About

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.

15 Responses to About

  1. So awesome! This site is TOTALLY what we need! Though I don’t race, I do fantasize about it, and try desperately to live vicariously through the exploits of amazing women like you! Will have to find a way to reference your site on my blog (glad you like it BTW; I try to focus on product/event reviews and, of course, ranting). Your site is beautiful…and good luck on the track!

  2. 2ct says:

    Hey… I’m an Irish guy currently living in Berlin, Germany – Motorcycle touring is more my thing and I am planning my trips for next year. While surfing, I found this website and thought I’d drop you a byte and wish you well with your racing and your bytes.

    BTW If you ever come to Berlin, you won’t be alone – honest! I am surprised on just how many women bikers they have over here! And if I am still here, you are welcome to give me a shout!

    Anyway… Take care, if in doubt, shout, and keep rubber side down mdears!

    R

  3. Rich says:

    Hi Christie,

    Very cool website…and you’re fast period.

    Rich
    AFM #48

  4. Christie says:

    Rich, was that you who hit the wire in turn 2 and hurt your neck? That’s crazy! Glad you weren’t hurt worse!

  5. Martha says:

    Christie – your site is so cool!! Kamaal and I had a great time meeting you and am so glad that Robert connected us. Congratulations on your win in Vegas – I read all of your posts and I will definitely follow your career. So inspiring, fun and exciting!

    Hope to see you on the track again soon!

    Martha

  6. Krystyna says:

    Thank you for the kind words Christie <3

    Congrats on your stellar year! And I agree with Rich… you are fast. Period.
    Although – we def went through the "for a girl" phase… but we've worked hard and earned our ranks! =) I love how we've progressed together and keep pushing each other. You inspire me, and of course I always want to beat you – but I think you feel the same about me =) lol

    Next year will be another great year! I cannot wait to watch you grow and improve from your lessons in the AMA – and I am so incredibly proud of you for having the courage to ride in the AMA!!!

    K

  7. Bob Scholten Wera Novice #745 says:

    Grip it and Rip it !

  8. Gordon Clay says:

    I get that you don’t want any information taken from your web site to promote your career. If you would like a free listing on our web site, fill out the form at http://bit.ly/fIv1z5 It’s only for women who race or have raced against men. We don’t sell advertising. Check us out. We have over 1,900 women listed.

  9. Gixxerdude says:

    Tell me your single!!! :) congratulations on your accomplishments

  10. Taj McNamara says:

    Cheering you….standing ovations….and girl, we need to talk. :)

  11. R-j Pagan says:

    Just found your website & your story is similar to mine I always loved watching bikes, but I had no experience & had heard all the horror stories so was reluctant to try. Then one day I decided to just do it. I got my L’s first go & havent’t looked back since. I get my full licence in 5 days. I have travelled 4 times more Km’s in the 2 years I’ve been riding then my husband has in almost 4 years. I ride alot by myself because I just love the freedom of it, I also do some group rides. Thanks for inspiring women everywhere that they can do this too. (next stop race track, maybe…………)

  12. I am a member of Females Leading Our Way (F.L.O.W.). Females Leading Our Way (F.L.O.W.) is an organization comprised of various members of the motorcycle community that are Presidents of female motorcycle clubs, female members of co-ed motorcycle clubs, as well as female independent riders. F.L.O.W. is dedicated to promoting enjoyment and interest in ownership, riding skills and safety for persons, to females who share the passion of motorcycles.

    F.L.O.W. is pleased to announce an exciting new event to empower and motivate women motorcyclists. “A Weekend Celebration for Female Riders” is the theme for this inaugural F.L.O.W. event which will be aimed at promoting sisterhood, providing education, and celebrating women motorcycle riders. The Weekend will include various educational workshops, interactive demonstrations, guest speakers and the F.L.O.W. Street Festival.
    F.L.O.W. is pleased to offer you the opportunity to become a guest speaker for our 1st Annual F.L.O.W. Street Festival, featuring “How To” Clinics for the attendees, being held at the Radisson Hotel in Piscataway, New Jersey on July 14, 2012.
    As a guest speaker of one of our “How To” Clinics, you will be providing invaluable education to female motorcycle riders. Clinics include, but are not limited to, the following:
    How To:
    · T-CLOCS · Change the Oil In Your Bike · Start an All Female MC
    · Get on the Track · Properly Negotiate a Curve · Push Start Your Bike
    · Drag Race · Make a Quick Stop · Tie Down Your Bike

    If you would like to participate, please contact Kim McRae via email at kmlb@rcn.com or myself. You can also apply online using our 100% secure website site, http://www.regonline.com/TheFlow. Deadline for all applications is January 1, 2012.
    Thank you for your interest in our 1st Annual F.L.O.W. weekend. We look forward to hearing from you.

    Sincerely,

    Shala “Chokolate” Penevolpe
    Females Leading Our Way (F.L.O.W.)

    1st Annual F.L.O.W. Weekend
    July 13-15, 2012
    For more information about F.L.O.W., check out http://www.the-flow.org
    To register for the 1st Annual F.L.O.W. Weekend, http://www.regonline.com/TheFlow

  13. Raymond says:

    I’m stealing your Wera plate #958, hopefully you don’t mind! ;) I’m in a different region, so even if you did decide to get back into racing, the chances of appearing at the same race would be pretty slim. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog, I’ve been following it for a few years now. Good luck with the cycling, a sport which I also love!

  14. Christie says:

    Nope, have at it and good luck! Thanks for the kind words, nice to know I have readers!

  15. Miriam says:

    I absolutely love your “about” page on your blog. I’m a 38 year old mother of two who learned how to ride a store bought bicycle about 5 years ago. I’m now riding track on an 05 Yamaha R6. I’ve only ridden T-Hill I’m still in C but I’m progressing. When I get frustrated at the track I go back to reading your blog and it helps clear my head. Next season I plan on riding Sonoma’s track. Please keep blogging! I love road cycling as well and would love to hear about your cycling adventures. Take care :)

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