If you haven’t seen the second season of Nitro Circus (which premiered last Thursday at 10 p.m. on MTV), you’re missing out on a half hour of reckless stunts and pure adrenaline. Among the group of record-breaking dirtbikers is Jolene Van Vugt, the only Canadian female member.
Very few people know what they want to do with their lives when they’re still a kid. Jolene, or “Nitro Girl,” is one of those people. She was raised around the Motorcross sport and spent most of her time at the tracks. By the age of 11, Jolene asked her father to teach her how to ride. “But I didn’t start to compete till I was 15,” she tells andPOP.
Since the age of 15, Jolene has been traveling across North America, attending competitions in the CMRC, AMA, WMA and the National Series for Women in Canada, which she helped create. “It started four years ago and I was the first to win the event,” Van Vugt says of the National Series. “It’s a series of five races that cover from the east to the west coast and the top Canadian females race.”
Back in 2005, Jolene had some downtime between races and decided to pay motorcross racer and stunt performer Travis Pastrana a visit. Anyone who’s seen “Nitro Circus” knows that everyone who goes to “Pastrana Land” wants to try their hand at crazy stunts, and it was no different with Jolene.
She tried flipping an 110cc into the form pit and quickly succeeded. However, Jolene was determined to flip her RM125, a much heavier bike, and after two days of trial and error she became the first female to backflip a full-sized dirt bike ramp to dirt.
One thing led to another and soon enough, the Canadian biker became a member of the Nitro Circus Crew, a group that race, ride but most importantly, complete stunts to create extreme sports videos. And let’s just say they mean business.
In May of 2007, Jolene jumped into the Grand Canyon on a street bike with Pastrana driving. She then went on to backflip into the Canyon in a three way jump with two other Circus members. From that moment on, she earned the title of “Nitro Girl.” “I am officially the first and only girl they let into the boy’s club,” Van Vugt explains.
With season two under wraps, Jolene gives a heads up on what to expect. “You can expect us to go above and beyond season one with more car jumps, more airplanes. It will be true Circus fashion,” she says.
And with three Guiness World records under her belt, Jolene reveals she’s trying to “exceed her backflip distance” (which means you might just see her break another record on the reality show!).
As for her other plans, “I’m working on taking a vacation,” she jokes.
Catch “Nitro Circus” every Thursday at 9 p.m. as part of MTV’s “See You Thursday” block.