Posts tagged ISDE
Meet Beta USA Pro Racer, Rachel Gutish!

With Over And Out less than a month away, we’re ALL getting super excited! This year we have Beta USA pro racer Rachel Gutish joining us! Rachel races GNCC and competes in some of the more technical enduro events in the country. It’ll be really awesome to watch her rip (and maybe even get a few casual pointers from her on how to tackle some of the gnarliest stuff!)

Get to know Rachel, learn more about why Betas are great bikes for technical riding and for women, and read to the end to get a little heads up on some more fun going down at OAO.

Photo by Ken Hill courtesy Beta USA Gallery

Photo by Ken Hill courtesy Beta USA Gallery

Rachel Gutish - Beta 390RR Enduro

HOW DID YOU START RIDING?

I started riding when I was five years old, and started racing when I was seven. My dad was a good local A rider and even competed on a club team in the ISDE (International Six Days Enduro). I was six years old when he went overseas to compete, and I remember wanting more than anything to go with him.

I thought getting to do that was the coolest thing ever, and I decided right then that someday I was going to do the Six Days too. The year I turned sixteen, I qualified on the Women’s Trophy Team; The hard work paid off and the dream actually came true! 

Photo by @EGutishPhotography

Photo by @EGutishPhotography

YOU’VE DONE ALL KINDS OF GNARLY RIDING! TELL US MORE!

I already talked a bit about the ISDE, which I competed in from 2012 through 2016. I have two silver medals, two mechanical failures and one fairly stupid crash which lead to an unfortunate DNF. :/

Primarily I’ve raced the GNCC series (the Grand National Cross Country), even though it isn’t necessarily the type of racing I feel like I’m the best at. No matter what else I was doing, I always raced the GNCC’s, even if it was only for part of the season. I have raced the NEPG series off and on, and I raced EnduroCross for several seasons. I also have a Bronze Medal from the X Games for EnduroCross.

I now compete in Extreme Enduros like Tough Like RORR (which takes place right across the street from the new Over And Out property!), and the TKO (Kenda’s Tennessee Knock Out). These events sort of help fill that technical-racing void now that I’m not pursuing EnduroCross. I tied with Chantelle Bykerk as the first female rider to finish Knock Out One on Pro day, and tied with my teammate Morgan Tanke as the first female finisher of at King of the Motos.

Photo by Ken Hill courtesy Beta USA Gallery

Photo by Ken Hill courtesy Beta USA Gallery

TELL US ABOUT RIDING FOR BETA!!!

I started out riding for Beta last year as a support rider after suffering an injury and losing my place on another team. Words really can’t express how grateful I am to Tim and Rodney at Beta for taking a chance on me. Especially given that they already had a female rider, my buddy Morgan Tanke, on the West Coast. They were satisfied enough with my performance last year to promote me up to the factory team this year, which is really amazing.

Photo by @EGutishPhotography

Photo by @EGutishPhotography

Not all teams can commit the resources to put more than one woman on their team - even when the two riders have their own speciality (Morgan and I both rode EnduroCross for several seasons, but she does the west coast desert-racing series like Hare and Hound, while I stick to the GNCCs and other east coast off road races).

So, aside from my deep personal gratitude to Beta for taking a chance on an injured rider when nobody else would, I think it’s awesome that they see women’s racing as legitimate enough to have even one female rider on their factory team, let alone two! It also doesn’t hurt that their bikes are hands-down my favorite to ride. I love the stability of the chassis and the smooth power.

Photo by Ken Hill courtesy Beta USA Gallery

Photo by Ken Hill courtesy Beta USA Gallery

WHICH BETA MODEL DO YOU RIDE, AND WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT IT?

Right now I ride a 390 RR, and before anyone asks, yes it is a little heavy and a lot of bike for somebody my size. But I’ve mostly ridden four-strokes through my career, and the Beta is incredibly tractable and controllable. And I love the massive amounts of power you have there at your fingertips.

