Monday, July 15, 2019

Women on Bikes Series: Katie Lo

I go by Katie Lo, because my last name, Lozancich, has notoriously been butchered my whole life. I'm an avid outdoorswoman and am so grateful to be working as a digital content contributor for the action sports media company Teton Gravity Research, in Jackson Wyoming. My role essentially means I'm a creative team member that wears a lot of different hats. Some days I'm writing feature-length stories and then there are others in which I'm on the ground photographing events or trying to keep with athletes with camera gear strapped to my back. It's pretty wild. What I love most about my job is that no matter what I do, I get to tell a story. Right now I'm particularly interested in stories from those who haven't always had a voice in the outdoor industry. One of my biggest focuses happens to be on mountain biking. It's a sport that I dearly love. I've only been riding for two years, but I can't think of something that makes me feel more empowered, and when I was first introduced to the sport I didn't see many women reflected in the media.

So, a considerable part of my career has been trying to change that. Off the clock from TGR I'm biking, skiing when there's fresh pow, and balancing a side career as a freelance artist.

My Instagram: @katielo.zancich

Tell us about your introduction to mountain biking, what about it made you say "Yes! This is for me!"
The experience that hooked me was a ride at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort bike park. It was my first time ever riding in a downhill setting and I anxiously squirmed the entire chairlift ride up. There had to be a thousand different questions and worries bouncing around in my head. It was until a few pedal strokes in that they dissipated and were replaced with small bouts of laughter. Aspens that glowed from the warm summer light surrounded me and each banked turn brought me to a new part of the trail. I've been chasing that feeling of wonder and adventure ever since.

When you started out riding, what were some handling skills that challenged you? Do you have any suggestions for what helped you grasp them?
Hmm, all of it?
Kidding, tight hairpin turns. We have a few nasty ones on this trail I love on Teton Pass called Blacks Canyon. I've found improvement with looking through my turns and leading with my chest.

Are there still handling or technical riding aspects that you find tricky? How do you not let that drag you down when riding?
Turning will always be something that could be honed in, but that's okay! In fact, the ability to improve is what I crave most about mountain biking. The sport is about constant progression and I find there's always a skill or part of the trail to improve on. This progression keeps the sport exciting and an enduring challenge.

Clips or flats? What do you use when and why?
Flats. I've never ridden with clips, mostly because they make me a bit nervous. But I'm always open to trying new things.

For folks who are nervous about giving mountain biking a shot, do you have any suggestions on how they can go about creating a positive experience?
Find a local riding group to ride with, I got lucky that Seattle (where I lived during college) had the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance which held weekly ride meetups through the Seattle area. Riding with other people is the best way to learn. It pushes you and also reminds you to just have fun and enjoy the company you're with. Watching other riders is also a great way to push your riding as well.

You work for Teton Gravity Research as a digital content contributor; what do you love most about sharing stories?
Storytelling is one of the most powerful and unique tools we have! Simply look throughout history, whether it be through oral traditions, art, or written word, stories have been used to inspire, impact, and empower one and another. We all carry such unique narratives with us, and those narratives are more compelling than we give them credit.

What do you love most about giving people in the outdoor industry a voice?
Simply seeing the narratives within this industry expand to include a diversity of voices. I hope one day that anyone regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, or socioeconomic background can feel like that outdoor community is a space that welcomes them.

What do you love most about covering/featuring mountain biking?
It's such a beautiful sport to photograph. I've always seen parallels between dancing and mountain biking, there's so much grace to it! As far as the narratives associated with mountain biking, I have often found that biking has been used a metaphorical vehicle just as much as a physical one. The bike is an incredible machine to empower, explore, or simply celebrate the places we love.
Your mission has been to increase the representation of women in media, how have you done this and do you feel as a whole, it's getting better?
I found that a genuine way to address this dilemma is to just provide a platform for women to share their stories. So much so that hopefully it doesn't feel like there has ever been an imbalance. The most successful stories are the ones that highlight individuals for their experiences, meanwhile their gender speaks for itself. I think we've made some significant progress but there's still room for improvement. I'd love to see the narrative expanded to include stories we haven't seen as much, like motherhood in the mountains or how the #metoo movement fits in with the outdoors.

