Thursday, December 18, 2014

Women on Bikes Series: Nina Arnold

Meet Nina Arnold, a Dirty Jane Ambassador who resides in Whistler, BC!

She's a goal-oriented woman who loves exploring new trails, pushing her boundaries, and having fun!

You can follow Nina on Twitter, Facebook, or connect on LinkedIn

When did you first start riding a bike?
As a kid I rode bikes around town, but I didn't actually start mountain biking until I moved to Vancouver 4 years ago.  


What motivated you to ride as much as you have over the years?
I love pushing my limits: mentally, physically and geographically (there's a ton of wide open space up here in Canada)

What would be your favorite competitive biking event and why do you enjoy competing?
The Crankworx Enduro is hands down the most challenging of any races I ride in during the season. It's the perfect storm of technical and endurance riding.  

Do you remember how you felt on your first mountain bike ride?
Defeated, exhausted and dying to go out again to clean all those features I walked!

If you had nervousness at all, what do you do or think to overcome it?
I have a checklist of skills that I go over in my head before rolling into a big feature or tough trail. I repeat them in my head and hope for the best. 

What advice would you give someone new to the off-road scene?
Stick with it  - The payout is huge. Oh and wear knee pads! 

How would you describe the differences of the trails you rode in California to those in Whistler? What was your most challenging learning curve?
In Whistler, learning to clean features in all conditions is a challenge I still battle with today. Wet roots and jump lines are on the top of my list for continual improvement. 

Do you use clipless pedals? If yes, what are some tips/suggestions for beginners that you would share? If no, are you thinking of trying it out at all? 
I love riding clipless, it's incredibly efficient for climbing and helps me commit to lines (clip out and I'm thrown off balance, no one wins). I would suggest taking it slow. When you switch to clipless start by riding the road, green trails and mellow terrain until you feel confident moving in and out of clips. It takes a while, stick with it. 

Have you had any biffs that were challenging for you on a physical/mental/emotional level? What did you do to heal and overcome?
For me, discovering how to ride longer and stronger stems from proper nutrition on the trail. I noticed that when my mood shifts (negatively) or I start to feel tired it's time to eat. I keep a watch and eat snacks every 45 minutes. I can stay out on the trail for hours with this simple tactic. 

When you started out riding, what were some handling skills that challenged you? Do you have any suggestions for what helped you grasp them?
I had trouble keeping my eyes off the front tire. I would watch my bike roll over every rock and be surprised when the bike came to a dead stop and I went over the bars. Once I started looking ahead, my bike rolled faster and cleared more obstacles. Keep your eyes up! 

Are there still handling or technical riding aspects that you find tricky? How do you not let that drag you down when riding?
With every level of riding comes a new set of challenges, stay positive and try joining local clinics, classes or clubs. 

What do you love about riding your bike?
Adrenaline. Fitness. (And Rock Rolls!)

Tell us about your bike(s), what they are like and why did you choose them?
I have a Road Bike, A 6 and 6 trail bike and a full downhill bike. It's the full fleet for training, racing and exploring. 

How did you hear about Dirty Jane and what inspired you to become a Dirty Jane Ambassador?
I followed them on Facebook. I love supporting female athletes that hope to further our sport. 

How have you done on your goals for this season so far?
I have met so many and surpassed a few. Just getting on my bike and exploring more on solo rides has changed my experience, immensely. 

What do you enjoy about being the Volunteer Race Director for WORCA’s weekly cross country races?
I love gathering the community together for some healthy competition and some after race beers. 

What do you feel deters women from getting involved with cycling? Especially mountain biking?
I am on a constant quest to solve this problem. I wish more women could see what a blast it is and how accessible communities are making it. 

What do you feel could happen to make changes and/or encourage more women to ride?
Eliminating the pink it and shrink it element of action sports. Also, showcasing accessibility.  

What inspires you to encourage women to ride?
The absolute blast I have as soon as I hit the trail. 

Tell us a random fact about yourself!
I'm a huge Seinfeld fan. 

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