View Full Version : K_K Takes It to the Track

03-02-2011, 01:51 PM
This comes to us from a member, about a member, and for everyone. Promises were made to both the writer and subject of this article regarding the publishing of this elsewhere that hasn't happened yet, but I, along with other staff here at KR are PROUD to have this published here FIRST!

Author: Jim Bailey (aka: superbike)
Photos: Courtesy Steven Szabo Photography

“Kat_Kitten” takes it to the Track”

“Kat_Kitten” is Chandelle’s on line username on the www.katriders.com (http://www.katriders.com) website. Katriders (KR), is how we came to “know” one another, as we have never actually met in person. Chandelle is currently living in Calgary, Alberta Canada. At only 26, she is better traveled that most, but more on that later.

The thing that caught our attention initially on KR this past year regarding Chandelle, was a post that defined a new innovative, synergistic sponsorship program she and KR had put together to help her cope with the cost of her new racing program. Basically, a thread was started in the “At the Track” section of the forums that takes you to a link on her team’s www.hyperslothracing.com (http://www.hyperslothracing.com) website. After looking over the information, you could click on the link and make a monetary contribution of any amount via Pay-Pal if you so desired, helping out as a “sponsor”. For your consideration, you could be a member of the KR team sponsorship through your largess and that entitled you to various KR team benefits, including a shot at a couple of $50.00 gift cards later in the season. Chandelle kept the KR team members updated for each round of the Calgary Motorcycle Roadracing Association (CMRA) events in the KR “At the Track” section with a new thread for each round.

Because of the short summer (read long winter) in Alberta, their racing season was shorter than most. It started in April with trackdays, practice, school and then six rounds of racing through mid-September. Cold weather is a given on either end of the race season in Calgary.

Born in 1984 at Port Hardy, British Columbia, Chandelle as a youngster exercised her tomboyishness through a variety of usually thought of “male” sports. In High School, she was not only a national level competitive wrestler, yes wrestling; she also coached her High School team while still competing as well!


In 2004, she moved to Seoul, South Korea to teach English. Her boss gave her the use of a moped to ride to and from work. This was her first motorized experience on two wheels. “A little unnerving at first, but I quickly adapted.” From Seoul, she moved to Jakarta, Indonesia to continue teaching. “In Indonesia, the roads were insane, organized chaos at best really, and thankfully it was within walking distance to and from work.” “When vacationing, we would rent mopeds or 250cc bikes. My first manual clutch riding experience was awful!” “When I popped the clutch, I was going up a path maybe a foot or two wide that wound around the mountainside. The dang bike wheelies, and after a lucky safe landing, I thought the need to change my shorts!”

In 2006 she moved back to Canada, landing in Calgary, Alberta. Soon in need of transportation, she bought herself a 2002 Katana 750cc Suzuki. She then completed her MSF course. Looking on line for information about her Katana purchase, she came across the KR community.

2007 found her playing full contact football for the Calgary Rockies (now the Calgary Rage) as the team’s only quarterback, and also served as one of four team captains. She played for two years after receiving a shoulder injury in her first season.

At that point in time, she met a friend that introduced her to the Alberta Mini Roadracing Association (AMRA). Picking up on another new challenge, she started riding the little 8hp bikes around the miniature road course that was located behind “Race City”
(www.racecity.com (http://www.racecity.com)) the full sized road course she presently competes on. In October 2009, she had the shoulder injury repaired. The surgery was a success and she healed quickly.

The new year, 2010, and yet another challenge, Chandelle was bitten by the “race bug.” With her natural athletic ability, her competitive sprit, and a love for riding, it didn’t take but a little coercion from her friends to give the CMRA (www.roadracing.org (http://www.roadracing.org)) the thumbs up.

This is where the story got serious. At this point Chandelle had been riding her Katana for a few years, but as yet, hadn’t even done a track day. Not worried, she headed off to the bank! After consulting with main sponsor Rob Jessop of GFY Performance (also her mechanic, riding coach and all around go-to guy), she purchased a race-ready 2003 CBR600RR with only 4000kms on it.


In April, Chandelle attended her first trackday. Former president of the CMRA, Brad Gavey (owner of Brad Gavey Performance Riding School) along with Rob Jessop, took Chandelle for an on track tour of Race City’s course in a pick up truck. They discussed all of the usual first-timer pointers, including everything from target fixation to reference points, and then they cut her loose on the track. “My first trackday was awesome and I knew I was hooked.” Her riding coach gave her high praise for her strong line, good body positioning on the bike and looking well ahead down the track.

The next event on the agenda was her mandatory CMRA School. She was smooth and clean all day on a still very cold track. The only drama was at the start of the last session. In the first warm up lap of the “mock race”, cold tires on a cold track and a touch too much speed caused a low side in the third corner. There was no real damage to the bike, or to her spirit to continue riding.


Between the time of her first CRMA School and her first race weekend, she participated in a couple more trackdays, showing steady improvement with each outing, as well as a third place podium finish April 25th in the annual AMRA three hour Spring Endurance Race on the small track. She also competed in the Fall Endurance Race, finishing 8th in that event.

In the CMRA she had a stellar first season. When all of the points were tallied, she was fourth overall in the Novice Group standings. She missed only round three of competition so she could attend the annual KR rally at Deals Gap in North Carolina. She rode her Katana from Calgary, Alberta Canada to Deals Gap North Carolina and back, a distance of over 11,000kms total.

The following is a summary of her round by round CMRA results. Chandelle finished every race she started, not a single DNF.

Round One: Race One: 14th Race Two: 11th
Round Two: Race One: 7th Race Two: 8th
Round Four: Race One: 6th Race Two: 7th
Round Five: Race One: 6th Race Two: 6th
Round Six: Race One: 3rd Race Two: 3rd

Her first season of competition resulted in TWO podium finishes. Chandelle has all winter to contemplate her race craft and prepare for the upcoming 2011 season.


I’m sure glad I clicked that link on KR last spring! Speaking of links, here are a few that will take you to Chandelle’s round by round updates on KR. You can read in her words about her race by race experience as well as read the reactions from her “sponsors”. Enjoy.

http://katriders.com/vb/showthread.php?t=108048 First trackday thread.
http://katriders.com/vb/showthread.php?t=108888 School crash thread.
http://katriders.com/vb/showthread.php?t=109290&page=2 Round One with pictures.
http://katriders.com/vb/showthread.php?t=110057 Round two.
http://katriders.com/vb/showthread.php?t=112037 Round four.
http://katriders.com/vb/showthread.php?t=112789 Rounds five and six.
http://www.calgarybeacon.com/2010/08/novice-thrills-at-cmra-round-4/ Video interview

Discuss this article here: http://katriders.com/vb/showthread.php?p=2035341