Vicki Golden's hectic day in the life
XGames.com caught up with motocross phenomenon Vicki Golden on a busy Las Vegas weekend as she managed to balance demands of both an X Games Moto X Step Up qualifier and an AMA Monster Supercross race on the same weekend. How did she fare? Extremely well. In fact, Golden became the first woman in over four decades to qualify for the "Fast 40," the riders who transition to the night program from timed qualifying -- for the weekend's 2015 finale. But before that, Golden started her day a bit earlier.
Friday starts well before dawn, arriving at the supercross track at 4:30 a.m. for early practices and press. Naturally, Golden is no stranger to suiting up in the dark.
Tandem moto ride
Fully kitted up, Golden and mechanic Frankie Garcia double up for the short ride from the moto paddock to the stadium floor just as first light starts to break.
The sun hasn't yet broken the horizon and a good portion of the Supercross field is already making laps of the course at Sam Boyd Stadium. This late in the season, anything goes, but practice still plays a huge role in the final standings.
Eat and run/ride
No stranger to breakfast on the go, Golden grabs a quick bite back at the trailer during a break in the morning practice session.
Garcia is busy wrenching on Golden's 450cc step-up bike, adding and swapping components best suited for the Step Up event across town later that day. Add boxing traffic to that schedule, and you get the idea that careful planning is a huge part of Golden's day.
Local news time
As the sole female competitor in the supercross race, Golden is on air with the 6 a.m. morning local news crew for a live broadcast to tout the the following day's AMA Monster Supercross event.
With her interviews wrapped up, Golden gets a bit of precious supercross track time before having to migrate across town to the Step Up venue for the remainder of the day.
A bit of down time
Back at the trailer and out of race kit, Golden and Garcia are fast at work finishing up changes to the Step Up bike.
Mulisha in tow
The duo head across town to the Orleans Arena moto paddock and small Metal Mulisha presence. Golden is an esteemed member of the Metal Mulisha pro team.
Super step-up attack
It's barely noon and Golden is making initial passes over the freshly completed Step Up jump inside the arena. Can you imagine tackling not one, but two, very different motocross events in one day? In the world of action sports, it is only a dedicated few who can wear different hats in the same discipline and compete at an extremely high level.
Watch and learn
Having little-to-no Step Up practice during the run up to the Vegas event, and very little Step Up experience overall, Golden listens as more experienced riders discuss lines and jump modifications during the practice session.
Endurocross racing is underway inside the arena, but the mood is light among the Step Up competitors who are gathered backstage, waiting their turn to compete.
Golden aces first attempts
A quick study, Golden boosts to impressive heights in the early rounds of competition, backed by the roar of the crowd.
Nod from the hard-core
Golden is the first female rider to join the Metal Mulisha. As the competition progresses, she jokes with teammate Brian "McGnarly" McCarty.
Golden continues to clear ever-increasing heights, on track to qualify for her first X Games Step Up competition.
Set up for final run
At a final height of 28 feet, Golden powers in on what would ultimately end up being her final competitive run of the evening.
Golden crashes on final attempt
Underpowered and drifting left on the approach, Golden tumbles into the soft shoulder of the landing. She walks away with a wave to the crowd to signal she's OK while her support crew jumps in to try to rectify damage to the bike in the crash.
No crash recovery for bike
With hopes of making the qualifying height, Golden makes a final attempt to clear the last bar. Unfortunately, after a few false starts, it becomes clear that her bike is overheating from damage in the crash and she can't generate the power necessary to approach the bar.
Golden readies for a new day
With her Step Up qualification effort over, Golden receives cheers from the crowd and congratulations from Women's Endurocross pro Tatum Sik. The next day's AMA Monster Supercross race approaches fast, and it's time for much needed rest.