Out of the Blue: Paige Nicholson
By Jeff McConkey
Name: Paige Nicholson
Birthday: August 12, 1999
Home town: Woodstock Ontario
School and Grade or Occupation: Grade 11 at Huron Park Secondary School
Bike: 2009 Yamaha YZ85
Race Club: Paris Speedway and Flat Track Canada
Classes: 85 and 85/250
How did you get started in racing?
My step-dad brought a dirt bike home a couple of summers ago. I thought that it would be cool to give it a try. I caught on very quickly just riding around the track at home. Friends of ours race flat track and suggested that I come out to a practice and give it a try….the rest as they say is history.
As a little girl, did you ever expect to be this deep into a sport like motocross?
When I was younger I always wanted to try motocross but we were never able to afford it. I’ve always loved dirt bikes and watching motocross. Never once did I think I’d get involved in flat track let alone know what it was.
Do you think Motocross is harder for a female to compete in?
I do think it is more difficult for female racers, but it’s all about how you present yourself and how you handle yourself both on and off the track. If you act like you’re intimidated by the guys then they’re going to use that to their advantage. Most of the guys are willing to lend a hand and offer advice, but there are some that don’t give you the same respect. Some people both on and off the track figure that because you are a girl you are just going to cry when you lose, but you just need to push through it and prove to them that you have just as much right to be at that track as they do.
Who is your favourite rider and why?
My favourite rider would be Adam Cianciarulo, he’s one of the young guys in Supercross but he is able to keep up with the older more experienced riders. I have found that Adam is really humble and has a great sense of humour that shows in his interviews.
Is there one lady racer out there that you think has paved the way for other girls to be successful in the sport?
I’d say Ami Houde has. Ami is always promoting that girls can do just as well in this sport as boys. One of the riders at my track is friends with Ami; I was having a really rough time at school and on Social Media with people constantly telling me I can’t race, being very negative. He noticed this and asked Ami to send me a message as some encouragement. Ami was very positive, full of advice and she told me to keep focused on positive. I still have this message saved and look it over from time to time when I am feeling defeated. I look up to Ami and to be able to be friends with someone like her is so cool.
What Canadian Pro do you look up to and why?
I look up to Doug Lawrence #73. Doug competes in the AMA Grand National Flat Track Series, the CMA and the Flat Track Canada Series. Most recently Doug was invited to compete in the XGames. You would never know that Doug is such a sensation, at the track Doug is just like everyone else, you can have a regular conversation with him and he doesn’t act like he’s above you. Doug came straight home from the X Games and raced in Welland for the Flat Track Canada Series. Doug is just a really down to earth guy.
What is your favourite track and why?
I’d have to say that Whealtey is my favourite track to race on. I always have fun when I’m there and come off the track feeling great. Leamington is my favourite when it comes to half miles, it can be rough but that just keeps it interesting.
Who is your hero?
It’s hard to choose just one hero at my age because of how many people that have influenced me and encouraged me, but one person that I always go back to is Madison Lamb. She’s one of the strongest most determined people I know. Madison also races flat track in the United States. Despite being 4’11” she races both 250 and 450. 11 months ago Madison broke her femur that took her out of the race circuit for almost a year. Madison got back on the track on Saturday July 18, 2015 for her first race since her accident and placed 2nd. Despite being nervous herself Madison was able to help calm my nerves as I was also racing my first ½ mile race that same day, since my crash on May 16, 2015 that took me out of the series for 2 months. Madison is always there with words of encouragement, praise or advice.
What are your goals for this season?
My goal going into this season was finishing in the top 5. Unfortunately, I had a pretty bad crash during the Flat Track Canada Season opener that took me out of the series for a couple of months. So right now I’m just working on getting my points back up. Most of all though I just want to go out, have fun, and be safe and finish the season on two wheels.
What are your biggest accomplishments?
I was invited to participate in the Motorcycle Spring Show at the Toronto International Centre for the Flat Track Stars of Tomorrow. I was with 9 other up and coming Flat Track riders, we were each given floor space to set up a booth for the weekend and we had the opportunity to meet fans, fellow riders and promote ourselves and our sport.
What is your favourite part about going to the races?
I like meeting new people and spending time with fans. Everyone at the track is very accepting and we all share the same love for the sport.
What do you like to do when you aren’t racing?
When I’m not racing I’m usually practicing on my home track or relaxing in the pool.
Is it important to have a motocross racer as a boyfriend/husband, or just a bonus?
I don’t think that I would say it’s important, because I don’t go out to the track with the mind set of finding a racer. I think it could be a bonus and helpful because you have racing in common, they would have a better understanding of what you’re going through and that you can’t just blow off a race to hangout.
If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers?
That would be the plan. Whether it was motocross or flat track, ultimately it would be their choice. If they’re forced to do a sport they don’t want to they will resent it and the sport in the future. I’m sure a lot of time will be spent at the track so I don’t doubt it. But that won’t be for many years I am way too young and busy to think about kids.
Who do you want to thank?
I’d like to start off by thanking you for giving me this amazing opportunity. I’d also like to thank my parents Alicia Nicholson and John Paul Nicholson but especially my stepdad Chris Armstrong for everything. I’d also like to thank my sponsors for their continued support throughout my racing season: Motosport.com, One Industries, Illusive Gloves, Team Pink Racing, Spy optic, (Jeff) WardMotosport, Replay XD, Life Proof, Amped Apparel, Fuel Clothing, Factory Backing, True MX, Lloyds Electric (Woodstock) and anyone else I may have forgotten.