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Go to BlueRibbon Coalition Website
 

Belle went to work for CycleBuy full-time in 2003 and has never looked back. A graphic designer by trade, she designed and maintains the CycleBuy website as well as all the other printed material that goes out. In addition to those huge responsibilities, she is also a member of the CycleBuy product testing team. If you have not figured it out yet, Belle is Bob’s wife of lots of years.

Belle is especially adept at testing motorcycle protection type equipment like handguards, radiator guards and case savers. She was known for her impromptu freestyle maneuvers on the trail long before guys like Pastrana and Metzger came along. Though more reserved these days, she likes to bust an occasional move when the mood strikes.

When not on the trail Belle can often be found in the saddle of her XT225 dual-sport ride exploring the Coburg hills or the dirt roads in Idaho, her favorite place to ride.

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Belle took to this motorcycle thing in 1990 on a Honda XR 200, the old twin-shock model. Though a good beginner bike for many riders, this bike was a little tall for Belle, making it difficult for her to control at times. More often than not, the bike was riding her.

For Christmas that year, Bob bought a smaller used XR 100 that a customer had traded in and made it look like new. He slipped out of bed very early Christmas morning, went down to the shop, picked up the little motorcycle, took it home and snuck it under the tree. Safely back in bed without waking Belle (how did he do that?), he dozed off. When the girls awoke and ran to the Christmas tree, they started saying something about a bicycle under the tree. Belle looked at Bob and said there was no bicycle under the tree. He just shrugged and said he didn’t know what they were talking about.

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Belle rode that little XR faster than was ever intended by anybody at Honda. More than once Bob followed her down a desert trail with the rear end swapping from side to side trying to tell her to slow down.

The next bike in line for Belle was a Kawasaki KX 100. Though a little pipey in its stock configuration, Bob found ways to mellow out the power delivery and make it a perfect bike for her. Slowly it was converted in a true woods bike with the appropriate arrestor, protectors and guards.

The little bike needed all of that equipment as Belle is one of the official crash testers for CycleBuy. She has walked away from more crashes than a dummy working for the Department of Transportation. There was the rocky face she was trying to climb in Idaho on the little KX. A little too much power combined with some instant traction and the bike flew straight up more than five feet into the air above Belle. At the last split-second, she dove out of the way as the airborne KX landed exactly where she had been standing.

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Then there was the sixth gear fire road crash where the rider following her was sure she was going to be severely injured, yet Belle got up, brushed herself off and said, “Let’s get going before we lose the group!” So, when you buy something from CycleBuy, know that it has passed Belle’s rigorous testing standards.

In June of 2003 Belle moved up to her current ride, a 250 Gas Gas Pampera. It is covered in stickers of all kinds. When she crashes and dings the plastic or scratches some painted surface it is quickly covered with a sticky vinyl band-aid of sorts.

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Belle is truly an advanced level rider, but really doesn’t enjoy racing much. She was finally convinced to enter her one and only offroad event, the ‘Monkey Butt’ in Southern Oregon a number of years ago. Along a steep ridge trail well into the ride, she crashed at a water-bar on a steep downhill. The next rider down the trail did not even see her until he was almost on top of her, literally, and could do nothing but yell and try to bunny-hop over her as much as possible.

Still unable to stop he yelled, “SORRY!” as he continued on down the trail. She yelled back, “I’m OK” and of course got up unhurt and finished the event. Back in the pits after it was all over, she looked at her pretty new white helmet and noticed that it now had tire tracks on the back! Her chest protector had a matching set of tire marks.

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The rider who hit her, made a point of finding her afterwards and apologized profusely for the incident. In fact, he apologized for years; whenever he saw Belle he would again profess his sorrow at having hit her. Years after the incident at another race, even the racer’s wife came over and apologized for him.

Belle did race the woman’s class at a Supermoto event awhile back. She is always game to try something new!

Her favorite thing to do is camp and ride, or maybe ride and camp. Either way, her favorite place to do that is in the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho. They make at least one trip a year there and that is her favorite riding spot, though she loves all the other places as well, they are all great!
 
 

      


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