Posted on

24 HOURS of BRAAP!

TEAM 400

 

2017 NORTHEAST 24 HOUR CHALLENGE RACE REPORT

MY GUY AND I ARRIVED ON THURSDAY TO TRY AND LOCATE A DECENT CAMPING SPOT FOR US AND

Ca$h and Check Only...
Ca$h and Check Only…

BOTH OUR TEAMS. LET’S BE HONEST – TALL PINES IS NOT EASILY NAVIGATED IN A BIG RIG OR BASICALLY ANY TYPE OF CAMPER/TRAILER… THIS ALONG WITH THE PRIOR 6 HOUR DRIVE WOULD START OUR CHALLENGE RACE. A NICE CAPER TO OUR EVENING WAS A RIDE TO DINNER TO A LOCAL OLD SCHOOL DINER CALLED TEXAS HOT ON OUR DUAL SPORTS…TEXAS HOT INDEED.

FRIDAY MY TEAMMATES STARTED TO ARRIVE AND WITH IT MY EXCITEMENT!  HEIDI, AMANDA & SAMANTHA WERE FIRST – WE JOINED OUR GUYS AND WENT ON A TRACK WALK – WE KNEW WE’D HAVE SOME SLICK HILLS TO TRAVERSE AND WE NEEDED A QUICK LOOK AND STUDY. ALL WAS GOING WELL THE SUN WAS SHINING AND WE WERE EVEN TALKING ABOUT HOW THE TRACK WOULD PROBABLY DRY OUT. THEN OUT OF NOWHERE THE CLOUDS GATHERED AND IT HAPPENED… A GOOD OL’ DOWNPOUR ON US RELENTLESSLY FOR ABOUT AN HOUR. WE WERE ALL SOAKED TO THE BONE AND THEN SOMEONE REALIZED SHE HAD LEFT THE VENT ABOVE HER BED OPEN ON HER CAMPER… OOPS!

Splish Splashin!
Splish Splashin!

ONCE WE MADE IT BACK TO OUR CAMPERS WE DECIDED WE WOULD WRING OURSELVES OUT AND MEET AT OUR PIT TO START PLANNING OUR SETUP. DURING THAT TIME OUR TEAMMATE MARINA SHOWED UP – SHE WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO RACE BUT SHE PLANNED TO JOIN US FOR SUPPORT AND JUST BASICALLY ANYTHING SHE COULD HELP WITH, SUCH A BLESSING! – A COUPLE WEEKS PRIOR SHE HAD CRASHED HARD ON HER BIKE AND SUFFERED A BROKEN COLLARBONE AND COULDN’T RACE. WE ALSO TOOK THIS TIME TO TEST OUR TRANSPONDER IN THE DIFFERENT RACE CONDITIONS… THIS WAS JUST PLAIN FUN – THEN THE TYPICAL SELFIE BREAK FOLLOWED BY A PROPER TEAM MEETING UNDER THE COVER OF OUR FLY

Private Meeting
Private Meeting

TENT… UNFORTUNATELY OUR ACE, VALERIE WAS STILL IN ROUTE AND IT WAS NEARLY DARK… SHE WAS OUR STARTER, OUR HOLESHOT DEVICE! ONCE SHE ARRIVED OUR TEAM WAS COMPLETE AND NOW JUST REQUIRED SLEEP… TOMORROW OUR EPIC ADVENTURE WOULD BEGIN!

AS I WALKED DOWN TOWARD OUR PIT I NOTICED THE MOST AMAZING SIGHT – OUR AWESOME BLUE FLY RACING TENT WAS DECORATED FROM TOP TO BOTTOM WITH ALL THE GOODIES AMANDA, HEIDI AND I HAD BROUGHT! HEIDI – WHO WAKES BEFORE THE BIRDS START CHIRPING SNUCK TO OUR PIT AND KILLED IT WITH THE PIT DECORATIONS – WE HAD DISCUSSED DOING IT IN THE MORNING – BUT SHE KNEW HOW HECTIC THINGS GET AND SPRINKLED HER FAIRY-DUST  MAKING IT BEAUTIFUL! WE HAD OUR EYE ON THE PRIZE FOR THE *BEST PIT DECORATION CONTEST… AND SHE IS HIGHLY COMPETITIVE!

FLY RACING HOOKED UP THE TEAM IN KINETIC TEAL/YELLOW WOMENS RACE GEAR AND LIMITED DECAL TOOK IT A STEP FURTHER BY ADDING OUR SPONSORS, NUMBER AND NAMES ON OUR RACE

Before we get this beautiful Fly Kinetic Womens Gear Muddy... Lets Take a Team Pic!
Before we get this beautiful Fly Kinetic Womens Gear Muddy… Lets Take a Team Pic!

JERSEYS! WE LOOKED RACE READY FOR SURE! IT WAS TIME TO TAKE SOME PICTURES WHILE WE WERE ALL STILL CLEAN, THEN HEAD TO THE RIDERS MEETING AND THE STARTING LINE FOR THE 10AM START.