What do you love most about being a woman involved in the outdoor industry?
Think about the term "mother nature", womanhood is an innate part of the outdoors! I love this industry and the fact that my more work celebrates these beautiful wild spaces we play on.

What do you love about riding your bike?
There are a plethora of trails out here in the world, and I want to ride them all.

Tell us about your bike(s), what they are like and why did you choose them?
I just have a 2016 Liv Intrigue. I picked it because it I liked the geometry and it was the perfect fit for my level of riding. I'm hoping to upgrade this season now that I know a bit more about bikes and components.

What do you feel deters women from getting involved with cycling? Especially mountain biking?
There's a myriad of reasons why women are intimidated by cycling and the one I hear the most is "I'm scared". A lot of gals have this perception that biking is solely big whips, riding fast and gnarly terrain. But that's just one facet of this sport.

What do you feel could change industry-wise or locally to encourage more women to be involved?
It all starts with representation. There's this saying, "you can't be what you can't see," and moving forward marketing needs to also showcase young girls to middle age women thriving in this sport.

What inspires you to encourage women to ride?

There are so many positive byproducts of biking. It's healthy for you, it's empowering, it's a wonderful way to explore your local area, and it fosters new relationships. These are the things I gained from riding my bike and hope to share that with everyone!

Tell us a random fact about yourself!
In addition to writing and photography, I am a painter. My Acrylic artwork ranges from small 8"x8" pieces to 6ft murals. I hope to someday blend art and biking together but haven't quite figured that out yet.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Women on Bikes Series: Susan Ward

My given name is Susan Ward. My biking name is "Kitty". I am from the midwest and live in Janesville, Wisconsin. I have two sisters who live in other states. My favorite time of year is summer. I got my first bike when I was three years old and my latest bike this summer.

I love cycling and ride many different bikes many different ways with many different people in many different places all year long. I love my bike family!



I'm working on being a better climber of hills. I do not possess a racer's heart.
I keep a roof over my head and support my bike life by working as a registered nurse.

Favorite web sites: www.bellhelmets.com > Bell Joy Ride: Madison, Wisconsin

Tell us about your introduction to mountain biking, what about it made you say "Yes! This is for me!" 
I like to read at night. One night in November 2012 I was reading a Bicycling Magazine article about Fat Biking. Never heard of it. The tires were crazy wide and you could ride it in the snow. At this point, I bicycled the roads and went out weather permitting year-round to keep active. So I was not riding much but wanted to... Winter is long in Wisconsin and can keep you indoors if you let it. Come to find out a local bike shop, Backyard Bikes, in Lagrange, Wisconsin rented fat bikes. Gasp. I went over to their shop and rented one asap. They recommended riding in the nearby Kettle Moraine State Park John Muir Trail system on the beginner loops. If you've ever been on a fat bike, you get reminded of when you were a kid and first able to ride on two wheels. Two fat bouncy wheels in this case. The trail was exciting compared to the road. It challenged and channeled my attention. I had to really focus on the trail, trees, rocks, roots, and steering. It was F U N. I rented that bike a couple times and bought it. Still have it, ride it and love it. 

I was empty nesting at this same time and my only child now lived in Mammoth Lakes, CA. He kept telling me about all his mountain bike adventures and we talked about riding together when I visited next. 

My personal life had been on a downward turn for a while and I found myself feeling relief from my crappy sad "day to day". Riding this little bike made me feel better, so I started to ride it and ride it. This riding helped me press my "reset button" so to speak. Salvation. That's when I said, "Yes, this is for me!"

When you started out riding, what were some handling skills that challenged you? Do you have any suggestions for what helped you grasp them?
Reading a trail was new compared to riding on the road. We all know the road is... you know...boring.

Riding uphill over roots and rocks was a momentum problem. You gotta ride faster and remember to make the most of downhill speed. Put your speed acquired descending into the "momentum bank" to conquer the next hill.

Berms and off camber riding was a confidence and equipment trust issue. Trust your bike, tires, balance, gravity, and muscle memory. It's real folks! Don't freak out.

