Amanda Carey atop the podium at the 2013 Trans-Sylvania Epic. Photo via Trans-Sylvania Epic.
Amanda Carey is Newton’s First Law personified. She started moving (and moving fast) a long time ago and seems incapable of stopping. Since college she’s been a Jackson Hole ski bum, land conservationist, bike and pedestrian advocate, professional mountain biker and cyclocross racer, coach, and Executive Director of a mountain bike advocacy nonprofit. Often times she was doing a few of those at any given time. As a pro mountain biker she focused her energy on 100-milers and multi-day stage racing, notching wins at the Breck Epic, Trans-Sylvania Epic, and Pisgah Stage Race and earning multiple National Ultra Endurance series overall titles. In December 2014 she started her new role as Executive Director of Mountain Bike the Tetons. It is perhaps unsurprising that we had lots to talk about. I spoke to Carey about her years as a professional racer, the appeal of endurance racing, her new life as a mountain bike advocate, the major access hurdles mountain bikers still face (and fat bikers are starting to face), and much more.
Posted in Advocacy, Interviews, Mountain Biking
Tagged amanda carey, breck epic, endurance mountain biking, IMBA, kenda, mountain bike advocacy, mountain bike the tetons, pisgah stage race, stans no tubes, teton mountain biking, tetons, trail access, trans-sylvania epic
Sonya Looney. Photo via Topeak Ergon.
Cyclists love to grimace. It is, in part, because pain and suffering have been venerated in cycling culture to the point of fetishization. Entire clothing empires have been built on marketing the nobility of suffering on a bicycle. But it’s also because racing and riding hard just really, really hurt sometimes. From the pro peloton to local cat 4s, people tend to scowl and frown in race photos. Then there’s Sonya Looney. The professional endurance mountain biker is smiling so often in race photos it’s slightly disconcerting. She says it’s because she just has fun on the bike. I suspect endurance athletes have some sort of subconscious love of hardship. Either way, Looney has parlayed her endurance talents and smiles into a successful race career. Her specialty is 100 milers and multi-day mountain bike stage races. She’s notched podiums at the US National Championships, Breck Epic, Mongolia Bike Challenge, Trans Andes, BC Bike Race, and many other races around the world. I spoke to her about her foray into endurance racing, that smiling-while-racing thing, the business side of being a professional racer (and the need for a side business), adventuring around the world, and much more.
Posted in Interviews, Mountain Biking, Racing
Tagged badass women cyclists, breck epic, endurance mountain biking, mongolia bike challenge, mountain bike stage racing, nepal race, sonya looney, topeak ergon, yak attack
Arguably, Thom takes cycling as serious as it needs to be taken.
Thom Parsons plays a lot of roles in the New England cycling world. The self-proclaimed dirtbag mountain biker is a former professional racer, co-founder and primary content producer for DirtWire.tv, and works as Operations Manager for Boston Bike’s Roll it Forward and Youth Cycling programs. Thom and I discussed his history as a racer, the opportunities he’s had to travel far and wide as a video interviewer, his work with and eventual departure from Cycling Dirt, and his experience trying to get more kids and low-income residents into biking.
Posted in Advocacy, Cycling Media, Cyclocross, Interviews, Mountain Biking
Tagged boston bikes, cycling dirt, Cyclocross, dirt wire, dirtwire.tv, endurance mountain biking, roll it forward boston, thom parsons, UCI, youth cycling program
Barry Wicks at the 2012 TSE. Photo via TSEpic.com
A lot of people love cycling. For one reason or another, it’s a sport that lends itself to obsession. Mike Kuhn has been showing his love and obsession with over two decades of riding, racing, race promotion, and advocacy. He’s perhaps best known for putting on the Transylvania Epic, a seven day mountain bike stage race in the heart of Pennsylvania. He’s also the man behind IronCross, an endurance cyclocross race, along with many more road, cross, and mountain bike races through the years. And though two decades of race promoting is inarguably an example of giving back to the bike community, Mike is also heavily involved in trail advocacy. He and Transylvania Epic co-founder Ray Adams launched a nonprofit The Outdoor Experience Organization in 2009 to raise funds for mountain bike trail building, maintenance, documentation and outreach in Pennsylvania. I had the chance to speak with Mike about his history in bike racing, the rapid growth of the Transylvania Epic and endurance racing, his vision to revive a small PA mining town with a high-quality trail network, and more.
Posted in Advocacy, Cyclocross, Interviews, Mountain Biking, Racing
Tagged bikenomics, endurance mountain biking, endurance racing, gravel grinding, iron cross, mike kuhn, ray adams, state college mountain biking, transylvania epic, tse, wilderness 101
Tall guys require tall photos. Photo via thebonebell.com
Barry Wicks is a professional mountain biker, cyclocross racer, and, as of last year, Kona’s race team manager. He cut his teeth racing in Oregon as a junior and rose to the highest levels of World Cup cross and mountain bike racing. His palmarés prove he’s a serious racer, but he remains laid back and affable through it all–a fact that’s made him one of the fan favorites in racing. I spoke to Barry while he took a break from his team manager duties, supporting his riders at Crankworx in Whistler, British Columbia. Part one of this two-part interview covers Barry’s introduction to racing as a junior, Erik Tonkin’s mentorship, his recent experiment with endurance mountain bike racing, his Chicago slump, and more.
Posted in Cyclocross, Interviews, Mountain Biking, Racing
Tagged barry wicks, Cyclocross, endurance mountain biking, erik tonkin, kona, mongolia bike challenge, obra, ryan trebon, team S&M