Monday, November 2, 2009

November's Featured Rider: Jacqueline Harmony

We couldn't have picked a better time to highlight Jacqueline Harmony's riding talent. The girl has been on a tear lately. She's an all-around solid racer who's as comfortable on tight and techy trails as she is boosting 40-foot gaps. And she's as strong at racing mountaincross and dual slalom as she is at downhill. She raced at the World Championships in 2006, and is always standing on the podium at the US National Championships and Mountain States Cup races (she's won too many MSC downhill races to list, and she won the 2009 MSC Gravity Series). This fall, she won the Fall Tilt in Telluride 12-Hour DH race, Red Bull Burner 12-Hour DH race, and both events at the Bittersweet gravity races in Bootleg Canyon.--FF

Name: Jacqueline Harmony
Home: Tucson, AZ
Age: 31
Favorite type of riding: Downhill, but I love all types of riding.
Why you ride: It is so much fun, it makes me relaxed after a hard days work, I learn something new every time I ride, I can experience all new trails and places with each ride.
Sponsors: Vixen Racing, Hayes, Loeka, All Mountain Cyclery, Manitou, Sun Ringle, Answer, MRP, Von Zipper, Schwalbe, Atomlab

As a kid, I always had a bike. My first bike was a blue Schwinn with an awesome sparkly blue banana seat. When I was a little older I got a mountain bike, but I did not ride it for long because I moved to Tucson and did not have anywhere to ride there. I grew up running cross country, so this was my sport and I did not have a need for a bike. It was not until I met my husband that I starting riding again. Dante and I borrowed his parents Magna mountain bikes and rode some off-road trail on Reddington Pass in Tucson. I was very scared and used a lot of brakes. I look back at this trail now and it is probably one of the easiest trails you could ever ride. After riding this trail I definitely wanted more.

Dante purchased a Specialized FSR which he rode for a short period of time before he upgraded to a Trek VRX. This gave me the opportunity to have my very own bike, his Specialized FSR. After riding a lot of cross country trails with this bike I wanted to start racing cross country and wanted a different bike. I moved on to a Jamis Dakar Comp and raced cross country for a year. I could not understand why I was not very good at the uphills, but seemed to pass all the girls on the downhills. I think I have always liked the downhill part of any ride more than the uphills. This pushed me into downhill racing, which also gave me an excuse to get another bike, a Giant DH Comp.

I have been racing downhill for about 8 years and have been able to travel all over the world, from Canada to Hawaii to France and New Zealand. I love to race, as part of me wants to compete and be the best, but it definitely gives me the excuse to ride my bike in new places all over the world. Bikes have made it possible for me to explore different terrain and end up in the middle of nowhere and sometimes get lost. Any mountain with chairlift access usually has some really cool downhill trails and lift-accessed trails are definitely my favorites.

Out of all the different things I have learned from riding, the skill that I'm most proud of conquering is jumping. Any gap jump used to scare the life out of me. I would always look at the gap and think that is where I was going to land or crash. Over years of trying to hit all sorts of jumps from doubles to step downs, I have managed to overcome my fear of them and see how to jump and land them. It is such a great feeling to be floating in the air, and I suppose that is the reason I enjoy it so much.

1 comment:

Lance said...

Yea,Jackie! I've loved watching you kill it this year! Keep it up, your on the right track.
Lance Canfield