Athlete Spotlight | Darian Hickey
October 25, 2018
by Dawn McClintock
Darian Hickey #298
2012 CRF 250R & 2017 CRF 250R
Las Vegas, Nevada
I am a Junior at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas majoring in Business Marketing & Communication and Minoring in Criminal Justice.
I work at State Farm Insurance
I started riding dirt bikes when I was about 6 and started racing in 2012. So I've been racing for 7 years
Has your family always been into racing or how did you get your start into racing?
Growing up, my dad and brother introduced racing to me since my dad raced back in the day. I started out riding in the desert behind my house on a CRF 50 Then moved shortly after to a CRF 80, then once I got into racing Motocross I got on a CRF 250X. The racing started because we had a local Motocross Track out in Sandy Valley, Nevada where we have our horses located. We decided to make the trip to go ride there and I fell in love ever since and my racing boomed from there where I was successful.
What year did you start racing competitively?
I started racing competitively back in 2012 where I raced the Women’s Open class at our local motocross track in Sandy Valley, Nevada. I basically raced there locally until 2015 when they shut down the track and I made the switch to Off- Road racing that I started in 2016 as a C rider and after one race got bumped up to the Women’s B class. Now 2018 and I am in the Women’s A class.
At a certain point you almost must choose between MX and Off-road because of conflicting schedules. What series are you currently racing
? I chose to race Off-Road more than MX now because of the competition. It seems like for Women there is more in the Off-Road racing community. The series that I am currently racing are WORCS and BIG 6 being my main two and occasionally SRA and Just recently Best in the Desert where I raced Vegas to Reno. In the future I would like to try out some local California Mx series as well.
You are a great role model for young girls who are starting to race. Did you have someone you looked up to when you were young?
Growing up within the Women’s racing community I was and have always been the outcast because of my fast pace talent. Growing up, girls that I raced against weren’t always so nice and I never understood why when I was always such a good spirited individual. Basing racing off of that, I do have a lot of younger girls look up to me because I show what good sportsman ship is like and that not every girl out there that races is mean. I have two little girls that I met at the WORCS series that raced strictly quads and now they made the transition to dirt bikes because of me. I love to be a role model to younger people in the sport and support others!
What advice would you give a young girl about racing?
To never give up and to have fun while racing. The most important part is that you have fun. I always tell my little ones to always try their best and have fun. You have to believe in yourself!
Do you see any growth in the sport for women as far as young up and comers joining the ranks?
Being an A rider in the sport, it makes me super stoked to see that the Women’s C class is continuously growing! Every race I attend there is more girls that enter which is awesome! With the Makeup to Mud movement it has encouraged so many more girls in the sport to peak out!
Is there a young girl that stands out in your mind as a rider with great potential?
There are a few young riders that stand out to me that will have great potential! My two favorites are my little girls that look up to me Brooklyn and Kendall Schnore they are rock stars that have a great drive for racing. Another girl is Mikayla Nielsen! She is very quick for being so young it inspires me!
What is the most gnarly race you have been in and describe what made it so tough?
The most Gnarly race I have ever been in would probably be this past years WORCS Sand Hollow race. First being that this track is all deep sand dune and rocks. It was tough for me because during practice I got heat stroke and was stuck out on the course not being able to ride because I was about to pass out. On race day, it was better, but we literally had to climb up huge rock cliffs and I have never had experience doing that, so it was tough while being exhausted from riding in the dunes. It always makes me feel super accomplished though for racing something I never thought I could.
That Vegas to Reno race sounded pretty cool. How did that all come together for you to be part of that team?
Vegas to Reno was an amazing experience that I will never forget. I have always wanted to accomplish something like it, but I never had the chance to and my dad thought it was dangerous due to the trophy trucks catching the riders. For the team my friend got injured the weekend before, so the girls asked me to be a fill in rider for the team! Super Blessed that I got the opportunity to race and had it being so successful we are all doing it again next year so be on the lookout!
Who do you consider your main competition?
My main competition In the Women’s A division would definitely be Kaitlyn Jacobs and Amber West! They are some pretty fast chicks!
Is there an event that you have on your bucket list that you would really like to race?
I have always been pretty successful racing/ riding in the mud so one of my main bucket list races would be to race a GNCC race! I love riding in the trees and I just think it would be an absolute blast! Another would be to Race Mammoth Motocross, I would love to come home with a bear!
Do you have a favorite track food/snack that you have to keep you fueled on race day?
To be honest I get pretty bad anxiety before I race so its really hard for me to eat. Normally I try to eat something light like a banana or a nutrigrain bar. I always Drink Pedialyte as well which is a must for me! As a Ryno Power athlete I make a protein shake as well and use their pre- workout before I race to give me an extra boost!
Any favourite music or ritual that helps get you into your race day mode?
Music is huge for me in my life. Before my races I like to hype myself up with Sia because her music just hits the soul and helps me believe in myself! I also have a Kunzite necklace that I wear 24/7 that became a good luck charm for me.
Do you ride any mixed classes with the guys?
I race 250B with the guys that I use as a practice race since it Is the day before my women’s race normally. I love racing with the guys they keep me on my toes and I have so much fun!
What would be your favorite course/track?
My all-time favorite track would be Glen Helen Raceway! I love the flow of the place and I have always been pretty successful there.
What sort of training regimen to you have during the week?
I really like cardio, so I try to run at least 3 times a week for 30 min and on the side I mountain bike as well! As far as eating, I try to eat healthy but if I want a cookie, I’m going to have one! Haha.
Outside of riding a dirt bike, do you have any other outdoor activities you like to do?
Outside of racing, my other favorite outdoor activities would be Camping which leads to fishing which is my other hobby, other than that I love to ride our horses as well.
Your season is winding down soon. How are things looking for you in points?
Well actually it looks like this coming weekend I'm sitting pretty solid to take the championship so I'm pretty stoked about that!
That's fantastic news. Fingers crossed for you then. Tell us a bit about what you plans are for this next season.
My plans for next season are going to be huge! I have a lot of new series I want to expand to such a BITD, SRA and TWMX series! I also want to start racing more with the guys to better myself.
We wish you all the best for what lies ahead for your season and thanks for chatting with us. Do you have any sponsors you would like to give a shout out to?
I would like to Thank my Dad & Mom (4D’sRacing), Budget Blinds of Las Vegas, Perry Concepts, FXR racing, Flo Vision Goggles, Factory Connection, My mechanic Tony Berluti, Nitro mousse, Ryno Power, Rock Oil So Cal, Asterisk, Bell Helmets, Sunstar!