Lindsey Scheltema: This young lady loves to ride MX motorcycles.

Lindsey Scheltema, a 2006 South Christian graduate, could be featured for her ability to juggle, but we are going to focus on her love affair with motocross racing instead. It all started when the oldest child of Rick and Cindy Scheltema started riding with her dad and then was given her own 80cc dirt bike to learn on. She competed in her first race at 8 years old at the Hudsonville Fairgrounds. Scheltema became so involved in motocross competition that she finished high school early so that she could get out on the women’s professional circuit.
Don’t let the pretty lady you see in the picture fool you, Lindsey is as tough as they come. She has lacerated her liver after going over the handlebars on three different occasions. The first time happened when she was practicing indoors in Zeeland in high school. She did it again shortly before turning professional. Unfortunately she did not give her liver enough time to recover and when she wiped out three months later while racing in Colorado she damaged it again. This time she listened to the advice of her doctors and took an entire year off from racing to allow her liver time to recover. She returned to racing in March of 2008.
“Taking a year off was the smartest thing I have ever done,” Lindsey claimed. “Now that I have taken the time off I am riding better than I ever have.”
After more than a decade of competing one her motorcycle as an amateur and then a professional Lindsey was recently named Miss Arena Cross 2009. She was chosen over several hundred other young women from across the nation in over two months of decision making by the Arena Cross (AX) staff. She is convinced that her racing experience is what tipped their votes in her favor.
“I think I can do a better job because I am not only a huge fan of the sport, but a racer as well,” Lindsey said.
Obviously this young lady is all about motorcycle racing, but juggling comes into the picture when you realize that in addition to her duties as Miss AX, Lindsey attends WMU full time and she plans on competing in the Women’s Motocross Association tour which starts up in May of this year. We interviewed Lindsey on her cell phone while she was waiting to fly out of the Grand Rapids airport to an AX event in Baltimore. She has crammed all of her classes at WMU into Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to free her up to travel all over the country with the 11 AX events on the week-ends. When you consider her exuberance, love of dealing with people and the ease in which she navigates in the spotlight, it seems only natural that she has completed half of her course of study in Public Relations. She also hits the gym four times a week to keep herself in condition to race. Lindsey’s flight out was grounded by snow the night we spoke and she was upset.
“I feel so bad because I am supposed to be at a Children’s Hospital in Baltimore tomorrow,” she related. “But there is still a chance because they just told us we will be routed to Cincinnati for the night and then flown up to Baltimore in the morning.”
Lindsey explained that for the 11 AX events which are scattered from coast to coast and places in between, she travels with “the AX crew” which she considers to be a big family. She was bragging up the way the dirt crew transforms empty arenas into indoor motocross tracks by moving tons and tons of dirt.
Speaking of the various officials, track workers, PR people, and the other members of her AX family Lindsey claimed, “We all love what we do. We would probably do it for free!”
She is likewise full of good things to say about her real family – mom and dad hook up a fifth wheel trailer and schlep Lindsey and her Team Babbitt’s Sports Center sponsored Kawasaki bikes all over the country during racing season.
“My parents are amazing,” she gushed with typical enthusiasm. “I have got to thank them – they are the parents of the century.”
Get Scheltema talking about her sport and her voice goes up a notch and her excitement is palpable. She prefers to race on outdoor tracks because they are much more open. (If you have ever seen motocross racing indoors it is simply amazing the way that the riders can slam their bikes into corners after launching off the jumps.) Lindsey loves the adrenaline and tension that she feels as she lines up with 32 other women waiting for the gate to drop on the race. She enjoys every aspect of the races, but confided that the challenge of the “whoops” (a series of small hills placed close to each other a.k.a. “whoop-dee-doos”) rates high on her favorite aspects of the sport. To mix sports metaphors a bit, it is safe to say that Lindsey is champing at the bit to get out on her bike and tear it up this season on the WMA tour. Lindsey told us that she literally jumps up and down when she is prepping for a race.
“You HAVE to get excited,” she proclaimed.
There is no one more excited about motocross racing than Lindsey Scheltema. Whether she is on her own bike or cheering her favorite riders on from the sideline, she is absolutely in love with her sport and that comes across loud and clear. It is no wonder the decision makers at AX chose her to be their spokesperson – they really had no other choice.

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