Story By Lindsey Lovell | Photos By Connor Gustus
The girls ride day all came about when my friends, whom I go to off-road desert races with, wanted to plan a girls riding trip. We never get to ride together because our time at the off-road truck races are usually spent strapped into a 5-point harness or running the team’s communication centers. With the holiday season among us and many off-road races in the mix, I suggested we do a track day at Pala Raceway in San Diego, California. Most of my girlfriends live between San Diego and Orange County, so Pala was a nice location to meet at and the motocross park offers a few different tracks for beginner to professional level riders. I extended the invite to some of my industry friends and even some pro women riders.
There was a plus to having the get-together on December 15, Kelly Yancey would be teaching a special “Just The Girls” MX School for just $20! Kelly is a Seven-time AMA National Hare & Hound Champion, Three-time WORCS Champion, 1998 BITD 4-Stroke Expert Champion, 1998 AMA Sportsman of the Year and the Queen of Adelanto. With Kelly’s expertise and many of my friends having very little or no bike and/or track experience, we had the perfect formula. So together with Kelly, I worked on getting as many girls as we could out to ride the track.
When Saturday came the weather was not in corporation, of course. Early morning rain had scared away many of girls that had planned to attend. But not enough to take the fun away. We had about 12 girls total ranging from 8 years old to 30 years old who showed up to attend Kelly’s MX class. Kelly’s class went over the basic controls of a motorcycle, a few braking/cornering practices and other various drills to become more familiar with and comfortable on the bike. By the end of the class, many of the female riders had noticeable improved on their skills aboard a dirt bike. The girls were putting their legs out in corners, shifting, braking, using the clutch, etc. whereas before when they were just riding in one gear with no sense of brake and/or clutch control.
Throughout the day, the sky was partially cloudy, the sun was shining through and there was not a drop of rain. By the afternoon, the freshly prepped tracks dried out and the dirt was epic. Kelly decided to bring the girls together one last time before the day was over for a fun, team race. Each rider rode a lap before coming into high-five the next rider on her team. By the checkers, it was Team A that made it back first to take the win.
The girls who participated in the class also received a goodie bag that was put together by a few of the “Just The Girls” MX School sponsors. Kelly would like to thank Ian at ONE, Jenn at FMF, Dano at DVS, Rachel at IMS, Randy at GPR, Christy at KTM, Kirk at Pala, Lindsey at Dirt Rider, Connor Gustus for photos, hubby Iain and Riel LaFave for being a great sidekick with coaching demo’s.
Aside from the 12 riding school students, there were a few pro women riders who showed up to out to hang out and turn some laps. Riders included Trials Champion/EnduroCross rider Louise Forsley, 2012 MiniMotoSX Champion Tatum Sik, Meika Cornelius and Jackie Ives who recently returned from racing Geneva Supercross. We even spotted EnduroCross/X Games announcer Laurette Nicoll out there.
No matter what skill level, we all had a ton of fun riding together. We left the track at dusk, each of us grinning from ear to ear and talking about our next girls adventure to the track. After all, what beats a day at the track with good friends and your dirt bike?