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Amanda Richardson, 2014-2015 Florida Trail Riders Vice President
FTR Women A, GNCC Women Amateur
Bike: 2008 KTM 144 SX & 2014 KTM 150 SX
Number: FTR 31A, GNCC 313
Sponsors: TF Racing Suspension, Tom Fleming, George Pollard, WMR, Seat Concepts,
Rad Custom Graphics, Acerbis, Spy Optics, Nihilo Concepts, Rekluse, Dunlop, Ogio, MSR
Outside racing activities
School life? Currently a senior in the college of business at
University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
Work life? Part time registrar at South Florida Baptist Hospital in the Emergency Room.
How long have you been with TF Racing?
For as long as I can remember, roughly 10 years or so.
Best advice from TF?
Since I’ve started with TF I’ve been given, so much advice, so many helpful tips and learning experiences it’s hard to pinpoint what the best has been. A few things that stand out
and come to mind are the following:
“Ride with your subconscious mind.”
“You are your own worst enemy.”
“Once you believe you can, there’s nothing stopping you.”
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.”
When was your first race, where was it and how did it go?
I believe my first race was in Okeechobee, FL, where I placed 28th out of about 35 in peewee C.
I was so happy to finish and even get a trophy. I loved it and I’ve been hooked since.
What was the biggest difference when you started with TF Suspension?
Not only have my bikes been in the best of conditions and my riding has improved but my family grew larger.
What got you into the sport?
My dad has been riding since about 1986. I was seven years old when my dad bought me my first bike on Christmas. I believe it was a 2000 Honda 50.
Favorite part of the sport?
Not only do I love the adrenaline rush and the feeling I get when I’m riding but I absolutely love all of my extended family that is in the sport.
Least favorite part of the sport?
I’d have to say crashing and washing bikes.
If you weren't racing on the weekends you would be _____________?
Boating maybe? I’m really not sure, I can’t imagine my life without racing.
One goal you would love to accomplish on the track and off the track?
Right now I’m working on moving myself up to the next level of my riding ability and I’d love to get my mind, body and training all on the same page. Off the track I’m working on getting my Bachelor’s Degree.
I’ve had so many wonderful people in my life that have influenced me it’s hard to pick just one. If I had to pick I would say my dad has been the biggest influence on me. Not only has he always supported and encouraged my racing, but he has played a huge role in helping me become the person I am today.
Favorite MX rider?
Ashley Fiolek. She inspires me and has taught me that no matter what, anything is possible if you never give up. Don’t let anything defeat you from doing what you love.
I love going to Durhamtown just because they have such a variety of choices. There are tons of mapped trails along with at least ten different motocross tracks. It’s an awesome park.
Your best race ever was_________________________.
The most recent one that comes to mind was the FL GNCC in March of 2015. The whole race I rode my heart out. I had no clue what place I was in the entire race which was actually very nice. I ended up finishing 2nd only 20 seconds behind first. It gave me a lot of confidence to know I
could place that well in a national caliber event.
I try to live my life with no regrets because you can’t go back.
I truly believe you try to make the best decisions for the current time
with the information you have on hand.
Hmm that’s a tough one, I’m not sure. I’d say anyone that I worked hard for.
Actually some of my hardest and best races have been ones that I didn’t win.
Probably when I was on 85s, I wrecked at one of the Okeechobee races
and broke both my shoulder and elbow.
After a day of racing what is your preference? Tent, camper, motor home, hotel, drive the extra three hours and be in your own bed.
As much as I’d love to sleep in my own bed after racing, I do love staying the in the camper. It’s part of the experience and the camper is just a home away from home.
KTM all day, every day. I’m absolutely in love with my 150.
I just got hooked up with a deal from MSR, so I’d have to say MSR.
If you could invent one thing to improve the sport what would it be?
An automatic bike washer. No one likes washing bikes.
What is your hype song?
Invincible by Ok Go
What do you do before every race every time?
I always make sure to eat (it’s usually peanut butter and jelly,
a banana and a protein bar), listen to my music, pee, get focused
and then it’s show time.
What is the one thing you freak out if you realize you forgot to bring to the race?
Any of necessary gear of course, but if I forget tear offs that sucks.
Advice for young riders?
Always keep your head up (literally and figuratively).
Every rider had to start somewhere but practice makes perfect.
How do you stay focused during the race?
Tom always talks to me about how to keep in touch with my subconscious mind and to not let my conscious mind get in the way. Your head is your own worst enemy, especially on the track. If I start getting distracted I just put my head down and tell myself to get it together.
How do you stay fit mentally and physically?
For my physical fitness I ride bicycles, spin, run, weights, row, just about anything
you can find at the gym. I also try and ride as much as I can. Mental fitness is a whole
other game and isn’t as easy to train for. Every person is different but I try different things
like listening to music, tuning into deeper thoughts, counting numbers, any brain teasers.
