Emma Robbescheuten is a 13-year-old BMX racer out of Joyride 150 (the park that inspired “Lindsay’s Joy Ride!). She’s super rad, and I love how collected and focused she is for her age (any age, really!). She’s got some amazing advice and a great story, so check it out:
When did you start riding? What got you into Joyride?
I only learned how to ride a bike 2 years ago because I was scared of the idea of falling. The only reason I got on a bike was because one of my best friends wanted to go on a bike ride. After a couple tries on her street I ended up getting it and we rode around for a while. But this wasn’t the first time bikes had been introduced to me, my dad has always rode bikes when he was younger, he rode and raced downhill in the Canada cups and raced the Ontario Cup series for mountain biking when I was a kid. We went to his races every summer. After I learned how to ride a bike I felt the need to impress or do really good in biking for my dad. When I was introduced to the indoor bike park by my friend, I thought of it as an opportunity to get good. It’s no longer something I do to impress, it’s something I do now because I love it.
When did you decide you wanted to start racing BMX?
After a year of riding at the indoor bike park, I got comfortable at the pump track and learning how to jump decently. I was told I would be good at racing and my dad looked into it for me. Me and my dad went to the Stouffville BMX track just to try it out by ourselves. I decided I wanted to try the sport.
Favorite part about riding?
I love being able to get on my bike and forget everything and just have fun for a little bit. I also love being able to share a spot with my dad, and something that he can help me with and one day improve on together.
Least favorite part about riding?
I think my least favorite thing would be the injuries that come with it, but I wouldn’t change a thing about the sport!
Have you made friends through racing? (If so, any tips for talking to new people? I’m always scared of that—so is the main character in the first Shred Girls book!)
Honestly, I’m not the best with making friends, I’m socially awkward. But the people at the track are so nice and so outgoing. Everyone gives each other tips on riding, styles and different things people need to work on. And I’ve made friends because of this, everyone is just friends with everyone and so friendly!
Coolest trick or accomplishment you’ve had with riding?
I think my most favorite trick or accomplishment would have to be jumping. It’s not the coolest trick or accomplishment but it’s my favourite thing to do on a bike, I love jumping at the track, I love going to dirt jumps with my friends, and I love jumping at Joyride. I love that there’s always something to work on or learn when jumping.
What does a week of training/riding look like for you?
The last two years of my life I have gone to boarding school so I haven’t rode as much as I would’ve liked. But every weekend me and my dad would go to joyride on the Friday night I came home, or all Saturday and/or sometimes the Sunday morning, sometimes all weekend.But since I’ve came home I have race practices on Mondays and local races on Wednesdays . Provincial races are on weekends, and if there is not any we either go to the Don (in Toronto) for dirt jumps or Sunnyside and once we went to Clarkson, to do some dirt jumps.
Best tip for someone your age or younger who’d love to get started riding/racing, but doesn’t know anyone else to ride with?
The people in the bike community are the nicest people I’ve ever met and I highly recommend just going and winging it. I can almost guarantee you’ll make friends after a week of riding, everyone is so friendly and helps each other. Everyone just wants to have fun and ride their bike.
Best tip for tackling a scary section in a bike park, i.e the pump track for someone super new to riding?
When I’m trying something new at Joyride or anywhere I ride something new I watch other people riding it before me, I watch their technique. After building up courage I usually start slow and build up until I’m out of my comfort zone and improve on it In as many ways I possibly can. But for a new rider with no experience I do advise having someone walk them through it. Slowly get used to the feeling and get comfortable.
Absolute favorite piece of gear?
My favourite piece of gear would have to be my Joyride 150 jersey, Joyride is where I fell in love with my bike and I’ve never been so proud to wear a piece of clothing. I want to promote and tell people how amazing Joyride is!
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