On the Pegs - January 2022 On the Pegs - Volume 7 Issue 1 - January 2022 - Page 141

JACKIE TOWNSEND
" Growing up in the 70s girls didn ’ t really ride dirt bikes in my hometown ," said Jackie Townsend . " I watched my brother and all his friends ride and always knew I would love riding dirt bikes . Then I was coming up on my 50th birthday and I decided to do something I had always wanted to do - I took a dirt bike class through the motorcycle safety foundation and within two weeks I had my very first dirt bike . I loved it even more than I expected to !!
" There are so many rewarding aspects of dirt bike riding . You have to empty your brain and focus ; being able to get out after a stressful week at work or during the time that my brother and my father had cancer - getting out on the dirt bike and emptying my brain is what helped me get through . Also you have these million little moments of success , ongoing victories , it just lifts you up . And the physical aspect - honestly at 63 I ’ m in better shape now than I was in my 40s . Dirt bike people are the best , I have formed lifelong friendships since I ’ ve been riding . My dirt bike family is as much a part of my life as my blood family .
" I have raced through the years and I even have trophies on my mantle !
Jacke ( left ) with SEER Staff Member Lisi Bratcher ( right )
Actually becoming skilled enough on my dirt bike to enter a race and then eventually becoming good enough to win a few trophies was the dream of a lifetime for me . When I was a teenager I would ’ ve never ever thought I would accomplish that and when I turned 50 I still never would ’ ve thought I would accomplish that . Gaining skills on the bike , becoming more able to ride lots of different terrain and lots of different locations is one of the most exciting parts of the sport .
" Taking an all girls class is such a rewarding way of learning and gaining skills because girls really do encourage each other . We cheer each other on and commiserate with each other when we can ’ t get something right . And we ’ re able to talk to each other in a language that we understand . When it is a group of girls in a class it seems the instructors go out of their way to adapt to that as well . When they are impressed or proud of us for trying a new skill - much less accomplishing a new skill - they let us know and it feels really great .
This is my second SEER ladies clinic and although I was pretty nervous about it because I know the clinic is going to be tough , I was also very excited about it . It gives us the chance to try something we wouldn ’ t normally try under relatively safe circumstances . My favorite part is the immediate feedback when I try
VOL . 7 ISSUE 1 - JANUARY 2022 // PAGE 141