Leah Tokelove

VC London Presents: Team Talks at Babes in the Dirt 5

Our friends VC London will hosting Team Talks on Friday evening from 5pm-7pm at Babes in the Dirt 5. Started in 2015 VC Team Talks are panel talks run by VC London where we bring together incredible women within motorsports, adventure and action sports to come share their their experiences, tell their stories and open up a conversation for everyone to get involved in with the aim to inspire more women to get out there and try out all forms of action sports and motorsports.   Read on to see who we will be hearing from!

babes in the dirt

We're stoked to be bringing VC Team Talks to Babes In The Dirt all the way from the UK! We've got a stellar line up of ladies who will be coming along to share what they do and get you inspired to go rip some dirt on Saturday at the event!

Past speakers that have included  legendary motorcycle adventurer Elspeth Beard, Dakar Rally competitor and enduro expert Tamsin Jones and Cycling Olympic gold medalist and moto rider Victoria Pendleton, we gather together some of the awesome women for you to ask questions about their careers, lives and the road that got them there and to get advice on how to start out in their fields.

babes in the dirt

Check out the line up for Babes in the Dirt 5!

We're so excited to have joining on our panel for our Babes In The Dirt special - UK based pro flat track racer Leah Tokelove, Enduro Champion and X-Games Gold medallist Kacy Martinez, Pro BMX freestyle rider Nina Buitrago and Babes in the Dirt co-founder and dirt rider Anya Violet ! So make sure you don't miss it Friday night!

See you there!

babes in the dirt

Professional Flat Tracker Leah Tokelove is Making Her Way to Babes in the Dirt 5 from the UK!

Leah Tokelove isn’t your average 21 year old even though she says she is. Looking over her accomplishments the past few years is simply incredible as she has not only become a professional racer on her Indian Motorcycle for the Hooligan series, she also races competitively with her KTM in the Pro class. That’s not all…..she has also opened training classes, Days on the Dirt, to help ladies in the UK learn the fundamentals of riding and did we mention she’s a full time student and holds down a job that requires heavy labor at her dad’s building site? If people ever doubted superwoman, here she is. Get to know Leah Tokelove and make sure to give her and the VC London ladies a VERY warm, welcome as they cross the pond to join us at Babes in the Dirt 5!

Photo by Sarah Emma Smith

Photo by Sarah Emma Smith

Name: Leah Tokelove

Instagram Handle: @leahtokelove37

What’s in your garage?

  • Indian Scout Sixty Hooligan Racer

  • Indian Scout Sixty (For road rips), got my license in January!

  • KTM 450 SX-F – My Flat Track race bike

  • KTM 250 SX-F - For Motocross fun

  • Honda CRF125

  • Kawasaki KLX 110

  • Honda Mini Framer with a CB125 engine

  • Honda CRF 250 - (Kindly lent to me by Tara Henry for Trails)

Wow now I feel greedy, motos for every occasion!

Who are you sponsored by?

  • Indian Motorcycle

  • -Alpinestars

  • Bell Helmets

  • S&S Cycle

  • Krazy Horse Customs

  • VC London

  • STANCE

  • Greenfield Dirt Track

  • DTRA

  • Days on the Dirt

  • My awesome family

Tell us about where you are from:

I’m from Lincolnshire in the UK. It’s pretty much the middle of nowhere on the east coast of England, which is ideal as there are plenty of opportunities to ride motorcycles without bothering anyone. I still live in Lincolnshire now and I don’t think that I’ll ever really leave- I’m a country gal.

Tell us about yourself and what you are into:

Aside from racing I think I’m your average 21-year-old student. I like binge watching Netflix, eating way too much crap and drinking more than I can handle- haha. All joking aside increasingly I have very little time for that, as recently my racing has become a lot more serious, most of my spare time away from the track is focused on prep and training. I race Flat Track in the UK, racing for Indian Motorcycle in the Hooligan Series and my own KTM in the Pro class. When I’m not racing or practicing Flat Track I like to go trail riding (I passed my test back in January for my license and I’m now addicted to trails) or I go motocrossing. So really, I like riding a bit of everything. When I’m not riding I’m actually a University student, studying Business Management (yawn) and I work part-time laboring on my Dad’s building site. But have recently started my own business ‘Days on the Dirt’ (more on this to follow). Being a student and racing actually fits together nicely, it gives me a lot of flexibility to train, ride and travel for events. I really enjoy sports of any kind and just generally being active. I love traveling and enjoy writing about my experiences. I hate tuna and carrots.

What inspired you to want to ride two wheels?

Growing up in rural Lincolnshire we don’t have many cool parks, shops or attractions. There’s not really that much to do as a kid, but there is an abundance of fields for learning how to ride motorcycles on! And with the encouragement of my Father who had dirt bikes and a bike on the road it was quite natural for me to start riding. My dad got me a little PW50 as my first ripper, at the age of 5. And we used to just ride around the farm near to where we lived, he was on his KTM and I was on my little Peewee. We’d just tootle about for fun. And for a long time, riding dirtbikes was all about fun for me, I’d never considered doing anything more than that. But after one Summer of riding KLX 110’s (I still have these to date) when I was around twelve/thirteen, I had ridden non-stop and found that I was actually getting pretty good, as fast as my Dad and faster than a fair few of his mates! So, we thought that an ideal place for me to make my racing debut was just at a local series on the beach! My Dad bought me a Suzuki RM85 and it was my first ever bike with a clutch, I spent a couple of weeks getting used to that, did a lot of accidental wheelies and before I knew it I’d lined up for my first race! From there I progressed onto racing Flat Track when we realized that all the fast lads on the beach were doing this Flat Track, so I thought I’d give it a go and now well… the rest is history!

