When she was just 3, Jaylie Gallacher hopped on a youth CRF50 dirt bike for the first time.
“That’s when I knew I was in trouble,” said Jaylie’s father, Justin Gallacher.
Since then, Jaylie, now 15, has blossomed into one of the top young women’s motocross riders in the country. The Redmond teen recently won the No. 1 plate (overall for female amateurs) at the Washougal, Washington, AMA motocross track, and last year at just 14 she took 32nd overall in the women’s amateur national motocross championship in Tennessee.
Gallacher suffered a broken jaw in a crash at a race in May, so she missed some races and did not qualify for nationals this year.
But she has been back on the bike racing regularly at the Thursday Night Motocross at Portland International Raceway and other tracks throughout the Northwest.
“I love meeting new friends and people,” Gallacher said of racing motocross. “It’s the adrenaline that gets me going.”
Gallacher got into motocross through her father, who raced motocross and did announcing for the Metal Mulisha freestyle motocross team.
She traveled in the truck to shows with her dad at a young age, and started racing when she was 8.
“Eventually one day we were at the race track and decided it’s time for the kids to start racing,” Justin Gallacher recalled. “Jaylie has just always had a love for that bike since early on. She just enjoys the sport and enjoys being on her dirt bike. I think that’s why she’s done so good. She’s having fun with it. It’s not like she needs to win every race. She just loves being out there and enjoying it.”
Jaylie, who attends online school through Redmond High and will be a sophomore this year, used to play basketball but now focuses solely on motocross.
She said she was racing against boys at PIR in May when she crashed near the start and broke her jaw.
“It was definitely really hard,” Jaylie said of missing out on racing for a few weeks. “For two weeks my mouth was wired shut so I couldn’t really eat for talk. I just wanted to be back on the bike. I would go on Thursday nights to watch and support my team.”
Jaylie said it was the first major crash of her career.
“That’s pretty good for racing for how long I’ve been racing for,” she said.
Jaylie — who has a twin sister, Jenna, and an older brother, Jaden — said she hopes to be a role model for other young women to get involved in motocross and action sports.
“It’s getting better every year, but there are not as many women at the local tracks,” Jaylie said. “At the bigger races, you kind of see the same women everywhere you go. I love when younger girls ask me questions and come up to me and say hi and stuff.”
A pro women’s motocross league folded in the mid-2000s, but Justin Gallacher said plenty of options still exist for female riders who want to get sponsored and turn pro, which is his daughter’s goal. “I do believe that she will be on her bike or in that industry for her whole life,” he said.
“There’s just not too many girls at her level at her age. She’s made a name for herself already and she’s known out there. I’m seeing a lot of little girls looking up to her. Women’s motocross will be bigger in 10 years. The sport is growing. She has a bright future on the bike, and she’s just excited about riding.”