Out of the Blue | Robyn O’Donnell | Presented by Schrader’s

By Jeff McConey

‘Out of the Blue’ is brought to you by Schrader’s.

Name: Robyn O’Donnell

Birthday: November 15, 1989

Hometown: Prince George, BC

Occupation: Branch Account Executive at a Fairstone Financial.

Number: 57

Bike: 2015 KTM 250sx

Race Club: PGMA

Classes: Ladies

This week’s ‘Out of the Blue’ column features Prince George, BC rider, Robyn O’Donnell | Talia Stevenson photo

How did you get started in racing?

I wanted to start racing last season, but injured myself early in the season – fractured my upper arm, tore my bicep and tendon, and tore my rotator cuff in two places. The injury really delayed my progress and I had to be very careful for the rest of the season as I did not have strength or range of motion in it. My left arm will probably never be 100%, but its good enough for me (Laughs)! So, I decided to start racing this year. I have done 3 races so far – Quesnel, Terrace, and the Nationals in PG.

As a little girl, did you ever expect to be this deep into a sport like motocross?

Yes. I was heavily involved in showing horses throughout my teen years and into my early twenties, so I didn’t get my first bike until 3 years ago. But I grew up with 3 brothers who were all involved with motorsports. So, you could say motorsports run in the family.

Do you think motocross is harder for a female to compete in?

Not really.

Who is your favourite rider and why?

It’s so hard to pick just one person! I am lucky to have so many talented riders in my life, and I believe you can learn something from every rider.

Robyn lined up at the Women’s West MX National round in Prince George where she finished 19-28 for 21st overall | Shani Anderson photo

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 every girl who is passionate about motocross has made an impact in one way or another. If you love something, you put everything you have into it.

What Canadian Pro do you look up to and why?

Taylor Arsenault. He is smooth, consistent, and humble.

What is your favourite track and why?

I haven’t been to very many tracks yet, but Terrace is my favourite so far! It’s a fast track and I found it to be forgiving when I made mistakes. I will definitely be going back again!

Who is your hero?

There are so many people I admire and look up to. If I had to pick one, I would say my brother, Brook. Besides having killer free-riding skills, he has always been my biggest supporter. Brook has this way of instilling a calming confidence in you, and you feel like you can do anything. Three years ago, I decided to buy a 250 two-stroke for my first bike – most people thought I was nuts, but he was telling me I could do it.

What are your goals for this season?

Staying safe and healthy are my #1 priorities (Laughs)! My goal is to improve all of my skills and become a better rider overall. Cornering feels like a huge weakness, due to my left arm, so I am continuing to strengthen this skill. And, I am just starting to clear some small tables – I would like to be clearing more jumps by the end of the season.

What are your biggest accomplishments?

My biggest accomplishment so far is rebuilding the top end in my bike by myself (with some supervision). I also got holeshot in Terrace, and held 1st place for 3 laps! That felt amazing. And I managed to pull off 2nd overall both days of the double header in Terrace.

What is your favourite part about going to the races?

Staging, and the gates! The sportsmanship is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced – everyone is always friendly and helpful. I’d like to give a special shout out to the Heighinton family for always being so supportive and offering valuable advice.

Robyn’s brother, Brook, has always been her biggest supporter | Talia Stevenson photo

What do you like to do when you aren’t racing?

Spend time with friends, family, and my fur babies! We have two dogs, and two horses. I also love ripping through trails and free riding with my boyfriend.

Is it important to have a motocross racer as a boyfriend/partner, or just a bonus?

Just a bonus. My boyfriend rides, but doesn’t compete right now. He is very supportive and encourages me every step of the way – that is what is important to me.
If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers?

I don’t plan on having children, but if I did, odds are they would be interested in some form of motorsport.

Who do you want to thank?

All of my awesome sponsors – Forest Power Sports, The Decal Den, Cariboo Performance Racing, G.O. Enterprises. And all of the amazing people in my life who believe in me and encourage me.