Queensland Women’s Week took place on March 7 – 13, and Queensland Vintage Motocross Club (QVMX) joined in the celebration, hosting the Yamaha Women’s Week Off-Road Coaching Day on March 12. QVMX invited MQ’s Media Officer Eliza-Jane Mann, and she tells us about her day:
I lined up with the other girls in the paddock near the start line, on a bike borrowed from QVMX Vice President Brian Fox, wearing a helmet from Queensland Moto Park, and body armour loaned to me from Coach Tania Millard.
I’d never been off road before, and wasn’t sure what to expect. The Biddaddaba MX Track was beautifully prepped and watered, and you could see the whole track from the fence line. I’d just watched Husqvarna Factory Support rider and coach Nathan Crawford tear up the track with a quick warm up, and was revved and ready to get out there and give it a go.
I went much slower than Nathan, getting my feel in the dirt. I was surprised at the bike’s grip and want to stay upright. I’m used to my road bike, which is a challenge to even navigate on my gravel driveway. A fellow rider fell on the first jump in front of me, but quickly dusted herself off and got straight back on the bike.
I came off the track feeling pumped and prepared for the big coaching day, with some A-grade coaches including Jemma Wilson, Tamara Gray, Rod Jenner, Tania Millard, Andrew Janke, Nathan Crawford and Craig Wills.
A massive 52 girls attended the day, with some ladies travelling from as far as Coffs Harbour and Bundaberg. There were mums and daughters, mums who’d left their kids behind for a weekend away, and many young ladies who jumped at the chance to be coached by some of Queensland’s best off-road riders.
The girls were split into four groups, and spent an hour on track with each of the different coaches. Rod Jenner and Craig Wills taught the girls the basic (but important) skills like standing, body positioning and manoeuvring, Tania Millard and Nathan Crawford tackled jumping, Tamara Gray covered correct cornering techniques and Jemma Wilson taught the girls some important Enduro skills like crossing logs.
The progress made by all of the girls throughout the day was incredible, and they really enjoyed getting out on track by themselves, without the boys speeding by.
I too saw my progress, and had an awesome time both out on the track, and talking to the other girls in between coaching sessions. Everyone was super friendly and more than helpful. As well as the gear and bike generously loaned to me, two separate women offered me a ride of their larger bikes!
Feedback from the day has been nothing but positive, with all of the girls already excited for the next Women’s Day.
“It was so humbling to be surrounded by riders of so many ranging abilities and no egos being thrown around!” said Cassaurina, who attended the day.
QVMX President John Tate says the day was one of the most enjoyable events he’s been involved in with the club, and plans to put on more girls days at Biddaddaba.
As for me – I think I’ll be back too. I could hardly move the day after the coaching, but I can’t wait to get back on a dirt bike. It’s nice to get off of the public roads, and into a safe, controlled environment, with a bunch of people who love motorcycling as much as you do.
Stay up to date with QVMX on their website or Facebook group [Link]
Check out a video from the day here:
(Photos thanks to Sarah McLennan)