Out of the Blue | Hailey Johnson-Jones | Brought to You by Schrader’s

By Jensen Amyotte

Brought to you by Schrader’s

Name: Hailey Johnson-Jones

Date of Birth: December 21, 1994

Hometown: Moab, UT

Occupation: Master Esthetician

Race Number: 127

Bike: 2021 KTM 250SXF

Race Club: RMX

Classes: Womens & 250 Novice

This week, we feature #127 Hailey Johnson-Jones from Moab, Utah. | Photo supplied

Who/what inspired you to get into the sport of motocross and how long have you been racing/riding? 

My dad inspired me to get into the sport. He spent quite a few years riding and racing himself. After a bad crash he passed the torch onto my brother. And after a year or two of going to the races every weekend and standing on the sidelines, I told my dad I wanted to give it a try. I’m pretty sure he thought I was full of it, but he humored me and got me set up to race.

I ended up breaking my ankle in the first lap of practice. I’m sure my dad thought that would be enough to make me never want to get back on a bike again, but I honestly couldn’t wait to get back to it. I fell absolutely in love with the sport and was hooked from the moment I started. I’ve been riding/racing for 14 years now.

Are you involved in any other sports or extracurricular activities? What keeps you busy off the bike? 

I try to stay pretty busy. I come from a very active family so I am used to always being on the go. Aside from moto, I also snowboard. Living in Utah we get all the seasons, so once the warm weather is gone and the tracks close, I head for the snow. Utah is a stunning state and I’ve always loved to get out and explore. I swear some of the best hiking is in Utah and most places my dog can come along so it’s a win win!

My family loves the lake so we go out to the lake as much as we can to wake surf. I also am in the process of opening up my own esthetics business, so between moto, wake surfing, going to the gym, snowboarding, hiking, and all the other random events during the week I stay pretty busy!

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

I feel that both sides have their obstacles, but I do feel that being  stereotyped and not taken seriously are two I have had to face the most. When I was younger there weren’t many girls who actually raced. A lot of the time I signed up to race with the boys simply because there were not enough girls to have a class. I remember hearing snarky remarks and getting odd looks because I was a female sitting on the line with a bunch of guys. Not many thought I could hold my own and many thought I would be more of a hazard on the track. With time that changed but I still run into males and some females with the mindset that this is a male only sport.

Hailey has been racing for 14 years. | Photo supplied

From your first ride to where you are now what is something you never thought you would be able to overcome but have?

When I first started I never thought I would be competitive. I got a later start than most of the girls I was racing against and I remember feeling like I would never get to the level they were at. I never thought I would be brave enough to hit the jumps they were hitting, be skilled enough to hit ruts, or carry the speed that they had. I was lucky enough to have a team of people behind me that helped me get to that competitive spot.

My dad would do the silliest things to help me succeed. I was terrified of jumping and at any new track he would always have to go stand on the side of the jump for me to muster up the courage to hit it, regardless of how big or small the jump was. My dad pushed for me to be the best I could be because he saw first-hand how females in the sport were perceived and wanted different for me. 

Who is your all-time favourite rider and why?

That’s a hard one. I have a handful of favorites for different reasons. Mike LaRocco is one of my all-time favorites. I remember watching him race as a little girl, he’s a true legend. Ryan Villopoto is also an all-time favorite simply because of his riding. I don’t know if I have ever been as impressed as I was when watching RV ride! Dean Wilson has been one of my favorites since he made his debut. I adore his personality and the drive he has to never give up.

As for females riders, Ashley Fiolek is one of the baddest. The obstacles she has overcome are absolutely mind-blowing to me. Her book changed my entire mindset about the sport and life. 

Do you have a pre-moto rituals?  

I always pray. We lost a longtime family friend very unexpectedly. She was a sister figure in my life. Our families go way back and moto has been such a massive part of the friendship. As soon as I get on the line, I tune everything out and talk to her. It helps to calm my nerves and helps me to really dial in my focus. It’s also where I feel the most connected to her. I can’t go out for a race without talking to her first.

Another ritual I have is hugging my parents. My parents are almost always up on the line with me. My mom always gives me a hug and tells me to “ride smart.” My dad does the same but tells me to “do work, sis.” If those things don’t happen I feel like I can’t put a solid ride together. 

Living in Utah, she also enjoys snowboarding, wake surfing, and hiking. | Photo supplied

Are there any females out there who you feel have paved the way for other girls to be successful in motocross or off road?

I think some of the most influential women in this sport are Vicki Golden, Jordan Jarvis, and Ashley Fiolek. Those girls have gone further in the sport than anyone ever really thought was possible. Not only have they entered a male-dominated sport and held their own, but they’ve also encouraged other women to do the same!

Taylor Peet is another girl who is changing the sport. She’s created her own way to get females involved and will absolutely be someone who creates an impact. There are also a couple of local girls here in Utah, Tayler Allred and Sofia Phelps, that I think are going to be the next to breakthrough and really pave the way for the next generation of females. 

If you could give 1 piece of advice to a female of any age who wants to start riding what would it be?

Go for it! Riding is a feeling unlike any other. I highly recommend finding someone you trust in the sport to be a mentor to you who can help you get started. If you don’t personally know someone who rides, you can always find someone who inspires you locally or over social media and ask questions. I promise no one will think its weird, we are all more than happy to help! Most importantly is to remember that you are capable of more than what you give yourself credit for and never let anyone make you think or feel any different. 

What are your thoughts on the Canadian WMX Triple Crown series?

I think it is amazing that there is a WMX series! I love that there is an opportunity for women to compete at that level and to be able to chase down more than just a local series. Coming to compete is definitely on the bucket list for me!

Hailey would love to come north to race our series one day. | Ken Redding photo

Who would you like to thank? 

First, my parents, I couldn’t have done any of it without them. My dad jumped in full force and fought to help the sport of women’s motocross. He always went above and beyond to make sure I was prepared in more ways than one. He hauled me all over the state and surrounding states and always found a spot on the track where I could see him cheering. He introduced me to the sport and I can never thank him enough for that! My mom also followed me anywhere and everywhere and has always been so supportive of me chasing down dreams. She’s always the one to tell me I can do anything and everything when I doubt myself, she really is my biggest cheerleader, she’s the best! My grandparents have also been beyond supportive with my racing career. I don’t know if there is a race they’ve missed. My parents were gone one race weekend and my grandpa jumped right in to play mechanic and my grandma set up the nicest camp site in the whole pit area. Last but not least, my little brother has been my biggest supporter from day one, he’s always made sure to come to the line to wish me luck and give a pre-moto pep talk. He’s good about getting next to me on the track to push me out of my comfort zone and if there is an area on the track I’m not comfortable with, he’s the first to offer advice. I also have a handful of sponsors that help me out as well! I have so many people in my corner that  have made me fall even more in love with this sport, having a good support system is such a blessing. 

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