Your Age: 35
Your Location (where do you ride mostly): North Queensland, Australia
Weapon(s) of choice: My gorgeous 2015 Norco A7.2 Range, with custom Spike Spank 33 wheels and 350 DT Swiss Hubs and Fox 34's. And stoked for my new Go Pro Session 5!
What’s an average day for you like? I am Australian Military so my day is a little different. I wake up, get to do a minimum hour's physical training every day, and then get to work. I am fortunate enough to be at a unit that understands my passion and that i have sponsorship, so I am frequently allowed to ride my MTB for PT. Best part is I live right next to the Reserve!
What is the most difficult part of your activity/sports for a beginner? Confidence and technical aspects for sure! Both of these come with time and experience, and also listening to other riders who have been in the game a long time. Confidence is KING on the mountain!
What is the best and worst thing about being female in your sport? The thing I love the most about my sport is that at all levels it does not matter about your gender. From grass roots local competitions to the World Cup, men and women shred the same courses in events.. Rachel is out there mixing it with Gee and the others on the same courses every year, and it is the same here on our humble mountain in far northern Australia. I've yet to find a worst, as I've not yet experienced one negative!
What would you like to see change in your sport to make it better for you and other female athletes? Like most women's sports, the main thing is usually just chasing equal billing for coverage on our series. But generally the world of MTB is pretty equal and I love that.
Besides your ability and style factor as an athlete, how would you describe your personal style? I am definitely a little eclectic. I go from Military uniform, to dirt dollie, to normal chick on a routine basis. My personal style is pretty laid back and casual in life and in all other ways.
What are your favorite brands/designers for your sports apparel and for stepping out? Sporting wise you can't beat Fox, Troy Lee Designs, 100% and 5.10! They are the essentials for all gear and clothing bar none! As for stepping out, I like anything that takes my fancy... We have a beautiful little locally owned and run boutique here that specialises in grass roots aussie designers and I love their gear as much as I love gear from the big stores. Northern Australia is hot all year round so denim cut offs and a knotted singlet are my go to off duty "uniform."
Let’s hear your thoughts on how important looking good is to feeling good. “Being” your personal best? I've found a definite link to my physical fitness and my self esteem. When Im feeling fit and strong, I feel great about the world.. same as on those rare occasions I get to "glam up" ... It makes me feel the confidence i know i possess deep down.
How dangerous do you really think it is compared to what people do in their regular activities? Downhill MTB is like all other adventure sports, there is always an implicit risk in what we do. The key is to mitigate those dangers as much as you can by wearing the right protective equipment, keeping up with bike maintenance, and honing your craft with as much practice as possible. There is definitely more danger in what we do comparative to the general population by sheer dent of the nature of the sport itself. Mount a bike and scream it down a track as fast as you can off road and you're definitely going to face more risk than a bootcamp!
I bet in your experience you have seen some crazy crashes. Describe one. Hahaha *suppresses shudder*... Definitely my 2014 Australian Defence Force Nationals Downhill Championships crash, where i broke my collar bone in two places and required surgery for a plate and 8 pins to fix it up. I hit a set of triples a little tooooo on gas, didn't check brake hard enough and bedded my forks in and bottomed them out. Subsequently the bike spat me straight over the bars and I hit the ground shoulder first at about 45kph. Ran to the bike, grabbed it and finished my run, got to the bottom to be told by the medics that I had not broken it, but DESTROYED it. Ooops haha! And my first ever broken bone too. Cracked a rib in that fall too so I guess if you do a job, do it properly!
What usually gets people hooked on your activity/sport? The Challenges, the adrenalin, the comraderie. There are so many positive aspects of my sports. Being outdoors either with your mates or on your own with nature, you can't beat it.
What is your favorite trick? I dont know if it counts as a trick as such, but I LOVE to jump!
Do you own any other toys? I own a 2008 Subaru WRX and it is my fast baby. Im looking to buy a Ducati Monster next year!
What gets you pumped up for the day? Starting the day with my protein smoothie and going for a shred!
What are three things you could not live without? My Mountain bike, my car, my friends and family, my military brothers.
What are your expectations for this activity/sport? I learned long ago to expect the unexpected with mtb. You can be riding like a champion one day, and like a beginner the next. The mountain is never the same day twice and I love that. What I do expect to do is keep progressing and getting faster and more competitive every year. Determination is key.
Who have been your biggest supporters in getting you to where you are now? My friends, my family and my military brothers. Everyone in my world is encouraging and amazing, and that is my most valuable aspect.
Who’s your favorite rider?
My favourite riders are definitely the one and only Greg Minaar and Rachel Atherton. I was fortunate enough to meet Greg earlier this year when I volunteered to marshal the 2015 Cairns World Cup and he is every inch the gentleman and strong competitor. What do you do in your spare time when you’re not riding/shooting/competing?
