Out of the Blue | Britny Martens | Presented by Schrader’s

By Jensen Amyotte

Presented by Schrader’s

Name: Britny Martens

Date of Birth: March 9, 1994

Hometown: Red Deer, AB

School/Grade or Occupation: Radiation Therapist

Race Number: 774

Bike: CRF 250R

Race Club: Previously ADRA/AMSA, club races at XtremeRaceways, Table Top Raceway and Wild Rose MX

Classes: Ladies 

This week, we feature Britny Martens from Red Deer, Alberta. | Eden Schell photo

Who got you into the sport of motocross?

My dad had a passion for motocross and at a very young age I used to ride with him on the front of his bike. He says that I would always laugh and scream at him to “go faster,” and he knew from that moment on I would love riding.

When I was five years old he took me to Turple Brothers, laid an XR50 over and told me to pick it up. I tried so hard! Despite using all my might, I could not pick it up. We returned a few more times to try again, and about a week before my seventh birthday I FINALLY lifted the bike back on two wheels. You can probably guess what I got for my seventh birthday.

We took that brand new, shiny red XR50 to a football field near our house where I experienced my first “whiskey throttle,” but luckily, not my first crash.

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

During the summer if I am not riding my dirt bike, I am likely teaching someone else how to ride theirs! Outside of the track, I spend a lot of time outdoors with my dog, Bear, and at the gym. This last year I have taken on a lot of DIY home renovations, largely inspired by every married man’s worst enemy, Pintrest! 

As a racer, are there any obstacles you feel a female racer must deal with that maybe a male racer does not?

From a physiological perspective, females have less testosterone. Physical size and strength are a factor when comparing male and female athletes. Males are typically perceived to be more spontaneous and risky while females more cautious. All of these “facts” play into what I believe the biggest obstacle is, that is the general belief that female racers will never be on the same level as male racers. And this belief is often held by both parties. However, talent is universal. Removing the misconception that motorsports are for men is only the first step.

I remember when my dad signed me up for my first race, a parent behind us scoffed and made the comment, “girls don’t race motocross.” Fast forward 20 years, women’s motocross in Canada has grown and is gaining so much support! As more women get involved in the sport, I think the next obstacle to overcome is the belief that women cannot compete at the same level as men. 

Britny grew up as a big Ricky Carmichael fan. | Kyle Pearson photo

Who is your all-time favourite rider?

Growing up, I was a big Ricky Carmichael fan. When I was 10 I had several of his posters on my wall, I owned a signed hat and his graphic T-shirt. We did manage to see him race his last Supercross season in Anaheim. He won the race, and I am pretty sure I only watched him the entire time. I knew of his hard work both on and off the track from watching “The Great Outdoors” and I think it was his dedication and consistency in the sport that really inspired me as a child. 

What is your favourite track and why?

I might be biased, however, my favourite track is Xtreme Raceways in Alix, AB. My father built that track with his heart and soul, and we ran the facility as a family business. I put a lot of time and effort into that track growing up, made a lot of memories, and met a lot of amazing people. Overall, the atmosphere is very welcoming and encouraging. The track spans 160 acres of large, rolling hills with lots of elevation changes, off-camber corners and long stretches of high-speed sections. There is also a wide variety of trails and a free-ride section with huge jumps (that I personally have not had the courage to hit).         

What event do you look forward to most every year? What’s one you don’t ever want to miss?

We started a series at our track called “Mini Motos” which is a series of weekly motos tailored to young riders ages 5-12. Although I no longer race, I help run the series and I look forward to it every single week! It can be really intimidating and difficult for new riders and their parents to feel comfortable in motosport racing, so this series focuses on building a foundation and creating a positive experience to build that confidence.

I absolutely love helping them experience racing in a smaller, supportive environment. We have built an amazing community of children and their parents who genuinely have so much fun riding and racing together. It has been an extremely rewarding event for me.

We started a series at our track called “Mini Motos” which is a series of weekly motos tailored to young riders ages 5-12. It can be really intimidating and difficult for new riders and their parents to feel comfortable in motosport racing, so this series focuses on building a foundation and creating a positive experience to build that confidence.”

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

It might sound a bit cheesy, but I think one of my biggest inspirations has been my boyfriend, Kyle Pearson. When I first met Kyle, he was a beginner rider trying to take a shot at his lifelong childhood dream of racing dirt bikes. He had such love and passion for the sport, sometimes so intense it would (almost) annoy me. In those early years I do not think he thought much about anything outside of motocross. Kyle also had quite a talent for riding.

