Out of the Blue | Erica Solmes | Presented by Schrader’s
By Jensen Amyotte
Name: Erica Solmes
Date of Birth: February 27th, 1992
Hometown: Collingwood, ON
School/Grade or Occupation: Real Estate Salesperson
Race Number: 156
Bike: 2019 CRF250R
Race Club: AMO
Classes: Ladies, +25
Who got you into the sport of motocross?
My dad got me into racing when I was younger. My first bike was an XR50 and my first race was actually a flat track race at the Belleville Half Mile.
As a racer, are there any obstacles you feel a female racer has to deal with that maybe a male racer does not?
After spending the last 20+ years at the race track, I feel that all racers face a very similar set of obstacles to successfully go racing. Coming up through the skill classes (65’s, 85’s, Beginner, Junior, Intermediate, etc.), I know is challenging for a lot girls, but it’s challenging for everybody and I honestly just wish more girls would get out racing.
Aside from being an accomplished MX racer you have also achieved great success since becoming a real estate agent. How did you get into that? How do you split your time between work and play with a job like that?
I honestly believe that a lot of my success in my real estate career has come from my background in racing moto for a couple of reasons. In my late teens I struggled to put a racing program together, as many racers do that don’t necessarily have financial support from their families, but I wanted to be at the race track more than I wanted to be anywhere else.
I was determined to find a job that paid me well enough to support racing, but that was also flexible enough to have weekends off to actually go racing.
I bartended for most of my twenties and traded my weekend shifts to go racing. I pieced bikes together, borrowed parts and gear when I needed to and hitched a ride to the races with other racers whenever I could.
The mentality for building a successful real estate business is very similar, in the sense that I was going to do whatever I had to do to be successful. In the first two years of business, racing felt impossible and frustrating for me. I was uploading listings and paperwork, using the wifi from the scoring trailer almost every weekend at the nationals and it was honestly insanely stressful trying to put deals together on the road.
But now that I have an established business and I have the appropriate systems in place, my work/play balance is incredible and I really enjoy going racing on the weekends.
What is your favourite track and why?
Motopark is definitely my favourite track but it’s also one of my favourite places to be too. I just bought a house 20 minutes from Motopark, so now I can hang out there even more :P. The vibe at MP is second to none.
What event do you look forward to most every year? One you don’t ever want to miss?
The Motocup races are definitely my favourite events of the year in Canada. The number of racers that get out is awesome to see; there’s always good racing and the entire event is one of the most professional and well-managed races of the year.
Second to Motocup I also get serious FOMO if I can’t get to RedBud to go racing and celebrate the 4th of July with my American friends.
Who has been your biggest inspiration/hero on and off the track?
On the track my biggest inspiration has always been my dad. My brother and I were lucky enough to grow up around the track riding bikes while my dad raced. My biggest inspiration off the track is my mom, for her incredible zest for life and her unwavering support throughout all the nightmares I’ve put her through over the years.
Tell us about your 2019 race season and what your plans are for 2020.
My 2019 race year was a bit of a hot mess, as I was very focused on building my career and just managed to throw some racing in the mix when I could. I still picked up some wins at Motocup and some other local races, but my focus was really on my career in 2019.
As for 2020, after 20+ years of racing, I’m mostly just out there for good times and trying to keep up with the kids to keep them honest.
What are your biggest accomplishments to date?
My biggest accomplishments to date I would say are all the years that I’ve been able to spend at the track with some of my favourite people in the world. Most racing careers are short for a number of reasons, but I’ve been lucky enough to have had over 20 years of racing and I don’t plan on hanging up the boots anytime soon.
What is the biggest lesson that motocross racing/ off-road has taught you so far?
The biggest lesson that moto has taught me is to just do it. Just do the jump, just wash your bike (so you can ride it tomorrow), just make the phone call, just start the business. Just do the thing and figure the rest out later.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’m big on goal setting, so my 5-year plan is already set in stone, but I also spent a lot of years thinking that every time I reached a goal, the next goal wasn’t ever going to be enough for me. I’ve finally reached a point in my life where it is all enough and now I’m more focused on filling my life with things that I love rather than giving myself an end goal to reach.
So I guess in 5 years time, the important thing is that I will definitely still be racing dirt bikes and I’ll finally fit into Gauldy’s (Ryan Gauld) +30 class, so I won’t have to bug him about a +25 class anymore.
Who would you like to thank?
I’d like to thank my parents for being so cool, all the moto people that have and continue to support my business, and especially Davin Grose at MotoMech for keeping me and my bike looking fresh. I’d also like to thank my sponsors: Barrie Honda Powerhouse, Gaerne, Smith Optics, Pirelli, Pro Circuit, Streamline and Solmes Sells Homes for supporting my racing program.