really looked back since. I feel my speed improved a lot when I switched to the 250f and I like not having to shift all the time haha. Although lately I’ve been pretty curious how I’d ride a 2 stroke now.
Best add-on to your bike…
My graphics! Since his crash, my brother Jimmy has been building his own graphic business called Fast Am Productions. His stuff is high quality and I like the option of having complete customization on my bike and jersey kits. Other than that, probably my fork seal savers! All the parts on my bike are usually OEM.
You come from a motocross background – now you race off-road as well… What made you try off-road and do you prefer one more than the other?
My boyfriend actually got me into off-road. When I was on 85’s I used to race a few of the GP’s at a track close to me called Fast Traxx. Once I got on big bikes I was nervous to try racing woods because I was so short on my bike and it’s always a struggle to pick my bike up after I fall, and to be honest I just wasn’t a very good technical rider. Basically, this whole year I have been only off-road, and it has been a crazy adjustment, but I’m really enjoying myself. Ohio motocross is pretty stale, and I’m tired of paying a bunch of money to sit around waiting all day to only race 8 or so laps. Off-road is so much more challenging and I actually feel proud of myself when I finish a race so I prefer off-road right now.
I’ve seen you race the GNCC Series as well as the Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series… For your friends that think off-road is off-road can you explain the difference between these two off-road series that you race and which one suits you best and why?
To me, GNCC is like the top dog when it comes to American motorcycle racing. You show up to the place and you can barely get a parking spot it’s so packed with people. It’s actually pretty intimidating. The whole time I’m on the line waiting for my row to go, I’m just running scenarios through my head about how wild the next 2 hours are going to be. I really like the Full Gas Sprint Enduro series because you only have to endure the craziness for about 10 minutes at a time, opposed to 2 hours. The whole format of FGSE is perfect. They definitely suit me better. The tracks are usually nowhere near as rough as the GNCC’s get, but a few rounds have been pretty crazy this year! I love that it’s a single file start and you’re basically out there racing with yourself. You don’t have to worry about coming together with any other riders. It’s also awesome that you get to ride on 2 separate tracks over the whole weekend! I’m still struggling in the woods so the field tracks can give me a chance to make up the time I lost on the woods portion. It helps that a few of the rounds actually had motocross tracks as the cross test. The jumps definitely give me an advantage. And the vibe at FGSE is so laid back! It doesn’t even feel like you’re at a race. I love all the people I’ve met doing this series, you have no choice but to make small talk with the riders in your row as you’re waiting for your turn. The only downfall of the series is that you pretty much have to be perfect all 12 tests over both of the days if you want to get good placing.
What was it like sharing the podium with two of the fastest off-road women this past weekend at Rockcrusher FGSE?
It was awesome!! That was the first big check I’ve received in all my years racing dirt bikes and to get it in my first year in off-road was so rad!! Becca and I grew up racing motocross together, so it was just super cool to see how things come around full circle and I was able to be up there with her making Ohio proud.
Is there a female racer past or present that you truly admire?
When I was younger I always looked up to Ashley Fiolek and Tarah Geiger. Those are some pretty cool chicks.
What are your goals for 2018?
I’m not really sure. I want to do more Full Sprints, probably not the whole series again but definitely the ones that are closest to me. My boyfriend is doing the full GNCC series in the XC3 class so I will be at all of those, but I will probably only race a few of them. Maybe try for Loretta Lynns. Who knows! I’m just going with the flow and seeing where it takes me.
Best riding advice given to you that you still refer to today?
Grip with your legs!
If there is anything you would like to see changed or improved for women in the sport…what would that be?
I’d just like to see more girls getting out there and racing in general. This sport could really benefit from girls. In motocross, I feel the women don’t really get taken seriously. The WMX is nothing compared to what it used to be and I believe it’s because not many women are racing every weekend. But it’s hard to when there’s no money in it. I think the off-road series takes good care of their women riders, way more than motocross. Things could only get better if we had just as many women out there riding as boys.
Feel free to list your supporters and peeps you’d like to thank.
