This year I had the amazing opportunity to take my position as a women’s mountain bike enthusiast to the next level. I was chosen as an ambassador to spread the sport of mountain biking to women at a local and global level for Liv Cycling.
Every woman has a story about how mountain biking changed their confidence, skills, and life. I was able to make some inspiring connections with some incredible women this summer, and here are some of their stories.
This is Megan. I started out my mountain bike riding a Giant Talon hard tail. I was pretty instantly addicted to the sport, and put over 3,000 miles on my trusty ride over the first year and a half. As my riding progressed my bike mechanic suggested I should look into a whole new bike for the next season. I did my research and started to demo different full suspension bikes. I was skeptical about the idea of a women’s specific bike. My whole life I grew up using small men’s sporting equipment simply because the women’s equipment was mostly pretty colors and didn’t hold up. My local Liv shop Down Wind Sports was able to talk me into trying the Liv Intrigue. I gave it the ultimate test ride and was very impressed. I could feel the way it handled, and I felt like I was complete control of the whole bike. I went right back to the shop and didn’t even take it off my rack, just went inside to purchase it.
The overall fluidity of my riding and bike handling feel so much better, the bike is just a better size and shape for me. This control and comfort in bike handling has allowed me to start climbing much more rocky and aggressive ups and rolling a lot more terrain than I used to. Now I am riding bench trails and tight switchbacks without even hesitating.
This is Shawn, who also happens to be my Mom! I was a very tentative mountain biker. I stuck mostly to two tracks and gravel roads before this summer. I was very nervous about steep downhill’s, uphill’s, and any technical roots, rocks, or narrow bridges. I moved into a new house right on 20 miles of single track but it was frustrating to be restricted on what trails I felt I could ride. I wanted to overcome my nerves and expand the number of trails I could ride. My daughter was very concerned about the old bike I was riding and explained that has a huge impact on being comfortable while riding. She scoped out a new Liv Lust Advanced for me to take my riding to another level. I was tentative about getting the bike because I was sure its capabilities were much better than mine. With lots of pep-talks I decided too go ahead with the new bike. The first time I rode it was incredible. It just went up the hills so easily I couldn’t believe it. I was so hooked I entered in my very first cross country race on technical single track and ended up 6th out of 15 women. Everything about this bike changed my riding and skills. I had never felt so good about myself on a mountain bike. My daughter has helped me all summer with body positioning and overcoming my fears on the downhills. I went to a ladies clinic and there were wooden features, and session areas to test and practice our skills on. I told myself I will not ride those!! By the end of the clinic I was getting air!
This is Tiffany. Before I was never a real big mountain biker. I mainly used my bike just to get from A to B, but when I moved up to college I made friends who mountain biked. I decided to take my bike to the trails and try it out. I was surprised how much fun it was, but also about how difficult riding a bicycle could be. My bike was dated back to my middle school days, and was not quite up to par for riding trails. After a few crashes and several conversations with my friend Emily about the advantages of having the right bike, I decided to try the Liv Lust. The difference was night and day. After even one day of riding the bike on the trails, I felt like I improved twice as much as I had with my old bike over the last year. I go to the local Liv Clinics and am always learning more skills on the bike but also about my bike and all the components. I actually enjoy mountain biking now and it is so nice to have goals to work towards while seeing improvements every time I go for a ride. My confidence on the bike has grown tremendously and I have Liv and Emily to thank for that!
This is Catalina. I have always loved mountain biking. I was riding a hard tail 29 er and I thought it was good bike for what I wanted. My riding was advancing and I knew I wanted something more comfortable with more control. I just got the Liv Embolden and my eyes were opened. It’s like they actually focus on fitting to a women’s riding position and style. I never thought I had a fit problem with my other bike but after riding the embolden it was like before I was trying to run in shoes two sizes to big. I finally feel more comfortable on the trails and have more control. My riding is progressing much faster now than when I was on my old bike. Cornering, jumping, climbing, and rock gardens challenge me everyday but the difference is now Actually I Can take on these features and even take them to the next level. Ladies can not go wrong with Liv bikes and I will recommend then to women riders for the rest of my life.
Liv doesn’t only support women’s mountain biking by designing women’s specific bikes; Liv supports women’s events and clinics all over the world. I have been helping coach Liv events for years and every time it seems to get better.
This is Robin. I am a hockey girl, but have suffered many injuries from this sport over my life. After my worst back injury I was off the ice for 6 years. Not playing hockey anymore left me in tough shape physically and emotionally, but I got back on my bike again. Coming back into mountain biking after the long years of hockey and its toll on me was tough. The fear or falling, crashing or getting injured made me very tentative… which is not exactly what you want to be on a mountain bike. The saying may be “it’s like riding a bike” but that doesn’t quite fit for mountain biking.
I love mountain biking and needed to stay active so I kept at it, despite the many falls I was having. I wanted to improve my skills and training on the bike but didn’t know where to start. I started some weekly training sessions, but I needed more confidence rather than just spinning. I heard about the Copper Harbor Women’s Weekend and signed up as soon as the registration opened! This is where I met my new coach Emily. She brought us back to the basics and broke down the skills in ways I had never thought about before. I like the gravity aspect of riding but have always been told to get my weight back and behind the saddle. Emily explained this is very common WRONG advice. “You need to be centered at all time and pushing your bike over obstacles and driving it down the trail.” For years I have been a close your eyes and hope for the best kind of passenger on my bike and had no idea. Now I am the pilot of my bike.
I cannot put into words the difference this clinic made for my riding. Instead of freaking out when I see a gnarly section of roots and rocks, I scan the trail quickly for the line and drive my bike forward. I see my life through mountain biking. Every rock, root, and obstacle is just like injuries and tough times in life and now I am confident that even when the line isn’t perfect, I have the skills to look ahead and ride it out.