Samantha Resch has fond memories of how her passion for dirt bike racing started.
She recalls watching a race with her dad, Dave, on a short track at Timonium Fair Grounds at a young age, and getting excited. Resch was already involved with showing and riding horses as a preteen, but something about the riders going around the track sparked her interest.
"I was like, 'I could do this. I want to do this,'" Resch said. "And then we got into it, and I never looked back."
Resch was around 13 back then, when her father, himself a racer in his younger years, carved a small track into his farmland in northern Westminster so his little girl could get her first taste of racing.
Now she's 29, a veteran of motocross and dirt bike racing who competes around the region on the weekends.
She's coming off a Baltimore County Trail Riders event showing last Friday at Timonium during which she won a women's short track race for bikes with 150 cc (cubic centimeters) engine size, one week after taking second in the same race.
Her racing schedule is just about year-round — Resch said things crank up in March and don't stop until early November, with some indoor races in December to cap things off.
She routinely finishes in the top 10, although she doesn't stick to one class. She'll just as quickly find herself in a field of males and females, in open divisions of varied skill levels, and on bikes with much larger engines (sometimes 250 or 450 cc).
As long as she isn't finishing last, Resch said she's happy. But beating the field has its perks, of course.
"I just have fun with it," Resch said."It's certainly a hobby for me. I don't have any aspirations to do anything professionally; I never did. My dad has always been a huge help with keeping me on good bikes, and maintaining them."
Resch, a 2006 North Carroll High School graduate, said finds time during the week to practice and work out so she's in shape for competitions. It's hard to imagine a racer of more than a decade going this long without suffering serious injuries, but Resch seems to be that racer.
Save for a few concussions and a sprained knee, she said, things have gone smoothly over the years.
That's a credit, in part, to her dad and friend Brett Friedel, she said, for providing the necessary equipment whenever Resch needs it. But being in the right mindset, mentally and physically, is also a factor.
Resch estimated she races 15-20 times a year, and in some seasons has won her share of events. She splits time between flat track and motocross, and excels in both.
Whether she's racing on flat tracks, or American Motorcycle Association motocross events, Resch tries to be peaking in time for the weekend. And that includes finding time to ride and show her horses too.
"It's been a pretty decent year," she said. "I can't say I've won them all — I'd like to go out and win them all — but there have been a couple second and thirds scattered in there. … I think the past couple years, it's starting to click for me more. And it's just been consistently getting better and better."
Resch said she has developed a more serious approach to her races in recent years — she placed third in an AMA motocross women's race on Aug. 5 in Hanover, Pa., and a second in a Masters class race in April in West Virginia — which has helped her succeed more.
The final racing event of the summer at Timonium is this Friday, but Resch said she won't be able to attend. She's not finished for the year, though.
"I think you have to have fun with it," Resch said. "If you're not having fun with it then it's not worth it. If you just go to the track and expect to win every race, you're going to be let down for sure. But if you're putting in the time during the week, putting in the seat time, and practicing … it will come around and you'll be a good racer.
"I'm really fortunate that I've had that opportunity."
Latest Carroll County Sports