Shredding stereotypes: How one woman defies expectations in motorsports

Katie Wiebe navigates the world of dirt biking with grit and grace

by Danielle Brost

— Photo courtesy Katie Wiebe

In the rugged realm of dirt biking where the adrenaline flows freely, Katie Wiebe is carving her own path. A co-founder of the popular account Dirt Angelz on Instagram, Wiebe is a spirited trailblazer whose journey from childhood fascination to fearless exploration has shattered stereotypes and inspired a new generation of riders.

We wanted to know more, and she was happy to share her unfiltered experiences, from clandestine mountain escapades to conquering challenges on and off the trail. Read on to learn more about this remarkable woman who defies expectations and embraces the joy of the ride.

— Photo courtesy Katie Wiebe

What initially sparked your interest in dirt biking?

Back in the day, I was a kid with a wild spirit. Day one, I saw my dad tearing up the trails, and I was instantly hooked. There was something about the brap brap power, two stroke gas, and the vibration of adrenaline that spoke to me.

Before I could walk, my parents plopped me on anything with a throttle and off I went.

How do you feel about being a woman in a predominantly male-dominated sport?

It's like being a flower in a field of gravel, but I see it as an opportunity to push the boundaries between ultra girly and granola girl. The support and camaraderie I've found within the dirt biking community, regardless of gender, have been incredible.

— Photo courtesy Katie Wiebe

Can you share a memorable experience you've had while riding?

When I was around 15, I took my dad’s 200 KTM SX out for a rip without permission.

There was this beautiful abandoned mountain resort with suspension bridges, caves and  a lookout at the top. All the “cool” riders would take photos here, so I thought it would be a fun easy adventure.

As I started this adventure, I went the wrong way. I ended up needing to cross the suspension bridge, down a flight of stairs ALL on my bike. This was one of those situations, that when you started, you couldn't turn around.

Somehow, all 5’3 of me made it without dying and got to the lookout.  Once I got to the lookout, I realize there is a much easier way down so I started my descent.

Slowly riding to the bottom, I realize the property had a security fence surrounding my exit. At this point, I had two options: Go back up, over the suspension bridge and up a flight of stairs OR somehow untwist the metal fence so I can squeeze through.

Still shaking from the experience, I chose option two. For about an hour, I was taking rocks and untwisting the metal wires that were connecting fence panels. Finally, I got through and I was free! Or so I thought…

Thinking I could start my bike and ride home… NOPE. My bike stopped working. At this time I was pretty brainless on how bikes worked. I knew gas went in and throttle was my friend. After some time, I came to the conclusion that I ran out of gas.

Still a fair distance from my house. Thankfully the majority of it was downhill so I coasted, then walked and walked and walked.

I eventually got home and put the bike back. I pretended like nothing had happened. My dad never found out and I was able to post this “sick” photo, which was featured on the KTM Instagram.

What advice would you give to women who are interested in getting into dirt biking?

Get yourself a smaller bike! Everyone's all about big, powerful bikes, trying to be cool from the start but let's be real. Sometimes, diving straight into the deep end can shake your confidence, especially when you're picking yourself up off the ground. Dirt biking is about stamina and quality time. You can't have either of those if you're exhausted and frustrated.

— Photo courtesy Katie Wiebe

Have you faced any specific challenges as a rider, and how did you overcome them?

Finding a bike that's short enough but still packs enough punch! With the limited selection for women, us gals often find ourselves (or our boyfriends) in the garage, spending money on modifications , just so we are able to touch the ground. It's either perfect size, not enough power or way too big, but the perfect amount of power.

What safety measures do you prioritize while riding?

Helmets and boots are non-negotiable for me, no exceptions. Plus, your phone. It's not just for the sick videos—it's a lifeline.

— Photo courtesy Katie Wiebe

Have you participated in any dirt biking competitions or races?

My focus currently is finding a group of local girls to ride with. Once I'm feeling more confident/better, I might give enduro racing a shot.

Are there any particular trails or locations you enjoy riding in?

Bear Creek is my favourite. It's got everything you could ever want, from beginner-friendly trails to big black trails. They have great signs and navigation. Plus, they're always hosting events, for all levels.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I would just love to meet more ladies in the Okanagan/across BC. People that are open minded and don't judge my girly exterior before meeting my full-send personality.

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