Erika “VELOCIT-E” Allison has been heating up the drag racing circuit from San Diego to her new home in ATL. Black Girls Ride Magazine caught up with Erika for a quick Q&A about her love of motorcycles and the challenges of her sport. Photos courtesy of Rashad Griffin of CaliCamera.com
Q. When did you first fall in love with motorcycles in general and drag racing in particular?
A. I have always loved motorcycles. My mother and father were drag racers, but mostly with cars. It all started when my brother in law brought home a dirt bike when I was 12 years old. He told me briefly where the clutch, brakes and throttle were and before you knew it I was riding all around my front yard. I got the hang of it really quick which prompted me that this may be something that I am good at. However, drag racing has been a part of my life since I was born. It has always been something that my family has done. It’s in the bloodline!
Q. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in your sport on your way to success?
A. There have been so many challenges. The one that tends to keep lingering around is funding. This is a very expensive sport. You can blow hundreds and thousands of dollars in one day of racing. It is certainly a gamble. I never really had an issue with the guys in racing, although I have had several that didn’t want to race me – I am assuming it is because they didn’t want to risk being beaten by a lady. My thing is, once the helmet goes on it doesn’t matter what your sex is, it’s how you drive that bike.
Q. What would you tell a woman that has just bought their first bike?
A. I have run into so many ladies that are either interested in riding motorcycles and/or racing motorcycles. My advice to them is to get seat time. Seat time is so important for riding and racing. Seat time is pretty much a one-on-one with your motorcycle. Get to know it. Before you start racing you need to know exactly what your motorcycle is capable of doing at no speed and high speed. Every bike is different and it takes lots of skill to just get on any bike and show your versatility.
Q. What would you tell a woman that is thinking about moving from the streets to the track?
A. I started out street racing until I had a major almost fatal accident. My first time on the drag strip was influential and was a stepping stone in my life. I tell ladies that are interested in racing and have already been riding in the streets to, once again, “know your bike.” Take baby steps and get a knowledgeable motorcycle drag racer to show you the loops and proper way to launch a motorcycle. Safety, Safety, Safety! You will get dozens of people that are at the track trying to tell you what to do, but you have to stick with that one person for now. Because if you listen to everyone you will get overwhelmed and it will show in your riding.
Q. What’s your favorite road to ride when you’re off the track?
A. My favorite place of all times to ride (NOT race) a motorcycle is the streets of San Diego, California. San Diego has the best views, roads, freeways, motorcycle clubs, people –EVERYTHING. San Diego is definitely the place to ride at! I plan on moving back in the near future. Shout out to my MC families, 4 Horsemen MC, Twisted MC, Top Flyt Ridaz MC, Wolf Pack Ridaz MC, Hawg Riders MC, Coast 2 Coast MC –I see you!, Hurricane Biker Girls MC, COCKY RIDAZ in Los Angeles, AMU Riders MC, and SO MANY more – ya’ll keep it movin’ baby! I’ll be back!
Q. Where can we see you race in the future?
A. You can find me racing in the south east and along the east coast for 2011 season. I will have my 2011 race schedule up shortly on my website www.velociteracing.com. You’ll find me in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Alabama, and Florida.