Meet the Riders: Erin Dyer - When Flat Track is Family
We often refer to the DTRA as being like a family, but we aren’t only ever speaking metaphorically. It’s a common sight at our races to see the same surnames emblazoned across riders’ backs, with siblings, couples, parents and children turning up together to race; the latter frequently as a result of kids being brought along to meetings so often, that it was only a matter of time until they hit the track themselves.
As a result, our Youth classes are presenting some of the most exciting, stylish and truly impressive racing that can be found anywhere in our championship, as many of these young riders are putting into practice everything they’ve learned from years of trackside spectating.
But our junior riders are often taking matters into their own hands too, actively seeking out extra training to learn racing skills and style for themselves; 15-year-old Youth Inters rider, Erin Dyer (#73) was a star pupil at this year’s Dirtcamp, the annual women’s dirt bike training camp held at Greenfield Dirt Track, and presented in partnership with the DTRA, Days on the Dirt (Leah Tokelove’s training school) and VC London.
Having attended DTRA meetings for many years with her Vintage rider dad, Jon (#101), and older brother and Youth Senior racer Jake (#331), Erin joined the club this year and quickly showed promise. She bargained with her dad for a place at Dirtcamp instead of Christmas and birthday gifts, and deservedly received the ‘Rider of the Weekend’ award as she made incredible progress under the close tuition of American Flat Track Pro racer and guest instructor, Sandriana Shipman. Her trademark huge smile didn’t leave her face once all weekend.
We asked Erin to tell us more about her journey into dirt track riding, her experience at Dirtcamp, and her own ambitions and inspirations for racing. She’s far more modest than she deserves to be about her abilities; while a sprained elbow put her out for a couple of rounds this year, she truly is one to watch in 2020, and we’re thrilled to have her racing with us.
I have been coming to the DTRA races for around four years now as my dad has been racing since then. Seeing other female racers such as Skye Adams, Leah Tokelove and Lucia Aucott have inspired me to hop on a dirt bike and give it a go myself. Lucia would especially stand out off the track as she would encourage me to ride, asking me at every meeting if I was riding yet.
The bike I started racing on is a Yamaha TTR 125 in the Youth Inters class. Last year my older brother Jake rode this bike but has moved up to a CRF 250 this year, my dad also rode my bike in Minis last season.
My dad Jon helps me with many things in racing, especially my confidence level and tips here and there on positioning on the bike and other little things. He is very laid-back and I think this helps because it lets me enjoy the entire thing a whole lot more.
I attended Dirtcamp this year and it was definitely the highlight of my year so far; the energy of all the women was such an inviting feeling and being one of the youngest there didn’t stop anyone from including me and making me feel welcome.
All the instructors were friendly, helpful and always had a smile on their faces. Having Leah Tokelove, Gary Birtwistle, Sandriana Shipman and the other pros was very helpful, giving us tips thoughout the whole weekend in the different areas of motorcycle riding.
Pro American Flat Track racer Sandriana Shipman was a huge help to all the riders taking part, being on our backs the whole weekend, giving us tips to improve and feel more comfortable on the bikes. She personally helped me most with my positioning, giving me things to think about while on the track.
After Dirtcamp 2019, I definitely feel much more confident on track with other racers of different abilities. Since then I’ve been getting lots of positive comments and feedback from fellow riders about my speed increasing. Gary Birtwistle has definitely helped by leading me around the track at Greenfield and pointing out things that I can work on.
When I first started getting interested in motorcycles and flat track, Skye Adams (now aged 17) stood out to me the most as she was racing against fully-grown men in the Pro class. I would always keep an eye out for her whilst watching the races, trying to take in what she was doing to improve.
Currently I’m just racing purely because of the fun in it, I don’t do it competitively because it is still my first season but hope one day, I could get a podium.
A piece of advice I would give to other young people interested in motorbike racing is to 100% go for it! The first time I went out on a flat track oval was scary at first but I loved every second of it. Ever since that day I have been hooked and haven’t stopped talking about racing. The DTRA is such a good place to start riding because everyone is so friendly and helpful. I wouldn’t change anything to do with racing for the world.
Congratulations on all of your achievements so far Erin, and thank you for taking the time to speak to us and share your great advice. We’re looking forward to seeing your new skills out on the track soon.
Inspired by Erin? Check out Days on the Dirt now
If you’d like to follow in the footsteps of Erin (and Lucia, who got her first taster of flat track racing at a past Dirtcamp) and learn how to race motorcycles alongside other like-minded females, take a look at the currently available Days on the Dirt experiences.
Leah’s school provides dirt track training days for women of all abilities, from total beginners to those who are already racing but want to sharpen their skills, and opportunities to try other forms of dirt track racing including motocross - all at the beautiful Greenfield Dirt Track in Lincolnshire, the UK’s only purpose-built flat track facility.
Our 2019 racing season comes to a close on the weekend of 21st and 22nd September, with the final rounds of our Nationals, Euros and Hooligan championships all taking place on the Greenfield Dirt Track oval. Entries are now open for all classes and will close at midday on Friday 13th September, so be quick if you want to join us at the final round of what has been another awesome season.
As always, we'll see you at the races.