Emma's new home: Jacko's Rural Paradise
Emma McFerran, Australia’s best-known female FMX rider and younger sister of Monster Energy/Kawasaki/Showtime FMX’s Matty McFerran, has recently moved from the bustle and beaches of the Gold Coast to Lockhart in NSW. The purpose for this sea change: to take her riding to the next level by riding and training with X-Games Best Trick Gold medallist Jackson Strong. I caught up with Emma to see what brought on the move, and how it’s been going.
Article taken from www.freeridermx.com.au
Words by Grant Cross
FRMX: So, Emma, what was it that brought you to the Gold Coast from Melbourne initially?
Emma: I hadn’t actually planned to move to the Goldy. It’d been a while since I’d ridden any FMX once Matt had moved up there so I’d planned to come up for about a month and do a heap of riding and try to learn a few things. After about 2 weeks on Matt’s floor he was sick of me and told me it was time to head home, but luckily enough Lance Russell and Amy had a spare room so I moved in with them.
FRMX: What made you decide to move from the Goldy out into the country to Jacko’s place?
Emma: When I first made the move to the Goldy, the FMX scene was huge. There was always a heap of the boys to ride with whether it was the weekend or mid-week. Slowly it started to die down and I found it hard just to get someone to come with me or watch me ride and it was getting to a good week or more in between rides. Bayard’s place kind of turned into a ShowTime only facility, haha, so that was part of the reason too. But while I was at Jacko’s over Christmas, he and Matt were joking around that I should come and live with him. I didn’t think much of it but once I got back on the coast and it didn’t stop raining for 2 weeks it made me realise how good the opportunity would be and how much it would benefit my riding. This was the change I needed!
FRMX: You’ve been there for a couple of weeks now, how are you liking it?
Emma: Yeah I love it out here! I’d lived in the country for year just after I finished high school so I knew what to expect. Apart from being in the middle of nowhere and the closest town being about 45min away, it’s so relaxed and I get a heap more done because there are no distractions. After the first week between riding I’d already taught myself to build a website. And obviously the main thing, the riding is awesome! Jacko’s probably got the best set up in Australia, there’s everything I could possibly need to progress.
FRMX: What are your actual living arrangements there?
Emma: Haha, what are you implying? I live up at the house with his parents Mandy and Lynton and Jacko lives about 200m from the house in his decked out shed full of Bundy cans and chicks. I’ve got it pretty awesome though, his family is amazing. The Strongs would have to be one of the closest families I’ve ever met. There’s also nothing better than coming in from a ride or foam pit session and having dinner ready on the table, haha thanks Mandy!
FRMX: It’s a fair change of pace from the Gold Coast, are you getting used to it?
Emma: Yeah as I mentioned earlier it’s so relaxed and laid back out here and that’s always good for a change. Plus there’s always a bunch of people stopping in for a few days and coming out for a ride. Within the first week Joel Brown, Jarryd McNeil, Pete McCann, Jack Field and a few others had stopped in, so there’s always someone to ride with. I’ve also got a heap of time to work on my bike, the business side of FMX and also my fitness, when I’m not complaining about being too sore from riding.
FRMX: How has the riding and training been going so far?
Emma: Riding is going really good so far, and everything’s going to plan. Been working on a little secret the last 2 weeks and I’ve got that sorted now so it won’t be long ‘til you all hear about it. Pretty stoked with it and it’s been hard to keep it a secret.
FRMX: Any plans on how long you will stay in Lockhart?
Emma: Not too sure, I’m guessing I’ll hang around ‘til Jacko or his family get sick of me! Or maybe I’ll get sick of him first.
FRMX: Do you have any particular goals you’re looking to achieve during your stay there?
Emma: To hopefully not turn into a bogan like Jacko and sink Bundy cans every night haha. I actually achieved my goal the first week I got here which I’m stoked about (you’ll be hearing about it very soon), but I’ve set myself a few more goals working from what I’ve already learnt. Another is to get a few more tricks sorted off 75ft and see where I go from there.
FRMX: Any idea where you might go after Lockhart, if anywhere?
Emma: I plan to head home to Melbourne and spend a few months back home with Mum once I’m sick of Jacko and do a bit of riding with Matty Lewis and the boys out that way. Other than that I have nothing planned and not too fussed where I end up yet.
Thanks Emma, have fun!
While we’re at it, why not talk to the man making it possible, and get his take on his new training buddy.
FRMX: Jacko, you’ve opened your doors and let Emma move in to ride with you. How has the riding been so far?
Jacko: Hey guys! It’s cool having Emma here. I’ve been friends with her and Matty forever and it’s good to see a chick out there ripping and having more of a go than most of the guys.
FRMX: Your schedule is obviously fairly clear at the moment, are you knuckling down training or just chilling til the bigger comps roll back around?
Jacko: Knuckling down. Never stops.
FRMX: Are you guys just riding or doing physical training too?
Jacko: I can’t say, Matt will bash me. Jokes. I always incorporate physical exercise into my training and so does Emma which is good to see.
FRMX: You have a good crew of riders around now, is it good to have someone else actually living on the property to ride with or much the same as having guys just come over to ride?
Jacko: It’s good having Emma here because she can help do things like water jumps and work the foam pit for me.
Jacko: I saw a bundy can in her hand the other night...
FRMX: Is there anything you’d like to see Emma achieve from her time there?
Jacko: I’d like to see her riding at the same level as all the other Aussie pros.
FRMX: What is your next event planned, when will we see you riding on the big stage?
Jacko: You will see me battle Loza at the F1 GP in Melbourne at a best trick contest. Can’t wait. Seeya guys. Add my fan page on facebook www.facebook.com/mmjacksonstrong yeeeew!
For full article check out http://www.freeridermx.com.au/news/2700-emmas-new-home-jackos-rural-paradise