Women on Bikes Series: Catherine Dale

Raised in the Idaho Rockies, outdoor sports has always been a part of my life.  I am a creative media producer, specializing in photography and video.  I love mountain biking with my husband and am excited to ride my first mountain biking race this summer.

When did you first start riding a bike?
I started riding a bike at a very young age. I remember my trike as a two year old and after that, I always had a bike to ride around my neighborhood or in summer time triathlons. 

What motivated you to ride as much as you have over the years?
The thing I love most about riding my bike is that I have to clear my mind completely to ride well.  I am the type of person who is always thinking about a million projects and it is hard for me to relax.  I like focusing on the trail and nothing else.

What would be your favorite competitive biking event and why do you enjoy competing?
I haven’t ridden in any mountain bike races yet, but I am very excited to do the Beti Bike Bash this summer.

Do you remember how you felt on your first mountain bike ride?
Honestly, I felt terrible on my first mountain bike ride. My husband was much faster and I felt a bit low.  However, once I was able to clear my mind of insecurities and fear, I felt free.

If you had nervousness at all, what did you do or think to overcome it?
I realized that I need my full attention and self-belief to overcome my mountain biking fears.

Have you had any biffs that were challenging for you on a physical/mental/emotional level? What did you do to heal and overcome?
Every time I fall, I have to re-ride that section of trail.  If I don’t, that fear stays with me every time I ride that trail.

Tell us about your bike(s), what they are like and why did you choose them?
I ride a Specialized Rumor (29er) and I love it.  Switching over to a 29in wheel has made such a different in my riding.  Technical sections are what give me the most trouble, and the bigger wheel gives me much more confidence.

You are a member of Dirt Divas, tell us why you joined the Dirt Divas club-
I joined Dirt Divas, because I wanted to ride with other MTB women! Most of my friends do not MTB, and so joining the race team was an amazing opportunity.

What has been the best thing about having joined Dirt Divas?
It gives me more confidence to have the support of the team.

What advice would you give someone seeking to join a club for the first time?
DO IT. If you have any interest at all in improving your riding, joining a club is going to help you with the skills and the amount of time you spend in the saddle.

What inspires you to encourage women to ride?
I think it is a sport that is becoming more and more popular with women, and it just makes me want to get out and ride more.