With a bike like that, just a little twist of the throttle is enough to pop a massive power wheelie strong enough to carry you right over the nearest ditch/log/downed rider (mostly kidding about that last one) with ease.

Photo by Ken Hill courtesy Beta USA Gallery

Photo by Ken Hill courtesy Beta USA Gallery

And I never have to worry about getting outmotored in the open fields and grasstracks. With that being said though, since I am coming back from an injury, Beta and I have been discussing the possibility of me trying a lighter small-bore two-stroke, just to see how I like it. Can’t say much more than that about it now though, you guys will just have to wait and see what I unload out of my van on Friday morning at OAO!

SPEAKING OF OAO, WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO JOIN US THIS YEAR?!

The first time I heard about Over And Out was when Beta sent me an email asking me if I would attend the event (since Beta was sponsoring it). So I checked out the website and watched the MakeUp To Mud feature, and I realized this wasn’t just going to be the standard “I’m going to this event because my team asked me to” situation. I’m REALLY excited about this!

Photo by Ken Hill courtesy Beta USA Gallery

Photo by Ken Hill courtesy Beta USA Gallery

I mostly ride with guys. Usually for me, getting to go and just ride with another female in a non-competitive situation is a huge treat, so getting to ride with a massive group of women who love the sport as much as I do is going to be awesome!

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MOST?

I heard something about an obstacle course*, which sounds right up my alley. Technical riding is still my favorite kind of riding! I’m also looking forward to doing some trail riding and hanging out - most of the time when I’m on the bike it’s super-focused training, so I’m really looking forward to kicking back and having some FUN!

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*So, cats out of the bag - aside from all the natural obstacles on the property we will have a small obstacle course, and an obstacle portion of our games - provided and run by GPMX and with prize packs courtesy of Beta USA! Stay tuned for a full post about all the games at OAO! ;)

We Support the US Women’s International Six Days Enduro Team!

Over And Out was created with the goal of supporting female riders at ALL levels of the sport - from teaching new riders at our event, to building a community that helps female riders get more opportunities to ride and learn, to supporting the girls representing the U.S. at the 2018 FIM International Six Days Enduro!  

I’m proud to announce Over And Out’s official support for the 2018 US Women’s ISDE team, with a donation generated by this year’s event attendees and raffle participants!

2017 US Women’s ISDE team (Becca Sheets, Brandy Richards and Kacy Martinez)  Photo by Mark Kariya

2017 US Women’s ISDE team (Becca Sheets, Brandy Richards and Kacy Martinez)

Photo by Mark Kariya

I recently chatted with ISDE off-road racing team manager, Antti Kallonen of KTM North America to talk about the upcoming Six Days and this year’s Women’s Trophy Team made up of Becca Sheets, Tarah Gieger and Brandy Richards.

Photo by Shan Moore

Photo by Shan Moore

I’M EXCITED TO SPEAK WITH YOU, THE ISDE IS SUCH AN EXCITING EVENT!

It is yes, it’s been considered the Olympics of Motorcycling.  I’ve managed the men’s teams (US World Trophy and Junior Trophy) since 2012, and now as of 2017 manage the Women’s Trophy Team as well. 

LAST YEAR WAS THE FIRST YEAR FOR THE US WOMEN’S TEAM IN BRIVE, FRANCE. AND THIS YEAR’S IS COMING UP THIS NOVEMBER IN VINA DEL MAR, CHILE…

WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE WOMEN’S TEAM FROM THEN TO NOW? 

Yes last year was the first year so all 3 girls on the team were rookies to the Six Days format, but they all worked hard and finished 2nd overall behind Australia, the champs for 5 years running. 

Obviously, no great success happens overnight. We have a 3-year plan to get the championship. [To put that in perspective] the Men’s team previously had a 3-year plan to get the championship and it took 5 years, so we’re building and progressing. 

This year, all 3 girls on the team have ridden Six Days before so they’re more knowledgeable and prepared and they now know what to expect.

