Monday, February 15, 2010

February's Featured Rider: Joy Martin

Joy Martin is the first Freeride Foundation Featured Rider who juggles racing at a professional level with raising a family and working full time. Joy understands why bike wheels move the way they do because she's an engineer--she analyzes the rotating components in centrifugal gas compressors for a living. In addition to bringing up an adorable little dude with her supportive hubby, Kevin, Joy rides for the Vixen Racing Team and leads her own cylcing skills clinics in her "free" time. --FF

Name: Joy Martin
Home: Poway, CA
Age: 33
Favorite type of riding: Fast and flowy
Why you ride: To escape it all. When I am on my bike there is nothing else but me, the bike, and the trail. Any stress I had goes bye-bye!
Sponsors: Vixen Racing, which includes: Cove Bicycles, Kali Protectives, Troy Lee Designs, Scwalbe, Hayes, Atomlab, SGD, Smith Optics, Camelbak, Loeka, Sunline, ParkTool, HoneyStinger, Goo, and Sunline
Website: and

When I was 19, living in San Luis Obispo, California, I had a boyfriend with a really cool Specialized. He let me take it riding. The first downhill section of the dirt road I was on I flew down. The experience was so exhilarating I was hooked from then on. San Luis Obispo has some of the best terrain for mountain biking. The views are awe-inspiring and the riding is amazing. You could ride for two weeks straight everyday and still be on a different trails. The learning curve is really steep though--I was black and blue my first three years of mountain biking. There aren't any beginner trails in SLO, so I moved straight to intermediate and learned as I went. I love nature and getting outdoors, so riding satisfied that need. In high school I lived next to Yosemite, so I love getting away from it all, and my mountain bike took me there.

Since I live in Sunny SoCal year round I do most of my training all over San Diego County. East County is rugged with lots of climbing and long descents, so I can get the time on the bike. Near my house are some well-built trails that are good for skill building, the locals have built a really great jump area that puts me on cloud nine everytime I ride there. My all-time favorite place to ride after 2009 is Whistler Mountain Bike Park. The vibe in Whistler is amazing and the riding is better than anyone can tell you about. The place is just perfect. My gal friends and I decided Whistler is "crack" for mountain bikers.

My favorite thing to do when I'm not on the bike is to hang out with my little man Seamus, he is 3 1/2 now. When my husband and I left the hospital with him, Kevin said to me "when he is old enough, I promise you can race again." This comment was 100% spontaneous on his part, completely uncoaxed or influenced. Seamus loves coming to the races and seeing him grow and LOVE to ride his own bike is really exciting.

I think to have the most success, you have to mentally strong and be able to challenge yourself. You need to understand your weaknesses and strengths and work on both. I love talking with the ladies who have been in the sport for over 10 years. The experience they gained and the williness to share is amazing to me. All the women who I have had the pleasure of riding with and talking to have inspired me in so many ways. Racing downhill is more a mental than physical sport for me. One of the "joys" of the sport is conquering my mental challenges. Someone told me that racing downhill exposes your core as a person, and I have to agree. Racing downhill tests your mental, emotional and physical persona. As an individual with the one lifetime I am given I love being able to push through my own barriers, it is very satisfying.

Cornering is the most underrated skill, learn to corner well and it will take you far. (I'm still working on corners.) I think the cornering has been the hardest skill to put together. To do it right it takes the combination of so many things and since I am not the most coordinated person, I have to spend a lot of time working on it.

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