Tori Johnson Reps the Ladies of BMX Racing at State Championships
Published: Friday, October 5, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 17:10
Although BMX is dominated by male competitors, 18-year-old Arizona native Tori Johnson shows that girls can ride just as good (if not better) as the rest of the boys. She talked with College Times about juggling life as a young person with her passion for riding.
College Times: How long have you been riding BMX, and what got you started in the first place?
Tori Johnson: This is will be my 15th year racing, and I have been racing since I was 4. I started because both my parents race.
Do you go to school?
I am taking a semester off right now, but I am planning on going to PVCC and I’m going to study nutrition and sports medicine.
How do you balance school and riding BMX? Do you find that you are always busy?
It’s hard because of homework and schoolwork, but I try to communicate good with the teachers. I am out of town almost every other weekend.
About how many races have you competed in?
A lot, since I’ve been racing since I was 4. I would say over 500. I used to race every single weekend.
How many bikes do you have?
I have one bike right now. As I switch teams and grow, I change bikes.
Where is your favorite place in the Valley to race?
My favorite place is probably Black Mountain BMX (Phoenix). It’s only five minutes away. I don’t have to drive far, and the track is very smooth to race on.
Where is your favorite place in the country?
There was a racetrack in Kentucky I liked because it was all downhill.
How often do you practice on your bike?
I practice on my bike at least once a week, but it gets hard to do with work.
If there was one thing you could change about BMX and racing, what would it be and why?
People should get paid more to do BMX. It’s something you do because you love it, but it would be cool if you could make a living off of it.
Is it hard to be a girl in a sport dominated my mostly boys?
It’s not that hard. It’s very male-oriented sport, but we’re pretty accepted in racing.
What’s one thing you want people all over to know about BMX and biking?
The coolest thing about BMX is that anyone can do it. I’ve been doing it since I was 4, and I’ve even seen grandpas do it. It really doesn’t matter who you are or where you came from.
Black Mountain BMX, 24024 N. 11th Street, Phoenix, 602.938.1108, Friday to Sunday, October 5 to October 7, times vary, $10 to $35