Out of the Blue | Amanda Dobby | Presented by Schrader’s

By Jensen Amyotte

Photos by Ashleigh Kaliszuk

Presented by Schrader’s

Name: Amanda Dobby

Date of Birth: July 26, 1983

Hometown: Calgary, Alberta

Occupation: Corporate Training 

Race Number: 726

Bike: 2020 Husqvarna TE150i 

Race Club: Amsa Offroad, Second Gear club

Class: Ladies Intermediate

This week, we feature Amanda Dobby from Calgary, Alberta. | Ashleigh Kaliszuk photo

Who got you into the sport?

I grew up in a very active family. We were always out camping, boating, skiing, snowmobiling or doing something adventurous!  My passion for dirt bikes started at a young age running behind my older brother as he rode his 1981 RM125 down the back alley in Calgary.  I was always tagging along in a dress ready to get muddy and hang out with the boys.  One day I got sick of being doubled and wanted to be in control so I bought myself a used 1992 RM125 over 20 years ago.       

When not on a dirt bike, how do you keep yourself busy? 

I spent most of my younger life committed to studying classical ballet and completed the Royal Academy of Dance Syllabus.  Later in life I found yoga.  In 2012, I  completed my first 500-hour yoga teacher training and have been teaching part time ever since.  I also love surfing and paddle-boarding, so I plan to get out on the dirt bike and find neat paddle destinations this summer for some yoga paddle-board fun.                                                               

As someone who has raced, are there any obstacles you feel a female racer has to deal with that maybe a male racer does not?

There have been so many amazing women who have inspired me and paved the way for women’s racing, but for me I can’t think of any obstacles at my level.  The biggest challenge is finding the right bike for your size, skill set and riding style where you can excel yet still be self-sufficient in the tricky situations you can find yourself in.

Tell us the benefits of doing yoga when it comes to performance on the bike! 

For me, riding my bike is a form of meditation because you cannot think of anything else but the present moment and what you are doing.  Yoga has brought so much strength and agility to my riding as it is a true full body workout.  I think stretching is something many of us could do more of before and after riding to prevent injuries and connect with the body.  Lastly, yoga has taught me mental toughness.  When you can control your breath, you can control your mind, so whether it’s staying focused on the start line or breathing through a scary downhill at a race, remembering to breathe and infuse your body with oxygen is imperative.  

Amanda looks forward to “Babes in the Dirt” in Gorman, California, every year. | Ashleigh Kaliszuk photo

Who is your all-time favourite rider? 

That is a tough question as there are so many!  Locally, Lexi Pechout is an inspiration on a bike. Her encouragement and positivity when we ride is contagious, and she is extremely knowledgeable and versatile in all terrains. Melissa Harten, Kristen Broderick, Jannie Devin Lamontagne, Meghan Williams, Lisa Cleverdon, Brittany Schrage, and the many others in the race community that welcomed me with open arms.  Ashley Fiolek I met in California who lit my fire for jumping on a motocross track, along with the ladies that run ATWYLD and Babes in the Dirt.                 

Between riding on dirt, in the woods and also the snow, which do you feel you excel at the most and why? 

I spend most of my time riding single-track in the woods or on my acreage with friends.  I love getting to the top of a hill climb, soaking in the views and appreciating how magnificent nature is.  Riding in the winter with studded tires is a blast. It allows you to extend your riding season in Canada, and the traction makes for some great riding.  Growing up I found the track intimidating as there were very few females, and people zooming by flying through the air while I putted around.  Thankfully, today there are many more females riding, and more ladies events including Surfin Berms track nights locally, so I have found a new love for the track.  

Is there an event you look forward to most every year? 

“Babes in the Dirt” in Gorman, California, is a fantastic all ladies dirt bike event.  The feeling of being surrounded by over 700 like-minded babes on bikes was very inspiring! Also, I was fortunate to teach an outdoor yoga session at the “Triple B” ladies event in Revelstoke, BC, surrounded by beautiful views and smiling ladies looking forward to a day of adventure.

Who has been your biggest inspiration/hero on and off the track?

All my riding buddies!  I have been tagging along for rides with my brother and company for years.  They have picked me up, kicked my bike, talked me through some tough terrain, cried with me, laughed with me and encouraged me along the way.  The countless shop nights sharing maintenance tips, and mapping out new adventures will forever leave an impact on me. 

The feeling of accomplishment you get when you make it up the hill or over the obstacle makes every bruise, cut, broken part and curse word worth it!” | Ashleigh Kaliszuk photo

Tell us about your 2020 season and your plans for 2021.

2020 was all about getting out on the bike and having fun.  I had surgery on my hand after a bad break at a race, so had to work on strength and clutch control.  Thankfully, I was able to attend a few riding clinics with Stephen Ford and Sam King to work on technique and body positioning which was very helpful.  I attended one winter race, the Frozen Nut, where I placed second overall in the ladies class. It’s a race I look forward to every year. 

2021 I plan to ride and race whenever possible, and if the borders open head south to ride St George, and of course attend Babes in the Dirt in California and any local events happening.      

What are your biggest accomplishments to date? 

In 2019 I took a leap and bought an acreage 30 minutes West of Calgary.  It has since been coined Moon Ridge Moto ranch!  Currently there is a single- track, some hills climbs, and a growing number of enduro obstacles to practice.  I am looking forward to seeing what creative ideas we can build into the land to practice with friends, including, of course, a yoga and mindfulness infusion!  

What is the biggest lesson that being involved in motorsports has taught you so far? 

Determination, perseverance, and to be tough, not just physically, but mentally, and emotionally as well.  From having to push/peg a broken bike out of the bush till dusk, to injuries, to maintenance and tire changes it can feel daunting and your mindset can get the best of you.  Jumping on a dirt bike is exhilarating and humbling all in one.  It is literally the hardest sport I have ever done, and the only way you get better is with seat time.  The feeling of accomplishment you get when you make it up the hill or over the obstacle makes every bruise, cut, broken part and curse word worth it!

Watch for Amanda on the trails, the track, the slopes, or the yoga matt! | Ashleigh Kaliszuk photo

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

Riding, of course!  Whenever I attend a clinic or go on more advanced rides, much like in yoga, it reminds me that I still have so much more to learn. I love getting out of my comfort zone and trying something new.  I am looking forward to getting comfortable on a trials bike, and attending clinics and riding events.  I also love to be in the mountains on a snow bike and am looking forward to next winter to shred some powder!                        

Are there any sponsors or people you would like to thank?

First off, I would like to thank my amazing family for always encouraging me to follow whatever my heart desires.  Layne Schneider for cheering me on, loosening tight bolts, and for catching me or my bike when I need it.  The community at Metta Yoga for helping my mind, body and soul.  Lexi Pechout and the entire Blackfoot Direct team for keeping my Husqvarna dialled in, parts ready, and knowledge a phone call away.   

Rick is, literally, waiting for your call at Schrader’s.