Out of the Blue | Mariah Mazza | Brought to You by Schrader’s
By Jensen Amyotte
Name: Mariah Mazza (Alverson)
Date of Birth: 08/01/1993
Hometown: Spring Hill, KS
Grade or occupation: Graphic Designer for BikeGraphix
Race Number: 111
Bike: 2023 KTM 250SXF and 2022 KTM 250SXF
Race Club: Midwest Offroad Events Offroad Racing, Missouri State MX, Forward Motion Hare Scrambles
Classes: Womens A and 250C
Who/what inspired you to get into the sport of motocross and how long have you been racing/riding?
I’ve always loved dirt bikes since I was little. I grew up on the Oregon coast spending time at the dunes with my family. My family wasn’t able to afford dirt bikes or anything, so I always watched and dreamed of having one when I was older.
I bought my own bike at 19 by myself and borrowed a friend’s truck to pick it up. The majority of what I’ve done with riding has been without much help from family.
I rode for the first year or two and started racing my third year. I have been riding for about 10 years and racing for 8 years now.
When not on a dirt bike, how do you keep yourself busy? Are you involved in any other sports or extracurricular activities?
I love all sports and outdoor activities, but my favourites are wakeboarding, weightlifting, and hiking/running.
As a racer, are there any obstacles you feel a female racer has to deal with that maybe a male racer does not?
I think most of the limitations and obstacles girl riders encounter are self-made and society led. Sometimes female riders have a harder time with strength and build also, but ultimately that’s something we have control over and can improve with hard work.
From your first ride to where you are now, what is something you never thought you would be able to overcome but have?
I used to be terrified of doubles and triples and jumping in general. From my first ride to now, I have gained so much more control of the bike in the air and of my body.
I broke my femur on a triple, due to my rider error with bike control and it’s been a few years since. It’s been one of my biggest priorities to find my control and flow first and speed second.
Who is your all-time favourite rider and why?
My favorite all-time rider would be Ashley Fiolek. The amount of challenges she has overcome with her hearing disability is incredible. Even using all of my senses, I struggle to come near her speed on a dirt bike.
What is your favourite track and why?
I would have said River Valley in Boyd, TX, but a couple years ago I rode at Leadville MX in Leadville, CO and it’s one of the highest elevation moto tracks in the US. The scenery and the added difficulty of elevation on breathing was “breath-taking.”
Tell us about your 2022 race season.
The 2022 race season brought a lot of changes in my non-moto life. My now husband and I sold our house, bought a new one, and got married. We sprinkled a local motocross series in since it only had six rounds. I ended up winning every round to win the championship in Women’s class.
We also went and raced a one-off race for the M.O.R.E. offroad series and I won Womens A.
What are your biggest accomplishments to date?
My proudest moment so far in riding has been riding practice as an alternate for the 2021 Loretta Lynn Championship in Tennessee. Having the opportunity to ride the track was super-exciting and only made me want to try again to race in the top 40 women in the U.S.
What is the biggest lesson that motocross racing/off-road has taught you so far?
I’ve had a couple of tough injuries, like most riders eventually do, and they have showed me that there is no option to give up on myself. When you’re injured and can’t walk, or can’t use your arm (collarbone), you have to be strong despite pain or down feelings and get yourself back to 100%.
It taught me a lot about personal responsibility and taking initiative in my life.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Since the wedding, and soon after discovering my husband and I are expecting a baby boy, my 5-year plan has made some changes.
I’m hoping to return to riding this fall after the baby is born and do another year or two push for my own riding and skills. I’d like to make another attempt at qualifying for Loretta’s again in 2023-24. Whether I do or don’t accomplish that goal, I’d like to continue riding and racing a few select events as long as my body is able.
If our boy decides he wants to ride and race, or if he wants to do another sport/activity, my husband and I will have his back entirely.
What kind of track/dirt do you feel you excel at most and why?
My all-time favorite riding surface is always a sand style track. Sand is so physically demanding and must be ridden with high aggression and a good bike setup. Being tall (5’10”) and also very strong for my size, I feel I have a bit of an advantage the rougher the track gets.
If you could give 1 piece of advice to a female of any age who wants to start riding, what would it be?
One of the first things that I got over and grew in when I started was not thinking or giving energy to what other people thought of me. To start anything, whether it’s motocross, or swimming, or any other sport or skill, you have to accept being a beginner and not performing or looking like others. If we stay strong and focused on what we can to improve instead, we gain skills more quickly and confidently.
It always helps to be friendly and ask for help from girls that are further down the experience line than you.
What was your first race number and how did you choose it?
My number selection when I started was very naive, but I chose 111 because depending on the font they look like an “M” for Mariah. I also thought, as I get better and do well in my racing, I can drop a “1” and go down to “11” then once I’m the best locally I can change it to the #1 plate.
What do you like to do in the off season?
My husband and I don’t take much of an off-season, typically. We travel from our home in Kansas to Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and so on to ride in warmer weather when Kansas is too cold. We both try to make lifting weights and cardio activity a weekly thing, and try to eat well to fuel our workouts and our rides.
The only true offseason I have right now is the pregnancy. I stopped riding at 16 weeks, but the first few months I did still ride every weekend.
Who would you like to thank?
When I met my husband four years ago, he and his family welcomed me into their world and they’ve done more than I could ask. I couldn’t be happier to have them behind me in my racing and in our now family together.
I have also accumulated some great relationships with sponsors the last 8 years. They make racing more affordable and more safe for their riders, and it’s awesome to have them onboard.
Big thanks to Fasthouse, 100%, Letko Cycles, Sunstar, ODI grips, EVS, Bulleproof Designs, SGB Racing Suspension and BikeGraphix for their years of support.
BikeGraphix went from sponsor to employer as I’m now a graphic artist for them (5 years and running).
Thank you guys for taking the time to hear my story! Appreciate all you are doing for the Moto community and ladies who ride!