is the quintessential Kona rider. Living in Bend, Oregon, Kate is a Fisheries Biologist for the US Forest Service on the McKenzie River. Kate excels at fun. We like fun too, and that’s why we love Kate’s style and attitude. She rides for the good times and she RIPS on a bike. We asked Kate to answer a few questions for us about why she rides and what the scene is like for her in central Oregon.
Kate! Welcome to the Cog! Tell us where you’re from and how long you’ve been riding.
Thanks for having me on the Cog! I was born and raised in McCall, Idaho where I spent most of my time snowboarding. I moved to Ashland, Oregon for college and started mountain biking there about fourteen years ago. After my first downhill ride, I was hooked for life (despite going over the bars and shredding my hands).
What does your perfect day on a bike look like?
I had a perfect day yesterday at Black Rock with three of my favorite riding buddies. It was a loam lapping, meat hucking, stoke stirring, progression session on a beautiful sunny day in the woods. It doesn’t get much better than that!
What’s the riding scene like where you live?
Central Oregon has a pretty diverse mountain biking scene with over 300 miles of single track, dirt jumps, pump tracks, and Mt. Bachelor Bike Park. We have a very active, strong trail volunteer organization – Central Oregon Trail Alliance – that works with public land managers to build and maintain trails and advocates for the bike community. The downhill/freeride/dirt jump scene, which I’m most involved with, is small but definitely growing.
How do you fit into the cycling community there? What would you say your best contribution to the community is?
I try to be a good trail steward and dig as much as I can. And I try to be a positive force in the downhill/freeride/dirt jump community by supporting efforts to build and maintain more advanced trails, encouraging ladies to ride more aggressively, and just trying to spread the stoke that biking brings me.
Why do you choose mountain biking as your primary(?) activity?
Snowboarding was my first love, but mountain biking has become a huge part of my life. If I’m not working, I’m biking. It keeps me present, healthy, happy, and social. I have a strong drive for continued progression and growth and biking is a perfect outlet for that. And you really can’t beat the feeling of ripping down a trail with your buds!
What words of advice do you have for a) women looking to get into the sport and b) strong female riders looking to get even better?
For women looking to get into mountain biking, I would suggest signing up for a clinic or going on a ladies ride with a local bike shop – they happen all the time now. You’ll learn and progress quicker and find people to ride with. For strong female riders looking to get better, I suggest riding with people that are better than you and work on chasing them down, sessioning jumps and features, and pushing your comfort zone a little bit more each ride.
Where is your absolute favorite place to ride?
That’s a tough question – there are so many good places to ride in the PNW. I would have to say that riding Whistler Bike Park in the Fall is pretty hard to beat.
How long have you been riding a Kona?
I’ve been riding Kona bikes for about ten years, on a Minxy, a Shred, and two Process 153s
. The new Process 153
is the most fun bike I’ve ever ridden! You guys nailed it!
Any fun plans for the winter?
I hope to spend my winter slashing endless white and brown pow here in Oregon. My dad lives on a sailboat in Belize and I’ll be joining him and my brother for a few weeks down there.
What does your 2019 season look like?
I plan to race the NW Cup Downhill Series and ride all over the PNW. I really want to ride more in Bellingham – that new jump trail looks so fun! My home bike park at Mt. Bachelor will be opening a new jump trail – Red Line – that is going to be insanely good, so I’ll be lapping that and learning some new tricks.