Out of the Blue | Shani Andersen | Schrader’s

By Jeff McConkey

Presented by Schrader’s.

Name: Shani Andersen

Date of Birth: March 17, 1994

Hometown: Prince George, BC

School and Grade or Occupation: Apprentice Glazier

Number: 13

Bike: YZ250

Race Club: MCQMX

Classes: Ladies and Open Beginner

This week, we feature Prince George, BC racer, Shani Andersen. | Kay-Jo Photography

Who got you get started in racing?

I used to work at a KTM dealership and a lot of my regular customers were the reason I even got on a bike to begin with. Then they pushed me to try riding track instead of trail and I was hooked after my first gate drop.

As a little girl, were you a ‘girly girl’ or a ‘tomboy?’

I was always a Tomboy. My mom wanted me to be a girly girl and do figure skating and ballet. I played hockey with the boys’ team, and continued to do sports like lacrosse — exactly what my mom didn’t want me to do.

Is there one female out there that you think has paved the way for other girls to be successful in moto?

Jolene Van Vugt was the first female rider I got to know as a child and watching her on Nitro Circus was always SO cool to me.

“I want to eat, breathe, sleep moto and make huge accomplishments within myself.”

As a racer, are there any obstacles that you feel a female racer has to deal with that maybe a male racer doesn’t?

Females have a lot less strength on the get go than most men do. I feel like being able to be in full control of your bike is something that takes so much time and practice, meanwhile some guys can jump on any bike and just start tossing it around.

Who do you like racing against better, the girls or boys?

I love racing against both for different reasons. Girls is fun and good to see where you’ve progressed amongst other female riders. I also love riding with the boys just as much because it pushes me so much harder and gives me the extra seat time I need to better myself!

Who is your favourite female rider and why?

My favourite female rider isn’t a motocross rider, but Megan Griffiths (commonly known as Megs_braap on social media) is one badass female rider. She is constantly pushing herself and pushing others to better themselves with her own little challenges. She rides enduro and conquers the most incredible things.

Is there a racer you look up to and why?

A fellow racer I look up to would have to be Kassee Morrison. She races multiple classes and doesn’t miss a single race unless she’s injured. Her heart is 100% in the sport and she’s amazing to watch while she pushes and challenges the guys she rides with! That girl is so dedicated, it’s unbelievable.

Shani missed most of 2017 due to injury, so 2018 was her first full year of racing. | Britney Rumbaugh photo

Do you have a “can’t miss” race or event that you try to attend every season?

My favourite race would have to be in Terrace, BC. That track is amazing and where my love for motocross began.

Who is your hero?

My hero would ultimately have to be my mother; she is one rad mom. She grew up around bikes and has always supported me in what I wanted to do. When everyone else would sit me down after every injury and ask me to give up, my mom would be right there by my side pushing me to get back on the bike after my recovery and push to get better. She stays in contact with me every race if she can’t make it and supports me like crazy. She is my biggest hero because she is such a strong and kind-hearted woman that supports those she loves unconditionally! I couldn’t do it without her.

What are your plans and goals for the 2019 season?

Plans and goals for the 2019 season for me include racing as many of the MCQMX races and also stepping into a new series. I plan to try and race my local series along with the PMA series. I want to eat, breathe, sleep moto and make huge accomplishments within myself.

What are your biggest accomplishments to date?

My biggest accomplishments to date would be that the 2017 season was supposed to be my first season, but as I prepared for it I ended up crashing on my new 250 and breaking my tibia and tearing all my ACL muscles which put me out and I had major surgery and got some hardware added to my knee. So, this 2018 season was my first full season and, with that being said, I started my season relearning to walk and as I pushed to get back on the bike I faced a lot of challenges. I struggled with the trauma of being scared to crash and re-injure myself. I ended up taking dead last for half the season. It was going to make me or break me. I pushed through this season and ended my last race in Williams Lake with a podium and taking third overall in the BC Championship.

What is the biggest lesson that racing motocross has taught you so far?

Motocross has taught me to push through when it gets tough and the outcome will be rewarding. Never give up on something you love.

Watch for Shani at as many races as she can find in 2019! | Dave Lueneberg photo

Most female racers leave the sport much earlier then male racers. Why do you think that is?

I think female racers leave the sport earlier than male racers because they don’t have nearly as much competition as men do and not very many females end up making a name for themselves in the male dominated sport.

Do you think it is possible for us to ever see a female Supercross champion?

I think a female Supercross champion is absolutely possible because the times are changing and females are out here putting in work to be treated as equals to men and there are a lot of rad females in the sport and every year I see more and more females joining the sport.

If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers?

Absolutely. One of my biggest regrets is not getting into motocross sooner. I was in my 20’s the first time I ever got on a bike and was being passed by kids half my age! Watching the little shredders melts my heart and seeing these kids knowing how to ride bikes as soon as they can walk is one of my goals for if I ever have a mini of my own.

Who do you want to thank?

I’d like to thank Rona – Prince George, Decal Den, SheShreds.co and my parents for being my biggest fans.