THIS YEARS TEAM OF DIRT BIKE LOVING LADIES HAD TO TACKLE SOME OF THE MOST EXTREME MUD THEY’D YET EXPERIENCED ON AN 11 MILE, 24HOUR RACE COURSE.  LOCALS REPORTED THAT IT HAD BEEN RAINING FOR WEEKS PRIOR TO THE RACE.  AT A TYPICAL XC RACE YOU ARE PREPARED TO DEAL WITH THE ELEMENTS THE DIFFERENCE HERE IS THAT THIS IS A 24 HOUR EVENT WHICH MEANS THE COURSE WILL NEED TO BE TRAVERSED FOR…DRUM-ROLL…24 HOURS BY… IN THIS CASE 143 TEAMS! THAT SAID IT’S A SHAME THE COURSE WASN’T DESIGNED WITH THAT IN MIND… THE ELEVATION CHANGES THAT WOULD TYPICALLY BE FINE WERE NOW ROCK WITH A THIN LAYER OF ICING… AKA SLICK MUD… THIS MADE FOR A SLALOM COURSE OF FATIGUED RIDERS OVERNIGHT. THE TRACK CREW HAD TO MAKE MANY CHANGES THROUGHT THE RACE… I’M THANKFUL THAT THEY DID BECAUSE BY ALL ACCOUNTS IT GOT PRETTY NUTTY OVERNIGHT!

 

Valerie ripped the Holeshot!
Valerie ripped the Holeshot!

VALERIE WAS OUR STARTER – SHE WAS SO EXCITED TO GET GOING… THE MUD DIDN’T DISCOURAGE HER EITHER – THAT GIRL LIVES TO RIDE! WE MET HER ON THE LINE – HEIDI HELD HER BIKE WHILE SHE STOOD FACING IT – OUR COMPETITION THE SPUNKYDUNK DAMSELS WERE READY AS WELL… WHEN THE 10 SECOND COUNTDOWN BEGAN CHEERS OF ENCOURAGEMENT WERE HEARD FOR BOTH TEAMS – THE GREEN FLAG WAVED AND BOTH GIRLS SPRINTED TO THEIR BIKES – VALERIE KICKED HER 200 KTM FIRST AND WAS GONE… THE RACE WAS ON!

OUR PLAN WAS FOR EACH RACER TO DO 2 LAPS AND SWITCH… VALERIE WAS DOING SOME AWESOME TIMES – ABOUT 37 MINUTES PER LAP! WHEN SHE CAME IN FOR AMANDA TO TAKE OVER SHE WAS BEAMING, SHE LET US KNOW HOW SLICK IT WAS BUT – I THINK SHE COULD HAVE EASILY HANDLED

Valerie powering through the pines!
Valerie powering through the pines!

ANOTHER 2 LAPS. AMANDA TOOK OVER AND BOOGIED DOWN PIT ROAD ON HER KTM 300 AND THEN OFF INTO THE SLICKNESS SHE HANDLED 2 LAPS AND ONCE SHE RETURNED SHE TOLD US ABOUT HOW SHE HAD BEEN SO TEMPTED TO COME IN AFTER THE FIRST LAP…BUT SHE WANTED NO REGRETS

Amanda hammering the course!
Amanda hammering the course!

AND SHE WORKED THROUGH THE DEMONS AND DID THAT SECOND LAP! NEXT UP WAS HEIDI – SHE WAS A BIT NERVOUS BUT STAYED TO PLAN AND WENT OUT ON THE COURSE… SHE HAD AN EVENTFUL FIRST LAP AND DECIDED IT WOULD BE BEST TO BRING IT IN AND SAVE HER SELF BEFORE SHE WRECKED HERSELF… THE TRACK WAS GETTING PRETTY

Heidi with her husband and racer Kenny
Heidi with her husband and racer Kenny

ROUGH. SAMANTHA WAS ON DECK AND READY TO TAKE HER NEW HUQUVARNA 250EXCF TO THE RACE COURSE. THIS WOULD BE HER FIRST RACE ON THE FOUR STROKE AND SHE WAS VERY EAGER TO SEE HOW IT WOULD PREFORM. AFTER 1 LAP SHE ALSO CAME IN AND TOLD ME TO PREPARE MYSELF FOR THE TECHNICAL COURSE AND DON’T TRUST ANY OF THE ROOTS – THEY WOULD SURLY TAKE ME DOWN…  I WAS NERVOUS YET EAGER TO HAVE MY TIME. AS SOON AS I DROPPED INTO THE WOODS I WAS FEELING

Samantha letting me know - The roots will take you down!
Samantha letting me know – The roots will take you down!

GOOD AND GASSED IT BUT JUST AS SOON AS I DID THAT MY FRONT WHEEL PLOWED INTO A BREAKING BUMP AND I THOUGHT I’D BETTER CHILL OUT. THEN THE GRASSY FIELD SECTION THAT FOLLOWED WAS INSANE SLICK WITH TOPSOIL… OFF TO THE ROADS THAT AMANDA MENTIONED BEING SO SLICK HER BACK END KEPT TRYING TO COME AROUND ON HER. I MANAGED OKAY WITH THAT AND WAS ACTUALLY HAVING FUN EVEN ON THE TECHNICAL ROOTY SECTIONS AND LOVED THE INFAMOUS “MATRIX” – OF COURSE I HAD A COUPLE CLOSE CALLS BUT IT WASN’T UNTIL I CAME UPON A STEEP DOWNHILL THAT LEAD TO A RIGHTHAND TURN INTO THE CREEK THAT I REALLY STARTED

Marina stuck by her team and helped us with scoring and pictures.. simply whatever! She was awesome!
Marina stuck by her team and helped us with scoring and pictures.. simply whatever! She was awesome!

