I have a tendency to get over excited when it comes to cycling. I start chatting about bicycles as if everyone is as excited as I am, only to have the other party look at me like I’m crazy. I’m working on it, I swear. But when you read through Johna’s rider profile, you’ll understand why. As Johna mentions, there is just something about riding that builds your confidence, pushes you to limits you didn’t know you had in you, that puts a hop in your step, and makes you feel like you are on top of the world.
Ladies, let me introduce to you, Johna. Another badass rider and our FIRST mountain bike feature!
What kind of bike do you ride?
Currently only a Dirt jumper, was riding a downhill mountain bike…but will also be riding a mountain bike/trail bike soon!!
What is your preferred style of riding?
Downhill Trails and jumps
How long have you been riding?
What got you into cycling?
My boyfriend, who I have been with for seven years, has grown up riding bikes..dirt jumps and downhilling specifically. When we started dating, it was literally week 2 when he took me to Rays MTB Park to watch him ride. That became a normal thing of watching him, both outside and at Rays MTB Park. He would always try and get me to ride and teach me but i was nervous and I wasn’t a big risk taker.. And I definitely wasnt motivated enough to even really try. Aside from that, I would take pictures of him riding, travel with him, and follow him around at the park. In 2015, We started going to Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia so he could race downhill. I would hang out all day while he was out riding, just to be there to support him! It wasn’t until 2016, we got home from a really fun trip to Snowshoe and something just clicked and I told myself I needed a change in my life and that it was going to be riding mountain bikes. I told Austin I wanted to ride downhill so we started at Seven Springs in Pennsylvania and that’s where the sport really took off for me!
Do you prefer riding solo or with other riders?
There are days where I really prefer riding solo, because I get to go in and do my thing and not have to worry about telling people what section of the park I’m going to go ride next..but on the other hand it gets pretty boring riding by myself and I notice I tend to ride longer with friends!
What is one of your happiest moments on your bike?
There are too many to choose just one because this year has been a year of many small accomplishments on my bike!!!
What has been one of your biggest challenges as a cyclist?
One of my biggest challenges as a cyclist would have to be how much I doubt myself. Too many times I think I can’t do something, or that I am not ready to push myself to the next level..and I have to remind myself that if i dont continue to challenge myself, I’m never going to get better. Sometimes you just have to say F**k it and do what scares you.. because 9/10 you’ll conquer what seems impossible!
What has been your biggest “AH-HA” moment? Was there ever a moment where something just clicked?
When I first started riding, my balance was absolutely horrible and I struggled to ride in a straight line, especially riding through narrow spaces. It was driving me nuts and one day, I remembered that Rays MTB had a painted figure 8 on the ground in one of their sections, and I just rode the figure like 20 times trying to stay on the line and not fall over, and it clicked! My balance improved instantly and showed me that I can make tight turns and really push my bike in sharp directions while keeping my balance base on how I position my body…it was pretty cool!
If you could ride anywhere in the world, where would it be?
If I could ride anywhere, it would be Whistler Bike Park in BC Canada! The Mecca of Mountain Biking.
What is your favorite bicycle accessory? You know, the ONE thing you never ride without?!
I don’t ride with many accessories, just because of my style of riding, but one thing I cannot ride without would have to be my knee pads lol they add a sense of confidence and comfort when riding and when I don’t have them on I am afraid to do risky things on my bike…and I will had they add a ton of support to your knees when your riding, almost like a knee brace.
Any tips for the newbie rider/ someone JUST getting into your style of riding?
Mind over Matter! Don’t think about it…just do it.
Favorite post ride grub?
I don’t have a favorite but there is definitely a pattern of unhealthy foods lol
Mountain biking has been such an incredible outlet for me and has really shaped me into who I am today. I have never had so much confidence in myself nor have I ever pushed myself as much as I have than with riding. I always thought I wasn’t brave enough or adventurous enough to take on mountain biking, but I have really impressed myself and I definitely didn’t think I was going to be where I am today with the sport. For everyone who contemplates doing just anything in life, doesn’t have to be biking, try it at least once, and don’t give up on the first try because you may surprise yourself!
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