Dainese North America Custom Works Tour 2018

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The Custom Works Tour Is Now Seamlessly Integrated With A Multi-Channel Experience That Begins With Their Online 3D Configurator

COSTA MESA, Calif. – September 28, 2018 - Dainese (www.dainese.com) the world leader of protective wear for dynamic sports, announces the 2018 USA tour of Custom Works, which provides fully-customized and made-to-measure motorcycle racing suits and jackets for race and street enthusiasts. https://customworks.dainese.com/

The Custom Works tour will visit USA cities where Dainese has partners with select retail stores. Through Custom Works, a master tailor will take measurements and walk the customer through the selection process of materials, color choices and the potential wish list of add-ons, logos, special numbers and other options to ultimately create their dream suit.

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The program, is now fully integrated with a multi-channel experience that begins online, with the 3D Configurator, and continues in the Store where the personalized garment is delivered to the Customer; an engaging process that combines the practicality of digital configuration with the craftsmanship of a unique, handmade product. Accessible via the website, the 3D configurator allows each motorcyclist to personalize his/her leather suit, jacket or pants in real time, with a simple, engaging and interactive digital experience. The customer can see a preview of the garment, change the colors of the various parts, select accessories (plates, sliders), and upload words and/or images that are immediately visible on the 3D garment. 

Once the design is complete, the customer saves the model and books an appointment during which sizes are taken. The purchase is then completed at a Certified Custom Works Center - a network of stores authorized and certified by Dainese to offer the Custom Works service. 

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The 25 anatomical measurements needed for the personalized garment are taken with the support of a specialized consultant. Special consideration is also given to the customer's specific needs and the expected use of the product. At the Store, customers can actually touch the technology, materials, finishes and accessories that give life to the most advanced leather suits.

Once complete, the measurements and customization specs are sent to Dainese’s production facilities, where each piece is hand-sewn by professionals, many of whom do custom sewing for Valentino Rossi suits. 

“We at Dainese always stress the critical importance of fit for optimal protection and safety. And we’re bringing that on the road through the Custom Works Tour, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get a completely made-to-measure, Dainese suit that’s fully customizable - literally every stitch is made for you,” said Roberto Sadowsky, Dainese North America Executive VP. “We are proud to bring this opportunity to riders across North America who are looking for the very best and trust Dainese’s heritage and craftsmanship to make it happen.”

Since its inception in 1972, Dainese has remained at the forefront of technical innovations in motorcycling gear, making racing leather suits for champions including Valentino Rossi, Giacomo Agostini, Eddie Lawson, Kenny Roberts, Sr., among many others. The company’s forward thinking and uncompromising design approach has brought protection advances including knee sliders, back protection, aerodynamic hump and D-Air® technology to the market for ultimate performance and safety.

Over 40 years of experience in the field culminated in this launch of the Custom Works program, which allows every client to get the perfect leathers of their dreams, made by the trained specialists of the leading manufacturer of protective motorcycle wear.

Custom Works North American Tour Dates & Locations

  • OCT 2 - 3 – RIDERS CHOICE - 2276 Dixie Rd, Mississauga, ON L4Y 1Z4, Canada

  • OCT 4 – 613 MOTORSPORTS - 1456 Cyrville Rd, Gloucester, ON K1B 3L9, Canada

  • OCT 5 - 6 – NADON SPORTS - 645 Rue Dubois, Saint-Eustache, QC J7P 3W1, Canada

  • OCT 12 - 13 - DUCATI AUSTIN - 3232, 812 E Braker Ln, Austin, TX 78753

  • OCT 15 DAINESE CHICAGO 1216 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60610

  • OCT 16 - 17 BATTLEY CYCLES DC 4147, 7830 Airpark Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20879 

  • OCT 18 - 19 DUCATI BOSTON 83 Mystic Ave, Medford, MA 02155 

  • OCT 20 - 21 DUCATI DETROIT 33828 Woodward Ave, Birmingham, MI 48009

  • OCT 23 - 24 DAINESE NYC 140 6th Ave, New York, NY 10013

  • NOV 3 - 4 DAINESE ORLANDO 100 W Livingston St, Orlando, FL 32801 

  • NOV 6 – 7 DAINESE LA 1418 Lincoln Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90401

  • NOV 8     DAINESE SF 131 S Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94103

  • NOV 9-10 MOTOCORSA PORTLAND 2170 NW Wilson St, Portland, OR 97210

  • NOV 11 – 12 PACIFIC MOTORSPORTS 21000 Westminster Hwy #2120, Richmond, BC V6V 2S9

Are You a New-ish Woman Rider?

