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Becca Sheets 2017 ISDE RACE REPORT!

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!

21077519_10210211330863279_6601623954777401032_nHere 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)

Becca - ISDE photo
Becca – ISDE photo

 

BECCA SHEETS:

(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!

B.S.

 

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Photos via Becca Sheets Facebook Page.

@flyracingusa @maxxistires @seatconcepts @ktmusa#pripowersportsinsurance @jdperformancemx @enduroengineering @hinsonracing @odigrips @fivesixographics @pod_active @p3carbon @dpbrakesracing @wisecopistoninc @procircuit78 @imsproducts @scottmotosports @maximausa and of course @johnnygallagher13 and @tyler_rosshirt

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Team USA’s – Brandy Richards

The picturesque town of Brive France hosted this years running of the International Six Days of Enduro… a prestigious off road motorcycle race that has been held in various countries since 1913. I can’t imagine what the anticipation and excitement the nearly 650 racers must endure. While motorcycling may be thought of as an individual sport – here you will find many that normally race against each other now band together as a team for their pride of their country.  It wasn’t until 2007 that the Womens Trophy Team was introduced to the lineup… and here we are ten years later celebrating this years three woman team which consists of Becca Sheets, Brandy Richards and Kacy Martinez – Coy.

All three are capable of smooth and fast riding – All three representing America with pride! All three a part of history in this special event across the sea…

One of these special ladies is Brandy Richards, an accomplished motocross racer and west coast off-road racer from Lake Havasu, Arizona. While many look at the ISDE to have a collection of off-road racers – a motocross racer who also enjoys racing off-road most definitely is a great asset to any team. Being able to tap into that moto speed and be able to tame that same speed for the off-road technical terrain… that is a special ingredient to add to your team for sure!

So who is Brandy Richards?… Brandy’s mom, Shellie fills me in on her daughters racing accomplishments…and its quite intensive for sure!

Shellie Richards: Brandy has raced off-road since she started riding a PW.  She was only 5 years old when she started her first series the “WORCS”series…she started winning at a young age. On her 50cc Cobra she won the boys 7-8 A class. She won on a  KTM 65  and moved to 65 B class… She has also raced motocross and did very well off-road in the boys class.  Brandy won the championship in the 65B , 65 A , 85 B , 85 A , all in off-road then won multiple times in the girls class when they started that in the WORCS Series.  She also raced the Amateur National Loretta Lynns many times and won the girls class there in 2012. She went back in 2014 in the Woman’s class and got 3rd overall and then went back  in 2016 and won the national title there!

She has started focusing on off-road lately – its what she has fun doing.  She has wanted to try the ISDE… and then Antti Kallonen from KTM called her and asked if she would be interested in racing the ISDE in France and she said yes… And now she there – Crazy!

This photo shows Brandy on a 65 getting 1st in the boys A class and Kurt Caselli talking to her on podium , congratulating her! He used to tell her he watched her race all the time and when she would win he new he would win! Nathan Woods was the other rider that took second She new him pretty well also but Kurt was her favorite when she was little...

This photo shows Brandy on a 65 getting 1st in the boys A class and Kurt Caselli talking to her on podium congratulating her!
He used to tell her he watched her race all the time and when she would win he new he would win! Nathan Woods was the other rider that took second
She new him pretty well also but Kurt was her favorite when she was little…

 

 

 

Brandy earned 1st against Tatum Sick and Tarah Geiger in the WORCS series!
Brandy earned 1st against Tatum Sick and Tarah Geiger in the WORCS series!
Brandy won Lorretta's in 2016 Woman AllStars!
Brandy won Lorretta’s in 2016 Woman AllStars!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is no doubt that Brandy has a bright future ahead of her in motorcycling… At the end of the sixth and final day of racing during this years ISDE, Brandy was the fastest American in Womens Trophy and 3rd fastest overall in the Womens Trophy Class behind the always impressive, Tayla Jones (Australia) and Laia Sanz (Spain)! And to add to all of her accomplishments she also won the final test – a Motocross race on the final day!

Congratulations to the entire team for racing their hearts out for 6 days in a foreign country away from familiarity, friends and family… having to manage every aspect of their race for themselves, their bikes and each-other.  After all the racing these ladies worked for – they ended up with a solid 2nd behind the Australian women and ahead of the host country France!

We Are So Proud of all of your efforts!!! #webelieve #america #isde2017

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Path of Totality on a KTM

I got swept up in the Total Eclipse Mayhem that seems to have taken over a large swath of the Country.