Adjusting fat bike tire pressures was trial and error on snow, sand, pumice, and any soft loose terrain. For the tire pressure, I was taught to start out with extra air and adjust as/when needed, because it's easier to let out air than pump it in.

Are there still handling or technical riding aspects that you find tricky? How do you not let that drag you down when riding?
Definitely. I'm not a fast (but would like to be)...so going up hills remains challenging. Same for going over bigger or complicated obstacles when climbing.

I feel anxiety when I'm the last rider. Is that herd anxiety? Anyway, I'm working at letting that go. I gotta get rid of the trash talk in my head that tells me I can't get up a hill or ride faster. I let it defeat me at times. I personally do not possess the heart of a racer.

Clips or flats? What do you use when and why?
I use flats, the wide platform spiked type, for mountain biking with sticky bottom shoes. I like to have my feet immediately free! I want to be thrown free from the wreckage! Flats are an accessory you know! So many pretty ones are available.

Clips for 2019 on the Lefty? Maybe. Definitely clips for riding gravel and road.

For folks who are nervous about giving mountain biking a shot, do you have any suggestions on how they can go about creating a positive experience?

Go rent a mountain bike and ride with a friend or small group of friends who know you're just getting started. By renting you can get the right size/fit for the trail you plan to ride. You can rent different bikes or have the mechanic "build" it different for you each time you rent. The shop knows you're a potential buyer at this point and will be excited to accommodate you. Try as many bikes as you can. Go on a short comfortable ride because you can repeat a trail loop most likely. Doing this helped me most to figure out where I felt comfortable riding. Work at it.

Both beach and snow riding can be a really good place to start riding soft terrain and going over obstacles. If you tip over or fall these terrains are forgiving.

Find a fun non-threatening event because there are plenty of non-race rides out there. I was really fortunate to have access to so many fun biking get-togethers nearby. The founder of Fat-Bike.com lives in Wisconsin. His name is Gary Lake and he hosts countless bike events for cyclists of all skill levels. His events are really creative and fun! Also, you can really keep up on equipment and the industry by reading the online magazine. https://fat-bike.com/ A side note about fat bikes...they roll over almost any obstacle and they do it confidently. It's a forgiving way to start out on a trail. Fat bikes are mountain bikes.

And you're gonna wanna get yourself a "bike family".

Why do events like the CAMBA women's fatbike weekend help break barriers?
As I see it, the main barriers are knowledge deficit, lack of social support, lack of industry support, and cost. These barriers can cause fear and lead to intimidation from venturing out to give this kind of biking a try. For the ladies CAMBA fat bike weekend a woman could sign up for $65, try out a fat bike without having to rent or purchase one, have no prior knowledge of trail riding, winter riding, and be welcomed with open arms in a friendly social environment. For several women, this was their first experience on a fat bike or trail or snow. Break out groups worked on riding skills based on the group's input/needs. And because it was a three-day event ladies could build on previous days skills and friendships.

The event covered all the above barriers in detail(even though I'm not outlining all of that here). We left with so much good information and the stoke level was definitely high. It was a true camaraderie experience.
Tell us about your Bike Family! How did you meet them?
My grandparents got me my first bike, a trike. They started me out, but the story goes I saw a red trike and wouldn't get off the thing without crying, so my grandpa bought it for me. I knew what I wanted. My grandparents rode into their seventies around Florida and always had fun stories about stuff that happened when they were out and about. My own parents didn't ride though. Guess it skipped a generation there.

My sister, Mary, remains my favorite biking partner of all time and always will be. We like to explore on bikes, don't mind taking wrong turns, or getting lost. We ride for rewards too...like a cold Coke or a beer. We were quite the bike packers in the early 1980's. We loved the prevailing westerly winds at our backs.

My son, Nick, is the person who pushes me beyond my limits now. He encourages me and tells me I'm doing a good job when I'm pretty sure I'm just ok. He keeps me thinking young. I started Nick out by pulling him around in a Burley wagon until he could ride on his own.

