X MARKS THE SPOT FOR BIKE ACE
Meet a Motocross maestro
Kylie Slowe’s surname is a little ironic, given her penchant for high-octane sports. Zipping about on her bike, she’s anything but slow. The 23-year-old grew between the Middle East and her native South Africa, riding the Arabian dunes for nearly a decade.
Slowe now works full-time in finance, part-time as a personal trainer, and rides on weekends.
She’s currently preparing for the Motocross racing season, which is a technical form of racing on a set track, with jumps and emphasis on corners.
“On Fridays we will do a long ride out into the desert, and Saturdays we will do a shorter ride where we mess around, like a Qudra ride and play around on the dunes,” she explains.
Slowe got into riding as a tween living in Qatar. She says: “I started on a quad bike actually, I was 12. We’d go out every weekend in the desert, and I always wanted to do Motocross but they didn’t have a track there at the time. Then we moved to Abu Dhabi when I was 15, and that’s when I started Motocross. At the time I was the only girl racing, so I’d go in with the guys just to compete.”
Slowe travelled on weekends to Dubai to race in Motocross at the Jebel Ali track.
She races in both Baja racing and Motocross, explaining the difference: “There are two types of riding, if you want to get on a bike, open the throttle and go crazy, you do Bajas and if you want to focus more on the technical side of things you do Motocross.”
And though proficient in both styles of racing, Slowe says she’ll be getting back to her roots this coming season: “I grew up doing Motocross. This year I’m going to focus more on that, because I want to go back to my basics.” Having been based in the region for 15 years on and off, Slowe has seen the racing scene in the UAE grow, though says it still has a way to go, particularly for females.
“It’s so different for guys here in Dubai. If a guy in any sport – any extreme sport – does well, there’s just that extra bit of recognition,” Slowe says. “I don’t know why, I don’t know if that’s a worldwide thing or just the Middle East, but that’s just what I know. “You either don’t get recognised or it’s ‘oh wow, you’re a girl and doing this?’ And people speak to us about that. It’s not about the sport. “Basically it’s because you’re a girl, doing what you’re doing. “I think it’s changing though, slowly, there are so many areas of extreme sports that girls are becoming involved in.” She also credits the prevalence of social media to the heightened interest in extreme sports, including motorcycling. Slowe adds: “I’ve connected with more people this year than ever before; we’ve seen more people riding, wanting to try it out and go on adventures.”
“I’m going to focus more on Motocross because I want to go back to my basics.” – Kylie Slowe
Slowe (pictured) will race on October 7 at Jebel Ali Motocross Track. See facebook.com/D ubaimotocross