Tell us about Days on the Dirt?

To put it simply the ultimate goal of Days on the Dirt is to get more women riding motorcycles and more women racing them! I do believe that in the UK prior to Days on the Dirt, there was nowhere that a complete beginner could go and learn to ride a motorcycle. I also feel very strongly about the importance of women only events after talking to lots of women about them and knowing how I, a confident rider, do sometimes feel intimidated on generic training days. At Days on the Dirt we have created the ideal environment for women to come and learn, alongside like-minded women who are all there for the same reason- to learn new skills. Whether that be to learn how to ride a motorcycle, develop flat track sills or ride motocross for the first time- we can give women that opportunity at Days on the Dirt. I’m so proud of what Days on the Dirt is developing into and the support we are receiving from not only the women who attend but brands wanting to help out! Days on the Dirt is still young, not even a year old and I can’t wait to watch it grow!

What skills do you practice the most to stay sharp on your bike?

Obviously, I like to keep my Flat Track skills in shape because that’s my main thing but riding lots of different disciplines is so complimentary to your general riding ability. Because bike time is bike time and all of the skills are totally transferable! I also think that riding a smaller bike is good practice too. If I want to push myself harder I usually ride my little Honda CRF125 because when you’re on a bike so small you’re not really afraid of sending it- haha and you push yourself way out of your comfort zone because surely I can do less damage on that than my Indian Hooligan?!

How has learning to ride changed your life?

I actually reflect about this a lot. I often stop and think about what the hell I’d be doing if I wasn’t riding and I seriously don’t know the answer to that! Riding for me, is very quickly becoming about the people that I’ve met through riding bikes. I’ve actually done a WHOLE blog post on this because it’s had such a mammoth impact on me, haha. But in short, I think riding motorcycles has opened up a whole Narnia of opportunities for me. Racing, traveling and different cultures are all things that I have had the pleasure of experiencing thanks to Motorcycles. Take Babes in the Dirt for example. Thanks to my love of dirtbikes I’m going to be visiting LA for the first time, getting to meet heaps of new people that share my passion for riding, adventures and good times. It doesn’t get much better than that does it? Also, to now think that I’ve been able to transform my passion into such a big part of my life is crazy. All the sponsorship, support and the fact that I can do Days on the Dirt and share my passion for others is simply the best. Oh yeah and I’m actually quite fierce and love the thrill of racing- but that’s the norm for all racers right?

What are your goals as a motorcyclist?

My main goals have got to be to just keep on enjoying the ride. Racing where I can (because I’m a competitive lil’ bitch on track) and I want to do a lot of moto related traveling. I think that having fun on and around motorcycles is my main goal, obviously I want to win races too and I would love to race Super Hooligans in the US one day and maybe even some American Flat Track! But yeah mainly travel, meet new people and I’m open minded so I’m just gonna’ enjoy the ride and see where it takes me.

We can't wait to have you attend Babes in the Dirt, what are you looking forward to the most?

Ahh man, I am so stoked to be able to make it out. I turned 21 in November and this is the first event I’ve been eligible for, I don’t think you’re gonna be able to get rid of me now! Seriously though, I love what you guys are doing Stateside and have always followed it and I’ve been fortunate to be able to support VC London with their Camp- which is such a great event for the UK scene. I can’t wait to ride the trails, I’ve heard very good things about riding in California, so I’m stoked on that. I’m also really looking forward to meeting my ‘Instagram friends’ haha and actually meeting the real characters behind the handles along with loads of new people! So yeah, I think it’s gonna be a pretty good weekend of riding, hanging out and partaaayyyyyy!!!

What advice do you have for others who are new to riding or thinking about learning to ride?

-I think as cliché as it sounds learning to ride is one of those things that has a ripple effect on your life. The opportunities it opens up to you from travel, meeting new people and just having a fun way to spend your time. The personal benefits of it too are crazy the amount of stress it relieves, the feeling of freedom and pure joy when riding. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone look grumpy when they take their helmet off after a ride! I really do think that if you’re considering it then you should just take the plunge and go for it, there’s a bike for everyone out there, go and chase it! And motorcyclists are THE most supportive group of people ever and you will for sure find your squad within a much larger squad- period.

What are the 2019 dates for your clinics and how can ladies sign up?

So my dates so far are;

  • 30th March- Flat Track Intro

  • 5th April- Total Beginner

  • 19th April- Flat Track Intro

  • 10th May- Flat Track Intro

With some 1:1’s and private hires in there, with more dates for Summer yet to be announced!

Our facility is Greenfield Dirt Track and you can book in online via clicking HERE

https://greenfielddirttrack.bigcartel.com

Photo by George Pickering

Photo by George Pickering

Photo by Braking Point Images

Photo by Braking Point Images

Kayedeak Photography

Kayedeak Photography

Photo by Juan Trulijo Andreas

Photo by Juan Trulijo Andreas