I have fat bike "parents", Sue Franz and Craig Smith from Roscoe, IL. I was introduced to them by the folks at the Backyard Bikes in Lagrange, WI. Sue and Craig took me under their wings so to speak. They invited me to ride with them and nurtured me along without pressure and still do. They like to have fun riding bikes. They showed me the ropes and introduced me to lots of other fat bikers...my extended bike family! I'm not sure if they are cousins, brothers, or sisters, but they are definitely my bike family. I love these people!

Have you had any biffs (accidents) that were challenging for you on a physical/mental/emotional level? What did you do to heal and overcome?
All my real accidents involved falling from horses actually. I used to distance ride, which is long distance trail riding only on horseback. I still "remember" the pain and immobility of a pelvic fracture I had in my 30 s. Lots of broken bones involved in that...geez. Don't get me wrong, I fall down plenty and get bruised/scraped up, but I kinda take it easy. It takes so long to heal.

What do you love about riding your bike?
The way it feels. To me, it feels like I'm flying. And riding when the sun shines through the trees-I love how that feels. Riding fast downhill is the best.

Tell us about your bike(s), what they are like and why did you choose them?
My first "mountain" bike was an orange 9ZERO7 fat bike-it brings smiles to all who ride it. I got orange because when I first started riding it was deer hunting season.

Next came another fat bike, a Borealis Echo. I chose it partly because it was on sale, partly to amp up my game, and partly to have a second fat bike so my friends could have a bike to ride along with me.

Last year my sister, Mary, gave me a Cannondale "Lefty" to use. I started campaigning it last summer. It's a 29er with full suspension and that crazy fork. I do love it. And you might know that Tinker Juarez rides one. And...well....he's famously fast! A girl like me can hope.

I also acquired a Surly Wednesday single speed last year with a baby blue and pink color scheme called "Cotton Candy". Pink fat tires! Goh! All I can say it's pure fun to ride. It has I-9 hubs and makes that "I-9 sound." As my friend, Bethany, says...single speeds actually have 3 speeds-sitting, standing, and pushing. Riding it is a real leg work out on the trail. This is my prettiest bike. send another pic to Josie.

An older Fuji Royale has been kinda converted to a "gravel" bike thanks to John Sotherland at Bicyclewise. He's an awesome mechanic.

We all know bikers almost always have more than one bike. You know the rule.

There are a couple cruisers in my garage too-an Electra "Betty" and Schwinn beach bike. Gotta keep it mixed up and get em all out for a ride, usually with a little help from others.

The last one in the stable is a 1981 Trek touring bike and we'll never part. We've seen the country together.
What do you feel deters women from getting involved with cycling? Especially mountain biking?
I think a lot of us get some kind of bike as a kid. Some of us will try out different kinds of bikes and riding, others not... A young girl will be fortunate to get an introduction to mountain biking by a family member I think. Even though my Mom didn't ride a bike, she promoted it so she didn't have to drive me and my sisters into town. She made me think of biking as transportation instead of just something to do...it translated into exercise, strength, and exploration later on. It's embarrassing because I really wanted that ride in the car. Inherent laziness? Anyway, thanks, Mom!

Transporting bikes, maintaining, troubleshooting your equipment, and emergencies are a real part of the sport and can be a deterrent to getting started. If you don't have a regular partner, this falls on you alone and you need to be prepared and know your resources. You have to be prepared for anything. I struggle at times figuring stuff out. I'm not a mechanic, but am trying. Thanks, Youtube. I call on friends and bike mechanics in the area. They are a "must have". Something I notice though...other bikers are genuinely supportive out on the trail. They stop to inquire and help out. You still have to be prepared, because you may not encounter any riders at times. There is definitely a serious side to this kind of biking.

What do you feel could change industry-wise or locally to encourage more women and youth to be involved?
A couple of years ago the Bell helmet company started the "Bell Joy Ride Program." It's designed to inspire and enable female mountain riders structured, fun, and social rides. It's for all levels of riders in a non-race environment. We have one in Madison, WI. Usually monthly or every other month rides take place at different locations in the area. Our Bell Joy Ride Ambassador is Meagan McGarry of Madison, Wisconsin. There are several "ride leaders" and I am one of these volunteers. There are nine Bell Joy Ride Program locations across the US. And two in Canada. Ours can be found on the internet and on Facebook. My "sisters" in this group support biking in many ways in Southern Wisconsin. It's a motivating group of people.

