Not only did she recently appear as a stunt rider for Marvel Universe Live, Louise Forsley is a six-time National Mototrials Champion and X Games silver medalist.
MCN caught up with the skillstress to get the low down on career goals, stunts and how it’s been working in a male-orientated indurstry.
So tell our MCN fans how you got into trials riding?
“I was always intrigued with mini bikes when I was little so my parents got me one when I was 8. I grew up on a big piece of property and would find trails in the woods or make a track in the field and yard. When I was 13 I would go with my dad to trials events and watch and then finally gave it a try. After I started I was hooked!
“My dad and I both realised I had a natural talent for it. I didn’t like school or sports so it finally gave me something to do that I liked, looked forward to – it made me goal driven. So I rode as much as I could, competed a lot, trained with people that were better than me, and tried to complete as many goals as I could.
“Once I turned twenty three I was burnt out from riding trials. I lost interest in it and it became less fun. I saw Endurox on the X Games in 2011 and right away knew I had to start racing. So I did! I got a dirt bike from a sponsor, started training every day and then started travelling to the races. The next year I was invited to the X Games and got a silver medal. That was definitely a highlight of me career.”
You’ve been riding for since you were eight, that’s 20 years! We want to know, what was the first trick you learned which made you feel badass?
Louise’s medals and trophies are extensive!
- Silver Medalist at X-Games in Women’s Enduro-X 2012
- AMA Gieco Women’s Endurocross Championship 2012, 2nd place
- 6x AMA/NATC Women’s Mototrials Champion (2006, 07, 08, 09, 11, 12)
- First Female New England Mototrials Champion 2008
- First Female to compete in a Gieco AMA Endurocross Men’s Main Event
- 6x USA Trial Des Nations Team Member (2004, 05, 06, 07, 08, 11)
Blooming heck, that’s amazing! And which of the above are you most proud of?
“Getting the silver at X Games is definitely the most special to me. I watched it the first year they had it in 2011 and said, next year I have to be at that race. I worked hard, traveled across the country, slept on couches or in my van.”
What’s your favourite bike skill/manoeuvre? We’ve seen your Instagram videos, your skills a sick.
“Haha well thank you! I really like doing wheelies and nose wheelies. I don’t have a favourite skill or manoeuvre because anytime I’m on a bike when everything is flowing is an amazing feeling. Whether it’s riding a trials section when my balance is good and I can move the bike wherever I want it.
“Or when I’m racing Endurox and I feel strong jumping the bike or balanced going through the obstacles and I can find a flow. And now that I am only riding in the shows (Marvel shows) it feels great when I can find the balance point on the front or rear tire and ride it for as long as I can.”
How did the Marvel Universe tour go?
“The whole Marvel Universe Live tour was good. We toured North America for two years and then Europe for 6 months.
“I portrayed the character of the Black Widow aka Natasha Romanova who is a Russian super spy. She is also part of The Avengers. She teams up with Captain America and Falcon to battle Red Skull and Madam Hydra.
“The motorcycle stunts that I have to do all became pretty easy. It is a lot of wheelies, nose wheelies, and skidding. It is all choreographed so we do the same thing every show. The hardest part of the show was learning how to act and fight. It was something I’d never done before so it was way out of my comfort zone.
“I heard about this job through a few friends that I was racing and training with. I had gotten 2 big injuries in 2013 and was unable to race and make any money. When I heard about this job I realized it was an opportunity where I could make a living while still be riding a motorcycle. Which has always been my main goal.
“Eventually I would love to get into stunts for movies and commercials. I haven’t been in any movies yet. ”
“Sometimes male egos came out and there was talk but I never let it bother me.”
The arena appears to be quite male-heavy – Have you had to deal with any sexism in the industry?
“Yes our cast and crew is male heavy, but that’s not an issue. We’re all there to do a job so we get it done and are respectful of one another. If anything it was harder competing and racing against guys.
“Men don’t like to get beat by women and even when I first started I was a girl haha. Sometimes male egos came out and there was talk but I never let it bother me. It was always just more fuel to the fire to keep me working hard so I could get better.”
So how did you get better – What’s a typical day of training like?
“My training changed when I went on tour with the show. When we are not at work I go to the gym for an hour or 2 then ride my bicycle at skate parks for a few hours with my friends. Sometimes if I am bored at night and there is a gym in the hotel I will do a second workout or stretch.
“When we are at work, the show itself is pretty physically demanding so that tires us out. But I still tried to get a workout done on show days. I spent a lot of time in gyms lifting weights and doing cardio. When I was racing and competing it was different. I would ride as much as possible like a few hours every day and then go for bicycle rides or hikes for endurance training.”
So Forsley from Massachusetts, do you have any other occupations we can add to your mix of your many talents?
“I can landscape! I grew up cutting grassing, trimming and landscaping yards and farms. It was always a side job for some extra cash. I’ve had a lot of manual labour jobs. I think it helps keeping me grateful and grounded with this job.”