Two Tales | Kate Lees vs. Carrie Davis
By Jeff McConkey
This installment of Two Tales brings us 2 ladies from totally different backgrounds. Saskatchewan’s Kate Lees and Rhode Island’s Carrie Davis are our two featured riders. Both are in the nursing field, both love motocross, and both can always be found in the pits with a huge smile on their faces.
I’d have to say they might just be two of the easiest going ladies at the races. Family is big for both of these racers, and their moms and dads are also some of the best you’ll meet. Let’s get to know these two just a little bit better.
How did you get started racing?
KL: My brother had a dirt bike ever since he was a kid. My dad finally bought me one; can’t say I really enjoyed it until year 4 or so though!
CD: I got a PW50 for Christmas that I was riding around the neighborhood for a while before my dad came home with a KTM 50 and took me to my first race at Southwick!
Best memory racing?
KL: This is so hard! Definitely going from 32nd to 6th in PG (Prince George) in 2017, getting to go up the podium for 5th OA and receiving the Hard Charger Award was a pretty sick feeling; I don’t know if I’ll ever top it.
CD: Growing up racing in New England has created some awesome memories! But I think the moment that stands out most is 2017 Deschambault, moto 2. I felt like everything just came together for me that moto.
Biggest accomplishment to date?
KL: Racing the 2018 WMX Nationals. It was honestly one of the biggest feats I’ve done in my career. Earning the CDS Perseverance Award kind of topped it off. I had such a rough year, physically and mentally that it was nice to have that acknowledged. I remember seeing a photo report that said if you saw me in the pits you’d be surprised I was there to race. I could barely walk but I was so determined to be there.
CD: 2017 Deschambault, moto 2. That was the ride of my life! I think I surprised a lot of people, myself included!
What is the hardest thing about racing a motorcycle?
KL: Touching the ground without losing suspension.
CD: The hardest thing for me is knowing when to push myself out of my comfort zone. I struggle between wanting to push my limits and riding reserved. I always have the thought in the back of my head reminding me I need to go to work Monday morning.
What’s the best thing about racing?
KL: The people you meet. I watched a documentary once that said “Racing dirt bikes has put me in touch with wonderful people. And because of it, I have an elevated idea of how good everyone else in the world is” and I don’t think that could be more true.
CD:There’s nothing else like it! I love being at the track with people that share the same passion and seeing all of the effort payoff is the most rewarding feeling!
What’s the worst thing about racing?
CD: Arm pump and injuries.
What are your racing career goals?
KL: To have fun. Riding dirt bikes is so sick, and I think people lose sight of that. The feeling of riding a bike is unlike any other.
CD: I just want to keep learning and improving. I’d like to get another top 10 but ultimately I want to keep having fun with it!
Who was your favourite rider growing up?
KL: Denaye Giroux (Arnett) – it was so cool that when I was getting into racing that we had a girl from Saskatchewan running the top numbers at nationals. Her whole family is badass.
CD: Travis Pastrana.
Who is your favourite current rider?
KL: Lauren Puhlmann. She’s a local young girl. I’ll probably have to retire before she makes it to big bikes cause I don’t want her to beat me (haha).
CD: Justin Barcia, Jason Anderson, and Cole Seely. I can’t pick just one, they all have such different styles.
Favourite bike of all time?
KL: 2018 KX250f.
CD: My current one. It’s a 2017 YZ125. My mechanic Poacher has it running and handling perfect!
Favourite place to be?
KL: Hands down the track. Even if I’m just hanging out, there’s nowhere I’d rather be.
CD: At the track.
Least favourite place to be?
KL: Definitely not Dairy Queen!
CD: Sidelined with an injury.
Favourite movie of all time?
KL: It’s a serious toss up between Harry Potter and the Fundamentals of Caring. If you have Netfix I’d highly recommend checking it out. Make sure to watch the first 15 minutes before you call it quits. It gets good.
CD: I don’t have a favorite. I don’t really watch a lot of movies but I used to love the old moto movies, like Mini Warriors.
Who would play you in a movie and why?