One of my bike buds, Brittany, unofficially started a spin-off group from the Bell Joys. It's a Tuesday night ride open to any riders at Camrock County Bike Park. The draw is, of course, riding with others and honing skills, but also half price homemade pizza at a local shop just off the trail.

About the industry...some guys don't like to hear this, but it's male-dominated. Guys are just different and when they get together to ride, testosterone can rule the day. Riding with them can be challenging and my goals are different it seems. Not all guys, but it's happened often enough for me to say it. It's true. I've observed comments about women's rides from guys.... they feel left out surprisingly! Although those were not the exact words...

Invite a friend. Invite a kid. Facebook is a wonderful way to get your biking buddies together or discover a group. Volunteer at a local race. Take your bike to the beach any time of year. Ride your bike across a frozen lake in the winter. Race your bike down a dual slalom course if you can find one. Go on a themed pub crawl. Be a local trail builder-there will be something to do-don't worry. Try a "Tweed" ride over hill and dale! Get out there and meet others like yourself. Shake hands first! Check out their bike. Lavish them with compliments and encouragement. It's not hard to do.

I met a gal at the Fat Bike Getaway Weekend in December. Her name is Wendy Crawford and she's from Lakeville, MN. Wendy really has the spark to get other women riding. In fact, she brought two women along to that event who she had met at Global Fat Bike day near the twin cities just a week prior. Wendy has since started Life Wellness Group Rides in Lakeville, MN. You don't have to ride alone! Wendy's group can be found on Facebook.

I think there are more and more women entering the industry. We definitely need more input and support from female cyclists, simply because we have some separate needs.

What inspires you to encourage women to ride?

I'm a kind of a gal's gal and live my life in a woman's world. I grew up with two sisters (no brothers) and am a nurse. Nursing school was mainly women and so is the profession. I work with a lot of women and have a lot of female friends. I'm comfortable with women. It's just a natural "location" for me. Riding makes me feel better mentally and physically. I feel like a better version of myself. It's a confidence booster. Plus I also feel myself getting older, so it's important for me to continue to ride. I'm p[retty sure I'm not the only one...I know "the kick" I get out of riding and I see that reaction in others when they give it a try. Women are problem solvers and have good endurance.

I think biking is a lifestyle for anyone and can make you "a better you" in ways you may not understand until you try it out. This is something we can all do for the rest of our lives. With so many types of "mountain" biking and bikes, what's not to encourage?

Tell us a random fact about yourself!
I have a button collection.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Women on Bikes Series: Debbie Leaf

My name is Debbie Leaf, I'm 52 years old, I have twin boys who are 21. I've been a hairstylist for 33 years. I recently bought the 4 unit building that my salon has been in for 20 plus years. I'm on my own and needed to find a way to have the building earn for me. So I realized that vacation rental was something I should try, and since I'm a block off the trail, and I'm so passionate about the bike fellowship, I should try to aim for the bike community.

I was introduced to mountain biking by my kids' basketball coach. He and his son were so patient with me and took me out for around 13 miles. I do not have an athletic background. I tried many sports, I am spirited but not athletically inclined. But the kindness and patience they showed me drove me straight to bike shop. A biker girl was born. I dove head first and within 2 months was on my second bike and clipping in.

My passion was so huge and I felt compelled to share my newfound joy. I think through Facebook my joy was contagious and I took risks and put myself out there to meet people and participate. I began volunteering to build trails, lead rides and bring girls out to share everything I learned. I am convinced that I MUST SHARE the knowledge and gifts I've been given in order to keep them. Because I really don't care to ride alone, I'm always looking to get rides together. I love all types of rides, especially when I feel like I've conquered features that I've struggled with. I love to feel as though I've had MY ASS BEAT! That's my HIGH. No drugs no alcohol, BIKE HIGH. I went to become an IMBA certified level 1 guide. I just kept opening doors and stepping across the threshold. I wanted to be A DEEP PART of this fellowship, so I kept asking "What can I help with? Or do?" And I am getting deeper. Meeting more women, holding my own little mini-clinics through the community schools, with kids and women. Being involved in the first Ishpeming high school 906 adventure team and helping with the summer program for the 906 adventure team. We had over 100 kids last summer. My next goal is to become a mechanic.