The last “Total Solar Eclipse” in the United States was on February 26, 1979… I was 9 and don’t remember the pilgrimage to special places or any of that. Of course there wasn’t social media and self absorbing dribble like there is these days…  People have literally planned huge trips and shelled out large sums of coin to go get a glimpse of the Eclipse –  I’m sure you have heard all the hoopla about it… It’s been on the news – there have been books written on the subject and special eye protection in circulation… even a few airlines emphasizing which of their flights will have a view of the solar spectacle… and charging appropriately…cough-cough…

“The path of Totality” (when the moon completely covers the sun) this year the width of this path is about 75 mile and will stretch from Oregon to South Carolina. Once the calculations were figured out, the towns in this path seemed to really embrace the opportunity…  I just so happen to be on an east to west road trip during this time and the closer I got to this “Path of Totality” it was like some crazy wildfire was spreading… Wendy “Watch Here” “Best Spot For The View” “Don’t Miss It” “Get Your Information Here” “Limited Edition Gold Eclipse Pendants Here” “Get Your Eclipse Pizza” “Eclipse T-shirts”

The parks were really on this… Yellowstone – was actually North of the path… but that didn’t prevent them from trying to lure people in – the park was in full Eclipse mode. The Grand Teton National Park was in the path and they had booths set up at numerous turnouts as well as every visitor center. Campgrounds were at max capacity with long waiting lists miles and miles away…

I happen to be in the Path of Totality in the Grand Tetons… and in Jackson, Wyoming during this time. You could see signs everywhere and masses of people milling around the cafes and shops asking with such interest “Are you here for the Eclipse?!” People were peddling eye protection on street corners. Cars with “Totality or Bust” written on their windows… Photographers and film crews setting up camera stands days before to ensure the perfect view.

We plotted a trip on dirt bikes of course. Our plan – to get out of the madness of the crowds. Follow the path less traveled…or so we thought! Once we grabbed a bite – geared up and gassed up – we headed out of town. Our destination Shadow Mountain via pavement and gravel roads we would be in the shadow of the Grand Tetons but we had to hurry! As we traveled people were lining the streets bumper to bumper. Two way traffic streets were now only one way. Motorhomes, Cars, Trucks, Vans and Tents all you could see – ribbons of colors leading the way. Photographers set up with special foil looking filters over their lenses – everyone using their glasses to practice staring at the sun.

We rode and rode it was as if we were in Tour De France. Speed limits of 25mph made it feel like eternity as we made our way to our spot… People from everywhere – Austria, Japan, China, Poland, France… you name it!… only thing missing was cowbells and  superheros dressed with flag capes…

We found our spot in the Red Hills overlooking the Gros Ventre River among beautiful hills and valleys – so perfectly silent except for the sounds of our heated bikes beginning to cool. Looking up with my National Park Issued Eyewear I could see it happening as the moon passed in front of the sun. SunSlowly the sky darkened like a purple hue and as quickly as that happened it seemed to turn to light again. Out of nowhere a large military plane flew over us – in this Path of Totality – it was amazing as it was so low and turning right overhead flying out of sight – (seeming more exciting than the solar show I just witnessed). And just like that I could see people in the valley below packing up and heading out.

We folded up our party glasses, threw our helmets on and whipped up little dust devils in our wake. Our plan was to start this “New Moon” with our first epic single track ride deep in the hills of Wyoming… and that it was! An absolutely killer day experienced from the seat of my 2017 KTM 250 EXC-F!

Later that evening as we walked through the empting town of Jackson – those that remained were still talking about the event – I heard many telling stories of their experience of the Solar Eclipse – yet one stood out among the rest… As a woman said to a stranger… “It was so amazing that I started to cry”

WOW…

Well I hope you had an epic day doing whatever it is you did – whether it included block parties staring at the sun for a couple of minutes or ripping on your motorcycle – we can all agree that the world keeps spinning – seasons change and Life Is What You Make It so Make It Epic!Gazing

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Samantha’s Costa Rican Adventures!

I hope you enjoy the following write up and special interviews produced by my good friend Samantha Kilgore! Its pretty awesome to have your friends share their experiences and spread the DBGA Community Mojo…its like having satellite team… a roving reporter… you get the gist…its pretty darn cool! We are doing good things here and it feels AMAzing! Thanks Samantha – You Rock!

Nancy


 

“You’ll be on your way up!

You’ll be seeing great sights!

You’ll join the high fliers

who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.

You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.

Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.

Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.

Because, sometimes, you won’t.

Oh! The places you’ll go!”

