Out of the Blue | Victoria Harcy | Schrader’s
By Jensen Amyotte
Name: Victoria Harcy
Date of Birth: In the 80’s
Hometown: I was born in Tennessee and currently live in Boise, Idaho
Occupation: Molecular Scientist
Race Number: 21
Bike: 2020 Beta 300RR Race Edition
Race Club: Southwestern Idaho Desert Racing Association (SIDRA), Desert Raiders MC
Class: Women’s A/B/Expert, Vet B
Who got you started riding/racing dirt bikes?
I didn’t grow up riding motorcycles. I didn’t even swing a leg over a motorcycle until my late 20’s, but once I did, I was hooked. I started out riding the rocky trails of Colorado with friends. A year later, I met my now-husband, Matthew, while on a moto vacation with our local dirtbike dealer, MotoAdventure. Matthew had ridden dirtbikes for most of his life and convinced me to try my first race. While I used to never consider myself as a competitive person, I found racing fun and exciting and it made me push myself to want to improve my skills and race more.
As a little girl, were you a ‘girly girl’ or a ‘tom boy’?
I’d say I was both. When I was little, my mom liked to put big bows in my hair and dress me up, but I definitely liked to play in creeks and catch bugs/toads, ride bicycles off small dirt jumps, and build tree forts with school friends in some of the wooded areas of our neighborhood. One of my favorite things, horseback riding, remains one of my favorite pastimes.
As a racer, are there any obstacles that you feel a female racer has to deal with that maybe a male racer doesn’t?
- There is a difference in physical strength between men and women which can come into play when the bike needs to be lifted/pushed/pulled.
- I feel like women may feel pressured to “prove themselves” because they are often underestimated or assumed to be an unskilled rider or slow rider.
- Less women competition is often a problem in general, simply the fact that the turnout for women’s classes is smaller can be an issue – but has been growing over the past few years!
- At first when I when I attended several races where I was either the only female racer or the numbers were something like 2-4 women out of 300 racers and I’ll admit it was a bit intimidating.
Who do you like racing against better, the girls or boys?
I have really found that I like racing hard/extreme events for the reason that it is less of a race against males or against other females – the challenge is against the terrain and obstacles of the course and it is a test of yourself, with no guarantee to finish.
That being said, the guys can be a bit more aggressive but I like the larger class sizes and varied competition to push myself to see how I stack up against them. I also would rather race against guys who are my skill level or better than line up in a women’s class that is intended as women’s beginner class because it simply would not be personally gratifying to overall a class below your skill level.
Who is your favourite female rider and why?
Laia Sanz and Kirstin Landman are both beasts on bikes!
Is there a racer you look up to and why?
Graham Jarvis because he is humble and friendly and out there still beating guys half his age!
Do you have a “can’t miss” race, or event that you try to attend every season?
Johnson Mill XC, a small race in the remote northern Idaho woods of 60+ miles of tight tree single-track with plenty of log hopping is one of my favorites.
The past few years my race season had been bracketed by Rev Limiter Extreme Enduro and Tennessee Knockout Extreme Enduro aka TKO (the latter I have raced 6 times and it never gets any easier!), but both are super fun events and I highly recommend everyone to try them once.
What are your plans and goals for the 2020 season?
I ended 2018 with a thumb/hand injury that was very slow to heal and had to stay off the bike for half of 2019 and didn’t get much seat time in. My goal now that my hand is fully functional again is to train hard to get fitter and faster.
I want to explore more trails areas in the Pacific Northwest and chase points in the local desert racing series, SIDRA, which includes the Idaho City 100 event.
I am planning to race Johnson Mill XC, EnduroFest and Silver Mountain Xtreme and am working on plans for another ride/race trip abroad in the next year.
What are your biggest accomplishments to date?
10 years ago, before I ever got on a dirtbike, I never ever would have imagined that I would have competed at national and international level events. One thing that I really enjoy about dirtbiking is that I have really been able to see my own improvements over the years. I started riding as an adult, after an age that many pro racers have retired, but I have found that there is always more to learn.
This year was my 2nd time racing a 100-mile hare and hound and I’m planning to do some more long distance races in the near future.
While my best finishes were…
2x Silver – Women’s class at TKO
1x Bronze – Women’s class at TKO
1x Gold – Women’s class Rev Limiter Extreme
1x Silver – Rev Limiter Extreme
…one thing I consider an accomplishment is inspiring other riders to get out of their comfort zone and give whatever it is they are worried about a try. On more than one occasion, I have had someone come up to me at a race and say that “because I saw you out there giving it a go, I decided to at the next round.”
What is the biggest lesson that racing motocross has taught you so far?
Grit, resilience, determination, perseverance – call it what you will, but every new challenge builds your strength and character.
I like races of attrition and they have taught me to never give up. You have to have a certain mentality to be able to make it through grueling events. “Make forward progress” became a mental motto I would recite in my head when facing tough racing circumstances where you want to just quit from physical exhaustion. No matter how slow you are going, just don’t stop.
Endurocross taught me – give it a try. Do not be afraid to embarrass yourself because you think you are not good enough. “Feel the fear and do it anyways.”
Is there one female out there that you think has paved the way for other girls to be successful in moto?
The community of female dirtbikers is growing and supportive of each others efforts (at least based on from what I have seen here in the Pacific NorthWest). There are many women out there that have promoted the sport on behalf of women and the first female that comes to mind for me is Nicole Bradford. She has taken many women riders under her wing and trained them at her personal endurocross track. She has donated her own personal funds to pay entry fees for other women to race their first race. She has even put up money at races specifically for women’s podium purses/awards.
I would also mention Kalyn Benarova who runs DIRTastic, which is a collective group of women that are certified dirtbike coaches specifically focused on empowering women to ride and advance their skills.
Who would you like to thank?
I would really like to thank my 2020 sponsors for encouragement and support:
- MotoAdventure Kawasaki Beta (in Loveland, Colorado)
- Rekluse Motorsports
- FLY Racing
- Kenda Tires
- SXS Slideplates
- Dirtbiking community friends
- My family
- My husband Matthew who gets us to and from races and does a lot of wrenching on my bike with me (because I break a lot of parts haha) I appreciate the opportunity from Direct Motocross for this interview and in particular, Jeff McConkey, for having started this article series featuring women riders of all skills and abilities before he sadly took his own life. Thank you Jensen for picking it up and putting the time and effort into maintaining this positive media outlet!