If you haven’t heard of Vicki Golden, you might want to pay attention, because you’re bound to hear her name more and more soon.
Golden is a professional freestyle motocross rider who is breaking boundaries in this male-dominated sport. She was the first woman to qualify for a Supercross race and pushes the limits of what is possible every time she rides.
Recently, Golden took part in Red Bull’s free riding event, Imagination 2.0, and you can view a video of her performance below. In this exclusive interview, we spoke with Golden about her racing background and experience as a female rider in motocross.
MPN: Tell us a bit about your background, such as how you got started in motocross. What was it that drew you in?
VG: I started riding when I was seven years old. My dad rode, and I wanted to ride as well. I got an XR Honda 50 for Christmas, and I fell in love ever since.
MPN: How did you feel during your first competition, and how have you grown since then?
VG: My first competition was the 50 Beginner Class when I turned eight. I think my parents were more nervous about me being on a gate full of boys than me racing.
MPN: Walk us through your race-day mentality. Are you superstitious? Are you strategic? Or do you just go out and ride your ride?
VG: 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 goes on, things are serious. If I’m nervous, I just like to close my eyes, take a deep breathe before its time to go. The work I put in 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 amount of people. With there not being a start and finish line, it was tough for everyone to go in one direction. Takeoff’s crossed landing, so it was tough for me to focus completely in what I was doing, not being sure where the other riders were.
MPN: As the first woman to qualify for a Supercross race, what do you feel are the biggest boundaries women face in riding or racing? Do you have any advice you’d like to share with other females looking to enter the sport — or even advice for male racers?
VG: 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 just as strong as them. The best advice I always give is have fun. We all got into this sport because it’s fun.
MPN: While there may be boundaries as a woman in the sport, are there advantages to being a female in motocross?
VG: There are definitely a lot of boundaries beings a woman in this sport, but I think the advantage would be the ability to exceed expectations. No one expects a lot from a woman in this sport, but when it happens, it so rad to see.
MPN: Do you have any sponsors you’d like to give a shoutout to? Is there a favorite piece of apparel or accessory that you ride with?
VG: Huge shoutout to Bell Helmets for creating Going for Golden to showcase my experience at Imagination. They are a huge help to my program and one of the most important pieces of safety equipment. You never want to cheap out on protecting your brain.
MPN: Other than your motocross bikes, do you ride other motorcycles or other powersports vehicles? If so, what and how often?
VG: My boyfriend is a stunt Harley rider, so I love getting to borrow his spare bike and go on cruises.
MPN: Motocross riders are always airborne. What’s the biggest gap you’ve jumped, and if you like to do tricks in the air, what’s your favorite to perform?
VG: I think the biggest gap I’ve jumped is around 200 feet. My favorite trick to do is called an Air Guitar or a Seat Grab Nac. Not a lot of riders do them, so I love being able to different style tricks at shows.