-Dr. Suess


Where, oh where do I even begin to capture my moto adventures in Costa Rica?!  A little back story: 4 years ago, I was a field rider, putting around on a Yamaha TTR125.  My husband talked about this dirt bike adventure in Costa Rica since we met nearly 8 years prior, so for his milestone birthday I surprised him by booking a ride package with Costa Rica Unlimited. They put me on a CRF230 and off we went for an epic 70 mile adventure. Long story short- I bit off more than I could chew. I had ridden more that day than I have cumulatively in my entire life.  My butt was sore, I was terrified of the hills and rocks, and had -had enough. The day promptly ended when I cooked my front brakes on a ridiculous downhill (with no guardrails!)  Needless to say, this was a major turning point in my motorcycle riding career… After we returned home, I was insistent on learning how to ride properly so I could enjoy an epic adventure in Costa Rica in the future.

Moto Room
Moto Room is well supplied!

Fast forward 4 years, 4 bikes, and countless races later I booked with Costa Rica Unlimited again.  Husband and I packed our gear and my custom suspension set-up, and headed to the jungle!  Our day started at the BEAUTIFUL

View from CRU...
View from CRU…

CRU Compound; a few houses overlooking some of the most beautiful landscapes you’ll ever see, complete with a moto shop and 2 moto doggies.

We spent our riding day on the trails and roads in the Costa Rican jungle, visiting 2 water falls, having lunch on the beach, and blasting down the black sandy beaches on our motorbikes.  The day was EPIC.  I couldn’t have imagined anything better.  This was my redemption trip.  Something that I had made a mission, and looked
forward to for 4 years.  I set out to have enough confidence and skills on a bike to enjoy paradise.  The riding was amazing.  Although we

The Kilgores and their guides, Chris and Miele from Costa Rica Unlimited
The Kilgores and their guides, Chris and Miele from Costa Rica Unlimited

stuck mainly to fire roads, we did take our adventures on some trails.  As you can imagine, the washouts are pretty epic, as are the clay-mud and rocks.  We made sure to get nice and dirty throughout the day.  Our tour guides, Chris and Miele were fantastic.  Despite having a huge trip the following day to go ride in Big Bear, CA, and then race the Baja 500, they agreed to take us out.

The following day, in the middle of town mind you, there is a motocross track where they were holding motocross races.  How perfect!  Roman and I grabbed the camera and GoPro and headed to the track to see some Costa Rican motocross.  The track was very well groomed and looked super fun!

I was lucky enough to interview 2 female racers from the event for DBGA, and despite the slight language barrier (I have a Spanish vocabulary of about a 3 year old), I got some great insights from these amazing women.  Thanks to a family member who spoke good English, I was able to have an interview translated for me 🙂

 

Pasion MX
Pasion Mx
Melissa Tencio receiving a DBGA decal straight from USA's Samantha Kilgore!
Melissa Tencio receiving a DBGA decal straight from USA’s Samantha Kilgore!

Meet Melissa Tencio.  A 17 year old factory KTM motocross racer from Frailes, Desamparados Costa Rica.  She races on the Pasion MX team, owned, managed (and she even races!) by Marisol Reid aka the Moto Lady Boss of whom I also got to speak with!  Here is Melissa’s interview:

When did you first learn to ride a motorcycle?:  I was 8 years old.

How long have you been racing?: 6 years

What is your greatest accomplishment in racing?: Top racer on the team and won championships for several years.

What’s the best advice you have been given for riding?:  Stay disciplined in order to succeed. Stay focused.

If you could change one thing in the sport for women, what would it be?: The sport really is for men, but women should know that they can do it as well.  I wish more women developed a passion and believed they could succeed in the sport.

Melissa is clearly wise beyond her years 🙂

Pasion MX Manager Marisol Rios Reid #77 Giving a thumbs up and sporting a new DBGA patch!
Pasion MX Manager Marisol Rios Reid #77 Giving a thumbs up and sporting a new DBGA patch!

Meet Marisol. Where do I even begin to describe this Moto Lady Boss!?  I saw her doing her Lady Boss thing in the pits, talking with the ladies, fist bumping before the moto and I knew that she was a force to be reckoned with.  After walking around the pits, she stopped me and asked me where I was from and introduced herself.  We chatted for a bit and I told her all about DBGA, our trip, and complimented her on the stellar KTM set up she had.  She agreed to let me interview her and here’s how it went:

Where are you from and how old are you?: I’m originally from Costa Rica, however, I spent many years living and racing in Florida. I now split my time between Florida and Costa Rica, and between my factory race teams, Pasion MX.  I’m 40.

