Out of the Blue | Ami Houde | Presented by Schrader’s

By Jensen Amyotte

Presented by Schrader’s

Name: Ami Houde 

Date of Birth: March 2, 1989

Hometown: Winnipeg, MB 

Occupation: Professional Athlete 

Race Number: 71

Organization Involvement: eSC, Monster Trucks Canada 

Classes: Pro -“fessional-fun-haver” 

This week, we feature Ami Houde from Winnipeg, Manitoba. | Photo supplied

Who/what inspired you to get into the sport of motocross and how long have you been racing/riding? 

I started riding when I was two years old – PW50 with some big old training wheels. My father, Kim Houde, was the 1979 Canadian 125 National Champion [and] the over 40 50 and 60 World Vet champion. My grandfather raised my mom’s brothers [so] you can say racing was in my blood from the start. And now 33 years later I can say I’ve had an insane career on two wheels that opens so many more doors. 

When not on a dirt bike, how do you keep yourself busy? Are you involved in any other sports or extracurricular activities? 

Motocross was the bridge that opened my career up to so many opportunities. It forced me be extremely determined, work extra hard, set ridiculously big goals and chase after them. Whether that was in a classroom getting my business degree, in the gym, on the track, in my business life, motocross has been the roots of my story.  

Ami went from Motocross to Monster Jam monster truck events. | Photo supplied

Tell us about all the amazing opportunities you’ve been given with your history in racing?

I was lucky enough to follow my dad as he raced professional racing around North America; just us two in a van, him lining up for three pro classes and me either in the 50, 60 or 85 class. Definitely rockin’ the privateer life, but I wouldn’t change those experiences, adventures, and the memories for anything.

It was through my dad’s love of racing that I find myself still riding today. I was fortunate enough to race Canadian women’s nationals in 2007. I think my best finish was a third overall against Jolene Van Vugt in Calgary. I was the first Canadian to race the AMA and was the first Canadian to race the FIM World Championship’s in Europe, but blew my shoulder out. Haha. I raced the Bermuda championship, drove monster trucks with Monster Jam for the last five years, walked the red carpet in Hollywood with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson …. life’s been one wild ride.

And I’m extremely proud to announce that I will be the first and only Canadian racing the 2022 eSC eSkootr Championships – a world first sport on a global platform – with focus on micro-mobility, sustainability, and making this world a greener, cleaner place to live. They really are changing the dynamics of motorsports and it’s incredible to be a part of it. 

As a racer, are there any obstacles you feel a female racer has to deal with that maybe a male racer does not?

Motorsports ain’t no boys club anymore. I’m so lucky to have raced in Monster Jam and now be part of eSC – two gender-neutral motorsports where men and women are on equal playing fields. A soon as you eliminate the physical element with solely a mechanical aspect, men and women are equals. We have the same machines, all the specs, and that moment the helmet come on it’s anybody’s game and, let’s be serious, who runs the world??? “GIRLS!”

From your first ride to where you are now, what is something you never thought you would be able to overcome but have?

There have been so many obstacles that I never thought I would have to encounter in my racing career. You think it’s just you versus you out there on the track or in the gym but there are so many more elements that you have to overcome and I want people to understand that to be professional at anything – to be successful at anything – you have to overcome the haters, the doubters, shade, gossip, hard decisions, broken bones, empty bank accounts, the trials and tribulations of real life. But if you want something really really bad, use all the hardship to fuel your fire to succeed. Allow it to strengthen you to become a better version of yourself, each chapter of your life. I’ve gone through many chapters and I’m proud where I am today. And I wouldn’t be the person I am today without having experienced all of it. 

Ami comes from a motocross family and her dad, Kim Houde, was the 1979 Canadian 125 MX National Champion. | Photo supplied

Who  is your all-time favourite rider and why?

