Out of the Blue | Lisa Cleverdon | Presented by Schrader’s

By Jensen Amyotte

Presented by Schrader’s

Name: Lisa Cleverdon

Hometown: Timmins, Ontario (Now lives in Calgary, Alberta)

School/Grade or Occupation: SAIT Graduate- Therapy Assistant 

Race Number: 91

Bike: 2018 KTM 250 XC

Race Club: AMSA

Classes: Intermediate Ladies

This week, we feature Lisa Cleverdon who is originally from Timmins, ON but now calls Calgary, AB home. | JC Photography photo

Who got you into the sport?                                   

When I moved to Calgary in 2004, I met someone who rode and raced dirt bikes. We went dirt biking for our second date. I was hooked right away and have been riding ever since!

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

I have 3 dogs so they keep me pretty busy! I like to work out, read, make jewelry, travel, but most of all I love spending time with my friends. I seriously have the best group of friends in my life!                                               

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?

I feel like everyone, regardless of gender, has their own set of obstacles that they need to identify and work on consistently. I think as long as you are committed to your training, skill development and learning as much as you can about optimal bike set up you can conquer any obstacles that come your way. 

Who is your all-time favourite rider?

I’d have to say Jason Schrage. Jason Schrage has been riding since he was quite young and has been the AMSA Pro Cross Country champion for the past 19 years. It’s so amazing to me that he can balance his job of being an EMT/Fire Fighter, his beautiful family (wife Brittany and daughters Emery and Kinlee), and still find the time to train and ride and still win championships. It reminds me every time I ride, I have no excuses.

What is really great to see is how he is such a mentor for all of the boys and girls who are wanting to get into the sport. He runs the Junior Red Riders program for Honda with Britttany and they are teaching and mentoring the youth who will be coming up in the sport in the future. He truly is an amazing athlete, friend and a great mentor for the sport. 

Lisa’s favourite rider is Jason Schrage. “It’s so amazing to me that he can balance his job of being an EMT/Fire Fighter, his beautiful family (wife Brittany and daughters Emery and Kinlee), and still find the time to train and ride and still win championships.” | Ryan Knysh photo

Considering all the different terrains you ride on, which do you feel you excel at the most and why?

Definitely cross-country single track is the main terrain that I ride. I love to ride everything, whether it’s fast and flowy, slow and technical, rocky and tight, I love it all. I feel like my two-stroke really excels in the slow technical terrain though. My bike is so light and nimble that it tends to excel in those situations the most. 

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

The Porcupine Hills XC race put on by the Lethbridge Motorcycle Club is always my favourite. It’s always the first race of the AMSA series and it’s super exciting because you haven’t seen a lot of the people that go to the races in about a year so everyone is buzzing and excited to see each other! I have been going out to that area since I started riding so it’s a place that holds a lot of good memories for me!

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

I have so many hero’s in the off-road community: Lexi Pechout, Shelby Turner, Melissa Harten, Kristen Broderick, Jannie Lamontagne, Suzanne Pelletier to name a few. All the women who helped push for the Expert Ladies classes.

In motocross, my heroes are Danika White, Michelle McCarthy and Ashley Nicholson. My biggest heroes are my main friends group that I spend most of my riding/downtime with. You all know who you are!

The event she looks forward to every year is the Porcupine Hills XC race put on by the Lethbridge Motorcycle Club. | Ryan Knysh photo

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

Because the race season last year was cancelled, my friends and I decided we were going to ride as much as we could all summer. A lot of the rides were exclusively women and we had the best time every ride challenging and supporting each other!

I’ve set some pretty big personal goals for the 2021 season this year but the main goal I have is to just have fun and enjoy the season with all the other women racers this year!

What are your biggest accomplishments to date?

My personal biggest accomplishment is actually being able to race. I have dealt with serious race anxiety in the past which has caused me some pretty severe injuries before and during the races. I finally was able to overcome this fear in the 2019 race season, so it was a huge accomplishment for me! 

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

The biggest lesson that I have learned so far is how important it is to keep learning and keep pushing yourself to get better. I’m a huge advocate for taking riding schools as much as possible because there’s always something new to learn and some other way to get better. I owe a lot of my increase in skill development to taking the Stephen Foord riding schools that he puts on with his fiancée Melissa Harten. They truly have so much knowledge and experience and are great at verbalizing and breaking down the skills you need in all areas of riding!

Keep an eye out for Lisa in 2021. | Dan Frederickson photo

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In the next 5 years I see myself continuously learning and developing more skills and hopefully earning my way into the Ladies Expert class. It’s going to be a lot of work but I am confident in my abilities to keep working hard towards my goals and achieving what I set out to do. I’ve always enjoyed bringing new riders out riding and helping women to become more independent with their riding and bike mechanics. I hope to maybe play a bigger role in that in the future.         

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

I am so thankful to Fired-Up Automotive and Jan Campbell for all of the work they have done on my moto van and bike, GW Cycle who has been consistently supportive throughout my riding years, TNT Racing Development for taking the time and care for setting up my suspension so well for me and my riding abilities, Mark Schell for introducing me to the sport and supporting me with my riding endeavours. Thanks to my friends who have always been there to support me and who are continuously pushing me to achieve my goals! 

Are ya there, Rick Bradshaw?