Mountain Bike Skills Coach; Racer; Professional Photographer
This is my sixth summer as a mountain bike skills coach, and it's by far my favorite "work." I've been riding bikes and loving every minute of it for about fourteen years now… getting into the woods on a bike and improving my skills just never gets old! If I can encourage that passion in others, especially beginners (men or women) who are still a little nervous about things, I know I’ve done my job. Seeing the huge grin of a student who has learned to conquer something new always makes my day.
I live in Boulder, Colorado, and when I'm not doing clinics, I'm training, racing cross-country, Super D and cyclocross with the Sports Garage team, and working as a professional photographer. I try to spread the love of fat-tire cycling through the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance, a trail advocacy group, and the Singletrack Sistahs, a club that helps women get into mountain biking. I also write a cycling column for the local newspaper, The Daily Camera. I gotta tell you, you’ll make the best friends in the world through mountain biking. This sport attracts fun people who care about having good experiences, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
While I've not yet had the pleasure of taking my bike outside the West, the region has such an astounding quality of trails that it's hard to go wrong. I've ridden in Crested Butte, Telluride, Fruita, Durango, Ketchum/Sun Valley, Moab, San Diego, and great Colorado Front Range areas like Winter Park, Keystone, Vail, and Breckenridge. Oh, and I can't forget the most recent addition, the stunning 40-mile singletrack called Monarch Crest, near Salida, CO.
It's nearly impossible to choose a favorite trail from the wide variety of those locales, but after much deliberation, I will commit to Reno Divide/Flag Creek/Bear Creek/Deadman's Gulch in Crested Butte. These four trails combine into one 22-mile, eye-watering, face-hurts-from-grinning, stunned-by-the-scenery, life-is-amazing joyride. If this trail doesn't make you laugh out loud with happiness, you should be checked for a pulse. Three climbs and three descents, none of them alike, finish with the 28 switchbacks of Deadman's Gulch, where the hooting and hollering of your fellow mountain bikers makes the forest sound like a primate special on the Discovery Channel. Oh, but then there's the incredible panoramic view from the meadow at the top of the 401 Trail (also in Crested Butte), which is dominated by the majestic Maroon Bells - and you still have a heaven's descent through shoulder-high wildflowers ahead of you. And what about Joe's Ridge in Fruita, an optical illusion of a trail, running along a narrow ridgeline into a far-off, undulating horizon? And what about the technical challenge of Moab’s Porcupine Rim, with the eye-popping distraction of the view over Castle Valley? Or the Star Wars-esque Fisher Creek in Stanley, Idaho, where you fly through trees above the rushing water as if you are levitating…?
See, I said it's too hard to pick just one.
Yeti ASR for racing cross-country; Maverick Durance for Super D racing; Bianchi Axis for cyclocross racing; Bianchi Milano for cruising and commuting.