TO FOCUS ON THOUGHTS OF DOING THIS AT NIGHT. I WATCHED OTHER RACERS MAKE THEIR WAY DOWN THE HILL EVEN GOT TO WATCH LISSA ALDAKIMOV AS SHE SO SMOOTHLY MADE THE DECENT BUT I HAD JUST COME FROM A ROUGH SECTION OF INSANLY SLICK ROOTS, DEEP HOLES AND RUTS THAT WERE EXTREMELY CHALLENGING FOR ME AND HAD THIS EXCHANGE WITH A COURSE

Amanda's husband and pit-tootsie Ryan hooked up her Task lights for the upcoming night portion of the race.
Amanda’s husband and pit-tootsie Ryan hooked up her Task lights for the upcoming night portion of the race.

MARSHALL ON A 4 WHEELER… I RODE UP TO HIM PRIOR TO SETTING OFF TOWARDS A MUD HOLE AND SAID “MAN – THIS COURSE IS REALLY CRAZY FOR A 24 HOUR – I MEAN ITS REALLY SOMETHING NOW, I CAN’T IMAGINE WHAT IT WILL BE LIKE AT 3AM!” HIS RESPONSE “WELL THIS ISN’T FOR EVERYONE” MY RESPONSE “WELL YOU HAVE CLASSES FOR EVERYONE – SO IT SHOULD BE” OFF I WENT TO COMPLETE MY LAP WHICH TOOK 1:17…YIKES! I THOUGHT ABOUT TAKING ANOTHER LAP ESPECIALLY SINCE IT WAS STILL LIGHT OUT BUT I THOUGHT IT MADE MORE SENSE TO LET VALERIE GET BACK AT IT WITH HER SPEED AND ENTHUSIASM!… OUR ROTATION HAD SOME ADJUSTMENTS AS WE WENT TO ADAPT TO THE CONDITIONS – THINGS WERE MOVING ALONG PRETTY WELL.

Samantha after her night lap...
Samantha after her night lap…

ONCE THE EARLY MORNING HOURS OF NIGHT TIME HIT THINGS GOT SKETCHY. AMANDA WENT OUT AFTER VALERIE AND SAID IT WAS SLICK BUT SHE HAD A GREAT EXPERIENCE – SHE HAD THOUGHT OF CONTINUING TO RIDE ANOTHER LAP… HEIDI WENT OUT AND UNFORTUNATELY ON AN UPHILL HAD TO DEAL WITH TWO GUYS TAKING HER LINE AND KILLED HER DRIVE – SHE WAS IN AN AWKWARD POSITION AND THEN HURT HERSELF. AFTER THIS – HER THIRD LAP OF THE RACE SHE WAS UNABLE TO RETURN TO THE COURSE. SAMANTHA WENT OUT AND HAD QUITE AN EPIC EXPERIENCE – HER THROTTLE STUCK AND HER BIKE ENDED UPSIDE DOWN AFTER A FEW CRASHES AT AROUND MILE 6… IT WAS TREACHEROUS – SHE EVENTUALLY HAD TO GET ESCORTED OUT BY A MARSHALL. WE WERE ALL WORRIED AS SHE WAS OUT FOR NEARLY 3 HOURS! CRAZY… IT JUST SO HAPPENS THAT AT THAT SAME TIME ANOTHER SAMANTHA FROM THE PREMIERE TEAM WAS ALSO HAVING ISSUES AT MILE 9. WHILE SAMANTHA WAS OUT MY GUY HAD SEEN HER TWICE (ASKED IF SHE WAS OKAY AND WAS) AND WHEN HE MADE HIS WAY BACK KNOWING IT WAS MY TURN IN ROTATION HE LET SOMEONE KNOW NOT TO LET ME OUT ON THE COURSE.  I TOOK HIS ADVISE AND STAYED IN THE PITS. I BELIEVE VALERIE WENT FOR 2 LAPS FOLLOWED BY AMANDA THEN WE HAD A LAG – I WENT OUT IN THE AM AND HAD ABOUT A 2 HOUR LAP…JUST TRAIL RIDING – IT ACTUALLY GOT SLICKER AND WETTER AS THE MORNING WENT ON! WE THEN HAD VALERIE GO OUT FOR HER FINAL LAP AND TAKE THE CHECKERS FOR THE TEAM!

 

 

Valerie... If I had a $ for everytime she said "IT'S SOOO FUN!"
Valerie… If I had a $ for everytime she said “IT’S SOOO FUN!”FINAL LAP TAKING THE CHECKERS FOR THE TEAM!

WE ENDED UP 97TH OVERALL AND 1ST IN CLASS WITH 18 LAPS THAT WAS 11 LAPS AHEAD OF OUR COMPETITORS. LAST YEAR WE DID 26 LAPS… AND I COMPLAINED ABOUT THE DUST – BUT I HAVE TO SAY AFTER DEALING WITH THIS MUD AND TECHNICAL SECTIONS ON THIS YEARS COURSE – I’D TAKE THE DUST ANY DAY!

