We're very proud at VC LONDON to be teaming up with the mighty Husqvarna this year for CAMP VC 2018!
Husqvarna are one motorcycle brand really putting some heavy weight behind some of the worlds brightest female motorsports riders & stars right now. From supporting womens events the world over like the legendary Babes in the Dirt to being involved with the likes of enduro star Megan Griffiths , co- founder of Babes Ride Out Anya Violet , MX racer Ashley Fiolek & the amazing flat track racer Shayna Texter, Husqvarana are truly leading the charge to promote & support the progression of women in the motorcycling world.... So basically teaming up with them for CAMP VC was an absolute no brainer! Even more so when we met the amazing Amy Sparrow!!
Having started to ride MX at the early age of 9 Amy now works in the Husqvarna UK team & is not only an ambassador for all things Husqvarna but she's a bad ass ripper in the dirt too. Ontop of this Amy is passionate about getting more women into motorcycling in all its forms & will be onsite at CAMP VC with a range of both Husqvarna' s Vitplien & svartpilen road bikes & off road MX & enduro bikes dishing out advice & tips on how to get on the road . Come say hey to her onsite at CAMP VC & hit her with all your MX & road riding questions!
Name: Amy Sparrow
Job role at Husqvarna:
I have been with Husqvarna Motorcycles since February 2018 and my role is the PR and Media exec for the UK in both street and off-road.
Where are you originally from?
I am from Dorset in the South West of England. I have lived in different places in the UK but Dorset will always be home for me.
When did you start riding?
I started riding when I was 9, which in motocross is actually quite late to start. In my earlier childhood years, my mum dragged me to dance, ballet and horse riding lessons, which I just didn’t really enjoy. Then, one day my Dad took me out on a PW50 and that was it- I was hooked! I actually spent some time away from racing motocross from when I was 13 through to when I was 16/17 as my education was really important to me, but the passion never went away. So, after getting through all my GCSE’s and AS levels, I got a job, got myself a bike again and here I am…11 years later and still racing!
It must be a pretty awesome job putting together what you love to do in your spare time & your career?!
People always say to me that I am lucky to work in this industry and I agree- I am! There is hard work that goes on behind the scenes too, people always see the good bits and think that is how your job is all the time but it is like any other job, you have your good days and bad days but the good days do make it all worth it! You know you are onto a good thing when you work with bikes pretty much all day and then still want to ride with your friends and family in your spare time. I just love it! I enjoy meeting and working with interesting people and events on a daily basis and thrown into that, you do get to have some really memorable life experiences- which is really fulfilling!
Who introduced you to dirt riding? /How did you get into racing?
My dad raced when he was younger and he was still doing the odd vets race here and there as I grew up. I think at the point where I was 9 years old, I was the eldest of three girls (my brother came along after that!) so he decided that I would be the one that he introduced to his hobby first. After my taste of motocross on the PW50, he got me a KX60 and stuck me into a local race, I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing and flipped my bike off the start! It didn’t put me off though and we quickly spent almost every weekend at a local practice track which was insanely rough on those little bike wheels. I’m grateful for that time now as it has made me a more technical rider. As my siblings got older, they got into too, so now 3 out of 4 of us ride and my brother works in the industry too as a bike technician – which is very handy when something goes wrong with one of the bikes!
Do you also ride on the road?
Yes, I do! As I approached 16 I craved freedom away from my parents. I went to a grammar school which was about half an hour away from where I lived and meant all of my friends were further away too. Asking for lifts from my parents all the time just wasn’t an option, so I asked to be put through my CBT on my 16th birthday. I was on the road with that for a couple of years commuting to school and work then just before it ran out, I went on to do my full bike test. I didn’t have a road bike for 6/7 years as I was the only one I knew in my family/friendship group (other than my Dad) that had a licence and after growing up racing with a community, riding on my own just didn’t have the same appeal! Then, last year my brother, sister and a few friends got their licence, I fell in love with an Iron 883 so I bought it and started enjoying riding on the road again. Husqvarna are also really pro-active at letting staff use their bikes so I seem to be riding all the time again now!
Where would be your dream place to ride off road?
I have actually been lucky enough to ride there just recently! The Husqvarna Motorcycles 2019 motocross launch was held at Bakers Factory in Florida, (Aldon Baker is a trainer of elite motocross riders and his facility in Florida is classed as 5 stars) so I went out there with the UK motocross press for a few days! Riding there is something many people in motocross dream of, it was a once in a lifetime experience.
Who are your heroes in the motorcycle world?
In my earlier race days, Ashley Fiolek was my heroine. I totally admired her for being a minority in more ways than one in a tough male dominated industry. She is now one of Husqvarna’s brand ambassadors in the US, which is a pretty cool turn of events. My heroine of the moment is Laia Sanz who I think is just an incredible motorcyclist and sports woman!
What bikes have you had in the past? (Both road & off road)
I have had a fair few over the years, starting at the beginning I have had: KX60, KX80, Yamaha YZ125(x2), KTM SX125(x2), Cagiva Planet 125, Suzuki 250f, KTM SXF250 and I currently have a Harley Davidson Iron 883, Husqvarna FE250F, VItpilen 701 and a Svartpilen 401 (The last two are loan bikes from work and we can choose which ones to ride!)
What advice would you give to any ladies wanting to start out in Motocross racing?
I get asked this quite a lot and it is one of those topics that I feel passionately about. I can’t even count on my hands the number of ladies that say to me that they wish they could be brave enough to ‘have a go’ or ‘do what I do’ and my answer is always the same- you can! If you already have bike skill then learning motocross is a little bit easier as you have the balance and gears part down, it is just a question of getting use to the terrain and how you feel on the bike. If you are learning from scratch, I always say do not be scared to ask someone to teach you. I taught my sister how to ride and I am about to teach my sister-in-law. Giving someone the time and the belief that they can do it is half the battle, it is so easy to get disheartened early on as riding well is something that takes time and experience but if you enjoy it, it will come and you would be silly to give up straight away. There are also many riding schools around the UK that charge a small fee for a day of coaching but this is where events like CAMP VC essentially tick all the boxes. They allow women to feel confident and supported without having the fear of being judged or feeling intimidated.
What will you be bringing to site for CAMP VC with Husqvarna this year?
For CAMP VC we have lined up a selection from our new motocross and enduro range which the ladies will be able to take on track (dependent on experience!) as well as our brand new ‘Real Street’ range which consists of the Vitpilen 701, Vitpilen 401, Svartpilen 401. This will be my first time at an event like this and I can’t wait!