For the Clif Pro Team, mountain biking isn’t just a sport, it is a way of life. Each one of us has spent countless hours turning over the pedals in pursuit of something much bigger than ourselves. While we have picked up Olympic medals, World Championship medals, and a plethora of national titles along the way, some of our greatest accomplishments lie in advocacy. Women in sports have crossed chasms in the last few decades and mountain biking is no outlier. All women on bikes have a special place in our hearts. Having grown up in sports and joining the Clif Pro Team in 2013 when I was just 17 years old, I’ve learned a lot from my Clif Pro Team teammates. Here is my unconventional guide to women’s mountain biking: The Unspoken Truth.
I’m standing on the 2017 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup course in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. My eyes are wide and my heart is racing. This was my first European World Cup experience and it was everything I could have dreamed. As we rode around the course practicing the various line choices, we rode up to one of the A/B sections. In these sections, all the racers have a choice of what direction to ride. The “A-line” is more difficult, but faster, and the “B-line” is easier but slower. As we approach the A-line, I turn to 2x Olympian Lea Davison and confide, “Lea, I’m kinda nervous for this section.” She responds, “Of course! It’s scary!” Then, without missing a beat, she sails through the section without a hitch.
Everyone is ‘afraid’ at some point or another while they are mountain biking! It’s part of the sport. Sometimes it’s that nervous energy that gets us over the biggest obstacles. Respect your limits, but don’t back down from fear, everyone feels it… even the Olympians.