Question: What does a woman with four young children under the age of 7, who is also working towards her nursing degree, do in her negligible spare time?
Answer: She drag-races motorcycles, of course!
For any woman, four children would be handful by itself; pursuing a full-time education to get a degree as a Registered Nurse just adds to the stress and responsibilities, but to also be a professional motorcycle drag-racer seems to be an unobtainable dream. Yet to 29-year-old Crystal Dickerson, this is not only realistic, it’s been reached. Crystal practically grew up at the race track; starting at age 3, Crystal began riding motorcycles with the guidance and approval of her parents, Blair and Patricia Dickerson, who were also professional racers since 1980. Her first ride was a small Honda 50cc bike; after many years of practice and tearing around the front yard of her house, at the age of 17 her father gave her a Kawasaki ZX-900R and in 2002 she began her days at the racing track as a participant rather than an observer.
As a racer, finding sponsors is an important part of the sport, and Crystal advises those interested in getting into racing to attend as many large events as possible. Crystal’s current rides include a ‘08 Kawasaki ZX14 and a ‘04 ZX10, both custom-built for her by her father.
More advice includes attending a professional racing school; as a graduate of Ricky Gadson’s Racing School in New Jersey, Crystal stresses the importance of learning good habits from the pro’s, including both technical and mental aspects of track racing. “Have fun, be safe, and respect the bike. A lot of people don’t respect the bike but it’s a powerful machine so being safe and smart is important!” She encourages women to get on the track as soon as possible and also looks forward to taking her own racing career further…with all she has accomplished so far at age 29, we have no doubt that Crystal’s career will be as bright and polished as her given name.
While she says that her young family is always her Number One priority, she also admits that it would be hard to give up. “I honestly don’t know how I do everything, but racing is in my blood… I tell people that I’ll do it ‘til my bones don’t work no more!”