He started off riding track as a beginner (in his mid 20s) in 2014 and managed to improve his skills so much that he qualified and raced his first Canadian Pro National at Wild Rose MX, Calgary, AB in 2018. His love for the sport is contagious, and his growth and talent as a rider is impressive.

Now, Kyle can be found hanging out at local motocross tracks, volunteering his time helping young/new riders and drawing new graphic designs for his clothing company, Moto or Die. His rev-limiter whips over the finish line always draw a crowd, and his humble, friendly, and helpful disposition make him very approachable. All the kids and parents love him at mini motos and he is my go-to guy to help fix all my bike issues. To me, he has been hugely inspirational both on and off the track and I am very grateful to have both met him and to have him be such a big part of my life.

Do you have any pre-moto rituals?

Does stressing out and not sleeping the night before because of both nerves and anticipation count? Ha! At the gate I was a big fan of visualizing myself getting out of the gate clean and getting the holeshot. If I did not do this, I usually did terrible!  

Britny injured her ankle and is hoping for a better season of riding in 2021 | J&M Photography and Designs photo

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

In 2020, I was coming back from a bad ankle injury that took me out for an entire year and required two surgeries to fix. Being honest, my confidence took a huge hit, and I did not feel like myself on the bike. I struggled with a lot of discomfort wearing my motocross boots due to that injury and ended up spending most of my time teaching lessons and helping with mini motos.

Near the end of the season, I attended a Surfin Berms day, where the track was open to ladies only. There were so many ladies riding, I could not believe it! I had so much fun, and I felt more comfortable and confident that day than I had all year.

This year I got new boots! I am hoping to spend more time dedicated to my technique on the bike, particularly improving my technique and confidence while jumping. I also plan (restrictions/pandemic permitting) to run mini motos again, teach more lessons and attend more Surfin Berms events! Overall, I am really looking forward to seeing familiar faces again, as well meeting new people and making more memories with some rad people.   

What is the biggest lesson that motocross racing/ off-road has taught you so far?

I think the biggest lesson I have learned riding and racing motocross is personal responsibility, accountability and being decisive. You are responsible for every decision you make, every action you take and the consequences. It is often easier to come up with an excuse for things such as “the track is in bad shape” or “my bike isn’t set-up properly.” However, learning to take personal responsibility allows you to act, such as improving your skill level so you can ride diverse conditions or learning how to adjust your bike set-up if you need to.

At the end of the day, you are accountable for how you handle yourself in different situations. If you ride above your skill level, there are consequences that can lead to some serious physical injury. However, if you never push yourself outside of your comfort zone or spend time dedicated to improving your skill there are consequences of never progressing. You must be decisive, make decisions and hold yourself accountable to the outcome.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I hope to still be really involved in the track, helping new riders, and continuing to ride myself. However, I am also pursuing further education in my professional life and looking at furthering my career in research and clinical knowledge in hopes of pursuing an advanced practice role.  

Watch for Britny at an Alberta track this season, either on her bike or helping others on theirs. | Kyle Pearson photo

Who would you like to thank?

There are so many people who have been amazing and have helped me so much both on and off the track. My parents have always been very supportive, and my dad had a big role while I was racing. He was always there helping me with my bike, getting me to the races and cheering me on. I am very thankful for everything they have done, the sacrifices they made and for encouraging me to always be the best version of myself. Kyle really takes care of me when we go riding (and in life). He loads my bike, drives me to the track, helps me maintain and usually washes my bike. He rides with me, encourages me, supports me in mini motos and is forever my favorite riding partner and best friend. Turple Brothers has always been a huge support for me. They take good care of me whenever I need something, and I always feel like family whenever I go visit (it is seriously almost a full day affair by the time I finish talking with everyone I love to visit with there!).

In addition to Turples, I would like to thank Honda Canada, Parts Canada, and Fox Canada for their amazing support programs. Thank you to all the volunteers who work so hard to maintain and operate all the motocross tracks and associations across Alberta. You are the backbone to the sport and without your hard work and dedication we would not have such amazing places to ride.

I want to thank all the amazing ladies at Surfin Berms and Michelle McCarthy for being such a wonderful, encouraging, and friendly person who always makes me feel so welcome and excited to ride!

Finally, I really want to send a huge thank you to all the mini moto riders and their parents that have come together, shown up regularly, and always offer to help. You have brought so much fun and positive vibes to our facility and all truly inspire me. I love seeing everyone come together as a community and the improvements, confidence, and excitement all the riders bring every single week.

Tell Rick we say hello.