Out of the Blue | Gloria Verhoef | Presented by Schrader’s

By Jensen Amyotte

Presented by Schrader’s

Name: Gloria Verhoef

Date of Birth: May 15, 1991

Hometown: Ponoka, Alberta 

School/Grade or Occupation: Mobile Crane Operator

Race Number: 715

Bike: 2019 Husqvarna TE 300i

Race Club: Rocky Motorcycle Club

Classes: Ladies A

This week, we feature #715 Gloria Verhoef from Ponoka, Alberta. | Cassandra Prochera photo

Who got you into the sport?

An ex-boyfriend got me on a dirt bike at the age of 21. I had no idea how to kick start a bike and knew nothing about Motorsports! I learned to ride on a little RM 85 and quickly moved on to a larger bike. Learning to ride as an adult is challenging! I found that I already had so many habits and fears ingrained in me.

The first few years on both the bike and the sled I didn’t ride much. The last 3 years I have been taking both sports more seriously and working on myself as a rider. It’s taken a lot of work to become the rider I am today, but I wouldn’t change in for the world!

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

I’m a mobile crane operator so I’m away for work a lot. That cuts into my riding time! I spend my free time at work training so I can be physically strong and have endurance on the bike.

My other passion is backcountry sledding. I spend any time I can in the winter in the snow. I also enjoy hiking when I’m not on the bike. Anything that gets me in the mountains is what I love to be doing!                   

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?

The Motorsports world has changed a lot in the last few years. I didn’t ride with another female until 4 years ago! Women still are a minority in Motorsports. That being said, I believe that women have the same opportunities as men. We all need to work hard for our achievements, male or female. 

Gloria can be found in the mountains in every season. | Photo supplied

Who is your all-time favourite rider?

My favourite rider has go to be Graham Jarvis…. the man can ride! Need I say more?

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

Ah, this is a tough question. In the winter I love sledding more. In the summer I love dirt biking more! I think I excel more on the bike. It was my first passion and I feel really connected to being on two wheels in the dirt.

I’ve been working hard to become a more skilled sledder and this season I have really noticed an increase in my confidence and skill level on the sled – it feels awesome!               

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

An event I always enjoy attending is the Triple B Rally in Revelstoke, BC. It’s an all women’s off road event. This event was the first time where I rode with other women and I have met so many amazing and inspiring women at this event over the years! 

Gloria’s favourite rider is Graham Jarvis. | Cassandra Prochera photo

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

There are a few people who have been inspiring for me. A couple ladies who I have yet to meet in person are Megan Griffiths and Crystal Levesque. These women are living proof that our size and strength as females is no excuse to hold us back as riders! A couple local legends that I really look up to are Courtney Schmale and Amber Giroux. Both of these women are fast as hell and can handle a dirt bike like no one’s business!

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

2020 was a weird year due to COVID. Most races in my area where canceled until the fall when we had a couple races. I was able to attend one race. I did ride as much as I could and I had some epic adventures!

A few Klim ambassadors were able to schedule the first annual Klim Women’s Adventure Ride this past August, which was a highlight for me! I thoroughly enjoyed assisting 21 ladies in getting their bikes to the top of a mountain.

For the 2021 season, I plan to ride as much as possible, of course! I have some personal goals and skills that I would like to nail on the bike. I’ll attend any races I’m able to with my work schedule and I plan to be a part of the 2nd Annual Klim Women’s Adventure Ride.

What are your biggest accomplishments to date?

My biggest accomplishment has been inspiring others to pursue their passions in Motorsports. I love helping new riders get into the sport and it warms my heart when girls tell me that I inspire them to get out there and ride. We are capable of anything we put out mind to!

My biggest accomplishment has been inspiring others to pursue their passions in Motorsports.” | Ashleigh Kaliszuk photo

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

I can’t narrow it down to one lesson, so here are a few lessons that motorsports have taught me:

Determination, persistence and consistency are key. Nothing worth having comes easy. You’re not going to wheelie over logs on your first day on a bike. Seat time is important.

Attitude is everything! Keeping positive and having a good attitude will make every day a great day!

We can learn anything! I’m not very mechanically inclined but I’ve learned to do maintenance on my machines and replace parts. It may seem overwhelming to learn to ride, load/unload your machine and work on it, but anytime is possible if you want it enough.

Teamwork. Although both off-road dirt biking and sledding are technically individual sports, it’s very rare you do them alone. Help your fellow rider pick their bike up when they are tired, give your buddy a ski pull on the sled when they are stuck. It’s all part of the the sport and ensures everyone has a good day. Plus, you never know when you’ll need a ski pull yourself 😉

With views like this, where would YOU rather be? | Ashleigh Kaliszuk photo

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years I hope to be further involved in both the off-road dirt biking and sledding industry. I really enjoyed helping out with the Klim ladies ride and I plan to be a part of many events in the future. I will always be working on myself as a rider, learning new skills and becoming better, faster, and 
learning new tricks! 

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

My number one supporter is my fiancé, Tristan. He encourages me to follow my dreams, helps me loosen bolts that are too tight, gives me a pep talk when I need it and is the best adventure partner! Klim for ensuring I’m decked out in the highest quality and best looking gear from head to toe. Their support over the last couple years has been unreal! Rainy Creek Powersports for always getting me my machines and parts in time for my next adventure. Mountain Lab Gear for hooking me up with all the essentials for backcountry safety. And to M7 Designs for the best-looking graphics around! 

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