Tuesday, June 30, 2009

July's Featured Rider: Leana Gerrard

Leana Gerrard is the face of Cannondale's Mona Vie racing team. While gated racing is her forte, Leana slays it on the downhill track too. She has a drive to excel and a passion to ride that's hard to match. Leana recently graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in marketing and business. After recovering from an ankle injury that cut her 2008 season a bit short, Leana is back to her hard-charging self!--FF

Name: Leana Gerrard
Home: Lake Tapps, WA
Age: 23
Favorite type of riding: I like a lot of different types of riding, but my favorite would have to be a flowy trail with berms and jumps.
Why you ride: I ride because bikes are my sanity. I find that the longer I stay off a bike, the more agitated and unpleasant I get. But after a ride, I am just stoked on life. Mountain bikes are my safe haven, so when I feel the world is spinning out of control around me, getting on a bike out in the woods is the only way for me to slow it all down again.
Sponsors: Mona Vie, Cannondale, Bell, E-Thirteen, KORE, Oakley, Azonic, Kenda and Fabel Headwear
Website: LeanaGerrard.com

I started riding bikes when my older brother was racing BMX at the local track. I had just quit ballet and was looking for something a little more exciting, so BMX looked awesome. I was seven at that point and my life has never been the same. But, as I grew older and got tired of BMX, I tried some cross country racing as cross training. One cross country race however, had a dual slalom event as well, and once I saw that, I knew I found my calling.

I think perseverance is key to being a successful rider. Everyone falls, everyone gets hurt at one point or another, but it's those that hop back on the bike that find success. The hardest thing for me to learn was that failure is imperative to reach success. You have to slide out in a corner to find the limit, never fun, but necessary.

Bikes and the people I have met through biking have shaped me into the person I am today. I look at my friends and paths that they are taking, and every day I am thankful that I'm not on the same track. The experiences I've had, the places I've gone and the people I've met have all been because I have the passion to ride a bicycle.

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