Out of the Blue | Sarah Chipchar | Schrader’s
By Jeff McConkey
Photos by Wyatt Ferris
Name: Sarah Chipchar
Birthday: December 26th, 1995
Hometown: Cochrane, AB
School and Grade: 3rd year Mount Royal (Athletic Therapy)
Bike: 2015 Husqvarna FC250
Race Club: Wild Rose MX
Classes: Ladies, 250 Beginner
How did you get started in racing?
I started racing two years ago but had a pretty bad crash that put me on the sidelines for a while. After taking a season off, I got a new bike this year and was riding pretty much every day Wild Rose MX was open. I started racing mostly because my friends all do and they talked me into it.
As a little girl, did you ever expect to be this deep into a sport like motocross?
I’ve always been around motorsports. I grew up riding quads and going to drag races with my dad. It’s funny though because he started me riding bikes but never let me race until now. I always knew I wanted to ride bikes but didn’t expect to be racing.
Do you think motocross is harder for a female to compete in?
I think physically it is harder because we all aren’t as strong as the guys, but I don’t think that stops us. We just have to adapt how we ride to compensate for it. I’m also pretty short so I had to lower my bike quite a bit to be able to hold it up. This isn’t all bad though because I feel like how short I am makes it easier for me to have a great attack position on the bike. There is definitely less support for women’s motocross but I think that’s because there are not many girls out there that race. It’s definitely a more male-dominated sport.
Who is your favourite rider and why?
If I have to pick just one I’d say Ken Roczen. I think he is very humble and works hard. With his injury and all the work he’s been putting in to race again, I’m interested to see how it goes. I think the biggest part I like about him is his strong will and the way he will not accept to give up racing.
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 the girls like Kylie Fasnacht, Hannah Hodges, and Courtney Duncan have all, more or less, paved the way. They’ve shown that girls can compete in motocross too. I think the thing that stands out to me most for women in the sport is all the girls at my local track. They all support you and help you get better. They all like to help out and no one is stuck up, no matter what their national plate is.
What Canadian Pro do you look up to and why?
I don’t necessarily look up to any Canadian Pros. I like to think my friends that are Pro are pretty cool, but honestly we are all just kids trying to have fun riding our dirt bikes. Anyone who is humble, supportive and nice is a Pro I look up to.
What is your favourite track and why?
I haven’t been to too many tracks yet which I hope to change next year, but if I had to pick one it would be the Hill Track right here at Wild Rose MX park. It doesn’t have a lot of super big jumps but the corners are awesome and so is the dirt. My all-time favourite track though is a private track out by Sundre! So many uphill jumps and it’s very wide open.
Who is your hero?
My hero is for sure my mom. She always supports me but makes sure to keep me in line and making the smartest choices. She’s pretty funny and is always right. She’s my wingman and made it possible for me to ride so much this season. She’s my biggest support and even though she doesn’t love the idea of racing she still supports it.
What are your goals for this season?
Well, with this season almost over I’m really stoked for next year. I’m not sure what will happen with the women’s national series or how it will all pan out but I’m excited to try my luck racing at a higher level. The main goal though is to have fun and push myself to get better and just see how much I can improve in a season. As for the end of this season, I’m looking forward to having fun with everyone and just enjoy fall motos before the snow flies.
What are your biggest accomplishments?
I don’t have that many in motocross yet but I’m definitely proud of how far I’ve come in one season. It was my first year on a full-size bike and took a while to get used to. I’d say maintaining my GPA in university right now while balancing work and riding as well is my bigger accomplishment right now.
What is your favourite part about going to the races?
Honestly, my favourite part of going racing is the people! Everyone is like a big family and super supportive of one another. The energy at the gate for the ladies moto is always so awesome! Everyone is excited to be there and stoked for each other. Always positive vibes from all the girls and that’s what makes this sport great!
What do you like to do when you aren’t racing?
I’m in third year university so school takes up the rest of my time. In the winter though I ski a lot. With a new bike this year that runs great I’m looking at getting some studded tires to do some ice riding. Living in Canada and loving dirt bikes is hard with the short summer season so hopefully ice riding will help winter go by faster.
Is it important to have a motocross racer as a boyfriend/husband, or just a bonus?
I think it definitely makes riding all the time easier. When you both ride you can spend time together riding. Sometimes it makes them get on your nerves a little more but you just have to remember they are just trying to help you get better. I wouldn’t say it’s super important but it definitely is a bonus.
If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers?
I don’t think I’ll ever have kids and I think it would depend on where I’m at in life if they were to ride or not. It’s a great sport for kids to get into but it’s also dangerous and hard to succeed at.
Who do you want to thank?
I’d really like to thank all the guys at Bow Ridge Sports out in Cochrane. They always help me out and have made it possible for me to ride so much this season. They always go above and beyond for me whenever something comes up. Special shoutout to Jason there, he is an awesome mechanic. I’d also like to thank Don at Pro Action for setting my suspension up. I have to thank all my friends at the track for always being supportive and helping each other out! Also, my boyfriend Wyatt for taking awesome pictures and making me look faster than I am #ferrisfoto.