MRA welcomes female riders

Posted on Aug 06 2020


Mari Alvarez gets ready for the weekly exhibition races Marianas Racing Association organizes in Marpi.

The Marianas Racing Association has issued an open invitation to women looking for some adrenalin rush on the motocross track.

MRA official Cuki Alvarez, who oversees the exhibition races the revived group conducts once a week in Marpi, encouraged women interested in motocross to come forward, as experienced riders will be there to assists newbies.

“Although some ladies have asked, they still seem little timid and ‘shy’ and we want to try and break that thought that MX is a ‘men’s only’ sport. We want to encourage more women to ride,” Alvarez said.

Only Cuki’s wife, Mari, has been regularly joining MRA’s weekly races and though she admitted that motocross may be intimidating to some, especially for women, once you get the hang of it and learn from master riders, you will look forward to jumping into your bike every time you have a chance.

“I encourage women to stop by and check us out at Kan Pacific. They can watch and see if it’s something that tickles their fancy. If so, we have many veteran riders that can help them find the best bike to fit their size and level as well as assist in teaching them to ride. Most of our beginner riders start at the flat tracks or the beginner course inside the baseball field. Once they build enough confidence and skill, they can start riding the main track,” Mari said.

Like any newcomer in any sport, Mari said there will be challenges as you navigate your way into the track, but one must not be discouraged by these setbacks.

Mari Alvarez clears a berm during one of the weekly races that Marianas Racing Association held last month in Marpi. (Marianas Racing Association)

“The last time I rode a bike was almost 14 years ago, that’s a long break! My first experience riding a dirt bike again was a combination of excitement and nervousness. It helped that I knew how to drive a standard vehicle because it’s just like a car, you need to work and control the clutch, it’s really an important part of the bike. Then of course I always feared crashing but that’s where all the practice and safety gear come in,” the female rider said.

The once-a-week exhibition races helped Mari slowly keep up with the boys on the track and she believes other female riders interested in joining the group will gain the same improvement or even better than hers once MRA gets a permanent raceway.

“I still need to learn utilizing the bike to its full power but like everything else, practice will make you better. For now, we are only allowed one day of practice a week and so I look forward to Marianas Racing Association’s permanent track. I feel I need to work harder on my aggressiveness and eliminate my thoughts of crashing especially at my age, LOL. This time around, I’m taking it slowly but I do want to get back to my best shape and skill,” Mari said.

The brave female rider expects more tough rides, including occasional crashes, as she works her way back into her top form, but the adrenaline rush that motocross brings to her is enough to conquer the fear of falling down from her bike.

“I think I love the fact that I’m working with a machine. Then the fast speed and going through rough terrains gives me this constant adrenaline. The fear of crashing will always be in the back of my head, but I’ve learned that it’s part of the sport. Just need to dust off the dirt and get back on the bike,” she said.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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