 Me in 2006, on my first bike, a 2003 Ninja 250.

Me in 2006, on my first bike, a 2003 Ninja 250.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24TH AT 730PM EAST / 430PM WEST (1 hour)

Of course everyone (all genders, riding lifestyles) are invited, but I want to extend a personal invitation to any of the new-er, new-ish, or re-entering women out there who have questions/concerns/issues that you'd like to discuss!

I’ll be hosting a Live QnA on my Facebook Page: facebook.com/gearchic

And you don’t even have to log into Facebook to view it! But you do have to log in to participate in the chat. However, if you have any topics or questions you want me to try and answer then please post a comment in this thread and I will add it to my list.

You can also post a comment/question in the Facebook Event here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1533720013394169/

So far I received the following suggested topic to discuss:

  • While discussing bike choices for beginners... Can we also touch on what is a sensible next step. I have the cb500f and I'm looking for more power. How much is too much of a next step. (kind of stuck on the Monster... 797 vs 821). I have 2 seasons under my belt, but I don't want to get another bike just to have to upgrade by the end of next season.

I’ll also cover a few of my recommendations for how to choose your bike, especially when you're this tall: | :D

Hope to see you online then.

Getting Muc'd Off

 Cleaning supplies from the  Muc Off G ods!

Cleaning supplies from the Muc Off Gods!

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At the Women's Sportbike Rally West in July, we had a really great workshop with the owner of Motorcycle Service Centers, LLC in Camarillo, CA. (an excellent metric or harley shop in the Ventura County Area The topic was "How Not to Get Ripped Off by a Motorcycle Shop". It was one of the most informative workshops I've ever attended. Thanks Will!

His main message was "Care and Feeding of your Best Friend" :D How many of us think of our motorcycles as family members? LOL. I know I do. (we are childless so for us it's furry kids and moto kids). His very first tip (out of 5) was to Keep Your Bike Clean, and here's why: 

Nothing tells a shop that you are knowledgeable and actually care about your bike like showing up with a bike that is clean. Clean wheels, clean bodywork, a windscreen you can see through, no covering of dirt and grime. Every shop respects a person that invests just that little bit of time you need to make that happen. Just an hour a week! - Will Kenefick, MC Service Centers, LLC

If you're new to riding and aren't quite sure about things, getting to know your ride up close is important. I am so lazy when it comes to cleaning Goldie and keeping her nice and shiny.

But I'm hoping with this awesome care package from MucOff, it'll help me keep Goldie looking like she's 2012 again. 

I got a thorough list of goodies including:

  • Chain lube (wet and dry)
  • Degreaser (always an important first step before lubrication)
  • Motorcycle Protectant
  • Nanotech Motorcycle Cleaner
  • Matte Finish Detailer
  • Chain Brush
  • Soft Washing Brushes, Microfiber Cloth and Chain Cleaning Brushes
  • Antifog spray and Goggle/Lens Cleaner
  • FoamFresh Helmet Liner and Textile Cleaner

Now I have ZERO excuses for not keeping everything looking pristine. See how disgusting my wheels look? See that awesome clean patch? Normally I use Simple Green to wipe down my wheels but I thought I would give their "Motorcycle Protectant" a try; its like the 409 of motorcycle cleaners. One spray, and then one wipe and it perfectly removed my brake dust. LOVE it. 

I'll admit I haven't used the entire kit yet, but I can't wait until it's not 1,000 degrees anymore so I can sit in my garage without melting to give her a long overdue wash. I'm on my way to the Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge near Deals Gap, NC for the Women's Sportbike Rally so I hope the rain doesn't stick around too much so I can give Goldie a good top to bottom scrub. 

But at home, I don't have a hose hookup so using some of these products is really helpful (meh, condos). With just the Protectant I can clean her up top to bottom in a pinch.  If you do want to give your bike a full wash, they offer a Nano Tech Bike Wash (instead of say, dish soap).  

 Sprayyyyy, Washhhhhh, Rinseeeeee 

Sprayyyyy, Washhhhhh, Rinseeeeee 

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One of my other favorites is the Foam Fresh.

I like to clean my helmet liners every month or so during peak sweaty, humid, hot riding seasons. The Foam Fresh is perfect for that.  Did I mention how much I love Citrus Scents? 

Normally you can hand wash your liners but I am #lazy so I'd rather take them out, then spray and wipe clean to air dry. 

