I’m Christie Cooley, and I’m a thirtysomething chick who woke up one day and decided I wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle. I pretty much fell in love the first second I made one putter across the parking lot during my Motorcycle Safety Foundation training class.

I’d never ridden a dirt bike, a scooter, or spent much time on bicycles aside from the typical tomboy adventures of a little girl who loved horses and the outdoors. But I approached the class with enthusiasm and confidence, passed the riding test and got an M1 endorsement from the DMV shortly thereafter (after failing the written test twice).

After a month or two of riding around the Santa Cruz mountains on a 2003 Suzuki SV650S, sometimes alone, and sometimes with folks from the Bay Area Riders Forum, people started telling me, “hey, you’re pretty fast for a girl.” I would smile politely and say “thank you,” but started secretly plotting to become a world class motorcycle racer. Or at least legitimately fast, so people would leave off the “for a girl” part.

Fast forward to 2011, and I’m now a semi-accomplished girl racer on a 2009 Yamaha R6. I still feel that I am merely fast for a girl. There are a few faster girls, who are utterly and completely legit. Maybe while racing on the pro circuit in 2012 I will arrive at that special place where I finally feel legit, but the problem for competitive people is that we’re always striving, always reaching, and never quite feeling fast enough, strong enough, or ready to quit.

In 2010 I won the California State Championship in Formula Femme, and placed 5th in 750 Superbike championship. I won the WERA West Women’s Superstock Expert championship. I placed second in the AFM Formula AFemme championship, losing out to a girl who is definitely legit. I also race against men, usually placing in the top half or so of large fields of expert racers. This year I won all three western U.S. women’s roadracing championships, and would you believe that there are over thirty amazing women who roadraced motorcycles in California this year? To have won these championships is such an accomplishment, and I feel very inspired by all of these ladies.

Special thanks go out to Nikki Nienow for being the best pretty blonde mechanic, Krystyna Kubran for being an outstanding competitor, Shandra Crawford for being a fantastic race promoter, Jennifer Lauritzen for being almost as obsessed with pedaling as I am, Melissa Paris for being an incredible inspiration, and Elena Myers for being so legit.

If you have questions about this site or anything to do with chicks who pass people while racing motorcycles on paved road courses, email me at christie@passedbyachick.com. And if anyone steals anything from this site, I will KICK THEIR ASS. This site is, like, totally copyrighted.

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