This is my favourite "feel good" story of the year, though being a curmudgeon, why I feel good about it may not be immediately obvious. You see, political correctness really frustrates me. Though the Motoring editor would much prefer I use kinder, gentler words, I find no kind or gentle way to express my deep annoyance at society's acceptance of the aggrandising of one specific group's accomplishments simply because it is supposedly done in the pursuit of good.
To we cynics, of course, it matters not that the goal of such outright bias is positive; prejudice for or against is still prejudice and often diminishes the supposed benefactor as much as its victims. Not knowing whether one's achievements are the result of your actual performance rather than favouritism weighs heavy on the conscience of even those who benefit from the preferential treatment. That's why I was so happy to write this story.
You see, though it is ultimately why I wrote this story, what truly makes young Stacey Nesbitt so special isn't that she's a young lady riding a motorcycle - that's commonplace enough these days. Nor is it that she's just a wee wisp of a thing, barely 14 years old and barely 45kg in full leather armour. Nor is it that she is a girl (or, if we were being completely politically correct, a young woman) who won Canada's 2011 Honda CBR125R Challenge, becoming the first woman to win a fully accredited national road-racing series in the country (and perhaps, as some have even contended, the world).
No, the most amazing thing about Stacey Nesbitt is that she's only been riding a motorcycle for two years. Yes, two years. No minibiking since she was a toddler. Her father didn't push her into junior motocrossing when she could barely walk. Nor did she even spend a whole bunch of time riding pillion behind dad on his Harley. Oh, there was the fact that her first family outing when she was but four days old was to a Joey Dunlop (Ballymoney's most famous road racer) charity exhibition back in her homeland of Northern Ireland. And dad did like his motorcycling, though he never raced himself. But Stacey had no motorcycling experience to speak of before she jumped on a racing bike.
Indeed, as her father, Grant, tells it, she took to the sport rather reluctantly, her first foray onto the track ending up with her running away at a RACE (Canada's local governing body) school that is a prerequisite for actually competing. "She frightened herself," Grant says, "she didn't want to go back out and that first year  only our oldest daughter, Toni, raced."
It was hardly a surprise, since Stacey's total sum experience in motorcycling up until that point had been a few spins around the driveway on a pocket bike and watching races from the stands.
With no experience with a clutch, the sisters both had to be pushed off from the starting line. "That's how bad they were," says the now-beaming father. "They really didn't know how to ride a motorcycle. Stacey learnt to ride a motorcycle on a race track."
It was only after a year of watching her sister compete in the CBR125R Challenge that Stacey bugged her father for another chance, and her first foray was a local race at Canada's Shannonville Motorsport Park at the end of 2009. Soaking wet, racing in a downpour in what was essentially her first real ride on a motorcycle, she finished second last.
It's been a steady rise to the top of the heap since then. "2010 was a learning year," says Stacey, who went from finishing at the back of the pack to "being able to run with the boys in front".
The turning point seems to have been a visit to the Michel Mercier's FAST riding school at the end of 2010.
And even though her lap times were slower on the more powerful Kawasaki Ninja 250 than her own 125, both father and daughter credit the school with teaching her how to ride better and, perhaps more importantly, how to analyse her technique and improve her riding style.