My passion is to inspire and uplift girls and women and build self-esteem. I use all my bike mentality in my everyday life. I push myself to limits and continually work on my self-talk. I work hard to accept myself for who I am and be kind to myself and others. I honestly can be shy, but I force myself to power through.

This may be more than you need but this was good for me to put my thoughts into words. I have a lot of growing to do, and I'm GAME! MY life is AMAZING, not easy...AMAZING.

Tell us about your introduction to #bikelife, what about it made you say "Yes! This is for me!"
My friend and his son took me biking for the first time 8 years ago, they were so patient and kind and they encouraged me. It felt so good to be outside and they kept on inviting me so I had to buy a bike right away because I was hooked. I had watched my friend on Facebook have great adventures on her bike but never thought I could be a part of that lifestyle. Well, here I was with a new bike and now I needed to reach out. I was invited to join a group on Facebook called women shifting gears, and so it began. I started to join the group rides and connected with some amazing women who guided me and held my hand.
What keeps me motivated is that I have so much yet to learn and I conquer skills every ride.

When you started out riding, what were some handling skills that challenged you? Do you have any suggestions for what helped you grasp them?
A skill that challenges me is to keep my eyes ahead of me not down by the tire, and letting my bike ride with me and connecting to the bike. I tease myself and tell myself to mind my own business and to keep my eyes on the trail. If I look at the logs and rocks down right in front, that's when I get in trouble. I also think it's great if you are in a group ride to get behind a good rider and watch their body language.

Are there still handling or technical riding aspects that you find tricky? How do you not let that drag you down when riding?
Hell yea there are technical features that are tricky, that's what keeps me motivated. Amy calls it Slaying Dragons!!! I love going out and working on features in an afternoon. Conquering fears is a motivator for me. There is a trail that I love called The Flannel Shirt, it's full of features, I say it's like a boxing match. One fight after another. When you get to the end it feels like I've been in the ring. Fight after fight. I LOVE IT!!!

Clips or flats? What do you use when and why?
So I clip in all the time. I felt compelled to jump right into clips. I received candy egg beaters from a special someone who watches over me, I honor his spirit. I remember Amy saying she feels safer clipped than not. It was horrible getting used to clipping. Now I totally feel safer clipped to my pedals. A huge challenge going through my brain now is maybe not clipping and learning something new. It does get tough when you are getting on and off your bike.

What was your inspiration behind getting IMBA Level 1 Certified? Was the process challenging?
My inspiration to become IMBA level 1 certified was a girl in our fellowship just out of the blue said there was a session coming up and would I be interested. I was in a really tough time in my life and I was really vulnerable but willing to keep putting one step forward and do the next right thing in my life. So I powered through it because I knew it was what I wanted to do with my life. I have grown tremendously through this journey and writing all of these things down on paper for this interview reminds me of where I came from and how I've grown through this process.

Tell us about the CAMBA Women's Fatbike event you attended and what you helped with-
I was invited by Lori who is a seasoned coach and the executive director of the Noquemenon Trail Network, to help out with the Camba women's event in Seely, WI. It was an event to bring more women involved with fat biking. They had a group of Salsa women there to help out and to provide women with fat bike demos. I led a group of women along with Kim from the Salsa team. We made a great pair she had so many skills and tips to share. We worked on basic skills and drills and tried to get as much information to these ladies as we could. I'm sure they felt bombarded! I know I did after my first clinic. I really saw these women's confidence soar. That's why I participate in these events.

What was your favorite moment at the event?
My favorite moment was seeing and hearing one of the ladies reset her self talk. Instead of I can't, she heard me when I told her that she needs to say she CAN!!! That's a great moment in a woman's day. I feel very strongly about self-talk and keeping it positive.