Recently at the TF compound, Tom had a drill set up that you do on your bike but it is
simultaneously working on your mental and physical fitness. Staying focused is
extremely important because a bad mental game will ruin you all day, every day.
Do you train every day?
Not every day but most days.
Trophy man or man who will wash your bike?
Pet peeve on the track?
People who don’t know how to pass, and accidently shifting into neutral.
Pet peeve off the track?
When you are in second how hard is it to stay focused on the win?
I actually find it easier to focus when I’m in second. Instead of using it as a discouraging factor, I use it to push me that much harder. When you’re out front you usually don’t have any idea how far ahead you are and the pressure is on to hold your position.
If you get a bad start how do you keep your composure?
Getting a bad start can be very discouraging but I always tell myself that the race isn’t won in the first corner, there is usually two hours ahead of us and a lot can happen in that time. I just put my head down and charge.
Favorite thing you look forward to when you come back to the pits?
A nice cold Coca-Cola.
Your preference MX SX HS Enduro?
Harescrambles and Enduros.
Plans for the future?
In my near future the plan is to ride the rest of the 2015 GNCC series.
Also within the next few years I hope to have my Bachelor’s degree.
To finish as best as I can in the Women Amateur class for the 2015 GNCC season.
Pets and their names?
I have a yellow Labrador retriever named Dakota.
One thing people don't know about you?
I really hate scary movies and almost all types of beans.
If you could go back in time and do one thing what would it be?
Tell myself not to sweat the small stuff, life has a path for everyone and all we can do
is live day by day doing the best we can. Everything happens for a reason.
Famous person you would like to eat lunch with?
Chad Reed, I’ve been watching him race since I first started riding and I still watch him today.
I’d love to be able to ask him questions about his racing career and all of his experience in the industry.
Sushi, pizza, tacos, French fries, pasta. I really just love food in general.
I’d probably say Motocrossed just because it inspired me from a very young age that girls could ride
and race. It taught me to never give up.
What do you do in your free time?
I’ll going boating, have dinner or anything with my family. I love going to the beach with friends,
but I also enjoy my down time when I get it.
Best thing to ever happen to you?
Most recently I’d say having the opportunity to be able to run the whole 2015 GNCC circuit,
but all together being a part of this sport and meeting the people I’ve met has easily been
the best thing to ever happen to me.
Last book you read?
Most likely a textbook for one of my classes. I don’t typically read books for fun.
If you had three wishes guaranteed to come true that you could only use for you what would they be?
To be able to continue to ride and race for the rest of my life.
Find a well-paying career in the motorcycle industry.
Find someone to spend my life with that enjoys motorcycles just as much, if not more than I do.
This one time at the race.....
There was carnage everywhere. Bikes were stuck in every direction you turned. There must have been ten or fifteen of us waiting for a line to clear up so we could pass. As I was sitting there I looked over and saw the girl I had parked next to and been talking to on the line. She looked over at me and waved, I waved and had a big smile on under my helmet. It was in that moment I felt this overwhelming joy because I knew the race sucked not only for me but for everyone else but it was as if we were all in it together. Yes we were racing each other
but that doesn’t matter, we are still all connected as a family even though I only knew her first name.
If you could improve one thing in FTR what would it be?
My newest goal for FTR is to put more enthusiasm and character into the magazine.
I want to change it up, make it enjoyable to read and have fellow members’ input on what they’d like to see.
On another note I’d also like to see pit riding become against the rules because
I feel this would help our safety factor a lot.
You admire most of TF?
Their willingness to help and not stop until it’s right.
One thing you would like to thank TF for?
I would like to thank TF for the countless amount of hours spent working on my bike,
helping me become a better rider, talking about life in general, learning all the lessons
I’ve been taught and for always feeling like part of the family.
Anything you would like to add?
If it wasn’t for Tom, I wouldn’t be where I am today. He is an incredible human being that has done so much for me and there are no words that can express my gratitude. These are amazing people in an amazing sport and I can’t thank them enough for everything they do and have done for me. The TF suspension team we have for the 2015 GNCC season is just awesome. I feel so privileged to be part of such an outstanding group of individuals coming together to make this awesome team.
I want to say thank you to my mom, dad and stepmom for always supporting me emotionally and financially in racing. Without them, it wouldn’t be possible. I’d also like to give a shout out to Michael Hall and Jesse Ansley for taking care of my bikes constantly. And lastly, I want to say thank you to George Pollard and Tom Fleming for always making sure my motors and suspension are exactly as they need to be. All of my supporters do so much out of the kindness of their hearts and I have no clue where I’d be without them.