Out of the Blue: Meli Perrier|Presented by Schrader’s
By Jeff McConkey
Name: Meli Perrier
Birthday: June 13, 1989
Hometown: Timmins, Ontario
Occupation: Registered Practical Nurse
Bike: 2016 KTM 250SXF
Race Club: CMRC, MotoCups
How did you get started in racing?
I’ve been riding for 10+ years. My father has always been into motocross and other motorized sports. My two siblings and I all got into it; I guess it’s in our blood. I spent most of my summers riding in the trails and pits with friends. A friend of mine had a track in his backyard, after experiencing riding a track, I knew this was for me – A few friends of mine had suggested that I get into racing. It made me nervous thinking about it, but my brother and I decided to give it a try.
We started racing the CMRC Central Ontario MX circuit in 2010 mid-season. The following year, I followed the full circuit, held the top 3, then ended up with a dislocated elbow near end of season, therefore I was unable to finish the season of racing, but that’s all part of the sport.
As a little girl, did you ever expect to be this deep into a sport like motocross?
I’ve always wanted a dirt bike in my younger days. My parents had me on four wheels, they always told me I was too petite for a dirt bike. My father called me “spaghetti arms.” When I turned 16 years old, my dad finally caved and said, “Let’s go get you a dirt bike.” I still remember my first ride out with my girlfriend; we rode till we ran out of gas. My parents where worried sick!
Do you think motocross is harder for a female to compete in?
Not necessarily. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe I’d be able to compete against men. However, some women kick ass and compete with men. It’s all about keeping in shape, good endurance, and lots of track time.
Who is your favourite rider and why?
Ryan Dungey is my number one. His consistency is immaculate, such a smooth rider while racing. I’m very sad to hear that Dungey was injured at the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross at Thunder Valley. Get well soon!
Is there one lady racer out there that you think has paved the way for other girls to be successful in the sport?
I love to fallow Vicky Golden. She’s an incredible racer. First female in more than four decades of Monster Energy AMA Supercross series, very inspiration for women!
What Canadian Pro do you look up to and why?
I’ll say Colton Facciotti. He is an amazing rider. Along by his side his wife, Jocelyn Facciotti, who also competes in the motocross world which I had the opportunity to race with at the Sand Del Lee track.
What is your favourite track and why?
I’d have to say 705 MX. This track is located in my home town, Timmins, ON. My friend Neil Neamtu pursued his dreams and built a track and opened it to the public, October 2015. 705 MX appeals to both beginners who are trying motocross for their first time, and to seasoned professionals. Along with this track there’s also a kid’s track. The track is mostly hard packed with a few soft sections. The combination of dirt is perfect. This track has allowed me to ride daily/weekly since it’s located so close; it’s also allowed me get more practice to build my endurance. It’s allowed the community to have a place to gather and ride. We are all very thankful.
Along with 705 MX, I love to ride Motopark located in Chatsworth, ON. The track is beautiful; the environment is also so great. Any weekend spent at Motopark is a good weekend.
Who is your hero?
My hero in regards to motocross would have to be my boyfriend and my brother. They have encouraged and supported me from the beginning. They have always been there from helping me work on my bike, to standing at the start line with countless amount of support.
What are your goals for this season?
Continue to build my endurance, gain strength on my bike, get more comfortable and only get better day by day.
What are your biggest accomplishments?
I’d have to say in 2010. Ever since the day I was allowed to get a bike, I pictured myself racing. In 2010, that dream became reality. I had the opportunity to ride my bike up to that start gate. I was nervous as hell; my anxiety was over the moon. My boyfriend had to calm me down; pulling off that line was no option. I stayed on that line, I revved my bike, looked down and watched that gate drop. Besides my anxiety, I took off. I was focused and I ended up with holeshot. I finished my first race with a second place finish. I went into my first race with no intention, I must admit, after finishing, I was a little less nervous, I knew I had this. It provided me with reassurance to continue to follow my dreams. If you’ve ever ridden a bike on a track or in a race, you know there’s no feeling in this world that compares to pulling off the track knowing you did well.
What is your favourite part about going to the races?
My favourite part about racing is definitely gathering with close friends that enjoy doing this sport. Pushing each other to do better, regardless of the outcome.
What do you like to do when you aren’t racing?
When I’m not racing or riding my bike, you can find me on my jet ski. In the off season, I love to ride my sled. I might try a couple snowcross races this winter with a close friend of mine.
Is it important to have a motocross racer as a boyfriend/partner, or just a bonus?
I’d say it a bonus to have a boyfriend who loves this sport as much as I do. The continuous encouragement and pushing each other to do better.
If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers?
Without a doubt, I hope they follow, however I would never pressure them. It would be a dream come true to spend time as a family twistin’ throttle at the track.
Who do you want to thank?
I’d like to thank Jeff for contacting and giving me the opportunity to do this interview. I’d like to thank my family, my boyfriend and all my friends for the positivity and nothing but good times out at the track.