Silly String and the Checkers for Valerie!
Silly String and the Checkers for Valerie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

ON A PERSONAL NOTE…I MYSELF AM PRETTY BUMMED THAT I WAS UNABLE TO GET MORE QUALITY LAPS IN AND RIDE AT NIGHT…BUT ALL IN ALL OF COURSE IT WAS AN EXCELLENT EXPERIENCE AND I ENJOYED BEING ABLE TO SHARE IT WITH MY RIDING BUDDIES!

I MUST ADD HOW AWESOME IT WAS TO HAVE MARINA THERE IN THE PITS – KEEPING TRACK OF LAP TIMES AND TAKING PICTURES – SHE EVEN BROUGHT CHAMPAGNE FOR POST RACE CELEBRATION!

A BIG BONUS WAS OUR TEAM WON THE PIT DECORATION CONTEST – WE SCORED SOME SWEET FLY BACKPACKS!!!

Award Presentation! Team DBGA gets 1st in class!!!
Award Presentation!
Team DBGA gets 1st in class!!!

NANCY SABATER

 

 

SPECIAL THANKs TO OUR SPONSORS! fly racingRynoPower_NewLogo_Stacked-102INDUSTRY 13natures-bakery-logo

Task-RacingTrail Proslimited decal

 

Posted on

THE FACES of the 2017 DBGA NE24HR TEAM

2017 North East 24hr Dirt Bike Girl Adventures Team

It’s only 5 days away now… That once a year specialty race that we have been chatting endlessly about…

There is just something awesome about the entire process. Once the team is selected you form a type of sisterhood. With some of us this bond has already been solidified from past rides and even this past race… This year we bring on a new moto-ripper as well as finally getting to rip with a moto-lady that had to sit out the last two due to injury. We are also unfortunately down one of our wild-cards this year due to an unfortunate injury. However we are motivated and excited to get together to do our best and encourage each other in this test of physical and mechanical endurance. We are still a six woman team even if there will be only 10 wheels tackling the course instead of 12… Our abilities are all over the board yet always improving and this is part of what makes the team so fun!

We Have Many Layers Behind the helmet – We are women that come from totally different backgrounds – We like to ride dirt bikes yet we also like to be girly and goofy… We are smart – We are successful – We want to encourage girls and women to get out and ride… no matter your level – just take that step – and We LoVe to Have FUN! This is our Theme… FUN – Dirt Bike Girl Adventures Style!

Amanda Knapp
Amanda Knapp

AMANDA KNAPP – After reading a story in my American Motorcyclist Magazine that featured Amanda on the cover  for an article titled Changing Perspectives  – I learned that she was living in Maryland – I have always found it rather tough to meet people to ride with locally so I emailed her and invited her and her husband over to ride… This was one of the best connections I have ever made. I believe we have become great friends and they are the nicest people and awesome advocates for our sport. In 2015 I asked her to be a part of my DBGA team for the North East 24 hr race and she agreed – however she sustained a injury racing and couldn’t compete with the team – She showed her enthusiasm and grit though – as she came and supported us on crutches… She is just that type of person <3 Then in 2016 I thought for sure she would be able to join us – yet she still had issues from that original injury and just couldn’t join in the fun (sad-face :-( ) So this year will be the first year that my good friend Amanda will be able to put her wheels to the Tall Pines Dirt and go at it with us!!! So YES this is Exciting!!!

Heidi Hawkins
Heidi Hawkins

HEIDI HAWKINS – My riding buddy that never quits! Heidi is so full of energy… its insane – she can ride and ride and ride… Heidi attended a race at my property 5 years ago and ever since then we have had many fun adventures. We have ridden the roads on dualers as well and as she always says.. “Its An Adventure!” and yes it is! We have taken many spills and laughed our butts off trying to get it right… She is uber competitive and extremely tough. Another connection that I am blessed to have made and a testament to how incredible the sport of motorcycling is for all the neat people you meet.  Heidi Iron-woman’d the North East 24 hr in 2015 and Joined the team in 2016. We had a blast and her and I stayed up for the entire 24 hours last year holding down the fort so to speak in the pits. I know she has also done some big improvements in her riding this year so it will be awesome to see her clock off some laps!

 

Samantha Kilgore
Samantha Kilgore

SAMANTHA KILGORE – I met Samantha at a race – she likes to call “The Kenda” it was a Full Gas Sprint Enduro at Boyer Farm…lol We duked it out a bit – she was on a smaller bike and really needed to move up – she clearly was ready to spread her wings! Doing what you do when you meet a like-minded Dirt Bike Girl… You become Facebook Friends… And so it began – I asked her to be on the team for 2016 and she happily agreed! It was great getting to meet her and her guy – Samantha managed to find the one and only puddle at Tall Pines last year and took a dip in it!…. All good tho – we had a blast for sure. Since then we have had many ride day get-togethers! She corners like shes on rails…amazes me! I recently talked her into the Dual Sport life… which is just too awesome to be growing our “gang” we (Amanda, Heidi and Samantha) like to call “BIKES & BOMBSHELLS”… Samantha just recently returned from Costa Rica riding and she even did a nice write up and interview with some local women racers for the DBGA Blog… She is also very interested in getting others out on dirt bikes and spreading the Dirt Bike Girl Adventures word! Very Cool Indeed :-) I believe she may be leading our team in a Zumba warmup before the race at the pit… So Stop By! ……….

