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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
*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! ;)