May 23, 1980...this year is the big 3-0.
Everything from metal to country...A7X forever.
Ashton, 3, Tobey the puggle, 3, - Any wife can tell you that a husband totally falls into this category...
My parents are super athletes. They both began riding while I was in high school on rigid frames, both coming from a running background. While I was in college I had a couple of cheap bikes which got me to and from school, and I even attempted some trails on them. I had one with a suspension seat post, which I thought was full suspension. When I graduated from Humboldt State my dad bought me a [real] mountain bike. He got me Kona Bear with a super nerdy fender on the front and back and a huge seat bag.
I had changed my major about 9 times up until this point and finally had enough units to graduate. I had been a vocal music major for much of it, and had avoided all science classes. Finally I took a basic geology course and I was in love. I stayed up there taking classes for a good year and half after I walked down the aisle, taking every science class I could get into. Meanwhile I was also charging all of the trails behind my school in the famous Arcata Forest. I had seen some other students riding around campus and it turns out we had a Collegiate team. They had one pretty fast girl racing downhill, and wanted another. I had been a gymnast in my younger years and had always been pretty strong, but this was different. I had done a few DH runs and loved it, but had no skill whatsoever. I was also terrified of most things I encountered along the trail. Nonetheless I went to my first race at a distant mountain in Tahoe called Northstar, having picked up my full-face helmet the morning we left. This is also when I discovered that I have the smallest adult head ever and have to get kids’ sized helmets. I wrecked and laid on the trial for a while, but still managed to win my class. I was hooked and became a devoted gravity fan.
Bikes and racing were really all about the “social experience” for me for a long time. So was school. The bartender was my chemistry tutor, the bouncer helped me with math, and I would reward myself with a pitcher if I completed my stoichiometry. It is amazing I had the GPA I did (nearly 4.0). I moved down to So Cal when the financial aid ran out and taught outdoor education. I accepted a position in Big Bear to teach, and was looking forward to riding there. I was one of the last bikes down before they closed the mountain to big bikes about a month after I moved there. This is also about the time I tore my ACL. I had to lead hikes with a blown knee for about 7 months, and missed out on a bit of life that year. I became pretty depressed and packed on a few pounds by all accounts.
This was when the idea for Vixen Racing was born, and when I knew I had to change the direction of my life. I decided to go back to school to get my teaching credential, and resolved to come back to racing with a clear head and new direction in life. My dad had been a minister when I was growing up, and I had always had faith, but until this point in my life had never surrendered my life to God. I knew then that I had to, and I had to quit drinking. I began training two weeks after my surgery, then got sidelined with being pregnant, but came back in 2007 and won the National Series title. My parents are still my biggest inspiration, and can both totally kick my booty on the bike. Even after a divorce, they are still on good terms and new wives’ totally get along. My mom’s partner is also doing Triathlons and insists on me doing one with her at some point. Maybe I will. Leigh Donovan has always been a rider that inspired me, and I think I do more so now that she is good friend. She is an inspiration for me in my personal, professional and athletic life, and it is an honor to get my butt kicked by her each time we race. I have also always looked up to Tara Llanes, but can never seem to remember my name when I am graced with her presence...
I am currently in my third year of teaching Earth Science and Astronomy at West Ranch High School and love it. We have also formed a district mountain biking team which I am proud to be a part of. I am currently a Gene Hamilton certified coach and am working with the County of Ventura to establish mountain biking trails. As much as I love to race, I know that my place within in this industry involves more of giving back; I have always dreamed of coaching and managing a team, and am now living that dream.
Whether training on the road, doing drills, BMX or trial rides, bikes are my life, and I ride every chance I get. Bikes have introduced me to my husband, they have taken me more places than school ever could, and they have allowed me to overcome many personal struggles. My son is now totally hooked. The mental and physical challenges that riding provides transfer over into every aspect of my life, and I am so grateful for every day that I get to spend on two wheels. Today is a gift, tomorrow is uncertain, but I will be thankful to see it when the sun rises.
2009 Cal State DH Champ
2008 SRC Overall Champion
2009 Mob 'n Mojave 4th Slalom
2007 NORBA National Series Champion
2007 Cal State DH Champion
2007 SRC Overall Series Champion