For folks who are nervous about giving mountain biking a shot, do you have any suggestions on how they can go about creating a positive experience?
For women who are nervous about trying biking, I think that going to a bike shop and ask if they know any girls that may be able to work or take them out and share skills. Or ask anyone they may know who bike if they know any women that may share their skills. I offer a workshop through community schools to introduce women to biking, and am always offering women to take them out. They have to make the step to come through, I believe most of us women understand how scary it is and how we need to pay it forward and share our skills with others.

What do you love about riding your bike?
What I love about riding my bike are the skills I learn from biking that I can apply to my everyday life and vice versa. I love to conquer challenges and there are always so many challenges in the woods on trails for me.

My favorite day would be exploring trails and terrain and sessioning features. It's so rewarding to ride something that you were afraid of the last time you were there. But most of all I love the fellowship that I had built through biking, that's what it's all about for me.

Tell us about your bike(s), what they are like and why did you choose them?
Well I have many, I'm building a vintage bike with Clyde who is s vintage bike GOD! He is teaching me and sharing his wisdom and spirit. We are building a 1939 Cosway. He taught me how to build and true a wheel. I feel the need to learn from him and keep the history alive.

My first love is my 2016 Liv Lust adv. full suspension. I put a new eagle drive on it last summer, I love how light and playful this bike is. My only wish is if it had more suspension in front. That may happen. I really love riding technical terrain and this is the bike for it.I bought it because Jeff at the bike shop told me too!!!!

I also have a 2017 Borealis Echo which is a snow bike. Its beautiful and its light and gets me around in the snow. Jeff also told me to buy that one. I trust him to lead me in the right bike direction.

My next bike is a custom built 2017 Salsa Woodsmoke frame with 29-inch wheels and a great drive train. I spoke with Evan about this bike and he put his thinking cap on and put this bike together to fit my needs of a fast rolling hardtail for gravel grinding. I don't have many miles on it yet, but it sure is pretty and I rode it in a race and also a few technical rides and it sure was fun.

I also have a Liv Avail and I don't know a lot about it. It's a road bike and road biking is not my love. I've ridden it a couple of times and I'm grateful that I have it, and I hope to let ladies use it . I have a special lady who is inspiring her friends to ride the paved trails, so I'm hoping to put her on it as a gift for her work someday. Or at least turn her on to get herself something that is .ore comfy than what she is riding.

Why do you feel it is important for women to be involved in the cycling industry?
That's a tough one to answer. I think women should do whatever it is they are inspired to do. I did want to be an auto mechanic and took all of the classes in high school, and I cut all the guys hair in high school too! MULLETS!!!!! I was good at em. Had one myself. But I figured as opposed to dealing with being a girl in a Male dominated career, I'll just go to beauty school. Which it's kinda funny now because, after 33 years in the salon, I'm totally ready to explore and study bike mechanics. So I am following my dreams.

Why do you feel it's important for women to be involved with their local trails organization? (to help out on trail work days, etc.?)
I'm very involved with our local bike club RAMBA, Range Area Mountain Bike Association. I am a proud member of the board. I feel a sense of pride to be a part of the decision process to make us a great group and community. I feel my strength for this is my ability to bring people together. It also allows me to build and maintain trails which gives me such a sense of ownership and pride. I love to bring people on rides and tell them I built this trail. I'm very proud of the fellowship of our community and the people I represent.

What do you feel deters women from getting involved with cycling? Especially mountain biking?
FEAR!!!!!! The "I could never do that!" self-talk. Excuses!!!! I have a million. I can share some!! Haha. It's scary to step outside of the box. The beauty is there are women out there to hold your hand. TAKE THAT FIRST STEP. Approach a woman no matter what is and ask for help. Share your fears and watch them go away!!!!

What do you feel could change industry-wise or locally to encourage more women to be involved?
I truly think everyone is doing a great job encouraging women. It may be that it will take a bit more time to even out the field.

What inspires you to encourage women to ride?
I'm inspired by the growth I've personally and physically seen in women. I think this might tie into the previous question, I feel that I am a part of what needs to happen to get women out and explore more options. Getting girls together builds fellowship and we can learn that our issues are universal and we are not alone In our struggles.

Tell us a random fact about yourself!
I'm an ADDICT! I'm addicted to a strong emotion called BIKE HIGH!!