Rider Interviews

We have some pretty awesome lady riders out there that don’t get much main stream media coverage, so we’ll be introducing them to all of you every week

Elize Olivier

What class did you enter last year in the Lowveld Series and how was it?
I started the season entering the silverA class, the redloop is quite technical and challenging, true to a proper enduro race. Later in the season I dropped down to Club Green class, I did this because I wanted to work more on my speed, and the green loop gave me the opportunity to do just that. With lots of amazing long ups and downs and forestry twistees it made for great training and still challenging!

How long have you been riding?
I started riding in 2011. And thanks to my trainer/riding partner/husband always pushing I managed to finish my 1st Bronze Roof of Africa in 2015.

Any encouraging words for the ladies out there to start racing?
To ladies out there. Enter a race. Take yourself out your comfort zone. You can ride with friends as much as you like, but nothing truly shows how much you can actually overcome and accomplish like entering a race. Set a goal. Mine used to be to just finish a lap, and finish it before getting lapped by my husband! He now only laps me after lap2/3.

Is women’s riding progressing?
The level of women and men riding out there is increasing at a rapid rate. Everyone’s technical skills are just getting better and better. So do not get left behind. Work at it every single time you go out there and ride.

Who are your sponsors?
My main sponsor has been my husband. If it was not for him, I would be sitting at home. Sometimes I think he regrets it, it might have been easier (and cheaper) to have sent me to the mall 🙂

Will be you be doing Roof again in 2017?
Not planning on doing Roof 2017. Never say never though. Maybe 2018. And just looking at doing maybe the Lowveld series next year and some other navigational fun rides out there.

elize

Santel De Lange

 

Tell us about yourself:
I am from the south of Gauteng. Married to my best friend and riding partner. No kiddies, but have to scottish terriers who are more work than kids ☺. Love everything that has to do with the outdoors and adventure.

What made you become interested in riding and when did you start?
I grew up with my dad always having a bike and with our next door neighbor being a boy and also having a bike, I was always the one to ride with them all (and fall with them). I then married a off road biker and a few years ago we went on holiday and rented quads. That is when I first decided I also want my own. So hubby bought me a quad and loved it. Soon I became bored as I could ride with them everywhere, and decided to loose the training wheels and got my own TTR 230. Then got a Honda 250x and then my very trusty freeride. And since then I haven’t looked back. When I started off I was still studying and working at the same time left very little time for riding. So beginning of this year I finished my masters and the. i could actually really start riding. I initially started 4 years ago.

What kind of riding do you do and where?
We do lots of enduro type riding. Love the rocks. Must say the 250 did teach me all about speed, but still love the rocks more. More challenging. We try to ride at least every second weekend with my husband being my “couch”. We ride at Tussen Koppies, Wild West and Heidelberg.

Any words of encouragement for ladies wanting to start riding?
If you are up to a challenge this is definitely it. It takes you right out of your comfort zone and you will never want to go back. The feeling you get when you are on your bike, fresh air and nothing to think about is something you can only describe once you have done it. This is surely not just a sport for the guys and I think a lot of ladies is living example of it, so just do it.

How do you keep up to date with ladies riding events?
Shred bettys! And off course Off road enduro ladies.

One word that describes the feeling you get while riding?
Free!

santel

Keri Packham

Once you learned to ride and committed to purchasing a motorcycle what sort of riding did you do?
3 years ago I got myself a little 200 KTM 2006 and fell in love with where it could take me… I have never been into the MX or fast stuff, but sweating in the rocks is what got me addicted… The sense of accomplishment after riding what you thought was impossible is a feeling like no other!! From then on I was hooked!

Any memorable destinations?
Clarens has to be my favorite (so far), with mountains for days it definitely is one of the most beautiful and challenging places I’ve ridden!! It’s a place that took my breath away with its beauty and taught me the true meaning of a steep downhill 😂 can’t wait to go back!!

For many even today in society Motorcycling for Women is still taboo… What do you feel are some misconceptions about women riders and how do people react to you riding now?
I think a big misconception about women riders is that we cannot “do something” because we are not strong enough or brave enough, yet there are women out there who out-ride most men I know 😂 I do think that women have a strong presence in the riding community (more and more each year) and you can see it in the racing – ladies are keen to compete and push their boundaries, and it’s fantastic that the racing organizations are starting to accommodate this fast growing band of women!! The riding community is very encouraging towards my riding and it’s awesome to go out with the guys and show them we are as capable and sometimes better than them 😉😂

Do you have any words of encouragement for the lady riders out there that have an interest in learning to ride but just haven’t given it a try yet?
Riding a bike is the most exhilarating feeling I have ever experienced. Not only has a bike helped me face my fears and rid me of self doubt, but it has taken me to places that feed my soul, and I urge any lady to not starve themselves of such an incredible experience. Being part of the riding community is like having an extended family and to share your love for a sport with so many people who have the same passion is something special… I will happily volunteer to help any lady learn how to ride cause I have no doubt that it will end with yet another addition to our riding family!!

keri

 

 

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