Do sport riders know something the rest of us don’t? It can be hard to tell behind all that leather and armour, but there are few motorcycle lifestyles riders pursue with more dedication. Meet Anna Rigby, an accomplished track addict who shares her journey to go faster with two hundred thousand followers on Instagram, glory and disaster alike. In a conversation that gives us a rider’s-eye view of the pursuit of speed, Anna paints a self-portrait that is equal parts relentlessness and joy, and makes an irresistible case for chasing your limits no matter where it takes you, or what you ride.
Thanks again to Wes Fleming for the shoutout on his podcast. If you’ve got room for another one in your feed, check out Chasing The Horizon here.
Wikipedia seems like the wrong place to get zen lessons, but here‘s a quick reference on the meaning of ‘shoshin’ anyway. Whatever name you choose to give it, I honestly think this quality is what defines the best motorcyclists of any discipline. Beware the riding buddy who thinks there is nothing left to learn.
I was far from the first to discover Anna’s unique voice in the sport riding world. A quick Google search will net you several good interviews if you’d like to get to know her story better. This one, from a few years back, is pretty good. So is this one, a more recent take from closer to home. I think she’s making a great contribution to the sport… riders at this level are focused and competitive by definition, but that can lead to a certain aloofness. That, as you know if you’ve heard this episode, is not Anna. I’d bet she’s inspired a lot of riders.
Here‘s a link to RedSpade Racing, the company Anna and her husband Steve (and friends) founded to promote the sport. The blog page is great reading, especially if you’re getting an itch to try your hand at track life.
Sportbike Track Time is the organization Anna does her track days with. You can find out more about them here. I’m not sure such an organization exists in Canada, but let me know if you’ve run across one.
If you live nearby (Quebec or Southern Ontario), and you’d like to give the track a try, you should absolutely look into Michel Mercier’s FAST Riding School. From my experience there, I would say that the chalk talk sessions were just okay, and better if you already have some basic knowledge of things like what an apex is. But on track, the experience is flawless and wall to wall fun, the gear is excellent, the people are patient and helpful, and you never, ever feel like you shouldn’t be there. And nobody is paying me to say this.
If you enjoyed meeting Anna Rigby in this episode, you should definitely follow her on Instagram. She is, of course, @redspade. You can find video of the crash we discussed in a post dated May 8. And below is the YouTube video that gave this episode it’s playlist recommendation.
And very special thanks to CAPPA for being cool with featuring her music in this episode. The playlist recommendation feature of this podcast can sometimes be the hardest to land, because I prefer to make sure the artist is comfortable with being part of it. Sometimes, this can result in long, convoluted email exchanges and other bureaucratic silliness. CAPPA wasn’t like that, which was especially refreshing given her star is ascendant. Amazingly, she doesn’t seem to have a web site, but you can find her music on most streaming platforms, for sale on Apple Music (that’s where I got “Ride”), and on SoundCloud. You can also find her on Instagram, where she’s @cappamusic. If your taste runs to artists like Halsey, Lorde and Carly Rae Jepsen, your day just got a whole lot better.
And as always, the theme music for this episode was arranged and performed by Harry Bartlett.
Finally, one more nudge to scrounge up a few bucks from the couch cushions and make a contribution to the Movember Foundation. With this year’s Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride not the gathering we’re used to, I think they could use all the help you can give them.