Obviously, my father. He’s 67 and can still whoop my butt on a dirt bike. He’s so fast and he’s so humble. He’s in the Canadian Motocross Hall of Fame and only because somebody else invited him in there he never wanted to do it. He’s just a humble, true legend. 

What is your favourite track and why?

My favourite track still has to be Grunthal in Manitoba. I slay on it and it’s just so fun to ride. I’ve been racing on that track since I was three years old…crazy!!

What event do you look forward to most every year, one you don’t ever want to miss?

That’s a great question because every year I have a new first event, whether it’s the first race in Monster Jam, the first race in Canadian monster truck series, the first motocross race, or now the first eSC race – my series are constantly changing. I’m constantly evolving and it’s just so excited to race something new! Right now I’m looking forward to the very first round of ESC in London, England when I get to represent Canada on a global level and I’m ready! 

She lists getting 3rd behind Jolene Van Vugt in Calgary as one of her highlights. | Photo supplied

Do you have any pre-moto rituals?    

I did when I was younger. I had to do specific stretches in specific order, but now I actually find myself so confident and calm and so clear-headed on the line there’s no more nerves, there’s no more jitters, and I think that’s what 30 years of racing gives ya. I love the feeling of it. 

Tell us about your plans for 2022.  

2022 is gonna be wild! I’ll be racing in the world’s first sport as the only Canadian – eSC eSkootr Championships in 6 counties all over the world. Not only are we in a new era of motorsports – going electric, focusing on micro-mobility and sustainability – we’re also pushing the new era of sports broadcasting, blurring gaming and broadcasting to create a whole new experience. 

What are your biggest accomplishments to date?

I think my biggest accomplishments to date would be my ability to constantly adapt and reinvent myself. Going from two-wheel sports to four and now to electric, being able to stay relevant and challenge myself and push myself to evolve my career and see how far I can really take it. I don’t want to just be Ami Houde the Motocross Racer, I want to be Ami Houde the Motorsports Athlete. 

Her next challenge will the the 2022 eSC eSkootr Championships. | Photo supplied

What is the biggest lesson that motocross racing/ off-road has taught you so far?

Be resilient in all that you do. And when you fall you pick yourself back up and you finish what you started. 

If you ever have children will you give them the option to race as well? 

Absoooo-fricken-lutley (and hoping that day comes very soon, actually) my fiancé Brady and I are trying for a family. 

If you could give 1 piece of advice to a female of any age who wants to start riding what would it be?

START NOW!! Do it , don’t overthink it, just do it. 

What was your first fear when you started riding and how did you overcome it? 

My first fear maybe was about being judged. I was always at the back of the pack in the Supermini class and I hated it. All the boys made fun of me, so I just put my head down my dad and I went practising every day that we could. I wanted to get faster. I wanted to be better so I actually put my head down and trained really hard. And then the boys just became scared of me. Haha. But I overcame the fear of judgement by growing up, finding my confidence no matter whether it was on the track or walking into the room, holding my head high, loving who I am. 

Do you see yourself ever competing in the Canadian WMX Triple Crown series? 

I think I’ve definitely hung my boots up professionally racing. I still enjoy it with my friends, my family, my fiancé, and hopefully my little one one day. One day hopefully they will be able to line up on the starting line and I’ll be right there cheering extra loud as the number one Moto Mom. 

What are your thoughts on the Canadian WMX Triple Crown series?

I look at the level of talent right now with the young riders and all the ladies and I’m really proud of them all. I follow most of them on social media and it’s really fun to watch them progress and achieve their goals. I hope they slay absolutely every one of their dreams, work really hard, and make some life-long memories along the way. 

Watch for Ami as she enters her new chapter in the E-scooter world. | Photo supplied

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

A bad ass. 

Who would you like to thank? 

Sponsors, my friends, my family – my circle is small and tight. But I want to thank my lovely fiancé Brady, he’s given me so much encouragement and confidence going into this next chapter in my career. I’m a strong woman and I have an even stronger man by my side. We make a great team.