Out of the Blue | Emily Cole | Schrader’s
By Jeff McConkey
Name: Emily (Em) Cole
Date of Birth: September 21, 1987
Hometown: Torbay, Newfoundland
School and Grade or Occupation: I studied occupational health and safety, but I work with kids and adults with autism and do therapeutic riding and camps with my Newfoundland pony.
Bike: Honda CRF250r
Race Club: None
Who got you get started in racing?
I started riding as an adult (23 years old). Up until that point I had never ridden anything with two wheels or a clutch. We had no motocross track in Newfoundland at the time. When a friend’s family opened up an awesome motocross track (Tyler O’Neill and his family) there was no class for ladies but they told us if we had five we could have our class.
Nobody specific got me into racing, it was just something I really wanted to try. We’re really lucky to have such a great track and crew here. We went many years without a motocross track or races.
As a little girl, were you a ‘girly girl’ or a ‘tomboy?’
A little bit of both… I always liked dirt bikes, trucks, hot wheels, but I’ve always liked girly things as well. When I was 14 or so I used to steal my brother’s fox jerseys and wear them around the house, and just daydream about riding a bike of my own.
Is there one female out there that you think has paved the way for other girls to be successful in moto?
There are so many amazing women in moto… some that really stand out in my mind are Tarah Geiger, Jolene Van Vugt, Ashley Fiolek, Vicki Golden, and Heidi Cook. It would be impossible to pick just one!
As a racer, are there any obstacles that you feel a female racer has to deal with that maybe a male racer doesn’t?
For me, personally, I find it difficult to set my holeshot device myself and sometimes need help getting my bike on the line.. I’m vertically challenged (haha).
Who do you like racing against better, the girls or boys?
Well, I’ve never raced with boys before, but I’ve done many practices with them. I’d prefer to ride and race with the girls at this stage in the game. The up-and-coming young guys are really aggressive!
Who is your favourite female rider and why?
Oh, very hard to pick just one! So many bad ass women on two wheels. Any female who is riding motocross/dirt bikes whether for fun or competitively is pretty awesome to me!
Is there a racer you look up to and why?
I look up to many riders and racers, it’s really helped me progress with my riding as an adult. I really love Ken Roczen. His spirit and drive is a force to be reckoned with. Looking forward to this year’s Supercross and I can’t wait to see what Ken’s going to bring to the table.
Do you have a “can’t miss” race or event that you try to attend every season?
I used to really look forward to being a spectator at Toronto Supercross, but they no longer have a Canadian date. One event I really love to attend is the nationals hosted at Riverglade in New Brunswick. I was fortunate enough to ride and race amateur day in 2013 and have been back as a spectator since. It’s a great event and a great track. A lot of Newfoundland’s up-and-coming guys race this event as well.
Who is your hero?
My parents are my heroes, they are hard-working and supportive of everything I do…even this crazy dirt bike adventure I’ve been on for eight wild years! Mom is an expert at first aid and has cleaned up all my moto wounds over the years. I taught my mom how to ride my 2012 CRF150rb and she totally killed it.
What are your plans and goals for the 2019 season?
I didn’t get to ride much in 2018. I had planned to race some motocross for the first time in three years. I had a great practice and the track was prime. I had a great start, passed a few girls, and was in second place in ladies but I cased a jump on the third lap and got knocked out. I suffered a concussion and some bruised ribs and had to spend a month or so off the bike. My goals for 2019 are to go beast mode in the gym and on the bike. I’d like to be very fit and healthy and come back to do some local races without getting hurt.
What are your biggest accomplishments to date?
Learning to ride as an adult comes with some challenges but I did overcome many of them and continue to ride and progress. I’ve learned to hit a freestyle ramp, I can trail ride, I’ve raced and placed top three, and I’ve gotten several killer hole shots! Another thing I consider an accomplishment is inspiring other women to get out and give riding a try. It’s awesome to build women up and empower them.
What is the biggest lesson that racing motocross has taught you so far?
Racing and riding motocross has taught me to never give up and to always dream big. I know it sounds cliché but it’s so true. I never in a million years would have thought I’d have the confidence to line up on a dirt bike. I have to battle anxiety every single time but it’s a huge accomplishment just to get out there. You don’t get the confidence TO do something, you get it FROM doing it.
Most female racers leave the sport much earlier then male racers. Why do you think that is?
I think due to lack of support from big sponsors and also careers and family may play a big role.
Do you think it is possible for us to ever see a female Supercross champion?
Hey, anything is possible! It’s unlikely in a men’s class, but I wouldn’t rule it out! Why isn’t there a women’s Supercross class, is the real question?! There are a lot of fast and capable ladies to fill the gate.
If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers?
My dog Turbo is my child, he says he would like to be a motocross racer but he’d rather just chase the bikes and bite the tires.
Who do you want to thank?
I’d like to thank my boyfriend, Richard, my best friend, Leah, and my mom and dad for all their love and support over the years and putting up with all of my injuries. All of my riding buddies who have taught me everything I know about riding and maintenance (too many to list, but you guys and gals know who you are). I’d also like to thank Melvin’s ATV for keeping my bike fresh, KLIM Women’s and KLIM for hooking me up solid with riding gear. Ride Independent, Deerlake home hardware and power sports for my sick graphics and swag. Our local Honda dealership for always getting my parts in time and my uncle Q for being the best parts guy. Also, a big thank you to the O’Neill family for keeping motocross alive in our beautiful province of Newfoundland — Riverview Motocross is our one-and-only motocross track.