Brittney Connell

I was born in San Jose CA but now live in Manteca CA. My enthusiasm for racing began at a young age, my family has a long history in all sorts of racing. Drag racing, stock cars, dirt bikes/atvs (motocross), jet skis, carts, and more, if you can name it then it's been a part of our lives so naturally I'd start at some point.

When I started racing the neighbor kids on our little k-mart bikes my dad knew it was time to enter me into the real race world. When I was 5 he bought me my first quad (ATV) and let me race with the boys at the Chowchilla speedway in the 50cc class. I took 1st in my first race ever and have been hooked ever since. Back then I had to hide my hair up in my helmet because the boys would get angry if they knew they were racing a girl and try to take them out, they were all too shocked after the races when they'd find me with long pigtails! Unfortunately the reality in motocross is that it's male-dominated and females often get hurt because the classes aren't separated, which forced me to stop racing ATVs.

Racing blood runs deep so I immediately began competing in equestrian gymkhana, a western style horse speed/obstacle competition, which didn't last long before I moved to Manteca. That's when I was finally introduced to BMX racing, my family and I had never even heard of it! Oh how little did I know how huge a part of my life it would become. I started January 1, 2013 and everyday since has been spent training, racing, and keeping up with bmx news. Despite my district lacking a novice class for my age group I have begun to hit my stride in the women's cruiser class, an expert class that novice women can race in. Once a girl moves out of a novice class they're put in "Girls" classes but they're no longer able to move up to an expert class like the boys so Women's cruiser allows us to grow and improve more by riding with many different age and experienced riders.

I love racing tracks all around Nor Cal or special tracks such as national tracks and in Tahoe. I train as much as possible at the gym and on the track, lately I have been incorporating off road mountain biking into my training as well as riding at nearby jump tracks. I have taken a few falls, crashes, and concussions which have landed me with the nickname Cartwheel Connell, as I seem to go flying over my handlebars instead of just hitting the ground. At first I found it rude and unappealing but I've grown into it and I couldn't imagine a race without it being called out as I head down that starting hill, it's just part of the experience.

I have consistently been in the top of my district standings. Last year I took my first official title as #1 women's cruiser and I have it wrapped up for this year as well. My newest goal is to rank high enough to receive a national title in the next year or two but of course my end goal is always to ride and race as much as possible and set a positive example for any girl that wants to race. Even against the boys.

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Joe Gillis