Valerie Horensky
Valerie Horensky

VALERIE HORENSKY – The newest member of our team I met at a GNCC Banquet… My dirt biking friend Dawn Silvia had told me about Valerie because she had recently moved to Maryland so I introduced myself and invited her to ride. Valerie is definitely competitive… she recently took my front wheel out at a “SLOW RACE”…yup…lol I’m glad we got to get to know each other here more recently and the opportunity presented itself to ask her if she’d be interested… I was thrilled she agreed to be part of our team for 2017 – I think shes really going to enjoy the course at Tall Pines and I’m looking forward to having her on the team!

FB_IMG_1496243849436MARINA GRUBB –  Marina was our WILD CARD… Last year I was searching for another teammate and Samantha had noticed a woman asking if there were any teams looking for another racer… It worked out perfect…especially since we had a member unable to make the race. Marina had never raced before and showed up on  a Honda 450! Yup… and she did really well… That’s why I call her our WILD CARD. She rode at night without issue… oh it was tough but she managed multiple laps as well as bringing the team in for the finish! I believe it was Kristina Zmuda and her that clocked our teams fastest laps. Marina was eager to race again with the team this year however she wrecked on her new KTM 250xc only a 2 weeks ago and broke her collarbone and sustained a concussion… We hope to see her for her team spirit and encouragement in the pits this weekend. Quick healing thoughts for Marina!

Nancy Sabater
Nancy Sabater

ME! – I can’t say it enough… I really look forward to this race every year and I hope to continue to contribute and be a part of it as long as I can. The process is a bit stressful at times but in the end it is so worth it for the awesome memories and friendships. I am super happy to have met so many wonderful people in motorcycling – the teams I have been a part of have always been a blast and I have always loved the diversity.

DBGA is about women riding dirt bikes, having fun, making memories, building friendships, growing the sport, trying your best, being your goofy fun loving self!

  • DBGA offers the woman in off-road motorcycling a place to voice their opinions about the sport as well as delivering interviews with dirt riding woman in all levels of off-road via Facebook and at DirtBikeGirlAdventures,com
  • In 2016 Dirt Bike Girl Adventures created “A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WMX RACER” to bring a young motocross racing inspired girl (Brooke Bowlin) a first hand look at how a Professional Woman Motocross Racer preps and goes about her race day (Mackenzie Tricker/Jessica Patterson) Even with the canceled race at Budds Creek – these ladies got together and had a great impact which is what it was all about – special thanks to Fly Racing for the swag as well!
  • Samantha Kilgore Represented Dirt Bike Girl Adventures at a Blue Ribbon Project – a group that tries to fight child abuse… and lets children know that they can do amazing things in life!
  • DBGA helped bring attention to the harms of Ethanol in our fuels at the AMA Fuel For Thought Rally in Washington D.C.
  • DBGA is part Of The Moto Patriot group bringing attention and fighting the Lead Law in 2011…

We collectively are doing great things… And just as the pictures above show… We have many sides and can have a positive impact!

Nancy Sabater (Team Captain)

Thank You To Our Sponsors!

TRAIL PROSTASK RACINGNATURES BAKERYFLY RACING LIMITED DECAL INDUSTRY 13RYNO POWER 

Posted on

Samantha’s Costa Rican Adventures!

Oh! The places you'll go...

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
Posted on

Samantha Kilgore’s Hangover Hare Scramble Race Report

Samantha Kilgore 2nd placeHangover Harescramble Adventures – The Longest Race of My Life

Written By: Samantha Kilgore

It’s the first race of my 3rd racing season, and the first time where my moto girls are going to be competing against one another, instead of on the same team.  Nervous doesn’t really describe the range of emotions I felt in the days and weeks leading up to this race, but it was definitely the most prominent.  First, it was snowed out.  Weather was unbearably cold, and conditions would have made even the toughest of tough cringe.  Postponing 1 week in Maryland is the difference of literally 40 degrees.  Crazy Maryland weather.  I found myself checking the weather obsessively, and even with the rain leading up to the event, the temperatures were staying in the “unseasonably nice” category, and for that, I am extremely grateful.

Now, this location is known for its epic mud.  I had raced there twice before, once in the extreme mud, and once in the extreme dry dust.  Neither of which I would consider “fun”.

Fast forward to the night before- I felt myself getting race day jitters starting around 8pm.  By mid-night, sleep was not really an option.  My wheels were turning, my mind was in race mode, and nothing seemed to ease it.  I got about 3.5 hours of sleep that night; coincidentally around the same amount that I would spend racing, ha!

The day of, I was tired.  Really tired.  We arrived at the track early to help Nancy and Billy with whatever they needed.  I think Nancy and I both needed a NAP!  The parking lot was a small glimpse in to the conditions for the day; a soupy, nasty, muddy mess.  I saw full size dually trucks getting stuck!

