We managed to catch up with Perris Benegas last week. We posted the edit above and it went nuts! So we decided to ask her a bunch of quick fire questions and try to get to the bottom of why she’s got more bike control than most riders, male or female…
When did you start riding BMX?
I started riding about 7 years ago. My older brother got me into riding at a young age, and it’s been cool to see myself progress throughout the years.
Have you always rode ramps/transitions?
Yes, because growing up that’s all there really was to ride.
What are your favourite things to ride?
I enjoy riding hips and ledges. I also like to ride quarter pipes. Just park in general is my favorite thing to ride.
Which riders have inspired you?
I have never really looked up to a specific rider. As a whole, I am inspired by riders who push themselves to progress and riders who have fun with it.
How often do you ride?
When the weather is nice, I ride my bike just about everyday. During colder seasons, I try to make my way to the indoor park as much as possible on the weekends.
How do you feel about riding in front of guys in the park? Has it ever been a problem?
In front of the guys at my local park, I don’t think twice about it. I’ve been riding with them for so long that it’s what I am comfortable with. However, anytime I go to a new park, I feel like I am constantly being judged and looked at funny because I am a girl.
What motivates you to ride like you do?
What motivates me to ride is to be the best that I can be. I want to keep riding in order to better myself so that I can eventually ride at my full potential.
Do you enter contests? if so, which ones?
I recently entered a contest – the 2014 Toronto BMX Jam. I placed first in the Ladies class which has inspired me to enter more contests in the future.
Do you prefer style or tricks?
I prefer style, but I also like to throw in some tricks every once in awhile. I was taught that you need to learn how to have good bike control before you can start trying tricks.
Have you ever ridden trails?
Not very often, but it is something that I am interested in and may get more involved with in the future.
For some reason many people commented on the fact you didn’t wear a helmet in your edit, more so than any other edit we’ve featured. We have no idea why, do you?
I really don’t have a clue, either. I understand that wearing protective gear is extremely important, but as stated in a previous interview, it is my own personal choice and preference. However, since the edit, I have been wearing a helmet every time I ride. I think I am getting more comments on the fact that I am not wearing a helmet because I am a female rider. There are plenty of edits featured in which male riders are not wearing a helmet, yet nobody finds it necessary to say anything to them about it. On the other hand, if it does not have to do with me being a female rider but instead my duty as a “role model,” it’s not my responsibility to make sure kids are wearing helmets. Would I like to be a role model for other riders? Absolutely. However, I feel that enforcing wearing a helmet is most important within the home. Parents should make sure that their kids are wearing helmets – whether or not the riders that they watch are wearing them.