These are just a few of my favorites from their collection I'm excited to use. 

Looking forward to testing everything out, check my Instagram feed for photos and updates in the coming months. 

Shiny Side Up! 

 

 

How Confidence Affects Women and Motorcycling

 Me, feeling supremely confident on my '12 Street Triple R. But it wasn't always that way.

Me, feeling supremely confident on my '12 Street Triple R. But it wasn't always that way.

Learning to ride a motorcycle is certainly about confidence. The majority of mine came from learning to ride the right bikes and increasing my skillset dramatically from bike to bike.

But there was always a small chunk of it that came from me telling myself that I could and "eff it". If something happens, I'll deal with it or call for help or whatever. I'm not going to be afraid of it anymore.

But keep in mind, that absolutely has to be within reason like when I decided to take the Ninja 250 to work instead of my scooter. I just went the 40 minute route to work (avoiding busy thoroughfares like Van Ness Avenue and Steep ass hills like Gough Street). I had already been commuting on my scooter to work for a year. This wasn't a huge jump from what I had already been doing. It was totally realistic given my experience and what I had been doing previously.

 Me in 2006 on my first "long" ride outside of San Francisco to Half Moon Bay, a whopping 50 minutes one way!

Me in 2006 on my first "long" ride outside of San Francisco to Half Moon Bay, a whopping 50 minutes one way!

This article says what I've witnessed and experienced personally in my 15 years of riding and helping other women learn to ride and talking to them about riding. And certainly my work life too. Why aren't we as confident from the get go? What is it about many of us (not all, I know, but more than most I'm sure) that holds us back from succeeding other than some of the most common mistakes new riders make ?

When all of our ducks are in a row, we still feel like we don't deserve it or are that good. I still feel like I'm terrible at riding at times. I'm terrible at nailing my lines every time I go riding, I'm terrible at braking. I'm terrible at cornering. I mean, okay I'm not horrific in that I crash every time I ride, but when I do go out I'm constantly critiquing myself and trying to figure out what I could've done better to take that particular corner better/faster/smoother. Is that just a regular aspect of riding? I'm guessing many of my male readers are going to argue that "of course, I think that too".

But how many of you think that way in your everyday life as many women have experienced per this article?

Riding as many of us know is 90% mental, 10% physical (that's why YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE ABLE TO PICK UP YOUR MOTORCYCLE to ride it).

I recently joined this cool interactive panel of my fellow women riders about how we got into riding and some of the barriers we ran into along the way. There are some really great tips and advice here that I think many of you can relate to:

https://www.cake.co/conversations/HKn99Mb/a-panel-of-women-who-motorcycle-what-it-s-like-in-a-sport-with-a-bad-boy-vibe

So if something is holding you back, what do you think that is?

Finding A Dream Jacket

 Lynn and Her Husband :D

Lynn and Her Husband :D

Last month, I attended the 13th Annual Women's Sportbike Rally. You can find our Event Photos from the West Rally here

As some of you may know, I'm also the Marketing Manager for both events on the West Coast and East Coast. This year's West Coast Rally was in Camarillo, CA. 

I met Lynn at check in on Friday night. We chatted about riding gear and how she is having trouble because her body has changed quite a bit and she's been wearing a men's jacket because it's all she could find in her local shops. 

The bottom line is, many women will have to shop online because all the options will NEVER be available to you in a local store. Even in the RevZilla Philly Showroom, I'm unable to stock half the options available because I'm limited to the floor space that I'm given. But for women like Lynn who may need larger, curvier sizes it's even more challenging. Women's motorcycle jackets in larger sizes can be extremely challenging. 

 Lynn, on the Left in her men's Scorpion jacket :( 

Lynn, on the Left in her men's Scorpion jacket :( 

But I was so happy to show her a couple things that I thought would give her the best options given her riding style and budget. 

Lynn's body type really needed a jacket that was generously fitted through the bust and especially the waist. A fit that you can't find in men's jackets because the hip spaces are nonexistent in most men's jackets. She was also of smaller stature, ~5'5" too which also makes things hard. So I suggested this new Olympia Eve Jacket (just introduced this Spring). 

 Olympia Eve, MSRP $179.99. Features a full, removable rain jacket liner that can be worn inside OR outside. Yep, you read that right. 

Olympia Eve, MSRP $179.99. Features a full, removable rain jacket liner that can be worn inside OR outside. Yep, you read that right. 