Womens Amateur LineDrop of the flag seemed to sneak up on me as I was one of the last riders to arrive at the line; funny because I was probably one of the last ones to take the checkered, too.  And the weather, OMG!  It was like someone hit a light switch and the temperature was perfectly comfortable.  No cold fingers or toes, not too hot, not too cold.  Just right!  Against my better judgment and past experiences, I popped my bike into gear, and turned it off waiting for the start.  Big mistake.  This bike is only temperamental with one thing: starting in gear when it’s not fully warm.  Flag drops, bike won’t start. Fabulous.  I know better.  Ugh.  Get it started after my girls have left and forgotten me behind.  The motocross track is a thick, muddy mess with bodies and bikes everywhere.  People are stopped waiting for others to pick up their yard sales on the track, and I think to myself “there’s no WAITING in racing!” Bye, Felicia!  I motor on by all these yahoos who are standing around like a bunch of patient little lambs waiting their turn.  Not today, suckers!  I must have passed nearly 30 people who were stopped, contemplating their life as racers.  I get up to the over under bridge and again, people are stopped waiting in line.  Ha! I’ll just go around these weirdos, too!  In the first few miles, I saw many crushed souls.  Bodies, bikes, helmets off, defeat in their eyes.  Whatever.  I’m a bad ass dirt bike chick. Can’t scare me away with a little mud and ruts!  I continue on, doing surprisingly well through some treacherous conditions that literally have grown men giving up.

I complete the first lap pretty much unscathed.  It was tough, no doubt, but nothing I couldn’t handle so long as I continued to pick smart, smooth lines.  I avoided the mud puddles that were swallowing riders and blowing up bikes.  If you look around, you’ll see a better line.  Take it!  Given my short stature, in sketchy situations I sometimes teeter on the bike, and it falls over.  Whatever.  Pick it up and soldier on.  I complete the second lap, and I’m a bit more tired, but I know that there are now less riders out on the track.  I’ll just ride my own ride and take that last lap at my leisurely pace.  The tiredness didn’t hit me til about mile 2 or 3.  I started noticing myself getting lazy, Final Lapdropping the bike more, and riding slower.  I was starting to have to dig deep for the endurance to commit to the final lap.  I was coming up a hill when I saw a rider who had given up, and was standing around, waiting for sweep riders.  In that moment of distraction, I dropped the bike on top of myself.  The guy starts chatting with me about his experience.  Hmm, not the best moment to strike up random conversation.  Do you NOT see the bike that outweighs me by double laying on top of me, and you want to chat about your race defeat??  I replied “I’m sorry you’re having a tough time.  Would you mind helping me get my bike off of me, now?”  LOL!  Poor guy was so delusional and tired, he didn’t notice my situation.  He helps me, I give him some words of encouragement, and off I go.  I get to about mile 5 and I’m starting to give up.  Will this lap EVER be done?  I come up on the sweep rider, who happens to be one of my moto girl’s hubby.  He gives me some encouraging words, and follows behind me, despite my tired whining.  Eventually, after a few more drops, and some rest stops, I take the checkered.  3 hours and 4 minutes.  What the hell?  3 hours?

I ended up with a hard earned 2nd place that day.  I can honestly say I gave it my everything.  Ultimately, I am most proud of how I performed emotionally.  In every race to date, I was fighting some major demons.  This race was different.   I went into it and completed it in a positive state of mind.  It was a major turning point in my riding adventures where I have become comfortable in my abilities, and can kick those demons in the throat, and actually enjoy my ride.  Looking forward to this year and the adventures it holds.

Adventurous Bunch!
Dirt Bike Girl Adventures Nancy Sabater, Heidi Hawkins, Amanda Knapp and Samantha Kilgore
Posted on

Samantha Kilgore – NE24 Race Report

Got Mud?

Dirt Bike Girl Adventures Northeast 24hr Team Member

IMG_1710-L
Photo Credit: T Ervin Photography

SAMANTHA KILGORE… (in her own words)

When Nancy asked us ladies to write something up for the DBGA page on our experience at the Kenda 24 North East Challenge I thought to myself, “where do I even begin in sifting through all of the emotions from this event?”  So, I’ll do my best to articulate my experience from start to finish.

I met Nancy at the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro in Romney, WV a few months ago. This was my first race of the season so I was pretty nervous. I was thrilled beyond words that other women were at this event, Nancy being one of the first to introduce herself and make me feel welcomed. To make our new friendship official, we did what any normal person these days does; find each other on Facebook.

Fast-forward about a month or so… I get a message from Nancy telling me about this 24 hour endurance team event in NY. My first thoughts were “is she SURE she wants me on this team?” and “I don’t want to slow these girls down”. She assured me that it was more about fun and less about winning so even though I had my reservations, I agreed.

Time to start training. I trained for this event as much as my schedule and this crazy Maryland weather allowed. If I wasn’t able to ride, I was in the gym working on endurance. Up until the race I was only able to get ONE night ride in, so that whole element was somewhat scary. Before I knew it, it was the week of the race and my nerves let me know it. Random bouts of nervousness kicked in probably early to mid-week, and would strike out of nowhere. My husband, who has been racing for years, was absolutely my rock. He wasn’t able to make the cut off for this race sign-up, so he graciously accepted his role as pit crew, manager, and trainer extraordinaire. He not only prepped my bike and rode with me to train, but drove the whole 6.5 hours to NY. We got to the track early evening, set up, and I went off to meet my team for quick meeting.

