I recently had the pleasure of interviewing #1 ranked Girl Pro BMX biker, Alise Post from Minnesota. Alise, just 15 and already a pro racer, shared with me how she became interested in racing bikes and some of the challenges she has faced along the way. Alise is a well-rounded althlete who not only excels in BMX racing, but gymnastics and track as well.
Gretchen: When did you first become interested in racing BMX?
Alise: I was six years old when my brother started racing and told me I should try it.
Gretchen: So your brother got you interested in BMX…can you describe your first race? Were you nervous?
Alise: I actually chickened out at my very first race. However I went back the next week and ended up racing one of the top girls in the nation in my first race. I was a little nervous but not too bad because I was just out there having fun. I remember I was in second when I crashed in my first main, and everyone else fell too except for the girl in first. I wanted to cry so badly but my brother yelled at me to stop being a wussy. So I took that to heart, got up, and finished the race getting a second place trophy!
Gretchen: Wow! That is very impressive to get back up and finish. You are one very determined girl. Have you ever been injured?
Alise: Thankfully I’ve been blessed in this category with not having any serious injuries (knock on wood). I messed up my rotator cuff a couple times, had numerous problems with my ankles from gymnastics (they’re actually permanently swollen), and I also had this really deep tissue bruise on my leg that they had originally thought to be a broken femur but fortunately it wasn’t. All of these were painful but never completely prohibited me from sports for too long.
Gretchen: What is your favorite piece of equipment or favorite bike?
Alise: So far everything my sponsors have given me has worked out quite swell.
Gretchen: Do you have a favorite race track or event?
Alise: Well, I love the Rockford, Illinois track, but as far as events go it’s a close call between the ABA Grands and the UCI Worlds.
Gretchen: You’ve been racing for quite some time now, what are some of the highlights of your racing career so far?
Alise: I’ve had many highlights throughout my years of racing, but my top three would probably be winning ABA Amateur Number One titles, the ABA Rookie Pro of the Year award, and the ABA Number One Girl Pro title my first year racing pro.
Gretchen: What is your current ranking?
Alise: Right now I am ranked the Number One Girl Pro.
Gretchen: That is awesome! What challenges have you faced as a female in this sport and how did you handle them?
Alise: Well, of course it’s EXTREMELY male dominated but I always got along with the boys and even if they’d beat me I would just keep trying and eventually I caught up to most of them. In the long run this made me better when I raced the girls so I have to thank the boys. I can’t say I’ve had too many problems with the sport, but sometimes it stinks having some sponsors think a girl doesn’t deserve as much as a boy because they don’t think girls are as marketable. Some people think only little girls will look up to another girl but in all reality, I don’t think gender matters at all to people, it’s all in personality and how you treat others.
Gretchen: I completely agree with that, Alise. That was very well stated. The lack of sponsorship for girls sports has been a hot topic on Girls Can’t WHAT? recently. What advice would you like to share with young girls who are interested in racing?
Alise: Never give up. Don’t let all the boys scare you off because if you work hard you can be just as good, if not better than them. And just like everything else, you have to keep practicing because you’re probably not going to be good right from the get go. So, just stick with it and work hard. Most importantly though, HAVE FUN!!
Gretchen: That is great advice for us all! Outside of kicking up dust on the BMX track, what other hobbies an interests do you have?
Alise: I have been tremendously involved in gymnastics for almost 7 years and I love it just as much as BMX. I have also been in track and field for almost three years. And if I get any time outside of gymnastics in the winter, I enjoy “attempting” to snowboard, haha, and of course hanging out with my friends like every other kid out there.
Gretchen: Alise, thank you for taking the time to share your story with Girls Can’t WHAT? You are an inspiration to many and we wish you continued success in all you do!