I don't want to make Lynn's measurements public unless she gives me permission, but I can tell you that they are very very full. And she wouldn't fit a XL in most jackets. But in this one, she's an XL. And that's because of how generously cut this jacket is for women. I didn't have anything with me except a measuring tape so I measured her up and gave her my best recommendation. 

At the price, you get not only a removable rain jacket that can be worn on the outside, but a fully ventilated, mesh jacket for the hottest riding days. The jacket also comes with really good soft CE Certified Armor (Level 2) in the shoulders, elbows and back. It's an incredible value for $179.99. And the best part is how well it fits. 

I was so happy that I literally cried (felt a bit like an idiot standing there crying over a jacket).

But, in my defense, I didn’t think I’d ever have a women’s jacket until I lost all of the weight from my health issues.

It’s silly really, but I feel so much more confident, and so much less like a lop. - Lynn

I'm so happy for you Lynn!! You look amazing in your new jacket! 

And thank you Olympia Motosports for providing curvy, generous options for American Women! You can find additional women's jackets and pants from Olympia via revzilla.com

If you're like Lynn and you need help, I hope you'll post a comment here, or message me on social media (@gearchic everywhere). I'm dying to help. 

First Lady Ana Carrasco

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I recently saw this post on Facebook from a gentleman by the name of Stuart Baker. He prefaced this post with the following text:

Since no magazine or website wants to publish this feature I've decided to forego my usual fee and publish it on here myself because I believe this woman deserves recognition for what she's achieving. Please share this post freely and perhaps, between us, we can reach a wider audience than a closed-minded magazine would anyway. -Stuart Barker

Since I totally agreed with him, I asked him if I could reproduce this article on my lowly website which makes absolutely no money but hopefully reaches a wide, female audience. I hope you enjoy his article as much as I did. GO ANA.

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August 8, 2018

First Lady Ana Carrasco

Words By: Stuart Barker, Photos By: Mdan Katana

She's 21-years-old, stands five-foot-one, and weighs eight stone, wringing wet. But don't let that fool you. Ana Carrasco is one tough little Spaniard. She's the first woman in the 100-years-plus history of the sport to lead a motorcycle road racing world championship. She was also the first woman to set pole position and the first to win a race and, with just two rounds remaining of the World Supersport 300 Championship, she has a healthy 16-point lead – against an entire field of men.

Oh, and she's also half way through a four-year law degree and trains six hours every day. Are you starting to feel a bit inadequate? You should be. Meet Ana Carrasco – the fastest female motorcycle racer of all time.

Women have not always been welcomed in the sport of motorcycle road racing. Original regulations laid down by the FIM (Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme) in the early days of racing dictated that competitors must be ‘male persons between 18 and 55 years of age.’ This ruling didn’t apply to Sidecar racing so in 1954 the intrepid German, Inge Stoll-Laforge, caused a sensation by entering the Isle of Man TT – the biggest motorcycle race in the world at the time. She finished in a highly credible 5th position but was tragically killed four years later in a crash at the Czech Grand Prix. 

By 1962 the FIM had changed its rules and allowed women to race so Beryl Swain became the first female solo rider at the TT, finishing 22nd in the 50cc race before the FIM did an about-turn and banned women again in 1963. 

Despite this historical backdrop of rampant sexism, a handful of brave, determined women have persisted in blazing a trail for female riders in one of the world’s most dangerous sports. Riders like Maria Costello have scored podiums at the Manx Grand Prix (the ‘amateur’ TT) and Carolynn Sells became the first woman to win a Manx in 2009 while Jenny Tinmouth (the fastest woman ever at the TT with an average lap speed of 119.94mph) recently became the first female rider to compete in the prestigious British Superbike Championship. Germany’s Katja Poensgen won the Supermono Championship in 1998 and women have even scored points in the Grand Prix world championships, the first being Taru Rinne with a seventh-place finish at Hockenheim in 1989. But while convalescing from a crash shortly afterwards, the Finn received a letter from Bernie Ecclestone (who, at the time had a heavy, but thankfully short-lived, involvement in motorcycle racing) informing her that she was ‘not qualified’ to compete the following season. 

Clearly, nothing had changed. Despite occasional outstanding performances by women in the male-dominated sport of motorcycle racing, by the start of the 2017 season no female had won a world championship race - perhaps unsurprisingly given the additional barriers they faced. 
But that all changed at Portimao in Portugal on Sunday, September 17, 2017 when a 20-year-old Spanish rider called Ana Carrasco came out on top in an epic drag race to the finish line in the World Supersport 300 Championship race. In doing so, she became the first woman in history to win a motorcycle road racing world championship race. And while the significance of the moment wasn’t exactly lost on Carrasco, she thinks like a racer first, and a woman second. ‘At the time I was not thinking about the significance of this’ she says.

