By Ambassador and Superhero Becky Gardner

My Opinion of superheroes has changed over the past few years. I felt like a superhero in the years past when I accomplished a long ride I didn’t think I could do or hucking myself off of a big drop or jump. The ability to look fear in the eye and say I don’t care about the outcome used to be my superhero feeling. I still love that feeling of progressing myself as an athlete, but the problem is that it doesn’t make me a superhero; it makes me a better athlete because I am doing it for myself, not for the world’s good.

The definition of a superhero is a character that possesses abilities beyond those of ordinary people, who typically uses his or her powers to help the world become a better place. Therefore to be a superhero or possess superhero-like feelings, you need to use your powers to help others. It doesn’t matter how many rides you do or races you win; to have those superhero powers; you need to make the world a better place for others. So if you can’t win your way to superhero, when can you feel like one?

My day job is running sports marketing at WTB; with this job comes a lot of access to many wonderful people and athletes. At this job is when I reach the closest to feeling like a superhero as well. I feel like a superhero when I get to work and brainstorm with all the other women who also love riding bikes. It turns out this industry is full of inspiring women who are using their skills and ideas to push the industry to a better place. I am fully aware that is probably the cheesiest thing I have ever written, but it is 100% true. I get to brainstorm every day with my boss Heather (marketing director at WTB) and many other rad women like Lacy at Kona, female photographers and videographers, and the list goes on. We talk about inclusivity and positivity that is making this once male-dominated sport a place for everyone. It is not a stab against my male colleagues or athletes, but there is something special about sitting in a group of women and brainstorming the future. Maybe it is the years of women being underrepresented in the industry or simply the creative nature of women, but working on projects with other women opens the gates to true superhero powers. Like nothing can stop us, and we are not taking no for an answer. 

These superhero women do not stop with the ladies backstage of the bike industry, though. I think about the girls out there pushing themselves as athletes to pave the way for the girls behind them. Like the women of Red Bull Formation that are taking themselves out of their comfort zone to show women and girls everywhere that women belong in freeride mountain biking. These athletes are not just pushing themselves as individual athletes; these women are pushing themselves for all women athletes. I think about the women putting on bike clinics to show women of all colors and shapes that anyone can ride a bike. I also think about the female athletes who come to me with ideas that do not benefit just themselves but get women everywhere stoked to ride. Women have stepped up their game and have made teamwork the fire that lights these missions. Teamwork is key to these superhero powers; like every good Marvel movie, teamwork is the element that wins the day and defeats the villain, and women have finally figured out that we are all on the same team. 

So when do I feel like a superhero? I feel like a superhero plotting the future of the bike industry with my fellow female athletes and colleagues, using our skills and ideas to make this bike space a place for everyone. I think women have just started tapping into these superhero powers, and I am incredibly excited to see where it takes us.