Friday, November 28, 2008

December's Featured Rider: Katrina Strand

It's hard to discuss Canadian downhill riders without mentioning Katrina Strand. She's a Whistler, BC local who has dedicated her career to gravity riding. Katrina and Claire Buchar are the Candian DH Girls, and the two were ranked 19th in Decline Magazine's 26 Most Influential People in Mountain Biking earlier this year. When Katrina's not racing World Cups or Canadian Nationals, she coaches other athletes through her business, Katrina Strand Fitness Coaching. Oh, and can someone get this girl a frame sponsor?--FF

Name: Katrina Strand
Home: Whistler, BC
Age: You can only be young once, but you can be immature forever?!
Favorite type of riding: Downhill! But there isn’t any type of biking that I don’t like – you’ll see me at the dirt jumps and the velodrome, riding cross country, all mountain , BMX, and road
Why you ride: Challenge, adventure, fun
Sponsors: Oakley, Maxxis, Shimano, Mavic, Fox Shox, Crank Brothers, Syncros, Dakine, e13, Giro, Fizik, Whistler Bike Park, Evolution Bike Shop, Peak Performance Massage Therapy

On a rainy summer day in 1997, my best buddy Lisa Lefroy and I grabbed her dad’s cruisers and brought them up the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. We were the only people out there, slip and sliding the whole way down. At the end of the day, we were scrapped, bruised, muddy and happy. Shortly after I bought my first mountain bike!

When I first started mountain biking, my intentions were %100 genuine. I loved being outside with my friends, riding trails, going on adventures, and challenging myself. Ten years later, I have traveled all over the world with my bike – from South America to Jamaica, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. I have represented Canada at the World Championships, had top-three finishes at the Canadian National Championships, and top-15 results at World Cups. I have written several media and editorial projects, been in countless marketing campaigns and magazine articles, coached thousands of people and co-created the only women’s-only freeride event in existence, The Gala.

Through all of this, my intentions remain the same – I ride because I love to ride! All of this came through being passionate about mountain bikes. I work hard because I want to work hard. It has not been glamorous in any way. I have, for lack of a better expression, worked my ass off! But, I love it. I am so lucky to have found my passion – so when the hurdles get big, it doesn’t scare me away, it only makes me jump higher.

I’m starting off 2009 with a trip overseas to Australia and New Zealand. As for the rest of the year, I’m not so sure yet. I am still working on a frame sponsor so we’ll have to see. But whatever happens, the future looks bright. I’ll always be a rider and I will always be out there, riding in the woods, looking for the next adventure, pushing my limits and laughing with my friends.

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