Monday, February 23, 2015

Women on Bikes Series: Kellie Weinert

I'm a 19 yr old student studying a sports and exercise science degree, who loves to go out riding, socially and in competition. Just having fun all around!

I Study at uni, work 3 jobs (barista, learn to swim instructor and receptionist for an osteopath). Train to keep improving fitness for cycling competition and general health.
I’m involved with helping the young children/some with disabilities learn to swim/gain confidence in water. 

I also help young girls get into sport of mtb, encouraging when they are at different races (it's only 2 years since I've started!) and hopefully once my coaching course is complete I can do that on a more professional level!

I love riding on anything with wheels! Grew up on motocross and now primarily focus on downhill, love gravity Enduro and the odd bit of cross country racing (enjoy riding it a regular social level.)

When did you first start riding a bike?
I have been on a motocross bike since I was six years old and always enjoyed riding push bikes. It was only about 2 years ago that I discovered downhill and started racing competitively. I haven't looked back since!

What motivated you to ride as much as you have over the years?
Downhill and that cycling in general is pure fun! There is no way you can’t get on a bike, surrounded by friends and family, and not have a ball. 
The competition encourages you and pushes outside your limits as you race against the clock and yourself.

What would be your favorite competitive biking event and why do you enjoy competing?
The new Cannonball Festival in Thredbo, NSW, is by far one of the best run, action packed race weekend ever!! Holding five events over three days keeps you riding thge entire time, no waiting around. The atmosphere is incredible, hundreds of people riding all the trails, with constant commentary and action! It is a great event not only for riders but for spectators, with so much to see and all with Mt Kosciusko as a backdrop.

Do you remember how you felt on your first mountain bike ride?
Well the first time I ever threw my leg over a downhill bike was at Thredbo on an All-Mountain bike. I was so nervous I didn't sleep for nights leading up to my first ride! But it was great fun! 

If you had nervousness at all, what did you do or think to overcome it?
I was very nervous! But as I am sure most people would agree the excitement of experiencing something new and out of the ordinary overrides any other emotions. Pure adrenalin runs through you! 
It’s still the same for me to this very day, at the start of every race I get butterflies in my stomach and always need to do a nervous pee! But as soon as the clock counts down it’s just me, my bike and the trail that lies ahead. 

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 currently run clips purely because of confidence on the bike. for me having my feet locked in takes away the temptation to back out of a drop or technical section, I feel I am a better rider for having done this. I began on flats and I revert back to them when conditions are muddy and really slippery. 
Flats are great for all abilities, for those just starting out I would recommend ensuring that you have very sturdy shoes with lots of grip on the sole and pedals that have a reasonable amount of grip (not the plastic ones).

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, being such a small build I sometimes find it hard to manhandle the bike when needed, going to the gym has definitely helped with this as I am nowhere near what I would like to be strength wise.
Emotionally my nerves always get the best of me, and often impacts upon my performances, purely because at the start in so nervous that I'm not always concentrating on what I have to do. I am still trying to find the happy medium between being too relaxed and too nervous. For me it seems to be a matter of trial and error!

When you started out riding, what were some handling skills that challenged you? Do you have any suggestions for what helped you grasp them?
For me jumping and drops have always been my nemesis. Growing up on a motocross bike I was used to having the power to get out of tricky situations easily, on a push bike there is none of that, it’s all you! To tackle these on my first few attempts I over exaggerate every movement, from getting off the back of the bike to having my elbows up and knees ready to absorb the landing. Gradually the movements I need to do become more natural, until i don't have to think about it. 

Are there still handling or technical riding aspects that you find tricky? How do you not let that drag you down when riding?
Cornering on tight berms I still find very difficult, I just can’t keep my flow! As for not letting this drag me down, I think of it as through everyone has their own weakness and this happens to be mine, so I just have to keep working at it and I’ll get it how I want it one day! A positive attitude is all anyone needs to learn something they find difficult. 

Tell us about your bike(s), what they are like and why did you choose them?
Merida 140
- This is now my cross-country/All mountain bike. It’s a great little bike, perfect for trail riding and handles the easy bits of downhill really well. 
Summun Pro Team downhill bike- I am extremely lucky in gaining a sponsorship with Mondraker Australia!
All of my Bikes have bright pink grips!!

What clothing/bike accessories do you love? What would you recommend to your friends?
I love DHaRCO clothing! For me having a female range to choose from allows me to stand out on the mountain, with a full face helmet on boys and girls all look alike, having girls’ clothes really allows us to be noticed!

Pink grips on my bikes are a must for me, I’m not the girly type, but being able to have the pink grips, like the clothes, lets everyone know I’m not a guy!

What do you love about riding your bike?
The best bit: riding my bike is once again the fun factor. If I didn't enjoy it I wouldn't do it! Going for a ride allows me to clear my head, train and get my fitness and skill level to where I would like it to be. There are always times where I don't ride; everyone needs some downtime on the side of anything that they love doing. 

1 comment:

  1. I no longer ride a Giant Glory 01!
    I have extremely lucky in gaining a sponsorship with Mondraker Australia and now ride their Summun Pro Team downhill bike!

    ReplyDelete