By Sarah Whitmore
I just got back from another great weekend in Southern California. No, it wasn’t the sunny weather that made my trip so memorable, though that didn’t hurt, but the good times spent with even better people. I flew out the Friday before Anaheim 3 and met up with four of the Blustarr riders: Kelsy Abbott, Lindsey Palmer, Cady VanCura and Lecksi Winger (Ashley Jones is on board too but unfortunately missed the weekend due to illness). The first thing we did was sit down with team owner Lee Bowers and discuss the current state of women’s motocross. With such a diverse group, we all had different ideas and thoughts on where it is heading and what we can do to help it. Even though the age and experience level between riders may vary, the one thing that doesn’t is our desire to see our sport grow. I could tell right then that Lee picked the perfect team of girls.
We set off for Anaheim Supercross, ladies on a mission! We handed out stickers and talked to other girls about the ride at Milestone the following day. My favorite part was getting to meet and interview Taylor Mooney, the only little girl in a group of kids racing the KTM JR Challenge. Well spoken (she gave a better interview than I have seen adult pro riders give), adorable, and fast on a bike, this little girl and ones like her are the future of our sport. It’s our job to make sure the WMX is still around when she is old enough to race. There sure was a lot of noise coming from section 202 every time Taylor passed by.
At the end of the night we were able to sit down like any other five friends would do and watch an incredible race. And even though some of us only knew each other for the last twelve hours, we were already close friends. We talked a lot about this too, like how when the WMX just started everyone was friends and we all had to rely on each other for support to, from, at, and in-between the races. We all stuck together and hung out with like a big family. Somewhere along the line, though, it stopped having that family atmosphere. It’s like we were all fighting for our own slice of the pie, knowing there wasn’t enough to go around. Instead of a smile and a wave, we greeted each other with a scowl or just not at all. I know I could have tried harder but being one of the oldest in the class, most of my friends had already quit racing to go to school, get a job, or start a family. Instead of traveling together with a group of friends I was normally flying into a race all by myself. It just wasn’t the same.
But now things have changed again. We are no longer at the Nationals, a sideshow to the men. We have a new series and I think its important that everyone sticks together once again to ensure that it survives. That means being encouraging of each other and realizing that if someone has a bigger piece of the pie not to think of it as taking away from you, but looking at it as progress for the entire sport of women’s motocross. It can be hard to be a team player when I know personally one of my favorite things about motocross is that it is an individual sport. But I feel we are at a critical time here and we should all put our egos aside to make it work.
To me that’s what being a part of Blustarr is all about. I have known the owner, Lee, since he first sponsored me in 2001 and I can honestly say I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I didn’t without him. Blustarr isn’t just another apparel company trying to make money; they are about changing women’s motocross for the better. I think that was apparent when they sponsored the ride day at Milestone the day after Anaheim 3. For those of you who didn’t get to attend, it was a great event where every girl who came that day got to ride for free! They gave out free shirts to every girl, whether she was riding or not.They even had arranged lessons for five lucky ladies who wanted to learn how to ride, bikes included! There were six pro women on hand for autographs and pictures, but also to ride with and show someone just starting out exactly how fast women can go if you work hard enough. Vicki Golden even came out and hit the ramp and laid down some whips. Vicki hauls on the track too, but it was great to show the young girls watching that you can do just about anything on a bike that you can dream of, gender means nothing.
I personally had a great time, I made new friends with my teammates and also the other girls at the track. I can remember not so long ago going to the track and standing out because I was the only girl. That is a thing of the past, there were pony tails sticking out of helmets everywhere I looked. I can only hope that the change the WMX is facing this year doesn’t effect all the hard work we have all put in to get it to this point. A point where hopefully girls don’t feel so out of place at the track anymore, and they know they can have a future in riding a motorcycle. If thats something that you believe in too then join the Blustarr team, we are here to make a difference and we are here to stay!