I knew Nancy and Kristina prior to this event, so it was my first time meeting Heidi and Marina. It seemed like we grew together as a team seamlessly. As corny as it sounds, it’s like we were meant to be one team because of how well we all instantly clicked. We chatted for a while before it was time to hit the sack and get some much needed rest in preparation for what we were about to embark on.

13710012_10100480949071067_572425891525229865_nMorning of the race: First, we could not have asked for a more beautiful weekend. Mid 70’s and sunny. NY was absolutely beautiful. We were all nervous, and I think that Marina and I both shared the same level of anxiety and “what the hell did we get ourselves into” feelings. Kristina, our ringer, race horse, power house, pinnacle of bad-assery jumped right in and took the start for our team and GOT THE HOLESHOT!  Our entire team stood by her in the lineup and cheered our butts off when she jumped ahead of everyone!

I was fourth in the lineup, and it became my turn. I talked to the others about conditions, any problems or issues, and just generally tried to keep my composure when my insides were performing Cirque du Soliel acts. When Nancy pitted, dusty but still smiling, it was my turn to rock and roll.  I was ready. I had been hydrating, took my Rynopower supplements, and I was ready. Now, I was warned about the dust and how it impacts visibility, but I’m not confident that any articulation of the conditions could adequately prepare me for the impending dust storm that I was getting myself (and my poor lungs) into. The first time I was passed I got a major reality check: this was not going to be an easy 24 hrs.

Holy dust, Batman! Take a big ole fist full of flour and toss it over your head. That’s about the same visibility as this epic dust bowl.  First lap went slow, but steady. I usually like ride cautiously the first lap so I can get a feel of the layout. Second lap I was noticeably faster. Picked up my speed significantly and was feeling great.  Now, I make this joke about riding that if there is even an ounce of mud on the trail, I’ll find it and fall in it.

Got Mud?
Got Mud?

I came out of the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro looking like swamp thing from falling in the only mud on the course, I even managed to fall during my practice in the mud. I’m just a mud magnet and I accept that. Well, this 24hr was no exception to that muddy, messy curse I have as a rider. 12 miles. 12 miles of beautiful trails and fields and there’s about a 5 foot stretch of mud that I managed to not so graciously swan dive into. Needless to say, my lovely teammates were well aware of my muddy tendencies, and had some good laughs when I made it back to the pits. Only this mud magnet can find a mud pit in otherwise desert conditions, and manage to take samples back to the pit with her. #mudbutt

The evening lap is when our true test of endurance and skill came into play. Due to the driest conditions known to man, even when you weren’t being passed, the particles looked like that of a snow storm when trying to navigate the trails. Heidi, Nancy, and myself all got one lap in each, and it was brutal. My experience in the night lap was one that tested my every fiber. It was rough. And scary. At one point, I got stuck in between two roots on a hill, bike sunken in past the foot pegs in a fluffy, silt-y hell. Luckily, I wasn’t stuck long before a generous Ironman, we will call him Rick, became my knight in dusty armor. Not only did he help a sister out, he made it his mission to stick with me until we completed the lap. Either he could sense my terror, or he was just lonely in his one-man team. Either way, I was thankful for the company and re-assurance. When I came in from my lap, my butt wasn’t the only thing bruised. Luckily my team picked up and continued on while I went back to the trailer and to mentally beat myself up, run through everything that had just happened over and over and over in my head, and try to figure out how to do it better next time. I tried to sleep, but between the bumps, bruises, sore muscles, and the images of the race I wasn’t able to get but maybe an hour or two.ne24a 205

I got back with my team a bit later after the sun came up and it was like the sun was rejuvenating everyone. Kristina was ripping out on the course and Nancy was doing pit boss thing managing both our team and her man’s team, running on zero sleep. Marina was chomping at the bit to get back out there, so as a team we cheered her on as she took the last 2 laps of the 24 hours. We managed to close the gap on the pro girls down to only 2 laps. How stinkin’ cool is that? 2 laps behind the pros? Hell yeah, DBGA! We put our custom shirts that Nancy made us (so cute), and went to the finish line and went crazy for Marina when she took the checkered!IMG_2843-L (1)

Overall, this experience exerted many different emotions, but the most prominent being pride. I am SO unbelievably proud to be a part of the DBGA team for this 24 hr event, and I honestly cannot thank Nancy enough for thinking to include me as a part of her team. This is one hell of a group of bad ass women!  I am so happy to have embarked on this journey with them, and will GLADLY join them for a little throttle therapy… In fact, we are all talking about getting together for rides and ride trips in the near future- this time we may include our husbands too!

It’s so awesome to be a part of this community and become advocates for women riders as it gains momentum in the industry. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for women in the sport!

Posted on

2016 Northeast 24hr Race Report

13690723_10100480949130947_7478879000965284039_n

Team DBGA put in a full 24hrs of racing and we Rocked It!