‘I always just try to ride as hard as I can and try to achieve results – I don't think about being a woman. So, in that moment I was just happy because I'd won the race but after some days I start to realise what I had achieved. It's important that a woman can be fighting for the victory in the world championship because it's good for other girls to see that this is possible.’

After finishing the 2017 season in eighth place overall, Carrasco came out of the traps ready for a proper fight in 2018, setting pole position at Imola, winning the race, and taking the lead in the world championship. After another win at Donington Park in England, Carrasco now has a 16-point lead with just two rounds of the championship remaining. This makes her the first woman ever to lead a motorcycle racing world championship. 

 Ana, Kicking Ass and Taking Names

Ana, Kicking Ass and Taking Names

It seems an incredibly young age for anyone – male of female – to be leading a world championship but Carrasco was practically born into the saddle.

‘I started riding when I was three years old because my family was always involved in the motorcycle world’ she says. ‘My father was a race mechanic since before I was born so when I was three I started riding my big sister's minimoto because she wasn't interested in it. So that was a good thing for me!’

Standing at just 5”1 and weighing eight stone-three (52kg) wringing wet, Carrasco cuts a diminutive figure in the racing paddock. Her slight frame would normally give her an advantage under acceleration but constantly-changing rules in the fledgling WSS300 championship (which is only in its second year) mean that even this advantage has been removed: because she is so light, Carrasco is forced to carry a weight penalty on her Kawasaki Ninja 400 race bike.

‘I now have to carry a 13kg weight penalty so I think it's actually worse to be small’ she says. ‘I have to move more kilos than the other riders through the corners and yet the overall weight of rider and bike is the same (because of the combined bike-and-rider minimum weight rule) so I don't have any advantage on acceleration.
‘The rules change every race so sometimes we have a good bike and sometimes no. It’s difficult for us to work like this because every Thursday of a race weekend they say “Okay, now you have to change this” or “Now you have to change that.” It’s difficult for the team and it’s also difficult for me to ride fast like this because every race I have a different bike. I hope for next year the rules will be more stable because I like to win, always, and with all these changes it’s not always possible to win. At the moment, Kawasaki is not always on the top because the rules are helping the Yamahas to be at the same level. But we just have to work within the rules Dorna gives us and finish the championship the best we can.’

Carrasco at least has a competitive bike and team for the 2018 season, which is something of a novelty after battling for years with uncompetitive and poorly-funded rides in various Spanish championships and even, for a few years, in the Moto3 World Championship that runs alongside MotoGP – the Formula 1 of motorcycle racing.

‘Yes, for me it's really good because in the past years I was struggling a lot because I wanted to be at the top but it was impossible with the bikes that I had. Now it is really good and I'm really happy with my team and with my bike and Kawasaki is helping me a lot so now I don't want to change my team because I feel so comfortable. I want to win, so I will stay in the place where I can fight for the victory.’

The World Supersport 300 Championship which Ana currently leads is a support series to the World Superbike Championship, meaning the young Spaniard has operated out of the two biggest paddocks in world motorcycle racing. So how do they compare in their attitudes towards women?

‘The people in the WSB paddock are more friendly and more relaxed’ Carrasco says. ‘You can speak with everybody. In the MotoGP paddock there's a lot more pressure so the riders have to always be thinking only about riding and they cannot do anything else. So, yes, the paddocks are different but I like both. I didn't notice any difference between the paddocks in their attitudes towards female riders. My job is the same and the people are good with me, always. But in the World Supersport 300 Championship it was more easy for me to find a good team and a good bike so that I can be fighting at the top. In the past it has been really difficult for me because I never had the equipment I needed to be fighting for the victory.’

Like every motorcycle racer, Ana Carrasco needs to have the mental capacity to accept the inherent dangers of her chosen sport and the ability to endure the pain caused by regular injuries. Although safety measures have improved radically over the last 30-odd years, people still die in this sport. Yet it’s clearly not a fact that Carrasco loses much sleep over.

'I broke my elbow in 2007 and I broke my collarbone in 2015 and also my shoulder. I’m okay with pain – I can handle it. I can ride with pain and don’t feel it so much. I’ve had some difficult injuries but I don’t worry too much about it. I know it’s a dangerous sport but many things are dangerous so we have to try and take part in all sports with as many safety measures as we can. We have to respect the dangers and just try to remain safe and do our job. For my mother it’s more difficult! I think this sport is difficult for all the mothers to watch!’

