- Motorcycles, Sports Bikes & Riding
Living on Two:A Glimpse of Jessica Maine
The Girl With a Heart Like an Inline-4
This woman, otherwise known as Smallz because of her petite 5’2’’ tall, 113 lb. frame, has some serious staying power. She’s a risk taker with business sense, meaning she can easily trade a back protector and helmet for glasses and a business suit when the need arises. For a 24-year-old female stunt rider clutch popping her way through a male-dominated, image-obsessed sport, this is the difference between fading out like a bad Britney Spears drama or creating a lasting impression whose influence is so powerful, it can be likened to that of Michelle Obama’s.
From the moment she first wheelied onto the stunt scene in 2005, Jessica has been at full throttle, leaving gaping mouths, flashing cameras and adoring fans in her wake. There is no denying that Jessica is a female daredevil that has forever changed the way women get respect as riders, stirring the pot with her red-carpet-worthy beauty, forever improving riding skills and her uncanny knack to sell herself.
Before 2003, she was just another street racer on the receiving end of a chain of moving violations, owning the night as she raced her Ford Mustang down Montgomery Boulevard in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Just as she was giving a Honda Civic a run for its money one night, a guy on an R6 passed her and the Civic while doing a wheelie. That’s when she vowed to trade four wheels for two, lofting a front wheel instead of slamming a short shift.
During her first year as a fledging stuntress, Team Outermost showed Jessica the ropes, leading her into the underground kingdom of wheelies and endos with willing, open arms. She has been hustling for her passion to ride ever since, spreading her tendrils to all venues, a versatile quest so tenacious that any man interested in courting this woman is left running to catch up.
In the last five years, Jessica has traveled to three foreign countries with the god fathers of moto-exhibition, including Bermuda with Jason Britton, Puerto Rico with some SE coasters from Florida, and Guyana with Pure Bread Riders. Here she was, this half-pint spit fire, showcasing her spreaders, frogs and seat standers to astonished, demographically diverse crowds. Her international notoriety was only a bonus to being the first female professional stunt rider to use a handbrake and do a 12 ‘o’clock wheelie.
Jessica even has her own clothing line so fittingly dubbed Chic, and attributes much of her fashionista rocker-chic style to living near glamorous Hollywood and finding herself surrounded by celebrities and SouthBay’s upper class OC starlets. She considers this a definite 180 from the modest tom boy persona she maintained before, but she has made an art of balancing her rough and tumble play-with-the-boys roots to her new found cosmetic prowess so resourcefully stolen from fashion magazines.
And if that isn’t enough, she also started the first all female stunt riding team - Team Rebella - where she, Alicia Speck and Brandy Valdez have traveled to the east coast and back to do stunt shows and demos for hyped, adoring spectators. She hopes that someday they can travel world wide, and perform stunts in Japan, Italy and wherever else their two-wheeled machines might take them.
But no fairy tale reaches its happy ending without a few hick-ups along the way. Jessica has had her fair share of crashes resulting in painful road rash and multiple broken bones, including her ankle, back and most recently, her wrist. But instead of becoming afraid after sustaining these injuries, she’s empowered. “I’m actually not as scared now that I know what the pain is like!” she confesses. “You have to know how to turn off that voice in your head that says, Don’t do it!”
She wishes she could say that crashing and injuries is the only thing that has held her back, but that wouldn’t be true. The stunt riding community can be a harsh and critical one, one that leaves many aspiring female stunt riders by the way side. “I admit, I got cocky at one point,” she says, “but the people in this industry have a way of reminding you of exactly where you stand.” That’s when Jessica’s friend, E-dub or Ernie Vigil, stepped in, reminding her that passion and a certain amount of humility are what get you past the whispering haters and focused on keeping one wheel in the air.
Another one of Jessica’s mentors, Jason Britton, instructed her that being a successful stunt rider is actually 10% riding and 90% marketing. If it wasn’t for mentors like Jason and E-dub encouraging Jessica to take it to the next level, she might not have made it this far.
The state of our desperate economy has temporarily brought this indelible siren’s high revving engine to an idle, but she considers this only a brief intermission. “If I can’t ride, I become the wicked witch of the west,” she admits, saying that the surge of adrenaline is what drives her and keeps her sane. She knows now that the key to being happy is to ride for your self and no one else.
Little does she know how infectious her charisma is, or how influential her heart and determination are for many riders out there, not just female. Many of us only dream of doing wheelies like the girl with the glimmering green eyes and posh tattoos, the girl whose face keeps showing up in Metzeler ads, and whose spirit refuses to be crushed.
Shift has loyally kept Jessica on their roster and with their help, she has been able to keep her bike up to par and her gear stylin’ so she can keep practicing on her own. Tis the time for soul searching and I imagine once things start looking up again, we’re going to be seeing a lot of more of Team Rebella and Jessica Maine.