Jenny Graburn - MTB/Dirt biker - British Columbia, CAN

 

 

 

 Your Age: 39 but in my heart I feel far more youthful.

Your Location (where do you ride mostly): East Kootenay's and Southern Alberta.

Weapon(s) of choice: In the bush I like to ride my KTM 250 SXF and for the bike trails I pedal my Santa Cruz Nomad. If it's a balmy summer day I'll head to a nearby lake on my SUP. This winter I'm going to try out hockey skates with a ladies team once a week. As well i enjoy gliding through the Nature Park on my XC Skis. Occasionally I frequent the rivers/creeks alongside my fella and our pups with my fly rod in hand. And when I'm not getting sporty I can be found with my Canon 7D capturing life's stories. Afterwards I might have a pen between my fingers to record all that I saw and didn't see.

What’s an average day for you like? I wake to the peaceful serenity of Kimberly, our lovely little mountain town in the East Kootenays. My pups are eager to give me a good morning lick and out to take care of business. While they take care of business so do I, coffee is percolating. After a scrambled breaky and a cup o' coffee I'll head out with the dogs for a pedal. Then it's time to hit the books, while I finish my online course. Once my eyes are cross eyed....I'll start plotting my next adventure for the day. Maybe a dirt bike at our nearby trails, a photography expedition out St Mary's Lake with the dogs, paddle board with my sweet fella or just wander the forest that surrounds us and see what I find...that's the thing about the Kootenays, everything is at your door step!

What is the most difficult part of your activity/sports for a beginner? The easiest? I would say getting to know your bike, how it runs and the basics behind clutching/throttle & timing to make it all as smooth as possible. It used to be finding other women to ride with but slowly more and more ladies are coming out to twist throttle and get dirty.

The easiest thing is to put a smile on your face and enjoy much laughter as you rip through the trees and up over the mountains.

What is the best and worst thing about being female in your sport? Worst: There isn't a perfect bike out there for women as is, modifications and much moola have to go into getting it dialed for an average size/height girl. Clothing and armour are not designed with an average woman's shape/size in mind. That said it doesn't seem to be slowing us down!

Best: It's a male dominated sport but women are definitely making a name for themselves which is inspiring. It's always fun to play with the boys but kill it like a woman!

What would you like to see change in your sport to make it better for you and other female athletes? As above, I'd just like to see more gear/clothing specific to all women's sizes. This pertains to vests to carry tools/food/water that are sized smaller for women, more selection of pants/jerseys (not always pink).

I'd love to see women's competitive racing become as popular as the men's racing. Those ladies are working hard and killing it!

Besides your ability and style factor as an athlete, how would you describe your personal style? A softer spirit with a saucy side that will keep you in check. With a colorful attitude ready for adventure and adaptable to whatever my future path brings.

What are your favorite brands/designers for your sports apparel and for stepping out? Fox seems to be the go-to for dirt bike clothing; pretty with a bit of an edge. 661 armour has protected my heart so far and IXS keeps my knees from kissing trees.
And for my pedal adventures I'm all for Dakine and 510 freeride shoes
Hmm...for stepping out, is 'plaid' a brand? ha! I'm in favor of some nice fitting jeans, maybe one of my super cute SheShreds tanks and my pink/trucker hat with some flip flops. That way I'm up for possible adventure, feeling pretty and definitely prepared to dance should the music start playing.

Let’s hear your thoughts on how important looking good is to feeling good. “Being” your personal best? Feeling good is everything in this life! To feel good means that you feel healthy, happy, hopeful and have a positive outlook on your life. Sometimes life can throw a curve-ball and test the strength of your 'feeling good'. You may need to rely on 'looking good' to help you over the hump. I've had days that drain me and I decide to smile as wide as I possibly can, which flows into my eyes, next thing I know all I see is possibilities....and I've got that feeling good swagger back in my step!

How dangerous do you really think it is compared to what people do in their regular activities? Well, I'd say dirt biking can be extremely dangerous. But it all depends on the training you put in, the safety you apply (gear, checking your speed, paying attention to your environment). More time on the bike makes for a better rider and makes it a little less dangerous but things happen....I used to live in the big smoke of Calgary and my daily routine was driving Deerfoot Trail- I'm sure that was more dangerous all in itself!

I bet in your experience you have seen some crazy crashes. Describe one. I didn't see the crash but I rolled up on it after the fact. It was my boyfriend crashing into a tree just over a year ago, to say the least it was the worst thing I've seen to date. Even with armour and helmet on, he suffered sever injuries. All of which has had long term affects on him, however he's a strong fella so he's fighting through.
Dirt biking can be dangerous for sure! all you can do is try to be safe, gear yourself with armour and hit it. As Justin and I say, you gotta just 'Keep on Keepin' on!'

What usually gets people hooked on your activity/sport? I'd say my thrill for speed got me hooked and the places I can access on my throttle powered 2 wheels is pretty amazing. This past year I have seen more women in my area getting into dirt biking and I believe they are encouraged to try it out because of the amazing group of women we've gathered in the sport. Of course, being able to do a sport that is predominantly men makes you feel pretty rad, plus it's always fun to play with the boys too.

What is your favorite trick? I've always been one to find the dirt and jump it. Since I no longer ride DH bikes, I'm all for seeing what I can do on my dirt bike. Right now I'm getting some air and jibbin' but I'm looking for this to be the year to get those 2 wheels away from their comfort zone.

Do you own any other toys? My nomad mtn bike to take me through the local trails and my Surly Fat Bike for the winter wonderland months. A SUP that I even used to check out humpback whales off the shores of Cabo Pulmo. My 5wt fly rod to see what lies at the bottom of the Kootenay River.