And before you think these are the words of a crazy and irresponsible young kid, consider this: when she’s not traveling the globe fighting for a world championship, Ana Carrasco is studying for a law degree. Half way through a four-year course, the girl from Cehegin in the Murcia region of south-east Spain must balance adrenalin with diligence and solitude in equal measure.

‘It’s difficult to do both things because I spend so much time away from home but now I’m in a sports university where many Olympic athletes study so they give me the possibility to change the dates of my exams if I am racing. So I try to work out my study and exams calendar according to the racing calendar. It’s a four-year course and I am in my second year now. I don’t know for sure if I will be a lawyer after racing but this is my Plan B! I want to be a racer and be riding for many years but, if not, then at least I have another plan to be a normal person and to have a job and a family and everything.’


Perhaps even more impressive – and certainly testimony to her determination and will to win – Carrasco also maintains a brutal training regime that would qualify as a full-time job in itself.

‘I train around six hours every day’ she says. ‘I go to the gym for about three or four hours and then ride dirt bikes for another few hours.’

It’s this kind of commitment that sees Carrasco regularly beating an entire field full of men and her reward is the sheer satisfaction that generates.

‘Yes, for me it’s good!’ she laughs. ‘This is a motivation to show the people that women can do the same. This is what I want – I want to win in a world championship so I can show that I can beat the best riders in the world in that class. So, I want to be always better and better and better and to arrive at the top.’
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It’s perhaps not easy for every male psyche to handle being beaten by a woman (in the past, they’ve also had to accept Carrasco’s own take on the brolly dolly – she had her own umbrella fella on the grid!) especially in a sport that has for so long been male-dominated. So how do her rivals treat her? Does she get the respect she deserves or does she get shunned by bitter, defeated rivals? ‘For sure they respect me because if you are fast, everybody respects you! I’ve shown them that I can win races and fight for the championship so I think everybody respects me now.’

Testosterone is not always a man’s best friend. Often it can lead to rash decisions out on track and crazy do-or-die lunges that have little chance of working and every chance of ending in crashes and broken bones. In the sport, this kind of aggression is known as ‘red mist’ and it’s the one area where Carrasco thinks female riders may actually have a slight advantage over the men.

‘Sometimes it helps to be a woman, yes. Women think more when they are on the bike! The men are more brave but they sometimes make dangerous moves without thinking and sometimes this is not so good! I think in my case I have a slight advantage here because I always stay calm and think a lot about what I have to do out on the race track.’

Female motorcycle racers are no longer a complete novelty but they’re still very much in the minority (there are none at all, for example, in the world’s two biggest motorcycle championships – MotoGP and World Superbikes) although Carrasco believes it’s getting easier for women to be involved.

‘Every year it gets a bit more easy. It's difficult for a young female rider to see how they can arrive in a world championship if they never see any other girls doing it. So if you are the first girl to do it then it's more difficult but once you can see that other girls are doing it then you can think “Why not? Why can't I do the same?” So, for the girls, it's important that I'm doing a good job in the world championship.
‘I think women can do the same as men in this sport. We are all just riders and we can all do the same thing. But it’s more difficult for women to find a good opportunity – a good team and a good bike. It’s more difficult for people to believe that we can win so we have many problems in getting access to competitive equipment to be fighting at the top. In this sport, if you do not have a good bike then you cannot fight to win.’

As to the future, Carrasco already has some options on the table due to her incredible performances this year. But for now, she’s concentrating on the job in hand.

‘I want to continue with Kawasaki because I am very happy with them and they are supporting me to be at the top. I would also like to continue with my team. But it will depend on what we achieve this year. I have some offers from the Moto3 World Championship and also from World Supersport 600 and World Supersport 300 teams. At the moment, I don’t know. I think around September time we will start to look more closely at next year but at the moment I just want to think about the championship.’

There are two rounds remaining of the World Supersport 300 Championship – at Portimao, Portugal, on September 16, and at Magny-Cours, France, on September 30. Carrasco has a healthy 16-point lead over Germany’s Luca Grunwald but with 25 points available for each race win, it’s still all to play for. One crash or mechanical breakdown could change everything, but Carrasco is confident.