When did you first learn to ride a motorcycle?: I started late. I didn’t learn how to ride until I was 27.  From there, I fell in love and knew I wanted to pursue it.  I own, manage, and race with Pasion MX, a Factory KTM race team with 21 riders total, 3 of which are women.  Next year I plan to start a Pasion MX Kawasaki Factory team.  It’s in the works J

How long have you been racing?: 5 years

What’s your greatest accomplishment in racing?:  Champion MX for 2017

What’s the best advice you’ve been given for riding?:  Be disciplined.  Melissa is very disciplined, for instance, which makes her the best female we have on the team.  Watch the previous champions, get advice from them.  Be disciplined and work hard so that you can make your dreams come true.

If you could change one thing in the sport for women, what would it be?:  Nothing.  Here you are treated the same, so just compete, be respectful, and everything will be OK.

I am truly humbled to get the opportunity to meet and talk to some moto-women from Central America.  While we may not have verbally understood one another perfectly, we are kindred spirits of the sport.  Passion is passion, regardless of culture, location, age, gender.  So cool to experience that first hand!  Pura Vida!

Roman and Samantha enjoying an off-road adventure...
Roman and Samantha enjoying an off-road adventure…
Riding in Costa Rica is like no where you can possibly imagine. You ride for hours through the lush landscape and eventually come up on small villages like this one. Here, we stopped at a little store and ran into some school children on a break. Our guide bought each of them a piece of candy and we got to take a quick picture before heading out. ~ Samantha
Riding in Costa Rica is like no where you can possibly imagine. You ride for hours through the lush landscape and eventually come up on small villages like this one. Here, we stopped at a little store and ran into some school children on a break. Our guide bought each of them a piece of candy and we got to take a quick picture before heading out. ~ Samantha
Flag of Costa Rica
Flag of Costa Rica
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Orange Crush…

KTM Test Day!Those who know me – know that I have been wanting to step up my bike for some time now. Although I have been loving my 2012 Honda CRF230 – after recent events like frame and pegs dragging in ruts leaving me stuck into too many bad situations – as well as it simply feeling so heavy and cumbersome… I felt like I was ready to get a real dirt bike with better components.

I asked friends for advise – posted my concerns about seat height – I tossed around ideas of four strokes verses two strokes… I came real close to getting a used bike but couldn’t make the journey to check it out… I then really started looking at the Beta X-trainer and was ready to travel to get the one and only remaining one site-unseen… I should add that this entire process I have been fighting going orange… However as luck would have it a friend of mine reached out to me and let me know that he had a few demo bikes that I could try!

Yes they were all orange…

John Ross at Ride on Moto in Winchester, Virginia set up a 2012 KTM 250 SX-F and a 2015 KTM Free Ride as well as a demo 2016 KTM 200 XC-W. I brought my gear and was able to take them to a near by trail and off I went! Well it wasn’t as easy as that really…

They were all super tall and I about had a meltdown – I was so frustrated that I’m such a baby when it comes to feeling the least bit of unsteady. With some encouragement and tips from my guy I managed to give them all a go.

The Free Ride felt fun and really maneuverable – I personally didn’t feel super comfortable on it thou – and I didn’t like the no tank in the front which is just a personal thingy to me. This bike felt really light which was a huge plus.

Then I rode the 200 XC-W and that bike once I got going and didn’t stop – it felt really fun and powerful. I felt really comfortable standing up and that is something I don’t like about my 230. This bike felt like it fit me – I was surprised that it tractor-ed up a slick rooty hill without troubles… I have always feared the two stroke hit – but it never hit hard.

Next was the used but super clean 2012 250 SX-F, this bike felt really good as well – It was set up by the previous owner real soft in the back which made me feel a little more comfortable because I could touch the ground easier. The power was great and it also tractor-ed up the rooty slick trail – a couple of things that I wasn’t into was it would need a few more modifications for me and I didn’t like the black gas tank plus it was used and I kinda wanted something fresher to make my own.

I went back between the bikes a few more times and finally decided to go with the 2016 KTM 200 XC-W, I felt most comfortable on this bike and I also felt that syke and excitement again about riding… I have been lacking that positive energy for sometime now. Some awesome features that really grabbed me is it had the see thru gas tank, it already has lights so I can tag it, It felt light especially compared to my 230F, smooth power in a two stroke was pretty awesome and I felt like it suited me. Ride On Moto will be hooking it up for me with a cut down seat as well as lowering it 2″!

So I guess I’ve got that “Orange Crush”

I can’t wait to race it at the 24hr North East Challenge Race!

Thanks to John Ross at Ride On Moto for making this possible – if it weren’t for him and his helping me with the set up possibilities, I would probably still be kicking virtual knobbies!

I guess I need to start mixing gas…….

~Nancy