Out of the Blue: Chloe Metcalfe
By Jeff McConkey
Name: Chloe Metcalfe
Birthday: July 12th, 1996
Hometown: London, Ontario
School & Grade or Occupation: Taking a year off school to work part-time and ride.
Bike: 2014 YZ 125
Race Club: CMRC, TVR, D-14, AMA
Classes: Ladies, Women’s 14+, 125 B/C
How did you get started in racing?
My dad rode dirt bikes all his life, so I grew up at the track and around racing. My dad bought my brother and me a CRF70 when I was 8, and I automatically fell in love with dirt bikes. I rode circles around this field near my house for hours on end every day, until my dad finally took me to The Pit in Thamesford and let me ride the mini track. My brother never got into it, which worked out great for me because I got the bike to myself. I got my first motocross bike when I was 13, provided that all my previous bikes were trail bikes, and I began racing shortly after that.
As a little girl, did you ever expect to be this deep into a sport like motocross?
No, definitely not. I knew that motocross would always be a big part of my life but I never expected to be this passionate and this into racing.
Do you think motocross is harder for a female to compete in?
Yes and no. Strength-wise, I think it is much harder for a female to be at the fitness level that is required to be competitive in this sport. Motocross takes a lot of strength and women aren’t naturally as strong as men. But I also think that it is NOT harder for female because in some cases there isn’t a lot of competition. In more recent years there have been a lot faster girls coming out to the races and proving that the competition is getting intense, but for local events it’s the same 4 girls I’ve been racing with since I was 13 and we’re all basically the same speed.
However, I do think it’s much harder for a woman to make something of their motocross career than it is for a man. Not only do I think that female racers don’t get enough credit for what they do, but there isn’t enough exposure or media coverage for them to get noticed or the help they deserve. Not saying that that isn’t improving drastically, I mean things like this interview, the photo reports and all the media coverage from the Women’s Nationals, showcases the media coverage and attention is becoming more and more and I think that is simply amazing. The more attention and exposure women’s motocross gets, the more young girls will get into it at a young age and the more girls we will have on the track, and more classes will become available. All in all though, I do believe motocross is much harder for a female to compete in, and be successful.
Who is your favourite rider and why?
This is a tough question! I have so many favourites! Chad Reed and Ricky Carmichael will always be my all-time favourites. For obvious reasons of course; they were my favourites as a kid, they are both legends and total bad-asses.
Is there one lady racer out there that you think has paved the way for other girls to be successful in the sport?
There have definitely been a few I could name of the top of my head, but Ashely Fiolek is the first name that comes to my mind. She was the first lady to really inspire me to start racing and she is just an overall bad-ass. I feel like she’s done it all and is definitely the most well-known lady racer out there. She shows girls that they can go far in this industry and sport. One girl who I think is paving the way right now is Vicki Golden. I can’t even express how excited I am for her to race supercross. I’m hoping other fast women will be inspired by this and try the same thing. I think it would be amazing to see a few ladies racing supercross in years to come. Any girl who can race against the guys and kill it is a huge inspiration to me.
What Canadian Pro do you look up to and why?
Zack Zager. He has the biggest heart when it comes to racing. He puts his heart and soul into every moto. He’s the definition of a privateer. He doesn’t rest for one minute on race day. He runs around getting his stuff together, rides, then has to fix something on his bike and he’s usually tinkering away until the next moto. No word of lie, something happens to his bike every time he rides it. Gopher Dunes national last July he had the fastest qualifying time in MX2, was top 8 off the start and blew up his bike second lap of the first moto. That is basically how the rest of the nationals went for him. But he never gets down on himself and always has a positive attitude and still finds the time to wrench for me the next day at the women’s nationals. That kind of passion and determination is really a quality that I look up to. He inspires me to always look at the positive side of things and to never get to upset over racing because in the end we do this for fun, and if it isn’t fun anymore then there is no point.
What is your favourite track and why?
Baja Acres in Millington, Michigan is by far my favourite track of all time. I have so much fun every time my family goes there. Not only do they always have fun activities and things going on after the races, but the atmosphere is so much different there than any other track. There’s an energetic, positive vibe and everyone is always smiling, and the owners sure know how to put on an event. The track is absolutely perfect. It’s a sand track with a hard packed base so it doesn’t get as rough as a track like Gopher but it still gets some serious bumps and ruts. It flows like a dream, has big floater jumps and technical rhythm sections, awesome elevation and perfect corners. It’s my dream track. I could spin a million laps there and never get bored. I just love it.
What are your biggest accomplishments?
One of my biggest accomplishments is competing in all three of the 2014 Women’s Nationals. I raced with some amazingly talented girls and had a blast doing so. I did not have the best luck in my motos but I learned more last season than I ever have, and it’s motivated me to give it my all this year. I’ve been training my butt off in the off season and I have high expectations for this year. I cannot wait for this summer.
What are your goals for next season?
My goals for next season are to improve my riding in general. I would like to qualify for Loretta Lynn’s, win some more local races, race the women’s nationals again this year and try to get in the top 10.
What is your favourite part about going to the races?
My favourite part about the races has to be the gate drop. The nerves on the gate, the accomplishments is competing in all three of the 2014 Women’s Nationals. I raced with some excitement and butterfly feeling when the 30-second board goes up, and the sound of the bikes when the 5 seconds goes sideways, then the most intense part of the race, the hole shot. But I also love the atmosphere at the track and hanging out with 100 of my best friends every weekend. The racing is great but the social aspect of the races is something that I absolutely love. I’ve met so many amazing people and my closest friends are from the track. The moto family is something so unique and beautiful and I love spending my weekends with them.
What do you like to do when you aren’t racing?
When I’m not racing or riding, I’m usually at work at Starbucks in Masonville. I spend a lot of time with my best friend Robin Hutchinson, we do everything together. Recently she has started training me at the gym to help me prepare for the 2015 nationals. I also do a lot of art in my spare time, painting, drawing, sculpting and print making and I will be at Western University in the fall studying fine arts. My boyfriend Zack Zager and his family own Legacy Tattoo in London and St. Thomas so I’ve been introduced to a different type of art that I wasn’t previously exposed to and have totally fallen in love with it. Zack and I paint and draw together often as well, which is nice because we both bring different art skills to the table so we can help each other and collaborate easily. My friend Whitney Locken and I are actually looking to open a business and sell our arts and crafts in the future, so keep an eye out for that. Other than that I’ve started ice riding and it is so much fun, way more fun than I ever would’ve imagined. It will definitely help make the winter go by faster and help improve my cornering skills for race season.
Is it important to have a motocross racer as a boyfriend/significant other, or just a bonus?
To me it’s essential. Motocross is such a big part of my life, that I can’t even imagine being with someone who doesn’t understand or appreciate the sport as much as I do. I don’t even have many friends who aren’t from the motocross world. So for me it’s an absolute must for a boyfriend/husband.
If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers?
Oh, 100%. As soon as my kids can walk they will be on a bike. I’m a strong believer that motocross keeps kids out of trouble, teaches them important life lessons and demonstrates the importance of family. I can definitely say one of the biggest reasons I’m so close with my family is from racing. I have them to thank for all of this and where I am today. And I also think being a 50 parent would be pretty awesome.
Who do you want to thank?
I’d like to thank Tim and Moira Metcalfe, my parents, for taking me to the races and always supporting me, Zack for always helping me with my riding and his love and support, W1p clothing, Soszure, Xtreme Toys, Blue-Con Construction, 906 Media, Tim Metcalfe Plumbing Inc, Amber-Lee Lighting Inc, and anyone cheering me on, thank you.