Out of the Blue | Kasia Kistelski | Schrader’s
By Jensen Amyotte
Name: Kasia Kistelski
Date of Birth: March 27, 1996
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta
School/Grade or Occupation: Recent Marketing Graduate, Now Self-Employed Contractor for Marketing Services
Race Number: 96
Bike: 2019 Husqvarna 250F
Race Club: BFD
Classes: Ladies, Open Beginner, 250 Beginner
Who got you into the sport of motocross?
My boyfriend, Nick Collins, actually got me into MX! My first time ever on a bike was just over a year ago now. I spent a lot of time watching him ride and race and I immediately became in love with the sport!
I remember the first time he took me to the track I was just in awe. The more I watched and analyzed, the stronger my appreciation grew for the sport. At first, I thought that there was absolutely no way I would ever be able to ride a bike, didn’t think I would be “coordinated” enough and I was pretty intimated by it. Although, that changed the first time we went to California together.
I remember getting goosebumps at Pala (now Fox Raceway) watching some of the pro’s ride and then just seeing how much fun Nick was having on his bike. I got antsy and was starting to think, “Damn, I want to try this one day!”
Later that summer, Michelle McCarthy pumped me up and gave me the courage to just try it! Jackie Seitz lent me her bike for a few rides and then after experiencing my first Surfin Berms night, Nick said “OK, we’re getting you your own bike.”
He helped me get my first one and you couldn’t get me off of it!! Everyone at the track was and has been so encouraging and supportive. The MX community is unlike any other and I am so thankful to be a part of it. If it wasn’t for Nick and everyone else pushing me to go outside of my comfort zone, I wouldn’t have discovered a hidden passion!
When not on a dirt bike how do you keep yourself busy?
When I am not on a dirt bike, I am probably wishing I was on one! Ha! But, I also do love going to hot yoga, riding my BMX at B-Line, and snowboarding. If I am not doing any of those things, then it’s because I am studying or working.
As a racer, are there any obstacles you feel a female racer has to deal with that maybe a male racer does not?
Hmm, that is a good question. I feel like I have not been racing long enough to properly answer that question, but based on what I have seen and experienced so far, the MX community is super supportive of its female riders.
I raced my first Canadian National this year and at every race the gates were almost completely full! I think the organizations that run the different race series do their best to make sure that the ladies are noticed and supported. WMX is full of so many amazing advocates for the sport (I could name so many here) and I think that as a female racer, I am so lucky to be a part of such an awesome community.
Who is your all-time favourite rider?
Oh man, well, Nick is obviously my favourite! He has taught me everything I know and is talented on literally anything with two wheels, it’s insane. But, I would have to say Dean Wilson and Ken Roczen are probably two of my favourite professional riders, simply because they are an inspiration to never give up or quit. They have proven time and time again that with hard work and determination, you can achieve anything and that is an invaluable mindset to have.
What is your favourite track and why?
I can’t choose one track! My favourite in Canada (so far) are Calgary and Raymond. Both are challenging but so much fun. I love Calgary because each track teaches you different skills. The main teaches you jumps and ruts, the hill teaches you ruts and speed, and the east teaches you corners. I love Raymond for the layout and the dirt, it’s silky/sandy and that is my favorite to ride on! In California, my favourite is Cahuilla and Milestone (super sad that it closed down).
What event do you look forward to most every year? One you don’t ever want to miss?
There’s a lot of events I look forward to! For one, any Surfin Berms ladies night! And then of course, any race day, especially if it’s in Calgary or Raymond. Last year, Wild Rose MX put on the first “Summer Slam” which was 3 days of racing on 3 different tracks. It was so much fun and I am definitely excited for it to happen again this year!
Who has been your biggest inspiration/hero on and off the track?
I think that my biggest inspiration on and off of the track is Danika White. She has done so much for the women’s riding community, especially in Calgary. She is one of the most dedicated people I know when it comes to promoting women’s motocross and just ladies in general. By creating Surfin Berms, she has given so many ladies (and dudes) from all over the place the opportunity to come together and do what we enjoy doing most – riding! She is a leader on and off the track for what it means to be a female rider. Our community wouldn’t be the same without her!
Tell us about your 2019 race season and what your plans are for 2020.
My 2019 race season was my first race season and it was AMAZING! I had the most fun I’ve ever had this year and that is thanks to riding. I was not planning on racing much, let alone race the Canadian Nationals, considering I had just started to learn how to ride. But, doing what he does best, Nick encouraged me to “just do it” and try racing the Calgary round of the nationals. So I did and I loved it so much that I raced the rest of the western series! I finished each race on two wheels, learned A LOT each round, and was able to improve each time which was an awesome feeling!
In addition to the nationals, I did almost all of the AMSA races and ended up getting my first trophy for 5th place in the series!
As for 2020, I plan to continue improving, learning as much as I can, and having even more fun than I did in 2019!
What are your biggest accomplishments to date?
My biggest accomplishment to date is definitely doing the Nationals and clearing the International at Wild Rose MX. Never in my life did I think I would be riding dirt bikes, let alone racing them! I am super proud of myself for getting out there and just doing it. It has taught me so much about myself and that you really don’t start living until you leave your comfort zone!
What is the biggest lesson that motocross racing/ off-road has taught you so far?
MX has taught me quite a lot so far. As I mentioned in the last question, it’s taught me a lot about what I am capable of and to live outside of my comfort zone, not just in MX but in everything. It’s also taught me how important it is to me to be a role model to all the rad girls and ladies out there who are just learning or thinking about learning to ride! The best feeling is to be able give someone the same push of confidence and encouragement that my boyfriend and the riding community gave me!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years, I see myself just starting to be a business venture lawyer! I just finished my degree in Marketing and I am now trying to get into law school to pursue that goal.
In terms of MX, my goal is to place in the top 10 and it would be awesome to be there in 5 years!! I see myself continuing to support and promote not only Women’s Motocross, but Canadian Motocross.
Who would you like to thank?
I would like to thank Nick for being such an amazing supporter of everything I do. I would also like to thank each and every single person at Wild Rose MX for the help and support, Surfin Berms for introducing me to so many rad girls, all my riding buddies, and all of my little cheerleaders (Ryian & Charlee Long, Sloane Wright)!! Special shout out to Steve at Sosa Original for all that he does, M7 Designs for slaying the graphic kits, BrainBar, Fox Canada for making me look like pro (although far from being one), BFD, and Hatt Automotive for keeping our van running smooth.