Dream Big, Even If You’re Only Five Feet Tall!

Riding a dirt bike from trails to ice

By Jessica Rainville, Ontario, Canada

Never Too Old To Learn New Tricks

My motorcycle journey begins in July 2019 with my first dirt bike at almost 30 years of age, even though I dreamed of riding since high school. I'm so glad that I finally decided to learn to ride because it has completely changed my life. 

I started on a 2003 Honda XR 100, the perfect little starter bike for my 5 foot frame. Every day after work I’d rush outside, get my gear on, and ride in the lot across from our house. There were days my husband would pull in late from work and I'd still be out riding. Day after day, hour by hour, I was learning more and loving it.

Jessica Rainville wheelie
I taught myself how to wheelie and hop over logs and practice all the time.

Addicted to Riding

I was so upset when winter came around that my husband said, “You don't have to put your bike away. We can stud the tires so you can ride on the ice.” So we bought 1000 ice racing studs from our local dealer and studded my Honda. I was immediately  hooked! The looks I get from ice fishermen and women are priceless. You don’t see dirt bikes on the lakes where I live.

Jessica Rainville jumping in snow
Thanks to studs in my motorcycle’s tires, I am able to ride all winter. This allows me to continue to jump and play in the snow.

Support System

Besides having a supportive husband, I'm so thankful that my mom had been able to see me learn and ride and see my passion grow before she passed. She was my #1 fan. I took a riding break for two weeks and was able to get a few rides in before the snow and ice melted that first year.

Jessica Rainville snow ice
A true motorcycle addict, I only took a two week break from riding after my mom, passed on March 4, 2020.

Spring 2020 came around, and I was back out on my motorcycle almost every evening. Riding became my therapy. I was free from focusing on my mom, Covid, and all the scary things happening in the world. I'm so thankful and blessed where I live in Northern Ontario that I was able to get out and enjoy the outdoors during the craziest time of my life.

Moving Up

In early September 2020, just before my birthday, my husband and father surprised me with a 2018 Kawasaki KX100. I had outgrown my little Honda which was a great bike to start on but I needed more power.

Jessica Rainville Kawasaki motorcycle
Becoming proficient on a small motorcycle allowed me to move up to a more powerful bike, despite my 5-foot height.

It took a couple of weeks to get used to riding a two stroke, but I'm hooked! It wasn’t long before it was winter and we had all three of our bikes studded—my husband’s Yamaha YZ 250, the Honda XR 100, and the Kawasaki KX100. We rode all winter near our ice shack and barely fished. We even rode all the way up to my family camp, crossing three lakes to surprise my dad and uncle who were out ice fishing.

Trail Riding and More

After winter was over we took the studs out and I focused on riding single track. We started building trails where static balancing comes in handy. Some of our trails are almost so tight the handlebars barely fit between the trees. We had an amazing summer riding the trails with new and old friends.

Recent adventures include becoming brand ambassador for Royal Distributing, Canada’s leading powersports company, and RIDE Canada.

I was so afraid to try to learn how to ride because of my size. I want to tell every woman who wants to learn how to ride to do it—don’t let anyone stop you! No matter your age or size, you can do it!

Jessica Rainville dirt bike
Riding a dirt bike completely changed my life. I can’t wait to see where the next adventure takes me.

Thank you to my husband for the countless hours of training and photos.

Related Articles

Scroll to Top