‘We have a good opportunity, we are in a good position in the championship, so I want to try to win at Portimao because I like this place. The circuit is good for me, so I would like to finish on the podium and win the championship there. But if not, then we will wait and try again in Magny-Cours. For sure we have a good opportunity and we are in the best position to win the championship.’

The sport of motorcycle road racing has been around for well over 100 years but no woman has ever come this close to lifting a world title.

So what would it mean to the petite, highly intelligent, and multi-lingual Spaniard if she could put an end to all that and finally prove beyond all doubt that women have a genuine place in motorcycle racing?

‘For me it would be a dream come true because, for my whole life, my dream is to be world champion and this year I have the opportunity so I want to give my best to try to win.’

*****

I hope you enjoyed her interview as much as I did. Please take a minute and visit her social feeds to support her and share this story with everyone you know!

https://www.facebook.com/anacarrasco22/

https://www.instagram.com/anacarrasco_22/?hl=en

www.motogp.com/en/riders/ana+carrasc

Short Riding Tips Series

 Me, on my toes at the 2018 Women's Sportbike Rally West

Me, on my toes at the 2018 Women's Sportbike Rally West

After a few weeks of traveling, I'm finally back in Philly. First I went to the Women's Sportbike Rally in Camarillo (July 13-15). That's where I got to ride Goldie's Twin again (above). Isn't she beautiful?

Take a look at the Event Recap Photos to see what you might have missed.  

I've created a new playlist on my Youtube channel which will include my best tips for short riders. Most recently I uploaded a video on how I park my bike. And why most of the time, I choose to jump off my bike to park it and how I do it quickly and safely. I hope you'll subscribe. 

Riding with CLASS Motorcycle School

In April of 2018, I had the pleasure of doing a track day with CLASS Motorcycle School founded by retired roadracer Reg Pridmore and his wife Gigi. They run an excellent motorcycle school program based in Southern California. I had read about this school a few years ago and purely based on the description of their courses I knew I wanted to ride with them someday. I appreciate a school that focuses on fun, skill development and riding techniques.

What you might be wondering is what kind of motorcycle school? Track? Street? Advanced? Racing? Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes.

 “Still the friendliest and safest place to learn the riding skills we all need” -CLASS Motorcycle School
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So I jumped at the chance when I read that Gigi was putting together an (click here for photos) ALL LADIES track day program. They were going to host it at the Streets of Willow Raceway (“SWR”) right next to the famous Willow Springs Int’l Motorcycle Motorsports Park. The SWR is a smaller, bumpier, more street like track that emulates riding through your favorite canyon/mountain roads; imperfectly paved, bumps, hops, no clear white lines. It gives you more of a real world experience so when you get back onto the streets you’ll have a stronger strategy when you get to your favorite twisty one lane road.

I haven’t done an All Ladies track day in over 5 years so I decided to fly in and met up with my amazing friend. I booked a room at the Holiday Inn Express nearby in Lancaster and stayed there for the couple of nights I was in town with my friend Brittany.

It’s always fun to ride on the track with your friends, but even if you don’t know anyone a track day is the place where everyone loves riding as much as you do (sometimes more).

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I knew I wouldn’t be able to take Goldie with me (my Street Triple) so I rented one of their beautiful Honda CB500R’s.It was a fully stock bike, and the preload was probably set at the lowest point. I didn’t even think that it might be a possibility to raise the preload on this and wish I had thought of it. The bike is pretty low for a sporty and I ended up scraping the footpegs a few times :) But I had a great time on it overall.

Because this was a special All Ladies Day, we only had 2 riding groups: A (advanced) and B (novice). There wasn’t a need for a middle level group. Normally at an open track day you get a third group as an intermediate level.

I rode in the A group and I thought the group of women I rode with were awesome. Everyone was there to have fun, ride better and just have fun. There’s a different vibe when you ride with all women, it’s just different. I can’t say it’s better or worse because it’s a different experience. If you aren’t familiar with track days then riding your first one in a Ladies only group can feel much easier, less intimidating and more comfortable. Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of options for women’s only track days, and but they do come up every now and then.  

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After you check in to let them know you’re there and ready to attend class, it’s time for bike inspection. Since I was riding their bike, I didn’t have to do anything. But you typically need to let their mechanic take a look at your bike and make sure it’s safe and ready to ride on the track.

Depending on the school, they will have different requirements. With CLASS, they really just required basic safety requirements like proper tire pressure and everything in working order. My bike wasn’t even taped up and I rode on the track with all the turn signals and headlights untaped.

Nothing advanced was required like coolant changes or safety wire, and we had several bikes that weren’t even sportbikes!

