Out of the Blue | Erica Solmes | Presented by Schrader’s

By Jeff McConkey

‘Out of the Blue’ is presented by Schrader’s.

Name: Erica Solmes

Date of Birth: February 27th, 1992

Hometown: Collingwood, ON

School and Grade or Occupation: Real Estate Sales Representative

Number: 156

Bike: CRF 250R

Race Club: AMO/MRC

Class: Ladies

This week, we feature Collingwood, Ontario, racer #156 Erica Solmes. | Shannon Michelle photo

Who got you get started in racing?

My dad.

As a little girl, were you a ‘girly’ girl or a ‘tomboy?’

As a little girl I started out as the girliest girl and then as I got older I became more of a tomboy, thanks to my older brother and all the sports I played. At one point I actually aspired to be like Eminem… Thankfully, now that I’m all grown up, I have other aspirations. And anybody who knows me well, knows that it’s hard to tell, but, on the inside I’m actually the girliest girl.

Is there one female out there that you think has paved the way for other girls to be successful in moto?

I think there’s a lot of girls out there now that are working hard and really helping to put women’s motocross on the map. In Canada, women’s motocross  has grown astronomically over the last decade. In 2012 when CMRC dropped the women’s nationals from pro day, unfortunately, it was absolutely everything they said it was or wasn’t. Ironically enough, the women of the sport came together to keep the series alive. And now that it’s stronger than it’s ever been, in 2018 we will see the women have a place on pro day once again.

From the women working hard to be better at their sport and the women (and men) committed to giving us a place to showcase that talent and hard work, I think collectively we all get to pat ourselves on the back for paving the way for women to be successful in motocross.

It’s safe to say, Erica is a pretty big Jason Anderson fan. | Andrew Boshnick photo

As a racer, are there any obstacles that you feel a female racer has to deal with that maybe a male racer doesn’t?

Not really. Although most guys still can’t handle being beat by a girl, so as far as I can tell, our pony tails become extra motivation for them to go faster, unfortunately.

Who do you like racing against better, the girls or boys?

I don’t really have a preference, but, there’s not much I love more than going into the first corner with like 40 other bikes. In the women’s class we don’t get that very often so I like to balance my race day with a bit of both.

Is there a racer you look up to and why?

Yes. Jason Anderson is the love of my life, mostly because he’s such a badass.

“…as far as I can tell, our pony tails become extra motivation for them [the guys] to go faster…” | Bigwave photo

Do you have a “can’t miss” race, or event that you try to attend every season?

I do LOVE RedBuddddddd, but, sadly I think I’m going to miss it this year as it is the same weekend as the national at Sand Del Lee. Thankfully, Des Nations is also at RedBud this year so I think I’ll make the trip down for that. The women’s nationals are a big part of my program every year and I also love the Moto Cup races, so both of those are usually “can’t miss” races for me.

Who is your hero?

Jason Anderson, obviously. And my mom!

What are your plans and goals for the 2018 season?

I’m planning to get out to the east nationals for sure and a few of the Ontario Provincial rounds. I would also like to get down to the states a bit this year and do some racing with my American friends, as well.

Watch for Erica at local races and then at the Women’s Nationals when the east series gets going. | Julie Butler photo

What is the biggest lesson that racing motocross has taught you so far?

Motocross has mostly taught me how to wreck a lot of stuff; bones, layers of skin, internal organs, engines, heavy machinery, really expensive helmets, cheque books, relationships, feelings…

Most female racers leave the sport much earlier then male racers, why do you think that is?

I’m not sure exactly, it’s a real bummer though. Actually, I think I’m one of very few that’s still racing the women’s class almost 10 years later. I think for a lot of people it’s about the amount of money you have to spend to be competitive, and in women’s motocross we very rarely ever see any of it come back, even at the top level at the sport. We’ll see some change with that this year, so hopefully that continues to change into the future and maybe we’ll see some more women stick around longer.

Do you think it is possible for us to ever see a female Supercross champion?

I think it’s highly unlikely. Women are built physically different than men. I don’t think it’s impossible, but, it takes an incredibly focused, determined, naturally-talented, rare breed of human to overcome all the obstacles to win a Supercross championship. And if a female happens to be that person, then I say you go girl!

If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers ?

Well, I’m only having children if it’s with Jason Anderson so it’s highly unlikely that I’ll ever have children, but, very likely that they would motocross racers, if so. In the meantime, I’ll be trying to corral my cats to come to the track with me instead.

Who do you want to thank?

I would like to thank my sponsors: O’Neal, Split Designs, West City Powersports, Gaerne, Pirelli and Smith Optics and everybody else that supports me!