Out of the Blue | Ashley Brown | Schrader’s
By Jeff McConkey
Name: Ashley Brown
Date of Birth: 03/16/1987
Hometown: Denver, CO
Occupation: Owner and CEO of Grand Valley Adventure Tours and Rentals
Bike: 2018 CRF250r
Who got you get started in dirt bikes?
Myself! I was 27 years old and had been watching Supercross and motocross for years. I had always thought I needed a man to show me how to ride, to help me find a bike and to load and unload it. I finally realized that was completely untrue. So, I bought a truck, bought a bike, and learned how to ride with another girl friend of mine. It was the best decision I have ever made! Dirt bikes have now become my passion and my livelihood! I only wish I had started riding sooner.
As a little girl, were you a ‘girly’ girl, or a ‘tomboy?’
I was about as tomboy as it gets. I wore boy’s clothes and played sports with all the boys in the neighborhood. We would play street hockey, football, and baseball and I was always one of the first kids picked because I was a better athlete than most of the boys. Since then I’ve always been just one of the guys, learning about cars and moto and playing sports. I’m pretty much still the same but I like the feminine twist I put into being a tomboy.
Is there one female out there that you think has paved the way for other girls to be successful in moto or off road?
I don’t know if I could pick just one since there are so many different aspects of riding and so many women who have done such awesome things. I can narrow it down to the following three.
- Ashley Fiolek: She is such a beast on the track and his given back so much to the
women who want to be able to ride like her. Her form is perfect.
- Megan Griffith: She is so strong, physically and mentally. I love how she shows the world her failures on her way to success. It is so much fun to cheer her on in her videos and she has a lot of knowledge to share. It’s Easy, right?
- Tarah Gieger: I mean, a woman who can backflip a dirt bike is about as rad as it gets. She kind of paved the way for women in freestyle. She’s amazing.
As a business owner in the moto industry, are there any obstacles that you feel a female owner has to deal with, that maybe a male owner doesn’t?
There are absolutely obstacles. Some are obvious, like having a customer ask if they can talk to a man instead (which doesn’t happen often, but is quite a shock when it does) and some are more passive, like having another local business overlook a relationship because I’m a female working with motorcycles. But I really don’t focus on these types of obstacles. There are so many road-blocks all entrepreneurs run into that I don’t feel this is nearly as big of a deal as many of the other things I’ve dealt with.
Is there a rider you look up to and why?
I love Eli Tomac. He’s our hometown guy, being from the Western Slope of Colorado. But I really look up to Ken Roczen. He has persevered through so much and he comes back every time with such a great attitude and work ethic. It is truly inspiring.
What are your plans and goals for the rest of the 2019 season?
My current goals are to collaborate with some other women’s organizations to set up women’s moto camps and events. Grand Junction and the surrounding areas are an incredible riding mecca with so many different types of riding where you can really hone your skills, or even learn as a beginner. I would love to be able to show so many other people the true beauty of the Grand Valley and get them hooked on two wheels.
What are your biggest accomplishments to date?
My biggest accomplishment is starting my business and running it for over a year without failing and without losing my mind! It has been the hardest but most rewarding choice I have made in my life. I worked in the automotive industry for years and had a good job making good money, but I wasn’t passionate about collision repair and I didn’t want to work FOR someone else any longer. My fiancé and I put our skills and knowledge together to bring Grand Valley Adventure Tours and Rentals to life. The goal is to be able to create a life for ourselves revolving around our biggest passion. Dirt Bikes! It has been a hard, trying journey but as we near closer to the payoff it has so clearly been worth all the hard work, long days, disappointment, and the successes.
What is your favourite part about owning a dirt bike business?
My absolute favorite part of our business is teaching people how to ride. We have all different sizes of bikes so we can cater to ANYONE who wants to learn. It is such a rad feeling having someone walk in our door, learn how to get geared up from head to toe, learn all the controls on the bike, practice starting and stopping, doing a few more drills, and then ending the day on a several mile trail ride. The look on their faces after a long, physically and mentally challenging day is so rewarding. They are so proud of all they have accomplished, and being a part of that journey for them is super awesome.
What is the biggest lesson that Motocross riding has taught you so far?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that though physical fitness and strength is a key component to good riding, a positive attitude and mental stamina is the most important. Riding is extremely demanding on the body, but if your head isn’t in the right place, you’re going to have a bad day. It’s amazing how much quicker you can progress with the right attitude and the idea that failing doesn’t make you a failure. Giving up does.
Do you think it is possible for us to ever see a female Supercross champion?
A female Supercross champion is very unlikely. Male and Female bodies are just too different. But I whole-heartedly cheer on any woman who works to give it a go!
If you ever have children, will they be off road or Motocross racers?
I do have a child! She is 11 and her name is Maddie. She currently rides a Kawasaki KLX110 but is about to jump to a Honda CRF100. She isn’t as passionate about dirt bikes as the rest of our family but she loves going on family and Mother/daughter rides with me. I hope that as she gets older, and better, that she will really fall in love with the freedom of two wheels.
Who do you want to thank?
I want to thank my family. I wouldn’t be where I am without the love and support of my parents, my daughter, and my fiancé, Ronnie Bennett. I want to thank everybody who has supported our business and all of our efforts. I definitely want to thank our customers. Our business would already be dead if it weren’t for them. It’s been so much fun.