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Sound of Speed

By Allison Glock for EXPN The Magazine

Erin Patrice O’Brien

“On the edge of the Pax Trax Motocross Park, in Bunnell, Fla., kids run around in racing jumpers and shin-high boots while their shirtless dads tinker with engines and empty out jugs of gasoline. Truck tailgates lay open, the beds piled high with toolboxes and Styrofoam coolers and hibachis. Rottweilers loll in the sun, oblivious to the mosquitoes that sortie in from an adjacent swamp.

A young girl, all braces, blond tangles and blue eyes, puts on a helmet and starts her 85cc Honda. One of only two female riders at the track, she’s noticeable for an omnipresent ear-to-ear smile. And for the fact that she weighs all of 95 pounds. The girl is tiny. As she takes a few warmup laps, a boy whizzes past her. He loops around and does it again, bleeding into her line. The girl shakes her head. She revs her engine briefly, considers chasing him down, then eases up on the gas and reluctantly lets him outpace her. The girl’s mother, Roni Fiolek, watches the exchange from the bleachers.

‘That stuff always pisses her off,’ she says. ‘These boys try to show her up. They really don’t have any idea who they’re dealing with.’

Hello, my name is Ashley Fiolek. I’m 16 years old, I am profoundly deaf, and I race motocross. …”

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