Photo: Mike Kirkpatrick/CMI Photography
Abby, our etnies Girl of the Month, has been riding motocross for a full third of her life. The 15-year-old Montana native started riding when she was just 10 and racing when she was 11—after spending a couple of years trying to convince her parents even to let her get on a bike. Her tenacity paid off, and it shows every time she races. We caught up with Abby, who lives with her parents and 17-year-old brother, Bo, to chat about how she got into motocross, the best advice she’s received and why she always wears pink.
etnies Girl: What are your interests?
Abby: I’m interested in lots of things. I love to race motocross. I enjoy snowboarding, dancing, shopping and spending time with my family and friends. Another interest of mine is doing anything that will help me stay in condition for motocross. Oh yea! And probably my number one interest is boys…Duh!
etnies Girl: What are your talents?
Abby: I think that I’m pretty talented at racing my dirt bike. I am pretty stubborn when it comes to trying my hardest at things. Before racing motocross I danced competitively. I enjoyed that very much too, and was told that I was talented at it as well. I even plan on going back to dancing next winter after the motocross season is over. It is a great way to stay in shape.
etnies Girl: How did you get involved in motocross?
Abby: It’s a long story. When my brother was about 10 years old, he asked for a motorcycle for Christmas. My parents surprised him with an old Honda CT70. He was crazy on that thing; it was made to trail ride, but instead he was trying to jump it. So my parents had to buy him a different motorcycle to keep up with his skill level. I was dancing back then but I always wanted to be like my big brother. It took me two years to convince my dad to let me try riding a motorcycle. He didn’t want his little girl to get hurt. Then my mom got involved and told him that I had to be my own person and if they were willing to take the chance with my brother, why not let me try it too. They bought me my first motorcycle when I was 10. They didn’t think that it would last but once I got going, I couldn’t stop.
etnies Girl: What do you like about etnies Girl?
Abby: The thing that I like about etnies Girl is how much they support women in action sports. They portray them as strong and talented individuals. I also like to see what the current styles of clothes and shoes are. I love my etnies and am always looking forward to my next pair.
etnies Girl: Why are you an etnies Girl?
Abby: I think that I am an etnies Girl because no matter how many guys say that I am too girly and can’t possibly race motocross, I just keep on going and pushing myself to be the racer that I want to be. The comments and teasing that I get just keep me wanting to get faster so that I can beat them. I also think that I am an etnies Girl because I spend time making the younger girls feel comfortable. I tell them that when I first started riding motocross, my family nicknamed me the “Wheelie Queen.” My dad spent a lot of money replacing my rear fender because it was always broken!
etnies Girl: What do you do for fun?
Abby: I like to do lots of things for fun—although in the summertime I don’t have much spare time because I race nearly every weekend, and when I’m not racing I’m practicing. I also try and practice every night of the week between races. Living in Montana, we have snow a lot of months out of the year. Sometimes we plow the snow off the tracks just to get practice or sometimes even to race. When I’m not riding or racing, I like to hang out with my friends. We go to the lake and shop a lot.
etnies Girl: Where do you find inspiration?
Abby: I find inspiration in a lot of things. My friends and family inspire me to do well. I enjoy reading about other girls who race and hearing about how they started out just like me. The other thing that inspires me is having friends who are doing what I want to do someday and watching them on TV at the big races.
“I wear a lot of pink…because I want the boys to know that when I pass them, they just got passed by a girl.”
etnies Girl: What’s your biggest accomplishment?
Abby: My biggest accomplishment has got to be going to the starting line with 40 other girls who all want to win as badly as me. This year I went to Washougal, Wash., and raced at the Amateur National race. I raced in the Women’s A class, which is the class right below the Women’s Pro class. I ended up finishing fifteenth overall, only because I crashed in my first moto and came from last to finish thirteenth. I then went out and got tenth in my second moto for an overall finish of fifteenth. I also finished third overall in the Women’s Pro class in Montana’s High Country Motocross Association series.
etnies Girl: How did you get started racing and what do you like most about it?
Abby: I got my first bike when I was 10 years old and started racing when I was 11. My first bike was a RM85 and now I ride a 2006 CRF 250. I got started because I wanted to be just like my older brother, Bo. He’s always there for me, pushing and encouraging me to do better—I don’t know what I would do without him. My brother also has a great group of friends who have welcomed me, encouraged me and helped me to train to go faster. They all treat me like I’m their little sister and it’s fun having them watch over and protect me. The thing that I like about racing the most is how much time I get to spend with my family while I make my dream come true. I also like how everyone is one big family at the races; even when you go to amateur events that have over 3,000 racers, everyone still treats you like you’re their best friend.
etnies Girl: Do you see yourself as a role model for other girls in the sport?
Abby: I didn’t realize how much of a role model I was until I saw how much it helps the younger riders when I talk to them and give them words of encouragement. Their parents come up to me and thank me for spending the time with them. They also tell me never to quit racing and that I make a difference in their children’s lives. One thing that is unique about me is that I wear a lot of pink—I do this not only because it’s one of my favorite colors, but because I want the boys to know that when I pass them, they just got passed by a girl. One day I had a dad came up to me and tell me that I cost him a lot of money because now his little girl wants to have her bike and gear in pink just like mine! I always make it a point to go and watch the younger girls and cheer for them. It’s great to know that I’ve made a difference in their lives.
etnies Girl: What things have you learned through motocross that has helped you in your day-to-day life?
Abby: I know that one thing that I have learned is how to stick up for what I believe in and go for my dream! No matter what people say, I just use it as fuel to help make me go faster. I’ve also learned how important family is because I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today without my brother to push me, my dad to work on my bike and my mom to help me when I need a friend and someone to talk to.
etnies Girl: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Abby: I would have to say that the best advice that I’ve gotten has come from my mom. She tells me that the things that you have to work the hardest to get are usually the things that end up meaning the most to you in your life, and that just because things get difficult doesn’t mean you quit—you work through it because someday you will look back and realize that all of that hard work paid off in the end. She has always told me this because she believes that if you want a lot out of life you have to work hard for it.
etnies Girl: What’s really important to you?
Abby: Going pro is really important to me because it is the one thing that I want really badly. My grandpa was into racing cars and I guess that I just got it from him. He died a few years ago from cancer and never really got to see me race, but I know that he is in heaven watching over me and being my guardian angel.
etnies Girl: Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?
Abby: In addition to being a women’s pro motocross racer, I would like to be a model for action sports companies. I try hard to be an ambassador for the sport of women’s motocross, and I would like to help the sport grow as much as possible.
Abby’s Favorite Things
Place: “At home with my family.”
Animal: “My kitten, ‘Throttle.’”
Hangout: “Any place as long as I’m with my friends.”
City: San Francisco
Song: “Reflection” by Christina Aguilera
Album: The “Mulan” soundtrack
Band: Rascal Flatts
Book: “Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family and Fighting to Get Back on the Board” by Bethany Hamilton
Movie: “Tommy Boy”
TV show: “The OC”
Game: “Dance Dance Revolution”
Food: Elk Steak
Candy: Candy Canes
Guilty pleasure: Chocolate
Athlete: Ashley Fiolek
Hero: Grandpa Dutch
etnies Girl shoe: Callicut
Be an etnies Girl of the Month
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