Topics: Lori Payne
Genia Dulot, VOA News
27 July 2018 (9:53AM)
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She’s been racing bikes ever since she was 11. Watch how this 60-year-old motorcycle racer continues to win most of the races she competes in. Reporter/Camera: Genia Dulot
I just celebrated my 60th birthday, which is wonderful. I’ve been racing motorcycles since 1969. I was 11 years old. And the first time I did it was just, that was it for me. I thought this was, this is what I want to do as long as God allows me.
My sister also raced. She was the very first women’s national champion ever in 1974. They sent her to Europe to race with men there. She raced all over Europe for about three months. I stayed back. I was still very young and stuff. But, gradually got better and better and better and then I was recognized by Yamaha and I was approached by Yamaha and I got a factory ride with Yamaha. And that was, factory means I didn’t go to a shop and buy the bike myself. The factory, whoever makes Hondas, whoever makes Yamahas, they came to me and said, ‘we want to give you a bike and mechanics. We’ll pay for all your races and we’ll pay for everything. We just want you to race our bikes.’
People think it’s way cool now. It was back when I was in high school. They assumed I, I hate to say this, they assumed I was a lesbian because there, it was a stereotype that women that rode motorcycles were butch and, kind of, you know, just like and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. You usually have to have six people in your, like six girls to have your own class, to race out on the track by yourself without the man, without, just, right.
My Dad would walk up and down the pits and offer to pay the girls entries so that we could have our own class. Sometimes we got it, sometimes we didn’t. But if we didn’t, then we raced with the boys.
((Michael Bierman, CEO/Owner, Old School Scrambles Racing Group))
Lori’s my best friend. I take pride in her going out and racing and she won six out of six races today. And I love that and that’s why I prep her bikes for her and get her out and stuff. So, I have been beat by women and they’re professionals. I didn’t think anything of it. I didn’t say, oh, they’ve got a better bike or this or that. No, they flat beat me. The bottom line is if you go out and you put in the work and you do the training, you’re going to be the faster person. Because this is not a sport where you just show up.
((Lori Payne, Motorcycle Racer, Yamaha))
The problem is the promoters of the big races and things don’t, we’re like an afterthought. So, they don’t include the pro women racing on their schedule. A few years back they did, you know, we would, and even be televised. But we would be on either a day that wasn’t televised. They would be racing on a day that wasn’t televised or they would have their race during the commercials and stuff. So, you still didn’t, you know, there was still not the respect that needed. These girls are fast and they’re dedicated and they’re strong and, you know, they have the same love that any of the men do.
Oh, hi. How was it?
Oh, it was so much fun.
So much fun.
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