I’d like to thank my mom, dad, brother, and boyfriend. They are the only ones helping me get to the races each weekend!
The 2017 International Six Days of Enduro in Brive France had no shortage of storylines or highlights but here at Dirt Bike Girl Adventures I like to highlight the awesomeness of the women in our off-road sport… especially our American ISDE Womens Team!
This years team of three was Becca Sheets, Brandy Richards and Kacy Martinez – Coy. For all three it would be their first appearance competing in the prestigious six day race. All three are amazing and proven off-road racers and seemed to work very well together. Want to learn more about the ISDE?…please check out the information HERE.
I extended an invitation to Becca, Brandy and Kacy to share an ISDE RACE REPORT – I for one love to hear the details from the racers and get that inside scoop!
Here is Becca Sheets ISDE Race Report – Becca is so fierce and such a fighter – I love how she continues to claw her way up when sometimes things get tough. I truly admire her spirit and tenacity and expect her future in Off-Road to continue growing and excelling, Becca is a Champion and continues to display that with her competitive fire.
Congrats Again to all the Ladies that competed in this years ISDE… especially Team USA with their well earned Second Place!!! (whoop-whoop)
(IN HER OWN WORDS)
So going into race week at ISDE everybody told me “Day one will be the easiest day!”. Now that it is all said and done, I say “Lies!” I had bike issues at the beginning of the first day of racing and I lost A LOT of time, which resulted in me having to race for about seven hours straight only stopping for fuel. I was told to worry about nothing except getting back to impound before I would hour out at the end of the day…it didn’t matter if I got penalized for any reason… I just had to make sure I stayed in the race so our Women’s USA Trophy team could keep our chance at the overall. It seemed nearly impossible. It was 90+ degrees and I had well over 100 miles before I made it back to impound. I rode every special test with my tool pack and hydration pack on just trying to get through. I made it back to impound with a few minutes to spare at the end of day. Unfortunately (we didn’t know) that I had already houred out at the first time check I went though after I got my bike running again, which was many – many miles previous and had already been disqualified. I was fortunate enough that Antti (Team Manager) and the rest of the team decided to use their “re-impound” on me so that the Women’s trophy team could have a shot. This meant I was back in the game (woo hoo!) . I was very grateful to have the chance to race the remainder of the week!… Despite being completely drained and dehydrated, I was excited to focus on actually racing for Day 2.
Day 2) Overall, I had a pretty solid day. I stayed consistent in the top five. I had a couple 3rd’s in there. Kacy and Brandy were also doing well. All three of us were just kind of in battle with the Aussies all day. Some of the transfers were a bit hairy but a lot more enjoyable than the first day. At the end of Day 2 while I was changing tires, we realized one of my forks was damaged and had to be repaired. Luckily we had a spare to throw on for impound and we were able to repair it for Day 3.
Day 3) With all of the chaos out of the way, and all new transfers and tests for Day 3 I was excited for a fresh start. After catching up on some time from Day 1, I was able to start on the same minute with my teammates again.
Day 4 & 5) The remainder of the week went pretty smoothly for all three of us. Brandy had some faster times and was killing it. Kacy and I kept it pretty consistent as well and had good test times ourselves! The week actually got easier for me. I was close in times towards the end of the week with one of the Australian girls. The night prior I was waking up with pins and needles in both of my arms and didn’t get much sleep. It seemed the fatigue was finally getting to me. I tried to push my limits as best as I could without making mistakes (which is pretty much the definition of ISDE). On Day 5 I had a few crashes that resulted in some not so good test times but I put that all behind me and just wanted a good moto for the last day of racing.
Final Day) I finished 5th in my moto on Day 6. I could barley hold on to my bike anymore (ahhh!). Brandy took the win which was awesome!
All three of us girls fought hard all week. Even though we finished second, I’d say it was a strong second and we really showed our colors with some great racing.
I will say that ISDE is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Overall I really enjoyed it. I do wish that I would have had a bit more speed and done better but it was my first “six days” and I finished despite all of the obstacles that were thrown my way. So I will take that and go on with it. It was really an honor to be a part of such an historical event.