What gets you pumped up for the day? The adventures that await me...oh! And a cup of coffee to kick me into gear. If that doesn't work, my fella is pretty good with the encouraging words to get going and reminds me of all the possibilities that surround us here in this amazing little mountain town of Kimberley.

What are three things you could not live without? Sport's adventures, Family (meaning extended/close, my fella and my pups), and Buddy's.

What are your expectations for this activity/sport? My expectation is that I continually progress; go bigger on jumps, get faster, ride technical stuff better-just be an all around solid rider.

As for the sport itself, I hope to encourage more women in my area to get out and ride with the ladies. Try new things, push their limits and know that they can do it on their own (well, of course with the help of their pals if need be)

Who have been your biggest supporters in getting you to where you are now? My sweet fella has always encouraged me and helped me to be the rider that I am today. (If I close my eyes I can see him giving me one of his fist pumps-that means your doing awesome sweetie!) I've also had buddy's that provides me with many tips when I first started the sport and last but most definitely not least are my ladies who cheer me on, encourage me to do better and inspire me by their own progression in the sport. (my pals Acara and Ash they are amazing riders and too much fun to adventure with.)

Who’s your favorite rider/shooter (photo/video)? Ashley Fiolek I admire as a pro-rider. And Megan Griffiths has great videos for riders and seems like a fun girl.
Recently I have been fortunate enough to attend one of Lexi Pechout's riding clinics, which I highly recommend. Lexi is a phenomenal rider and incredible teacher (she is able to slow the skill down and break down each movement to show what you need to do for the skill at hand) On top of that she is sincere in her encouragement and always ready to give you a high 5 or good job.

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not riding/shooting/competing? I can be found with my nose in the books lately as I'm finishing up a course for Medical Lab Asst. Beyond that I'm found behind the lens seeing what I can capture; be it with my pups or my sweet pal. And while relaxing at home I like to have the pen to the paper and write about whatever is going on in life at the time.

How about in the off season to stay in shape? My off season is the winter months of which I enjoy cross country skiing either at the nordic centre or out in the back country. And of course I have some 2 wheel fun on my fat bike with spikes for the winter trails.

What is your biggest goal to accomplish this/next season? I'd like to have my log hopping, hill climbing and dirt jumping skills more dialled than the last year. And to help beginner riders progress with their skills in our Kootenay Women on Wheels Group.
This season my goal was to host a 2nd annual woman's dirt bike weekend a little better than last year, we succeeded. Now my goal for next year is to improve in the areas we need to and perhaps increase our attendance and have it go off as smoothly as this year did.

What’s your favorite “way” to ride? I like xc enduro riding, playing around at the tracks occasionally is fun too.

Favorite conditions? After a nice rain fall is always best, tacky ground helps you to rip up those hills like nobodies business. But I have fun in all conditions, the muddier and dirtier we get makes for more of an adventure for sure.

Where would be your biggest dream place to ride and why? I'd love to head over to several places in Europe after seeing friends photos of KTM tours that they have been on. I think my first choice would be Italy, beautiful and challenging terrain, welcoming people and what looks to be great eats.

What song(s) do you listen to while riding that puts you in the zone? No tunes while riding, have to hear the roar of my bike to know what's going on. But upon my arrival to the staging area, I can often be caught listening to Audra Mae: Little Red Wagon or The Real Thing (I suggest checking her out). She seems like a rad, badass kinda chick-which seems to flow into my veins and get me pumped for my ride. Or our pal Wil, any of his songs get me on the right track for anything in life.

What turned you on to your sport? A good buddy of mine got a dirt bike years ago, since we mountain biked together so often I thought it only appropriate that I too got a dirt bike.

Any new tricks you’re working on? I'm always practicing my wheelies, getting the front tire up more than last year...I'll keep trying, one of these days I'll get it.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done in your sport? I did pop my bike up and over one of the largest logs I have come across on a trail, that was pretty cool. Sometimes you just survive over something but this time I had style going over. Actually this year my log hopping skills are becoming a little more rad each time.
I can't pinpoint 'one thing', sometimes we just head out on rides that have several technical features and when the flow is on, the flow is on....you feel awesome after!

If extreme/action sports didn’t exist, what would you be doing with all the free time you’d have? I guess I might be a different type of person..? Probably I'd dive deeper into photography and writing if I didn't have sports to do...? Glad I haven't had to find that out yet.

What’s your favorite board/bike/sled to ride and why? The bike I have right now seems to be tickling me pink, it's a KTM 250 SXF. She is meant for track but has had some modifications done to be a bush bike and over the winter we'll give her a little make over to make her even more ready for the progression I'm going to reach next year. But all in all, she seems to be the throttle therapy I dreamed about.

What’s the trick to riding features and not killing yourself? Start small and practice, practice, practice. You definitely need to build up your confidence and then go for it. Know what your getting into and be prepared mentally/physically for all possible outcomes. Have confidence in yourself! Once your prepared DO IT! Don't hesitate or second guess yourself.

How would you describe your riding style? Pretty solid most of the time, choose my lines well. I like to have fun, play around and jib off stuff.

What would you say is your signature trick? In enduro dirt biking I wouldn't say there are really any tricks but I am known for hopping/jibbing off whatever comes along the trail.

What do you want to be when you grow up? I've never been keen on that term 'grow up', what does it mean? Sounds too serious to me and a bit boring to be honest (not to say that you shouldn't be responsible and mature but never lose that inner child that loves to giggle).

I have always been happy being the girl that I am, all I want is to continue trying new things, have amazing adventures, push the limits and have lotsa love in my life! (It's not the destination one should dream of, it's the journey your on that's important.)

Any of your own web pages or social media buttons you want links to? 
Women's Dirt bike Group
Instagram: kootenaywomenonwheels
Facebook: Kootenay Women on Wheels

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Instagram: rae_jg
Facebook: Jenny Graburn