Spare time? Whats that? Haha! Generally my spare time IS riding, but also catching up with friends as much as I can and chilling pool and beach side for some down time. How about in the off season to stay in shape?
The best part about living in Northern Australia is that the weather is pretty constant all year round, so we can continue to ride every season. I do however offset riding with distance running, usually 6-8km a day on my running days, and strength training. Due to being military physical fitness is a job requirement also, so Im fortunate enough that staying fit is the expectation in my career. What is your biggest goal to accomplish this/next season?
I want to retain my Australian Defence Force titles, and local North Queensland titles that I won this year, and I want to improve exponentialy on my times for these events. I also want to hit jumps higher and harder, as that is always my main goal! What do you do to prep for a competition?
I am absolutely the worst for comp prep! I tend to kind of chill about it until the day before where I make sure I'm well rested and well hydrated. I do however, make sure my bike is in perfect order and ready to race. Then on the day? Im always super relaxed until Im on the start block and the count starts. Then race face takes over and it's game on! What competitions and other awards have you won?
Ok so here goes: 2014 North Queensland XC series 1st, 2014 Australian Defence Force Downhill 2nd (with broken collarbone), 2015 North Queensland Elite XC series 1st, 2015 Australian Defence Force Downhill 1st, 2015 Australian Defence Force Enduro 1st, 2015 XCC Australian Defence Force 3rd, 2015 XCO Australian Defence Force 2nd, 2016 Australian Defence Force Downhill 1st, 2016 Australian Defence Force Sprintcross 1st, 2016 Australian Defence Force Enduro 2nd, 2016 Australian Defence Force XCC 2nd, 2016 North Queensland Enduro Series Veteren Womens 1st, 2016 3rd Brigade Australian Army 3km run 2nd. Was a pretty good season for me this year, despite not riding the XC series. What’s your favorite “way” to ride?
It's so hard to choose between Downhill and Enduro. They're both amazing on different levels but you can't beat Downhill for sheer adrenalin. Favorite conditions?
Hahaha we only have one to choose from up here. Dry and dusty or dry and dusty - with rocks. Lots and lots of rocks. Where would be your biggest dream place to ride and why?
Im dying to get to Queenstown New Zealand. It's the adventure capital of the world and some of the best riding in the world too. Im trying to get over there for easter next year, so fingers crossed! What song(s) do you listen to while riding that puts you in the zone?
I have a playlist that i play on loud volume out of my camel back when im riding enduro, or blasting out of the car on the way to the track for Downhill. You can't go wrong with Sail by Awol Nation, Hate to Say I Told You So by the Hives and Come With Me Now by the Kongos. Or Twisted Transistor by Korn haha! What turned you on to your sport?
Would you believe a fat day? I had just recovered from a pretty serious lower leg injury and didn't want to get back into running just yet. My ex husand suggested MTB and we were shopping one day, and i walked us into a bike store. We bought bikes on the spot and the rest they say is history! I've never looked back. Any new tricks you’re working on?
Just jumps, jumps and jumps! Although to be honest lately I've been riding one of our technical heavy tracks to improve my difficult terrain game. What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done in your sport?
Definitely Defence Force Nationals every year. It is the sickest event, with the raddest people and the tracks are MINT. Always the highlight of my year. That and I got a chance to go MTB riding in Holland. I think we found the only mountain there in a place called Schrool. It was FREEZING and raining but so so so different and a heap of fun! What other extreme/action sports are you into?
I would really love to give motorcross a go sometime, and a good friend of mine is into parachuting and I've got to get my act together and go with him sometime! Other than that I LOVE watching Red Bull Air Racing. That stuff is crazy! If extreme/action sports didn’t exist, what would you be doing with all the free time you’d have?
Probably causing an awful lot of trouble :p What’s your favorite board/bike/sled to ride and why?
I'm a fan of Norco Enduro bikes, specifically the alloy frames. They are very tough and can stand the punishment of our rocky downhill tracks up here. Our local is a rim killer and the norcos just keep pushing through! What’s the trick to riding features and not killing yourself?
Confidence and clearing your mind. Clutter your thoughts and the game is over. How would you describe your riding style?
It depends on the day. Some days it's pretty loose and care free, other days I'm hungry and on a mission... I never have the same day twice. What would you say is your signature trick?
Staying on :p Favorite drink of choice to refresh yourself after a long day of riding?
Absolutely has to be soda water over ice with a twist of lemon and lime juices. Cannot beat it. What do you want to be when you "grow up"?
I hope to avoid growing up for as long as possible. So far so good at 35! Any of your own web pages or social media buttons you want links to?
Check out my Insta at @action_doll