Out of the Blue | Michelle Denis | Presented by Schrader’s
By Jeff McConkey
Name: Michelle Denis
Birthday: December 15, 1991
Hometown: Timmins, ON
Occupation: Registered Practical Nurse, RPN
Bike: Honda CRF 150RB
Race Club: MotoCup
How did you get started in racing?
I’ve only recently gotten started in racing MX. May 2016 was the first time I’ve ever competed in a race. I attended Motopark in Chatsworth, ON for the races. I was not certain that I would race, I really only wanted to do practice and watch. However, come Friday night for sign up for the races, my friend Meli encouraged me to race. I put my trust in her, and signed up.
As a little girl, did you ever expect to be this deep into a sport like motocross?
As a little girl, I always hoped to be into motocross, however it was never really an option, but a want.. and a dream..
I got my first bike at the age of 20. I am now 24. As the years went on, I began riding more and more, and have gotten more comfortable on my bike. My boyfriend and friends have definitely played a big role in getting me out on my bike, and words cannot explain how grateful I am for this.
Do you think motocross is harder for a female to compete in?
I’d like to think yes, when you look at the WHOLE picture. From maintenance, lifting, height-wise to strength. I’m not using this as excuse; however girls are typically a smaller set than men, which require more force and effort. I’m 5’2″ and 120lbs. I believe it’s a bigger struggle, however when there’s a will there’s a way…
Who is your favourite rider and why?
In general I don’t have “A” favourite rider… I have a few friends who are incredible riders. It’s amazing to be able to watch people ride in “real” life at our local 705MX track. I enjoy watching and learning from them.
Is there one lady racer out there that you think has paved the way for other girls to be successful in the sport?
I think that every lady racer out there paved a way for other girls. Any girl who has the confidence to hop on the bike and race is amazing.
What is your favourite track and why?
The local track in my home town will have to take the win on this one. 705MX Park – recently new to Timmins, opened in Oct 2015. Due to the track being so close to home, it’s a track that we can all ride and improve. The environment is great and track expansions are also coming soon. We’re all super-excited.
Who is your hero?
I don’t think I have any.
What are your goals for this season?
Get more confidence on my bike, ride smarter, get quicker. My goal is to always improve and remain safe. Other than that, continue to have fun and enjoy the sport.
What are your biggest accomplishments?
I’d have to say my biggest accomplishments would be pulling up to that start line and completing my first race. On the Saturday of my first race, I blew both my starts approximately 4ft from the gate. My bike stalled, I kicked it over, she started again, and I caught up. I was super-devastated about that fact when I finished my race, however, I didn’t give up. Sunday, day 2 of the races- when that gate dropped, I was focused and determined. I pulled off the start line and followed through – no stalling. It definitely was a moment where I gained much more confidence. I was quite proud of myself.
Also, attempting to race at Red Bud. Unfortunately, I got hurt in my second moto. I was landed on by a 450F.
What is your favourite part about going to the races?
The environment, the friends, the camping, the rush…the whole package deal, I think. It’s very hard to pick one thing out of everything.
What do you like to do when you aren’t racing?
Outdoor activities would be number 1. Between dirt biking and jetsking in the summer, there isn’t much time to do other things. However, being in the outdoors is simply amazing along with camping, fishing, fires, friends, etc.
In the winter, when the snow hits the ground, the skidoo’s come out. I attempted racing CSRA 2016. It was beyond amazing. I finished 1st in all my races.
Is it important to have a motocross racer as a boyfriend/partner or just a bonus?
I think that as long as you have “somebody” by your side that supports you, whether it’s a Boyfriend/partner, or even great friend/s. They don’t need to ride, or race, support is support. However, if they ride/race, then yes it’s a bonus.
If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers?
The ball would be in their court. I would definitely encourage them to, however at the end of the day it’s their choice.
Who do you want to thank?
Everybody that ever believed in me and supported me.