Women on Bikes Series: Britney White

I was born in Jackson Hole Wyoming; my father was an outfitter and hunting guide who always took me to the mountains with him from a very young age.  

My family later moved to Bozeman Montana and I became an avid skier, and then picked up rock climbing. I was 18 when I first bought a mountain bike and have been totally hooked ever since.

Check out Britney on: Facebook,  Instagram, and her Website

When did you first start riding a bike?
I learned to ride a bike at 3 years old. My family used to go on family bike rides as far back as I can remember. 

What motivated you to ride as much as you have over the years?
My motivation comes from always wanting do better than the day before. I have also always surrounded myself with like minded people who are just as stoked as I am. New ideas and challenges pop up daily so motivation to ride has always seemed easy. 

What would be your favorite competitive biking event and why do you enjoy competing?
My favorite competitive biking event would be sort of Enduro style DH, only lifts take you up and you are timed on a combination of downhill trails on the way down, say 5 runs or so, but all mixed up with tech and flow dh trails.  

Do you remember how you felt on your first mountain bike ride?
So out of control but not in a scared sort of way. I remember I laughed alot, went over the bars a few times figuring out which was the front and which was the back. Then I remember as I became better and faster my arms always itched. I think this was due to vibration of riding a rigid bike. 

If you had nervousness at all, what do you do or think to overcome it?
I listen to nervous, because I think that's my minds way of telling me maybe I shouldn't be doing this. I usually feel excitement if I see I line I know I can ride. I then have a sequence I go over in my head that I learned as a child in gymnastics. My coach told me to close my eyes and picture myself doing it perfectly over and over, then I open my eyes and there is no other way than to do it the way I pictured it in my head. I always try to keep negative thoughts out. I never think of crashing as an option.

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've honestly never given them a try, not even once. I do have some coming in the mail though, so this is going to change real soon. 

Have you had any biffs that were challenging for you on a physical/mental/emotional level? What did you do to heal and overcome?
Yes the biff that I remember most vividly was a big line in Whistler where I went over the bars near the top and cartwheeled to the bottom and ended up breaking a small bone in my back. It happened slowly and I suppose that's why I remember it so clearly. As for mentally hard injuries to overcome, I snapped my achilles tendon about 4 years ago. This was a scary injury because it's not one that everyone comes back 100% from. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to mountain bike how I wanted anymore and it was that fear that pushed me to recover and ride as quickly as I did, I was off the bike for 6 months.

In 2014 you broke your hand during an Enduro Race- how did that affect your training? How did the healing process go?
Breaking my hand back in April, at the beginning of the season, definitely affected my training. This is the time of year I spend the most time on the bike getting ready for summer race season so having to take 2 months off was really hard mentally as well as feeling like I was letting down my sponsors. When I was able to ride again, I felt I had some making up to do and flatted my very first DH race of the year up in Canada. Bad luck I suppose but at least I was able ride again.  

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 learned the basics very early on, bunny hopping was first on the list, then riding a wheelie off curbs and then off of loading docks my first year. I learned these skills on an old Trek XC bike, so I don't think the bike makes much of a difference. Learning to corner has been an ongoing challenge; I always want to corner better. I think the most important things to learn early though are bunny hopping, wheeling(sp?), and manueling (although I'm not very good at this one), and spending time on a pump track if you can (this will teach you flow). 

Are there still handling or technical riding aspects that you find tricky? How do you not let that drag you down when riding?
Cornering is always tricky for me, I tend to ride over the front of my bike and unfortunately sometimes grab too much brake. I did just read an article where Leigh Donovan quoted saying "brake 3 times". Maybe that advice will help. I am also always working on tricks.

What advice would you give to someone completely new to mountain biking?
Take it at your own pace and what you feel comfortable with. Not everyone perceives things the same way so expecting you'll learn at the rate of a 14 year old boy or someone who has been riding much longer is a little unrealistic. 

Tell us about your bike(s), what they are like and why did you choose them?
My bikes this season are an Evil Following(29er), an Evil Faction (dj), and an Evil Undead(dh) complete with (Fox suspension, Profile Racing Hubs, Spank Rims and Deity handlebars, Shimano Saint brakes and drivetrain, and Continental tires).  Really excited with the change of a frame sponsor, although I was with Transition a long time, it's cool to be able to ride a different suspension design that is so looked up to in the bike industry, the DW Link. 

What clothing/bike accessories do you love? What would you recommend to your friends?
I ride in Royal Racing clothes and I highly recommend this brand to anyone who is abusive to their apparel, by abuse I mean mud, tree branches, hip meeting dirt and rocks etc. They're materials seriously don't even need Spray n' Wash and while I don't put them in the dryer the colors are still as bright as they were new. I also love the Royal Minus glove for winter riding; they are super durable as well.

What do you love about riding your bike?
The ease, flow and focus required. Being able to tune everything else out but the trail, sounds, and people around you. It's really just plain magical. 

Check out Britney's Videos! Time Machine and Frozen Ground