Our USA Women’s Trophy team was awesome. I cannot say for sure but I don’t think ISDE France will be my last!
2017 Team USA… Becca Sheets, Brandy Richards and Kacy Martinez Coy – all first timers at this years Enduro Olympic Games… “The FIM International Six Days of Enduro!” The host country of France is sure to offer some beautiful countryside for these ladies to shred on… and these ladies will do just that! I am incredibly excited for this team – all three are top in the sport of off-road and all three would love nothing more than to bring home gold for America!
This year it seems that the womens team will be under the big tent so to speak… USA’s ISDE Team Manager Antti Kallonen:“We are going to apply the same ingredients to the Women’s World Trophy Team as we have to the World Trophy and Junior teams in the past. We are keeping a realistic view on where we’ve started and where our goal is. There are no shortcuts to success and we believe that we are taking the first step necessary to get there. We have committed to a three-year plan and we’re looking to take the Women’s team to the top.”
While it will be no small feat – as the best of the best in the Womens World Trophy class are represented from nine countries the competition will be tight! The Women’s World Cup is determined by totaling the team’s top two of three riders’ scores each day for six days with the lowest team score after six days being the winner. It is an enduro-type format, where riders have to follow a set route at a set pace over six days… you have to hit your times to avoid penalties. Racers are also responsible for working on their own bikes without outside assistance. This can be anything from changing tires to bleeding brakes and these ladies have been preparing for this challenge and are ready to go at it in Brive France!
Is Team USA up to the challenge?… Are you kidding? Do you know who these ladies are?
Becca Sheets: A hard charger – this lady is your 2016 Grand National Cross Country Series Champion. She consistently strives to improve and will not shy away from competition. She is definitely a great pick for this years team… I expect you’ll see some great times from Becca as she gets in her zone. She just recently competed in a 24hr off-road race with a team of three other women racers in preparation of getting that seat time and building endurance – she definitely hit her marks there!
Brandy Richards: A champion since she started racing… Brandy is no stranger to speed or competition – Brandy comes from a Motocross background – and is the 2016 Loretta Lynns Amatuer Champion on top of a long list of accolades. Brandy also races in the WORCS Series so she is no stranger to off-road… Another top competitor that has talent in both disciplines – I imagine her speeds will be top of the charts by weeks end!
Kacy Martinez Coy: Cali-girl Kacy is such a smooth racer and is no doubt a strong pick for this team. She is a multi – time champion in the GNCC Series as well as racing multiple off-road events – even enduro-cross. Kacy is highly talented and consistent, I am sure she will be a vital part of this team and will help bring them to ViCtOrY!
So… keep these three amazingly talented ladies in your thoughts as they grab throttle and hit their marks in history! There is something so killer – to see three Champions that usually compete against one another to come together – strategizing and supporting each other for the pride of America!
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 theFull 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!
If you’ve ever been at the races and happen to have your radio tuned into the track station… you can’t help but hear the background static of race reporting and podium interviews… sometimes you’re compelled to stop what your doing and turn up the volume.
That happened to me yesterday while taking care of some last minute preparations for my guy who’s race was getting ready to start in the next half hour.
The interview from the podium was WXC racer Becca Sheets.
Becca was on the Podium at Powerline – St.Clairsville, Ohio, her hometown track. She had just won the WXC race and had stayed pretty consistent throughout. I had always assumed Becca had won before, however in her emotional podium interview she commented on how special it was – it would be her first win and what made it even more special was that her family was able to be there because they don’t always get to attend the races and that it was at her home track.
Everyone has their race story and when you get to hear the genuine – raw – unscripted moments like this one you can’t help but tune in. We get so used to the same people up on the box race after race we tend to perhaps not listen because it sounds like much of the same…sometimes it ends up being a commercial for tires or bikes and not so much that more personal expression of what it took to get there or what it means to be there.
So Cheers to Becca for her memorable VicToRy at Powerline Park!… I’m sure more success will follow – once you taste it – you crave it!