If you meet Madi Jo Taylor on the street you would have no hint that she has a alter ego. Not a dark side, but a side that allows a deep passion to come out – a passion for racing motorcycles that ranges from fire to ice.
Taylor can often be seen in Emmett working with kids. When she puts on a jumpsuit and clamors onto a motorcycle, however, the mild mannered red-head takes on a different persona. Perhaps it’s the real Madi.
That may explain why the former Emmett High three-sport athlete is so focused to get back to racing after healing from a series of injuries that would likely drive a lot of racers into the pits for a long rest.
“Motocross is a very physical sport,” Taylor admits. “Perhaps there are times you need to let up a little but that’s not really me. There is something about the feel of the power underneath you and in your grip on the handlebars that’s addictive I guess.”
That drive has kept Madi coming back continuously over the past two years. Years that have alternated national championship level racing triumphs with physical set backs.
Last winter, in her first year of snow bike racing, she took the Women’s Pro Class Championship for the NASBA National Snowbike Series winning ten times. That came in the off season of a national circuit year in motocross and desert racing.
Madi has been competing in the heat of desert racing and the jumps and challenges of motocross since her early teen years. One target has been to qualify each year for the Loretta Lynn Nationals each year in Tennessee. That looked unlikely this past year after she suffered a serious hand injury in a spring motocross race. The injury required surgery complete with a plate, screws, wires and pins.
In June, wearing a hard brace over the healing hand, she hung on firm enough and long enough to win the Regional qualifier in Washington and book another trip to Tennessee. She didn’t get the trip however. Within days of winning in Washington she had another collision in practice that lacerated her liver.
“I was having some issues with having a kind of trigger finger in my pinkies,” Madi said. “I probably should have taken the healing a little slower and perhaps I wouldn’t have had the accident and the liver issue.”
But that is past. At least it appears to be. The plates were removed in October and a final procedure completed in December. Now she is ready to hit the road – or perhaps the snow first.
Madi says that riding snow bikes is her favorite activity for “recreational time”. When it comes time to put on the competition bib, however, she admits that motocross lights a fire.
“There really are substantial differences between snow bike and dirt bike racing,” she says. “The snow bike is more use of bodyweight and leaning the bike. The dirt bike requires a more active role by the rider, particularly with the manipulation of the handlebars. You sit more on the snow bike. You stand more and have a lot more to consider and a more physical challenge in the dirt.”
She plans to pick up that challenge again soon. With a team of sponsors she is scheduled to compete on a western regional circuit for motocross this spring and summer. There are even some desert endurance races on her agenda. Before she re-enters the heat of that competition, she does plan to get some recreational snow biking in, and why not a little competition on the snow as well.
Madi is confident that when she takes to the competitive course for a snow bike event in McCall later this month, the healing will be complete and she will be ready to melt the course.