EVEN PLAYING FIELD: TAYLER ALLRED
2020 was set to be a big year for Tayler Allred as the Orange Brigade backed rider finally made the move up to the 250, putting her on an even playing field with some of her main rivals in the Women's class. The Utah native spent last year competing on slightly underpowered machinery on a 125, taking her time to learn the big bike as she's a couple of years younger than the likes of Jordan Jarvis and Jazzmyn Canfield. Allred held her own in the 125cc and Schoolboy 1 classes, finishing out the year in 15th place overall in the 125cc Dirty 100 division in quite impressive fashion. Allred is committed to racing the 250 B Limited class this year through Loretta Lynn's and has already proven at Spring A Ding Ding that she has stepped her speed up to another level. She pulled the holeshot in both motos at Underground MX and finished in 8th overall as a result of both motos. We hopped on the phone with Tayler to get the scoop on what she's been binge-watching on Netflix, training with Dave Ginolfi, and her plans for the remainder of the season.
What have you been doing to keep yourself occupied during the quarantine?
Yeah, there's not much to do, so I've just been working out, chilling, and doing school. I usually go for an hour or a two-hour road bike ride, then I'll come home and do some school and that's about it 'cause there's literally nothing to do. (laughs)
Yeah, for sure. Just binge some Netflix and hang out on your phone?
Yeah, exactly. I think I watched Tiger King within like two days and I'm watching All American, I'm on the last episode of that so we're getting through all the Netflix shows right now. (laughs)
In terms of what you do to prepare for racing, how much has all of this affected your day-to-day program?
Dave Ginolfi has been sending me my workout schedule, so that's been nice. I have a different schedule every month and I've been working on those. As far as riding goes, I still try and ride during the week if I can but it's usually just on the weekends.
How long have you been training with Ginolfi?
We started training in October and I'd always meet up (with him) in Salt Lake City and we'd go on road bike rides or whatever, then after we'd go to a park and do some strength training. I ended up moving down to St. George which is about five hours from SoCal, so I could spend more time down there riding. So that's when he started sending me my schedules over the phone, so I could do that from home. I was supposed to start meeting with him to go on some road bike rides again, but then quarantine happened. So I'm basically still on the same schedule.
What's the riding situation like for you where you live?
It's definitely been difficult because they go through days where they're going to be open and then something happens and they have to shut it down. We had this one track that was open for like a week and a half, but that got shut down by the government. So usually, we've been going up to Idaho and riding with Chance Hymas up there.
In terms of school, were you still in public school when things were normal? Obviously nobody is going to school right now, but what's your normal groove?
Right before Texas, I switched my last quarter to go online, so before all of this even started I was doing online school through my school if that makes sense. Basically, I'm still in public school but I'm doing it all online.
Before we went on pause, we had some racing going on at the beginning of the season. How did all of that go for you?
I did A2 and Glendale Futures and those went really good. Right after I went to Glendale we spent two days a week in California training with (Nate) Ramsey. I was feeling really good coming into Spring A Ding Ding and that went really good, so I was feeling really confident going into Freestone. I got one practice in and then it got canceled, so other than that I was feeling really good and I'm just trying to keep up the same pace and work hard not to lose all the momentum that I've gained.
How has the transition to the 250 been for you? You were always at a disadvantage last year in the Women's class on a 125, so it must be nice to be on an even playing field.
Right when I got off the 125 and onto the 250 I was two laps into it and my lap times were so much faster. I think the 250 is definitely easier to ride, I'm feeling way more confident and comfortable on that, so it's been really good.
Was it difficult riding two-strokes your whole life and then having to adapt your style to the four-stroke at all?
The transition to the 250 was probably the easiest transition, because when I got on the 125 it was like a completely different ball game for me because you have to stay on the gas the entire time, you know, the torque is just so much lower on those. It definitely wasn't that hard for me going straight to the 250.
What did you think about the challenge of racing your 125 against mostly 250s last year?
When I was on superminis it was (Jazzmyn) Canfield and (Jordan) Jarvis' last year on superminis and I still had two more years. I had the mindset that if I wanted to improve that I needed to move up with them so that I keep trying to chase after them if that makes sense. So I've always been used to being on a smaller bike and I never used that as an excuse or saw it as a challenge, I just knew that I had to work that much harder.
Do you feel it's a little bit easier for you now to not have that handicap anymore though?
Yeah, for sure. Now that we're on the same size bike there are no more excuses, you know. I haven't really been able to race them since Mini Os and I was the closest I've been with Jarvis, but I'm excited for Loretta's to hopefully see where that puts me.
Is it tough not knowing exactly when you're going to be racing again?
Yeah, with this whole thing I think the best thing to do is -- you know, they could come out tomorrow and say we're going to race in two weeks, because there's no set schedule with what's going to happen -- so basically I've been training so whenever we go back to racing, I'm ready for it!
Talk a little bit about the extra challenge of mixing it up in the 250 B Limited class this year as well.
Definitely being a girl, if any of the boys see you pass them, they try ten times harder to get around you. They're also not afraid to play dirty, so that gives me the mindset that I can do that to, you know. At Underground I got the holeshot in both the 250 B Limited motos so that gave me a ton of confidence in that class. I kind of look at it, I wouldn't say necessarily as practice for the Women's class, but it just gives you that extra drive.
Had you talked at all with the Orange Brigade team about what your plans were for the rest of the year following Loretta's?
We really hadn't talked about it that much. Our main focus was on Freestone and the only thing I can really think of is to keep training and hopefully we can get another championship at Loretta's. Maybe instead of the Limited classes after Loretta's, we'll do Schoolboy 2 and 250 B or I might go A, but it just depends.
Lastly, how is it for you to be a part of the Orange Brigade team? You've been with them a couple of years now and they do a lot to help you on and off the track.
If you would've asked me two years ago I never thought that I'd have the opportunity to be on Orange Brigade. But Hope (Stillmock) and Nate saw the drive that I had and gave me a chance and after my first year they signed me for an extra two years. The whole team is just amazing; all the kids on it are always there for you. I always train with Max Miller and Josh Varize, so they're super fun to ride with. No one wants to do all these twenty-minute motos in a day, but they're always there to make it fun for sure.