Out of the Blue | Janelle Bartlett | Brought to You by Schrader’s

By Jensen Amyotte

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Name: Janelle Bartlett

Date of Birth: April 25th

Hometown: Calgary & Edmonton, Alberta

Occupation: Event Manager

Race Number: 12

Bike: KTM 250F


Classes: Ladies A, Vet Junior, Intermediate/Beginner 

This week, we feature #12 Janelle Bartlett who now calls Calgary home. | Adam Gregory Photography

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

My dad, and my sister, Samantha. My dad raced when we were very young and chose to stop to spend more time with us. He never stopped riding though and introduced myself and both my sisters to trail riding and had us on the bike with him as infants. However, it wasn’t until I was 15 that I got my own small-wheel bike and in 2015 I upgraded to big wheels and started racing!

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

Since I started racing I do believe that there have been some big improvements to Ladies’ racing, but there have also been some major setbacks. I feel that the biggest support for the ladies’ side comes from the ladies themselves and we have been extremely lucky on the West Coast to have the women step up in the major ways that have. I would love to see the Ladies be treated with more priority in the higher levels in the future and I hope with the rise of female riders coming out to big events it is in the near future for us. CDNWMX made the Nationals some of the best experiences of my life and I would love for that experience to be given to the ladies coming into the circuit. 

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

I really have to shout out all the ladies involved in Surfin Berms because they throw the BEST ladies events that I’ve been a part of. I also look forward every year to the Nationals and while I wasn’t able to attend 2020-2022 I was so happy to be out at Kamloops and Calgary this year, even though I wasn’t racing. 

Do you have a pre-mto rituals?

As a bit of a washed up vet rider who’s just out there for fun, I don’t have a pre-moto ritual, but we do have a bit of a post-moto ritual and you can bet you can catch me racing a shot gun with my moto family after a race day!

Janelle comes from a moto family. | Family photo

What are your plans for this upcoming season? Any specific events you’re looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to getting back into racing more after being taken away from it over the last few years because of work. I was given the opportunity to move from Edmonton to Calgary after years and years of wanting to move down here to be closer to the track and the riding community here!

What is the biggest lesson that motocross racing has taught you so far?

Patience, and being honest with myself. We all want to go out and win and it’s been hard on the ego over the years seeing girls far younger than me whooping my ass. It’s been a challenge sometimes remembering that I started racing when I was 20 and lots of these girls aren’t even that old yet hahaha! It has also taught me to respect the living sh** out of every girl that’s out there riding because we all come from different backgrounds, but we’re all out there supporting the ladies’ side of the sport!

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

There are so many, and so many I don’t even personally know of. I will never not love the story of the lady who called out the race officials for giving out makeup kits instead of payout years ago. There have been so many women who have given up their personal time and sometimes their sanity to make the experience better for all women involved. 

What kind of track/dirt do you feel you excel at most and why? 

With starting out on trails on crown land I’ve had a chance to ride on everything from muskeg to mud to sand and I have to say soft, tacky dirt with a bit of clay is easily my favourite. If I can rail a soft rut in a corner I’m loving life!

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

DO IT!!! It can be intimidating to get into but the support for girls and women who want to ride from the existing women’s racers and riders is HUGE. There’s always a lady out there who is more than happy to spend time with a new rider, and if you’re not sure who that is just send a message out to any lady that races! If they aren’t personally able to help, they’ll know someone who is. The Ladies’ scene is extremely welcoming and we’re always looking to bring in new ladies!! 

What was your first race number and how did you choose it?

I’ve always raced #12. My sister started racing the year before me and when I decided to race as well, I took her number (24) and divided it in half because at the time on the track I was about as half as good as she was. I’ll beat her one day though haha!

Watch for Janelle and her sister, #24 Samantha Bartlett, at a track near you! | Family photo

Do you see yourself ever competing in the Canadian WMX Triple Crown series? 

I can’t wait to line up and fill a gate next year! I’m never going to be even close to a top 10 rider by any means, but I will continue to get out to help fill the line until our sport is at a place where we have full gates at which point I’ll be happy to support from the sidelines!

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

I can’t pretend to know what goes into running Triple Crown, but as I have done everything I can to work my life around attending the nationals for the past 8 years, I can honestly say it’s not what it was when it was ran by CDNWMX. I would like to see someone at the top level of Triple Crown stand up for the ladies a bit more. I totally understand most of us aren’t as fast as the guys and very few of us are Factory riders, but when we have ladies travel from all over North America to be involved a little more consideration would go a long way. When a lady that used to race stands up for our class and is answered with a retort by a Triple Crown official demeaning her it’s extremely discouraging for all women involved, especially when we’re trying to build the sport and bring in new ladies. 

Who would you like to thank? 

All the ladies that have made me fall in love with this sport! Of course my family, my better half, my friends, Rudi Zascko Jr, Riverside Motorsports, M7, Limenine, and everyone who has supported me over the years. The journey has been incredible from my first day on the bike and I am thankful for everyone that has been involved along the way!

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