Then it’s onto the first meeting of the morning. Generally what happens thru the day is you have 20 minutes of riding then ~20-30 minutes of classroom timing to cover concepts that you can then practice on your next session. It ran this way until lunchtime ~1pm with a 1 hour break. Then we resumed until the last session around 430pm.

 Me and Brittany listening to the great Reg Pridmore

Me and Brittany listening to the great Reg Pridmore

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Reg was injured recently riding down the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca so he was unable to ride with us that day. He provided almost all the classroom instruction instead. Reg’s message was consistent, respectful and thoughtful:

Focus on riding better on the track so that you will ride better on the street. Skills, technique, focus. Not speed, not riding faster or better than anyone else except yourself.

I have found that I am my worst critic when it comes to life in general, but more so with riding.

 

Sometimes, a corner is just a corner whether it’s on your favorite mountain or backroad. What’s vastly different are the risks you carry on the street (i.e. MUCH higher). On this little track, I just had to worry about how I was riding. No worries about cars, oncoming motorcycles, animals, accidents, traffic or any random obstacles.  

We had ~6 sessions that day back to back with a break for lunch in between. After each session, sometimes before the end of the session even, a coach would give you some polite feedback. Because we had a smaller group that day, we had a lot of coaches available to us that day; about a 2:1 ratio. Normally you have more than a 6:1 ratio of coaches to riders on open track days, but they had brought in a few extra coaches to help out.

 PSA: Never try to break in a new suit on the track. It kept me from wanting to lean forward most of the time, it was just so uncomfortable to do anything but sit up straight. :*( 

PSA: Never try to break in a new suit on the track. It kept me from wanting to lean forward most of the time, it was just so uncomfortable to do anything but sit up straight. :*( 

In between sessions we covered additional topics such as body position, where to focus, how to choose your lines, etc. I would say the structure of the class was more relaxed and you were able to practice whatever skills you needed to from session to session. If you needed a coach there was always one available to either follow you or be followed for tips/skills/feedback.

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Initially, I had a couple of coaches who thought I needed a little more assistance than I really needed but I was able to talk to them and let them know exactly what I was trying to accomplish.

At one point, my contacts were drying out (because of alll the fabulous ventilation from my bell race star) and it looked like I was riding like a crazy person. After the session was over I had to explain to him that I was fine, and I was just having trouble seeing!

But after a couple of sessions I was able to ride with Gigi Pridmore, and she gave me the best feedback and helped me with my lines and body positioning which I’m always trying to improve.

One thing I do NOT recommend is buying a new track suit 4 days earlier and then breaking it in on the track :0 This hindered my body positioning greatly. Just getting into the position below was really uncomfortable to where I couldn’t stay over the tank for more than a few minutes without sitting up straight. I was trying to work on body positioning (moving my ass off the seat more) but the suit just wouldn’t let me. (Remember to let customer know this is the worst part of wearing a new suit on the track).

 Photo:  eTechPhoto

Photo: eTechPhoto

When bikes are too low, they’re harder to lean further than you want to. But there’s no knee dragging here, just focusing on my lines, speed and consistency.

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Depending on how you learn, what feels good for you one or the other might be better.

As you research various riding schools (basic or advanced), take the time to read about each one and decide for yourself. I’m open to all track classes, no matter what the format.

No matter what track day you choose, remember that it’s not for racing, not just for sportbikes, no just for fast riders but for YOU.

For more information about CLASS including costs, schedules and more: www.classrides.com 

Check out the list of riding schools on my website here including options for OFF Road Training as well.

Bike Night Sponsored by Icon Motosports, Friday the 13th

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Bike Night (Open to the PUBLIC) hosted by Icon Motosports and Motorcycle Service Centers LLC

I'll be in SoCal that weekend for the 13th Annual Women's Sportbike Rally. The rally is going to be kicked off with a bike night that's open to the public. 

Where: 330 Wood Rd Suite I, Camarillo, CA 93010; 6:30pm - 9:00pm

Cost: FREE Bring as many guests to our bike night as you like (on two, three or four wheels or no wheels)

Every motorcycle rider is welcome, regardless of what they ride. Food available for purchase (for the public; FREE for Registered Attendees), Music and more.

A great opportunity for women to meet other women who ride. Every woman rider who registers for our event will receive an incredible goodie bag with discounts and free gifts from our generous sponsors. And you can also register at the bike night! 

For more info about the Rally and how to register visit www.womenssportbikerally.com