Motocross rider Tarah Gieger chats about being the best, beating the boys and riding very, very fast...
Age: 22 years old
From: Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
How did you get into motocross? I got into motocross because I wanted to go fast.
Motocross is an expensive hobby: how did you afford it? My parents always supported me in whatever I chose to do and I was fortunate enough that they worked as hard as they did so I could race dirtbikes.
When did everything turn serious and you decided to commit yourself to the sport full time? I always take whatever I am doing seriously because I want to be the best at what I am doing at the time. I just kept trying to get better every time I went riding and just kept going from there.
Did you find it pretty hard to break into a male-dominated sport? It is definitely hard to get respect in this sport. While I feel like I personally have earned the respect of the guys in the sport, there is still a struggle to get womens racing respected.
Can you give us a run down of your average day? On any average day I will wake up with the intention of going on a bicycle ride and then load up and go the track. Usually I will ride four motos then go get a big lunch. Then head home and do some bike work then watch some tivo.
And if you could have the perfect day, what would it include? A perfect day would be almost the same but maybe a good surf session too.
What are your plans for this summer? This summer I'm going to be racing the WMA series and some other major races.
Do you still get nervous before a big contest? I usually get nervous from the anticipation of the race.
What is the atmosphere like behind the scenes? Behind the scenes the atmosphere is pretty laid back. It can get tense if some crazy stuff goes down in the first moto of the race though.
What’s your favourite place to ride? My favourite place to ride is anywhere that the dirt is good and has fun jumps and my friends are with me.
What have been your biggest career setbacks? My biggest career setback would have to be the entire 2005 season. In January I broke my pelvis and got back just before the WMA series started. I had some good races and was in contention for the title and then I broke my neck in July.
What have your greatest achievements been so far? My greatest achievements would be winning the national championship one year after I broke my neck even though everyone had written me off. The other one would be racing in the motocross of nations last year and being the first girl to ever race in that event.
What affect does your career have on your personal life? My career has pretty positive affects on my life. I get awesome opportunities to do things and am fortunate enough to be able to do it all with my boyfriend (Chase Garrett).
How do you relax when you get the chance? When I get the time to just relax I usually fly home to Puerto Rico and just hang out. I get to spend time with my mom and surf with my family.
Any tips for girls wanting to get into motocross? Any girls wanting to get into the sport need to just give it their all. Don't use the excuse that you are just a girl because you can ride just as good as the guys if you work at it.
What’s up next for you? What's next for me is the WMA series and some other big things are in the works so stay tuned...