Image by John Pearson Media

Image by John Pearson Media

WHAT SKILLS OR QUALITIES DO ISDE RACERS IDEALLY NEED TO HAVE?

Many girls are fast but the Six Days format adds to the challenge…It’s a long Six Days and riders need to be fast but also consistent for all 6 days, which can include 8-hour days of riding, dealing with weather, plus long transfers which offer their own challenges.

Prior to a few years ago it was much harder to find female riders in long endurance racing.  A major benefit of racing off-road is that these riders have the endurance to do it. This format can be tough. 

At Six Days there are no techs, so the rider also works on their own bike. Riders can take instruction from us, but they have to do the work. 

Photo of Becca Sheets by Ken Hill

Photo of Becca Sheets by Ken Hill

WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT MANAGING THE WOMEN’S TEAM VS. THE MEN?

I’d say about 70% of the training program could be the same for the men’s Junior or Trophy program and the women’s, but the other 30% or so has to be tailored for the women. 

They work differently, their bodies are different, they react differently. For example recovery time is quite different in the women compared to the men.  We take all of this into account, so even recovery routines are different. 

WHAT MISCONCEPTIONS DO YOU THINK PEOPLE HAVE ABOUT WOMEN TRAINING FOR THIS SPORT? 

Some people might think that things like the tire-changing would be more difficult for the women due to basic strength, but in reality that’s all about technique.  The real difference here for men vs. women could be fatigue due to different recovery times.

Mental struggle can set in and cause a rider to take a shortcut in the technique. But other than that, knowing and performing proper technique makes the task the same for men and women. 

It’s also surprising just how determined the women are, some more determined than men. 

(We saw this of course at Over And Out, where no single girl gave in when the technical Hancock terrain became slick and challenging in the rain!) 

Photo by Megan Maloy

Photo by Megan Maloy

Photo by Megan Maloy

Photo by Megan Maloy

Becca Sheets, for example, she pushed through some very tough bike issues. I saw her push through issues that might’ve made a man quit, but she pushed through. 

Going back to the traits that are valuable in a rider, that’s another one: Becca is not only fast, she has the determination and will power to push through. 

She also had to adapt to take verbal guidance and do the work on her own bike and she did it. It’s something she should be very proud of, and I’m very proud of her.”

Photo by Ken Hill

Photo by Ken Hill

WHAT IS THE TRAINING LIKE AS THE RACE NEARS AND BEGINS? 

I host a training camp closer to the event where we cover things like sprint training on the bike, tire-changing and basic maintenance.  Sprint enduros are excellent training for this type of event.

There will be 6 days of riding but also 8 days of preparation and walking the tests, not to the mention travel involved, so overall health and fitness is important. 

Photo by Megan Maloy

Photo by Megan Maloy

Photo by Megan Maloy

Photo by Megan Maloy

WE’RE SO PROUD TO BE ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE SOMETHING FROM OUR FIRST EVENT TO SUPPORT THE US WOMEN’S ISDE TEAM!

HOW WILL OUR DONATION HELP?  

There are a lot of costs involved with getting each racer to and around the races, including flights, hotels, fees, per diem… as you can imagine it adds up. It roughly costs about $15k per rider to be able to take part in the 6 days. 

It’s a pretty steep bill to pay for the opportunity, so we do our best to manage the budget, gather manufacturer and sponsor support, and racers even fundraise for themselves.  Of course, we do our best to get everything covered so that riders can focus on their training and the ride.

As of right now we’re in mostly good shape though we do have a few gaps in the budget so your donation will truly make an impact, and 100% of it will be going to support the women!


If you’d like to support the women of the 2018 US ISDE team, route for them this November 12-17 as they race the Six Days in Vina Del Mar, Chile!   

And, stay tuned as we follow up with an interview with US Women’s Trophy team member, Becca Sheets!

Special thanks again to all of our 2018 raffle contributors and participants!