Out of the Blue | Nicole ‘Shredgal’ Berra | Brought to You by Schrader’s
By Jensen Amyotte
Photos supplied by Nicole
Name: Nicole ‘Shredgal’ Berra
Date of Birth: September 8
Hometown: Champéry, Switzerland / Currently: Salt Lake City, Utah
Occupation: Marketing Specialist
Who/what inspired you to get into the sport of motocross and how long have you been racing/riding?
I was looking for a sport similar to the ones I used to do. I grew up skiing (first racing, then freestyle) and downhill biking in Switzerland, then dropped those sports when I moved to the USA in 2019 because I couldn’t find the same quality of riding as there is in Europe. So, my boyfriend and I each bought our first dirt bikes and started from scratch that summer. At the time, I was working for SCOTT Sports so I had great access to gear and friends who could help us get started.
As a racer, are there any obstacles you feel a female racer has to deal with that maybe a male racer does not?
Finding gear that fits our bodies and that isn’t pink or teal. I understand the industry has data that those are the colors that sell the most but if you only give us those options, they are going to sell. You get what I mean?
The gear that’s made for men is thought through. It’s better quality, the ventilation is strategic and it’s made to match the bike brand colors as well as goggles, helmets and boots being released that year to give the best overall look.
Also, see these kits being worn by the best riders that makes the product look good and makes me want to replicate that style. All I wish is for the industry to take those same designs and match the fitting to women’s bodies, just like they do for the youth collection. I’m not against a pink set if it’s a pink Jason Anderson would rock too.
From your first ride to where you are now what is something you never thought you would be able to overcome but have?
I honestly never thought I could ride a vet track as it was meant to be ridden. By that I mean clearing all the jumps, taking different lines and passing other riders. It takes a lot of baby steps to get there but once you do, the feeling is amazing!
I really wanted people to feel like it’s possible to start from nothing and to get to this point, so I started a TikTok account to share my journey. If you want to tag along check out @shredgal on TikTok 🙂
Who is your all-time favourite rider and why?
I watch Supercross and Pro Motocross every time it’s on and admire all the riders. I don’t believe I have a favorite, male or female, but there are a few athletes I would recommend following for different reasons:
@elhombre21: I love his style and how differently he rides from most other athletes.
@taloreve__: proof that you can be a cute girl off the bike and a badass on the bike.
@vickigolden: the queen. If you don’t follow her, what are you doing?
@elitomac: very humble on his social media. I love watching him ride because his starts aren’t great but that means you get to see him pass and pick off riders one by one until his in first place.
@jettlawrence: His approach to monetizing himself as an athlete and the collabs he does are a great way for you to approach your social media if you’re trying to be an influencer. He also rips on a 250.
@colbyraha: just shows how big of an inspiration you can become even if you grow up with nothing. The creativity in his riding is so entertaining.
@axellhodges: the opposite and yet the same as Raha. Very original rider but he grew up with all the connections.
What is your favourite track and why?
Just this year I started riding new tracks like Perris, CA, Cahuilla, CA, Mesquite, NV, Bunker Hill, UT and OCA, UT, but my all-time favorite is Jordan River in Utah. Randall Berger, the park manager, has done an incredible job with this track. There’s variety in soil, jumps and turns. The track flows great and is always maintained to a T. He also switches up the track during the season and splits the practices accordingly. I’ve learned so much from riding there but I really love all the tracks I’ve mentioned and would go again and again because it’s fun to learn a new track, good practice and an opportunity to meet new people!
Do you have a pre-moto rituals?
Coffee/Red Bull, warmups (dynamic stretching) and bike prep. That’s really it. Also, never forget to fill up the tank! Don’t ask me how I know that…
What is the biggest lesson that motocross racing/ off-road has taught you so far?
Focus on technique first. I know you want to be the fastest but try to be the safest first, it’s a quality for yourself and others. Always keep your line on a track and work on your technique (which includes just knowing how to slow down fast) before going big/fast. It’s a slower process but at the end you’ll avoid injuries and have good form. I am not the fastest on the track, but with the technique I have I can learn quickly. Also, if you can, avoid beginner tracks/classes. Those are where the crazies are and most of them have no control. If you’re comfortable and know how to keep your line, try riding the vet track with the mini motos if the track manager allows it. And make sure to give the minis plenty of space, but most of the time they’ll pass you faster than you can blink.
If you could give 1 piece of advice to a female of any age who wants to start riding what would it be?
The longer you wait to start, the harder it gets. And don’t be shy. And as a girl we have the privilege of having most people at the track wanting to help us, whether it’s with bike tech or riding tips. Just this weekend I felt uncomfortable trying a new jump without following someone else so I asked a group of guys to tow me in and of course they said yes and I cleared my jump! The best that can happen is you learn something new and make new friends. The worst is someone says no (and so far has not happened to me).
What do you like to do in the off season?
I went all in with the powersports when moving to the USA and got a snowmobile too! I ride a Skidoo Summit X (with expert package and 165” track) in the winter. I only ride backcountry with my friends and it’s the best powder riding I’ve done in my entire life! I love it as much as dirt biking but I’m thinking of trying snow biking next.
Who would you like to thank?
My boyfriend, Robin Bino Gillon, of course. We both got into powersports together and encouraged each other. He got really good at snowmobiling and I got really good at dirt biking so we can give each other tips now.
My parents. My moms always had that extreme sports attitude so I’m pretty sure I got it from her and my dad is the raddest skier in my hometown. I love powder days on skis with him.
I have a few friends that I met at the track who helped me with setting up my bike and my riding so I would like to thank: Miles, Dave, Hayden, Scott, Baylon, Cassie and many, many others! I would also like give a shout out to Jessika and Rooster. I would never have accomplished what I did this season without them. And I made a new best friend who loves doing everything I do!