Susan Parker does not know the meaning of “give up,” and never intends to learn it. As a female racer in an ever-changing, male-dominated sport, this Rider of the Month has experienced her share of hurdles. Even after Susan’s entire racing rig was stolen, she was not deterred. Though it set her back financially, she got back on her feet and kept moving forward.
“Bad things are going to happen, but I don’t let that stop me. I always come back, wanting more,” says Susan. “I don’t let obstacles get in the way of accomplishing my goals.”
At age five, Susan received her first quad as a Christmas gift from her father. Soon after, Susan caught the itch to ride competitively. At 15, she won the AMA District 6 Motocross Men's B Division, and by age 17 began racing professionally. Since then, Susan has raced both motocross and ATVs at national levels. After a break from the sport from 2000 to 2008, Susan came back strong, bringing home accolades such as first place in the New England ATV Series Women’s Open Championship and first place in the Men’s Open Championship in Toronto’s International Snowmobile, ATV and Powersports Show Obstacross.
Throughout her career, Susan has admired strong, independent female racers and knew she was born to be one of them. Drawn to the unfortunate fact that female riders receive much less attention and promotion than male riders — particularly in ATV racing — she was determined to do something about it.
In 2008, Susan started a business called “ATV’s Most Wanted” to promote the real lives of female riders through events and shows. The events often support a cause like “Bras for a Cause” and a recycling drive for wounded soldiers. Susan also started an eBay store, clothing line and calendars featuring women riders, to raise money and increase awareness of the efforts. Due to growing support and popularity, the business will also feature motocross and snowmobiles riders. Watch for “Most Wanted: Dirt. Street. Snow.” in 2013.
Her passion to compete and desire to see women riders in the spotlight led Susan to open a training facility in 2010. One year later, state laws closed Susan’s track, along with several other state tracks, but even that setback did not stop her. She plans to relocate further west in 2013, and open a similar track for women and children to train and realize their full racing potential.
Susan says she will race competitively as long as her body allows. After that, she will continue to invest in the sport, particularly the Most Wanted program and her training facility. She is also excited to further dive into buying quads and preparing them for re-sale, another activity in the long list of products and services that are driving her dream.
“If you have talent and the desire to go after your dream, then do it,” Susan encourages hopeful riders. “You will go through trials, especially as a woman in this sport, but don’t look back and think, ‘I could have, I should have,’ because that will only bring regret. You have to go for it full-force.”
Along with Pivot Works, Cylinder Works, Vertex Pistons, Hot Cams and Hot Rods, Susan would like to thank her other sponsors: HMF Exhaust, PEP Suspension, Dasa Racing, Pro Armor, Quad Tech ATV, VP Fuels, ATV Insider, ATV Riders.com, Hellbound Racing, Works Connection, Walsh Race Craft and HiPer Wheels.