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  • Writer's picturePete Noneman

Legends and Heroes to honor Nancy (Payne) Schirk at Philly. In her own words.......

In1968 I asked my dad for a motorcycle to ride when we spent the summer at Isabella Lake in California. I saw boys riding and I wanted to do that. I got a Honda 90 scooter but was not satisifed, so I got a 125 Yamaha Enduro.

A family friend told us about girls racing in a “powder puff” class near by, so both my dad and I were excited to race.

After racing only a few races my dad suprised me by buying a 125 Bultaco Sherpa for me. I raced it for awhile, mostly at Indian Dunes in southern California and some District 37 races. Most of the time against the boys.

My uncle introduced my dad to Harry Foster who had a dealership for Triumph and Yamaha. He then bought me a Rickman Zundapp 125. I raced that bike until I met my soon to be husband in 1972. I got a CR125 Honda Elsinore. That is the bike that I raced into 1975.

I mostly raced in District 37 Motocross and Grand Prix. The girls racing had grown by then and there always a Women’s race. The district formed a devision for the girls with competition for a number one plate and we had A novice, intermediate, and expert classes I won the #1 plate for 1974 and was an expert. Then in 1974 Kasey Rogers put together a weekend race that Indian Dunes to find a “Powder Puff” Champion. She

got help from CanAmMotorcycles and racing gear dealers. We earned a cash payment for the expert class for each race entered. I raced the expert 125 (finished 3rd) and 250 expert motocross (finished 1st) and the 125 and 250 grand prix’s. In spite of having my rear shocks fail in a 125 Moto, having my spark plug foul when crossing the

water in the GP on the 250 Maico fouling out but I finished, losing my lead and in the 125 GP the rings on my bike started failing and I kept losing power, again I lost my lead but still finished 4th. I was surprised when I was told that I won the overall Championship. In April I moved to Arkansas. In 1975 I heard of a program that sent racers to the Netherlands to compete. I contacted them and suggested they

should considered me for the program. My husband got the Maico Distributer to come to Indian Dunes to watch me ride. He was impressed enough to contact Maico and ask them to send a new 125 bike to the Netherlands for me. I was staying with Gerrit Does, who was married to a Karsmaker and they lived next to the family business. That

Is where they sent the bike. We went with Toon Karsmaker to watch him race, I got to meet Gerrit Wolsink. The first race I had to race against the 250’s as the 125 class was an expert race between Netherlands and Belgium. During the race I saw people shaking sticks at me and I was sad that they didn’t like me, but after the race I was

told that they were cheering for me. Many people came around our pit to see me. A television network did an interview with me, and they put up an American Flag and lined me up with the experts for the opening ceremony. I received a check for coming to one of the races. The last race my engine seized so I didn’t race even though the man we stayed with for the races got me a bike to ride. I didn’t want to race In a foreign country on some random bike. That’s when he called me a Princess. He was a tank instructor in WW2 and he bossed everyone around. My husband sold my bikes before we left California, so no more racing. It was not very popular in the area anyway.

My current husband used to trail ride and he was pumped that I raced. He bought us each a Kawasaki 200. So except for a couple of motocross races and an enduro race that was it. I had a toddler and a Kindergartner to take care of and I was not having fun.



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