Pro Enduro and Downhill
Homebase: Lincoln, VT
2014 Sponsors: Cycles Xprezo, Deity Components, Fly Racing, The Alchemist, The Bike Center in Middlebury, VT, Green Mountain Bikes in Rochester, VT, Champlain Valley Apiary, Tretap, MTBVT
Top photo: Brice Shirbach
So how’d you get hooked on mountain biking?
I dabbled with mountain biking as a youth, but really picked it up after graduating from college in 2001. Just having finished a marathon (training in part on MTB trails), it was time for something a bit more exciting. I was instantly hooked, and rode every day that summer on the very trails that taught me the roots of riding; Tamarack, Tony’s, Inburno, Stickhaus, Broken Schweenee. Horseback riding and Nordic skiing as a youth developed a deep love of the woods and trails/trail building, and certainly was an influence. In reflection I just changed steeds, from a horse to a mountain bike.
Who or what inspires your racing and style?
Hands down the Irie Cycles posse that I found myself both chasing and watching what back then seemed to be impossible feats, was what both inspired me and helped develop a ‘stand and deliver’ form of riding. Although watching and competing against the best in the world (Tracey Moseley, Anne-Caroline Chausson, Emmeline Ragot, Rachel Atherton) and seeing those who have been injured recover to get back at it without missing a beat (Tracey Hannah among so many others), has certainly been inspirational. Still, there is nothing better than going out with my husband and our amazing friends, who never fail to blow my mind with their abilities. To me, seeing my hard working friends rip the plethora of single track and park that we are blessed to have in the NE keeps things real, and is more awe inspiring then watching sponsored riders whose job it is to ride bikes.
Whatcha got cookin’ for the future?
The last 2 years I have gotten my feet wet in the racing scene and although there have been ups and downs, overall it has been a very positive experience. Now that I am gaining support and momentum from local companies and the ‘grass roots’ approach is making it possible for me to race, I plan to stick with Enduro and DH events next season. My big goals, aside from getting stronger, building my DH skills and experience, are to get back to at least one EWS event, and the 2 local World Cups in Windham, NY and Mont St. Anne, QC next year with strong physical and mental fiber. Most importantly I aim to continue riding, loving the sport and sharing it with friends and family.
Balancing this new, and time consuming aspect of riding with the various other wonderful things in life, (gardening, cooking, camping, reading, herbal medicine, music, my endeavors as a PT, Art) is of vital importance. Although riding is great, it’s just a part of the picture of wholeness and well being.
Who’s to thank for cultivating and supporting your cycling habit?
First thanks to all the rippers that patiently let me chase after you and learn from your skills over the years (Hardy, JD, Kim, Herb, Dave, Sue) just to name a few. Also, behind the scenes Dan puts in a tremendous amount of effort in so many ways, he really is unbelievable.
Jason Plouffe and Cycles Xprezo were instrumental in getting me to the race scene this year, and I am beyond grateful. Champlain Valley Apiary, The Alchemist, and Tretap have been the first VT companies to offer both financial and product support. What a treat to be representing Vermont, a dream come true!
Ali’s latest media:
August 20th, 2014
August 7th, 2014