Out of the Blue | River Thomas | Presented by Schrader’s

By Jensen Amyotte

Presented by Schrader’s

Name: River Thomas

Date of Birth: March 3rd, 2005

Hometown: Cambridge, ON

School/Grade: Grade 10 at Galt Collegiate institute

Race Number: 85

Bike: Yamaha YZ125

Race Club: TVR, AMO

Classes: Ladies A

This week, we feature #85 River Thomas from Cambridge, Ontario. | Ryan Thomas photo

Who got you into the sport of motocross?

This sport has been passed down through generations and is in our blood. My papa started racing in 1968 and then my dad started to race in 1993 and had many podium wins. From 2007 to 2009, “Ryan Water”  took place in Lucan, Ontario, on my family’s farm.

When I was 8 years old I got a KLX110 and rode around my grandparents’ farm but then I started racing TVR and my passion just took off from there, even though nobody thought I would love this sport as much as I do.

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

I tend to spend a lot of time working out/Field Hockey, doing bike maintenance, and helping out around the farm. I also spend a lot of time with friends and family.                                      

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

Obviously, there are obstacles but as the years go on more and more girls are becoming pro and going into the higher levels. Although males are built for this sport it doesn’t mean that girls can’t do it, it just means we have to work harder for the same goals, and anyone who loves this sport has the support and mindset to accomplish goals.

Who is your all-time favourite rider?

I’d have to say that my all-time favourite rider is Ryan Villopoto.  He has won many titles and after his retirement from the pro Supercross, he is still passionate about the sport. Some other riders I love are Eil Tomac, Jett Lawrence and “Ronnie Mac.”

She was happy to race the TransCan this summer. | Ryan Thomas photo

What is your favourite track and why?

I’d say my favourite track would have to be Walton. The Lee family has thrown many events and supports tons of racing clubs. This track is also where I’ve celebrated podium finishes. The track conditions can vary from mud to dry but is a very good opportunity to get better in a variety of areas such as cornering and of course “The Monster” finish line jump.                  

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

This year I had an opportunity to go to the Walton TransCan and this was definitely an event I’ll never miss again. Something I always remembered from when I was little was the double-header weekend on Thanksgiving because even though not all my family could be out to support me, the track has always felt like a second home to me. It’s overall just a great weekend eating big turkey dinner and seeing all the little kids trick-or-treating.

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

There are a lot of people who inspire me but my biggest inspiration would have to be my dad. He has been there for me since I was little and he gives everything for me so I can show up to racing looking and feeling great. Not only is he my mechanic he has taught me how to ride and be the person I am today. I think we both know by now that I’m a faster rider than him but he always pushes me to my best and always says little reminders like “stick that corner” and persistently tries to make me a better rider than he ever was in his racing career. My dad is always the one helping me at the line, cheering on the sidelines, and more. I’d just like to say thank you Dad, for everything you do.

River is coming back from a knee injury. | Krisily Starr photo

Tell us about your 2019 race season and how your 2020 season has been so far. 

In 2019 I raced in Ladies B with TVR. With some difficult battles with other girls, I managed to pull off a second place for the spring series. In the summer I got bumped to Ladies A. This was definitely a change and I was determined to get faster to podium next series.

As the fall series got closer and closer I couldn’t wait to race with the Ladies A again. I ended up almost on the podium but three races to go I tore my MCL and meniscus on the finish line jump at Walton and didn’t get the chance to podium.

This October will be the one-year mark after physiotherapy and training I was back on my feet for the 2020 season. In 2020 I decided to step it up even with all the COVID stuff going on. I tried the AMO series, I signed up for the Ladies B class expecting to only race a few races. Turns out I loved the competition here and I continued to participate in all of the races. I’m currently third in the Ladies B class with only a few points separating me from second and two races left in the 2020 year.

A goal of mine was to race the Walton TransCan and 2020 was my year to achieve this goal. After placing 24th in the Ladies class made me super determined to come back next year and do even better. This year has been crazy but I’ve opened a lot of new doors for me to continue my career. Not only meeting all these new girls and becoming a better rider, I have gained a lot more encouragement to push my limits and to become the best of the best.

What are your biggest accomplishments to date?

My biggest accomplishments have been second place in Ladies B in 2018 and 2019 in TVR, soon to be podium in Ladies B at AMO, and many more accomplishments to come. Even though I’m not top of my classes I learn something from every year and prepare to come back even better every year.

What is the biggest lesson that motocross racing/ off-road has taught you so far? 

Motocross has taught me to never give up, even if you had a tough race or tough year there’s always a need to come back and do better. The friends and family you meet are just so amazing and they non-stop encourage you to do your best.  Motocross is a tough sport but it teaches you to work for what you want and push yourself to see the results you want. 

River plans to head to college or university but says she won’t give up her passion for Motocross. | Krisily Starr photo

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

It is hard to say where I’ll be in 5 years. I’ll be getting out of high school and into university and college but I don’t think I’ll ever give up my passion for Motocross. In the next few years, I see myself going back to TransCan with hopes of podium finishes, going racing in the states such as Loretta’s, and also getting some more training to be a better rider.                  

Who would you like to thank?

I’d like to give a big thanks to my dad, nana, and papa because I wouldn’t be the rider I am today without their support. Also all my moto family for the encouragement and Starr photography for all the amazing photos! I’d also like to say thanks to all my 2020 sponsors: OG’s, D4 performance, FXR, Thor, D&D moto products, and Alpinestars. I wouldn’t have been able to have such a successful season without you guys!

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