Ashley’s Column — Abroad with Down Time

Circa 2009-10
Images of Motocross bikers with caption saying Fast track, 
Catching up with motocross champ Ashley Flolek

We’re in the middle of what is called “down time” in women’s motocross. This means we’re done with our racing season and that I won’t start back up again until April, when I head on over to Europe to race in the women’s FIM racing series. As you might remember, I broke my collar bone at the end of my season this year (and had to have surgery) so this has also been my healing up time.

While in Europe last season, I became very close with my mechanic and his family. My mechanic has two daughters who are both close to my age and we all became very good friends. We often talk on webcam and keep in touch through emails and text messages.

At the beginning of last year’s season, I told myself that if I won the WMX championship, I would take a trip to Belgium. Fortunately, I won the championship, so I booked my ticket and headed over to Belgium for 10 days! I happened to be there during Belguim’s “holiday,” so every day we did something fun and exciting. I got to meet new people and try new foods and had some great experiences. Everyone thought I was nuts to visit a different country even though I am deaf. But by the end of my trip, I was speaking Dutch (the language of Belgium) and my friends and their family members were all signing!

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Traveling overseas is pretty exciting and I didn’t have any problems. In fact, the most stressful thing was exchanging my American money for Euros. Belgium also has the best chocolate ever! It’s so good, I brought a ton of it back to America.

Next weekend, I plan to go skydiving for the first time! It is something I have always wanted to do and my friend Travis Pastrana (an extreme kind of guy) happens to be coming down here to Florida to get some skydiving hours. Fortunately, he said I could come along, so I will be jumping tandem with a professional skydiver. I’m hoping I can also squeeze a few snowboarding trips in between training, riding and skydiving.

During my non-racing season, I often do some autograph signings for some of my sponsors. T-Mobile, one of my sponsors, recently sent me out to a communications expo in Ontario, CA. It was pretty cool. Honda brought my championship bike to set up and I got to sign autographs and meet new people. I have a few friends out in Cali, so when I was done with the expo, I got to hang out with some of them. We all went to Pole Position (which has really fast go-karts) and went through a few races. In a couple of weeks, I’ll be going to Washington, DC to sign some autographs at the opening of a new T-Mobile store. Red Bull will also be on hand there to pass out some free drinks. Pretty sweet

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This week, I fly back out to California for the 2010 Honda photo shoot. This is where we take all of our media photos for the upcoming year and where photographers take the pictures they’ll use for the posters we sign at all of the races. I’ll also be doing some interviews out there and will get to meet up with my team again.

In other news, I went to the doctor last Monday and was finally cleared to start riding again because my collar bone has healed. Yeah! I rode once last week and will also get to ride while out in California at the photo shoot. Then, once I get back home, it’ll be time to start riding and training for my 2010 season.

So, even though this is my “down time,” you can see there is still plenty going on. It may seem pretty crazy and hectic, but I wouldn’t trade my life or my career for anything.

picture of Ashley (in hat), with Belgium friends, stands in front of her lucky number, 67

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