KL: Kaley Cuoco – “cause she’s actually smart and funny” – real quote from my dad.
CD: I’m not sure.
Favourite song right now?
KL: Hung Up by Hot Chelle Rae. Honestly, throw on anything Punk Pop from like 2003 and I’ll jam. Or T Swift. Always down for that too.
CD: I don’t really have a favorite song. Lately, I’ve been listening to Mac Miller and Blink-182 when I run.
Favourite non-moto sport and team?
KL: Didn’t know these existed but k.
CD: My favorite non-moto sport is probably lacrosse. My favorite sports team is the Bruins!
KL: Buffalo Wings. Literally ask anyone.
KL: Water; and I always love me a Caesar.
KL: I’m honestly not too into cars – I just want something that gets me from point A to point B.
CD: I saw a Jaguar SUV on the highway recently. I’m not sure what model it was or anything but it was definitely the coolest car I’ve seen in awhile!
Your daily driver now?
KL: 07 Grand Prix – gets me where I need to go!
CD: Chevy Silverado.
Last person that really annoyed you?
KL: Probably my dad when I was trying to nap. (typical)
CD: This lady in the line at the deli that thought I cut her. I didn’t cut and it was a very short line but she made a huge scene. I told her to just go ahead of me and that wasn’t the right answer.
Last person that intimidated you?
KL: I’m honestly not sure. Don’t think I get intimidated easily.
CD: Conor Sheridan. He kind of bullied / pressured me into racing Billy Ainsworth’s motofarm. It was a partner relay race that had a very technical woods section that I didn’t know about until I got there. He did say I would feel good once I finished and I’ll admit he was right, but I wouldn’t have made it through without Jamie Prior’s help in the woods!
One talent you wish you had?
KL: Studying – it’s legit a struggle with finals season being here.
CD: I wish I could whip or wheelie. Both would be ideal, but I’m not picky!
One thing about yourself that would surprise people?
KL: I love frogs. Always have from a child. Low-key obsessed.
CD: I’m a terrible woods rider, probably worse than anyone would think until they see it first hand! But I want to change that so bad (haha).
One interesting or unique thing about your hometown?
KL: Tornado and Storm Chasers are literally always here in the summer. A tornado hit and smashed out my one friend’s window the day before Minnedosa National.
CD: I can drive 10 minutes to a sandpit to ride and 10 minutes in the other direction to the beach. It’s like having the best of both worlds.
Have you ever pulled dudes solely on the fact that you race motocross?
CD: No, I don’t think that works for girls the same way it does for guys! Although, I was reminded that I did receive some marriage proposals after my burnout video went viral (haha).
Who’s in your regular crew?
KL: Momma and Dad. My badass ladies class. Honestly, the whole SCRC club. Travis King is my go to riding bud though, we do a lot of second gear battling. And Ty Ballard is definitely a bestie. Away from the track some of my best friends are Megan, Cj, Breanna, Jasmine and Shelby. They’re always there for me.
CD: I get along with everyone. The New England moto community is pretty close knit but my usual crew is a group of guys that I grew up riding with.
What are your plans after racing?
KL: I don’t plan for there to be a life “after racing.” But, once I quit racing the nationals it’ll be nursing life – hopefully something in public health or psych!
CD: I haven’t actually thought about that yet! Dirt bikes have always been a huge part of my life and I don’t see that ever changing. So maybe instead of working and racing, I’ll be working and riding and if I have kids, I hope they race!
Words to live by?
KL: Stop trying to skip the struggle.
CD: Be coachable, work hard, and keep it fun!
Who do you want to thank?
KL: My parents, my grandma, Moose Mountain Leisure, RMR Suspensions, Kimpex, Team Green Canada, Blackheartmx, Lees Oilfield, Kelly’s Hotshot, and DMX for covering the ladies!
CD: I’d like my parents for their support and time spent driving to races. Also, thanks to Paul Goyette, my mechanic, for all he does, Lee Helliwell, with Hellion Designs, for his support and for painting me the coolest helmets in the industry, Dang Shades, 139 Designs, Troy Lee Designs, and all my riding buddies for their continued support!