Women on Bikes Series: Claire Buchar

Meet Claire Buchar, I contacted her after watching If She Can Do It one morning while busting my butt on my trainer. I wanted to try and connect with more women in the mountain bike scene, and luck was behind me! Claire competes, coaches/trains, and overall proves to me she's a very real woman doing some pretty amazing things. (I may be easily amazed, but by all practical purposes I'll say I'm easily inspired.)

I love how I'm connecting with women all over and that they are honestly sharing their experiences making them seem even more real. So what if they won competitions and medals? Perhaps coach athletes or even appeared in a film? Real women doing real things-that is what I want to share with you. So, a big thank you to Claire on sharing her experiences!

Danielle Baker Photography photo

Check out Claire's Women Involved interview!

When did you first start riding a bike?
When I was a kid, I always had a bike to ride around the block. But I picked up a proper mountain bike when I was 20 years old and I've never looked back.

What motivated you to ride as much as you have over the years?
Growing up, I always looked for venues that would challenge me. No matter what it was. Although I was naturally good at most things I tried, I eventually decided that I needed to choose one thing and put most of my focus into that one thing to really excel at it. It happened to be spring and it was mountain bike season. What  still motivates me is the insatiable drive to be the best I can be. You can always be better. There is always room to grow. And I enjoy the journey and everyone in it to get there. 

What kind of riding is your favorite? (paved, gravel, mountain) 
Mountain biking, and although I love cross country  for fitness, in particular Downhill. I grew up in the mountains and I grew up ski racing so I love riding terrain. I also love the people and the community in mountain biking. Just so different to any other cycling discipline. 

Do you remember how you felt on your first mountain bike ride? (If not a mountain biker, how about first commuter ride, paved trail ride, gravel, etc.)
I remember trying to keep up with the boys and my mind was definitely stronger than my skill set. I was excited, scared, thrilled and open minded. My competitive nature and determination got me through those first years as I developed my skills. 

If you had nervousness at all, what do you do or think to overcome it?
Whenever I feel nervousness, I slow down my breathing and tune in to the moment and what is around me, my senses, nature. It grounds me. 

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 use flat pedals and clipless pedals. I think it is important for your skills to be able to ride with both. Wether you are using flats or clipless, dropping your heals slightly while descending helps to keep your feet on and your bike firm into the ground for traction and for utilizing your suspension. 

-Coming back after injury at Hafjell Norway World Cup 2013, photo by Laurence CE

Have you had a bike biff? If so, how did you recover on a physical/mental/emotional level?
Over the years, I have had many crashes and, yes, a few injuries. As an athlete, crashes and injuries teach you so much. Patience, perseverance, positivity, humbleness, the list goes on. I do everything I can to first heal the injury. Rest, recovery, rehab and clean eating. Be kind to myself. The mental aspect is what takes the longest. Gaining that confidence back step by step to get back up to speed. I am still recovering mentally from my last injuries. It takes time. 

What do you love about riding your bike?
The places my bikes take me. The adventures I go on. The impact I can make on my sport. The people I can inspire. 

You can connect  with Claire various ways:
Facebook: Kovarik Racing | Twitter: kovarikracing | Instagram: kovarikracing