26 Laps = 312 Miles

Lap Count:

  • Kristina Zmuda    11
  • Heidi Hawkins       4
  • Nancy Sabater        4
  • Samantha Kilgore  3
  • Marina Grubb         4
Team Dirt Bike Girl Adventures secured second place at the 2016 Northeast 24hr Challenge Race
From left to right: Samantha Kilgore, Heidi Hawkins, Nancy Sabater, Marina Grubb and Kristina Zmuda ….Team Dirt Bike Girl Adventures secured second place at the 2016 Northeast 24hr Challenge Race!

It was definitely an amazing Adventure – the anticipation had been building for quite some time. It simply isn’t easy to find people to join a team for 24hrs of racing – its especially difficult to find women to do it.

While more and more women and girls are getting into motorcycling, it still isn’t the norm and in some cases if the other half isn’t on a team they may not be to amped up to spend the time and money… Luckily there are exceptions to this – as it was with our team of five ladies. Those better half’s that weren’t on their own team were more than helpful and supportive for ours. A breath of fresh air in a world saturated in testosterone.

Our team actually grew to six but unfortunately one of our teammates JJ, was unable to attend as the cards kept stacking up against her – making it more and more difficult for her to make it. Next year I am hopeful that the stars will align and she will be able to join the team – because I’ll tell you what – it truly was a blast!

13697062_10100480949220767_974082865520741227_nTeam DBGA went forward with us five… I have known my friend Heidi for a while now and was excited to finally have her on the team – yet I had only briefly met Samantha at a Full Gas Sprint Enduro and had never met Kristina or Marina. Samantha and I had been reaching out to countless ladies online and she hit the jackpot when she spoke to Kristina – Kristina is full bore – she is a lover of competition and an impressive ice racer as well as off-roader. I was worried she would be uber-competitive and get impatient with our team of novice riders however she seemed to enjoy us all as we did our very best to support our team. Marina was the wildcard – we had never met – only a few days before she had seen a post that I had put up about having a spot open on the team for another lady. Samantha’s husband Roman passed her info along and somehow we made the connection. Marina’s husband was on a team and she was planning to be at the race to support him however she really wanted to participate – They told her “You can’t – there aren’t any more spots open”… she didn’t let their words stop her and did her own searching and that’s how she found my post!  It was all fate – we all came together because of a love of riding dirt bikes and the excitement of being part of a team – getting to know one another and forming friendships…

The day of the race we set up our pits – Heidi’s husband Kenny was part of a duo team and was pitted to one side of 20160716_095542us and my mans 6 man sportsman team was on the other side – Kristina’s man joined my guys team so we had plenty of support around us which was perfect. Once we were set up we took plenty of pics – but we got down to business for the 10am start of the race. I asked Kristina to start for the team and wow she sure put it on! She nailed the hole-shot and disappeared in the dusty straightaway. We were going up against two teams the Frizzeltown Damsels and Sarah Baldwin’s team of experts (Ashley Copeland, Linzie Dente and Leeann Bange) So we knew this would be tough – but we never gave up and had the mindset of the Tortoise & the Hare. 

We concentrated on doing two laps a piece so we could try to stay fresh – Heidi was up second and had a great ride – myself up third – it was super dusty but a fun course then Samantha and Marina. We all did as much as we could and everything was clicking pretty well. Samantha happened to go down in the only mud section – we all were happy she was okay and joked with her as she had previously mentioned that she is a magnet for mud! Marina went out with her throaty 450 honda and also had pretty fast times even with a couple bobbles. When night came it was super difficult to see – the dust was insane in the day but at night it was almost unbearable – We all did our laps and just tried to get through as safe as possible. Heidi had her night ride as well as Samantha and Marina – I went out as well and nearly went over the bars when at mile 9 my bike was swallowed in a silt covered hole!… The NE24 crew rerouted the course when the heard how it was causing havoc out there.

13775453_933286716781708_4595768540808633212_nAs the early morning hours passed Heidi and I stayed up to make sure everything was going off without issue – at 4 am Kristina wanted to keep riding – she was having a blast so she did her laps then Heidi did one then Kristina did more then I went out – we switched around our lineup to where everyone was comfortable. You wouldn’t know it by the times – but my best lap was my last lap at 6am – I just had an absolute blast! Looking at my GoPro I was still being a typical slowpoke but its about how you feel and I felt great! Marina finished us out in the end – It would be her very first race and it just felt right to have her take the checkers for the team!

I tell you – this team just clicked! We had an amazing adventure – got along beautifully and took home 2nd place – 13775852_10100480947913387_1279140797520009777_nSarah’s team only edged us out by 2 laps!

So we’ll see what happens next year – there is talk from Kristina that she would like to Ironwoman next year and same with her guy Tim…whatever she decides this team will always support its past members and in the end its about building the ranks of female ridership and we are definitely doing it!

Our sport has some amazing women – I’m lucky that some of them were part of this years team!

*On a side note Heidi’s husbands team “Twist It” got 2nd in the Duo Sportsman class and My guys team “Trail Pros” finished 1st in Sportsman!13775430_10206002685898491_2254729035292338684_n

Thanks to KNC for the awesome work on this years t-shirts and Natures Bakery for hooking the team up with an amazing assortment of snack bars!… The Lemon is soooooo yummy!

Also – thanks to all those on the trail that played nice!

Nancy

Stay Tuned: More pictures to come!