by Amy Holland
York - Roadracer
very first bike I ever rode was a 1987 Suzuki GSXR 750. I
had it out on the freeway
and it was like Whoooosh!" She points to her arm like
she's holding a hypodermic needle: "Speed injection!
I gotta have more of this!"
what she learned in riding courses, Jodie
did a lot of street riding before trying her hand at
racing. "When I rode on the street I'd practice
smooth shifting, smooth braking, looking through the
turns, smooth throttle. When I started going to the track
I expanded on my basic skills by determining who was
smooth and who was in control. If they rode my pace or a
little faster I would chase them and eventually pass them.
I won't bother to chase someone who's not smooth, who's
unsafe. I just get around them as soon as possible."
got started in racing in mid-'97 after watching World
Superbike races at Laguna Seca for years. "I can do
that. I know I can do that, and I want to do that."
Her streetbike at the time was a '96 Yamaha YZF600, on
which she had ridden over 20,000 miles. "It made
perfect sense to me to convert the YZF to a racebike. I
love this bike, and I know it very well. It's still pretty
much stock-all we did was buy some used racing bodywork,
put on a racing exhaust, and add a steering damper."
races with the Willow Springs Motorcycle Club in the 600
Superstock, 650 Superbike, 600 Mod Prod, and F2 classes.
"I do better in longer races because I have more time
to move up and pass. I just finished 5th in a 20-lap
endurance race Saturday night. I was making passes
throughout the race, and made my last pass on the very
last lap. I was stoked about that."
asked if she would have finished better than 5th had she
had more time, Jodie
honestly replied, "My bike is a '96-to catch the
bikes up front is pretty difficult because they have a lot
more power and they're pretty good riders. "The top
riders are out there with newer and better bikes than what
I have right now. But I'm still learning. My goal is to
get as much out of the YZF as I can. When I feel that I
want to do more with this bike but it doesn't have any
more to give, that's when I'll move on to another
the YZF is the largest part of Jodie's
racing career right now-she's also passengered on a
sidecar, and raced in the Aprilia Cup race recently held
at Laguna Seca as part of the World Superbike Race
weekend. "Riding the Aprilia was a great experience,
but so different than what I'm used to. The 250 Aprilia is
light, narrow, and small feeling, and the brakes are
radical! This was my first time racing a two-stroke. You
have such a small powerband window on a two-stroke that if
you're not right there you get dusted by the other
have to thank Matt Capri of South Bay Triumph for
supplying the Aprilia that I raced, RPM Cycles of Ventura
for sponsoring me, Pro Sports Marketing, and Fast Focus
Photography. Special thanks to Lee Crawford at Race Tech
for dialing in my suspension. I really enjoyed the Aprilia
Cup race, and I'd love to do it again."
for sidecars, the first time Jodie
passengered was a few months ago at Willow Springs-the
same weekend she was racing her YZF. "I love
motorcycles, and I'll ride anything I can. With sidecars
you get so close to the track that it makes lean angles on
my racebike seem like nothing! My lap times for the YZF
came down after I rode passenger on a sidecar."
aren't a regular thing, but I'll be doing it again. Right
now, I'm focused on racing the YZF. Along with my training
at the gym, this is what I do full-time. I have plans,
goals, and hopefully a future in racing on a bigger
aren't there any women racing on a bigger level such as
American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) events? According
to Jodie, gender
doesn't really have anything to do with being a top-notch
professional racer: "To be truly competitive at
higher levels requires serious financial assistance. Then,
are you able to put together a race program and make it
work? These are the issues that face any racer trying to
move onward and upward."
continued: "In general, there's not that many women
racing, and I don't know why. Maybe they haven't tasted
the thrill. Women have been passengers for so long, or
maybe they don't think they have the ability to ride by
themselves, let alone take it to another level. The bike
doesn't know if you're a guy or a girl. It's just
listening to the input that you are giving it and
does what she can to encourage young women to become
interested in motorcycling in general. "We need to
get the girls started at an early age just like the boys.
Why is a little girl any more fragile than a little boy?
When girls see me on my racebike I tell them they can do
this if they want to. I tell them that every chance I get.
If you want to ride or race, you can do it."
choose not to live my life in fear-you're really not
living if you live in fear. If you don't try, how will you
ever know? So I'm trying." Remember the story about
the tortoise and the hare? "I've got an awful lot to
learn, but that's life. I believe in myself and I know
when I put my mind to something I will do well at it, and
I will excel. I may go slower than another, but I will get
there. I'm like the tortoise-I'll be there at the end. You
might be faster than me now, so enjoy your moment."
going to go as far and as high as I can-I put no limits on
myself. Putting our minds to whatever we are trying to
accomplish and giving it our all determines how far we go
in life. Just ask my friend Stuart Goddard who is one fast
racer-and also happens to be paralyzed."