If you haven’t heard of Vicki Golden, you might want to pay attention because you’ll be hearing her name more and more soon.
Golden is a professional freestyle motocross rider pushing the boundaries of this male-dominated sport. She was the first woman to qualify for a Supercross race and pushes the boundaries of what’s possible every time she rides.
Recently, Golden competed in Red Bull’s free-ride event, Imagination 2.0, and you can watch a video of his performance below. In this exclusive interview, we spoke with Golden about her racing background and experience as a female motocross rider.
MPN: Tell us a bit about your background, like how you got into motocross. What attracted you?
GV: I started riding at the age of seven. My dad used to ride a bike and I wanted to ride a bike too. I received a Honda XR 50 for Christmas and have been in love ever since.
MPN: How did you feel during your first competition, and how have you evolved since?
GV: My first competition was the 50 Beginner Class when I was eight years old. I think my parents were more nervous about me being on a gate full of boys than me racing.
MPN: Tell us about your race day mentality. are you superstitious? Are you strategic? Or do you just go out and ride?
GV: I keep my race day mentality pretty laid back. If I’m too serious, there’s too much pressure. This sport is fun, so I like to keep it fun all day, and then once the helmet is on, things get serious. If I’m nervous, I just like to close my eyes, take a deep breath before it’s time to leave. The work I do gives me the confidence to compete.
MPN: What were the best and most challenging aspects of Imagination 2.0?
VG: This year it was the number of people. Since there was no start and finish line, it was difficult for everyone to go in one direction. Takeoff, cross landing, so it was hard for me to fully concentrate on what I was doing, not knowing where the other pilots were.
MPN: As the first woman to qualify for a Supercross race, what do you think are the biggest limitations women face in riding or racing? Do you have any advice you’d like to share with other women looking to get into the sport – or even advice for male runners?
GV: The biggest challenges are being a small fish in a big pond. I’m always up against the best guys in the world, so I make sure I work hard to be as strong as them. The best advice I always give is to have fun. We all got into this sport because it’s fun.
MPN: While there may be limitations as a woman in the sport, are there advantages to being a woman in motocross?
VG: There are certainly a lot of boundaries between a woman in this sport, but I think the advantage would be the ability to exceed expectations. Nobody expects much from a woman in this sport, but when it happens it’s so awesome to see.
MPN: Do you have any sponsors you would like to thank? Is there a favorite item of clothing or accessory that you ride with?
GV: Kudos to Bell Helmets for creating Going for Golden to showcase my experience at Imagination. They are a huge help with my program and one of the most important pieces of safety equipment. You never want to cut corners on protecting your brain.
MPN: Other than your motocross bikes, do you ride any other motorcycles or other powersports vehicles? If yes, what and how often?
GV: My boyfriend is a Harley stunt rider so I love to borrow his spare bike and go on cruises.
MPN: Motocross riders are always up in the air. What’s the biggest gap you’ve jumped, and if you like to do tricks in the air, what do you like to do?
GV: I think the biggest gap I’ve jumped is about 200 feet. My favorite thing to do is called an Air Guitar or a Seat Grab Nac. Few riders do them, so I love being able to do different style tricks at shows.