East Bound and Down: Anne Galyean - Breaking Rad

Feb 28, 2014
by Brice Shirbach  
 
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East Bound and Down Header

photo courtesy of Matthew DeLorme

“What I’m doing now is developing methods to characterize and detect engineered nanoparticles specifically, such as metals in natural aquatic systems.” Those aren’t exactly words you would expect to hear from one of the East Coast’s premier downhill talents, but most pro downhillers aren’t trying to save the world by applying nanotechnology to environmental remediation efforts. Frankly, Anne Galyean isn’t most professional downhill mountain bikers. What she is is exceedingly ambitious and intelligent, and possesses the drive to accomplish things in both mountain biking and science that are hard enough alone without the burden of the other. Oh, and of course there’s the talent part, and she has gobs of that stuff.

I recently had the pleasure of hanging out with the 27-year-old Idaho transplant in her current hometown of Frederick, Maryland, along with her partner in crime, World Cup and EWS photog Matthew DeLorme. When you step into the home of a professional downhill mountain biker and a professional mountain bike photographer you expect to find a few things, namely bikes and photos. In that sense, Anne and Matt’s home is certainly no exception.


Photos line the walls alongside other, equally impressive forms of Matt’s artwork. Bikes hang out in various parts of the house. But you are probably not expecting to find mason jars of embalmed bats or collections freeze dried insects. There’s no television either. They have their computers and tons of work to keep them busy. Neither of them drink alcohol, so there are no post-ride brews waiting back at the house. There are, however, several gallons of protein powder, green smoothies, aeropressed coffee and delicious (and nutritious) treats waiting back at the abode.

They have some of the coolest stuff in their house photo courtesy of Brice Shirbach

Here, Matt is the cook and Anne is the baker. “Baking is like chemistry; cooking is like art.” Anne says. “To me, baking and chemistry are very similar. You measure ingredients to create reactions. Cooking is something I don’t have in me. It’s mostly just my lack of creativity. I don’t get how things fit together.”

According to Matt, Idaho is to blame. “She’s got a weird palate. It’s not her fault, she grew up in Idaho. But the thing is, she’ll try anything once and then it’s hit or miss. But I sort of do have it figured out now.”

“I do make sure to call ahead to make sure my dinner is ready when I get home because I don’t abide by that shit,” laughs Anne. “I like it hot and ready right when I get home.”

Hanging with two of the most creative and brilliant minds in mountain biking photo courtesy of Brice Shrbach

Anne spends many days commuting to the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg. She’s currently a PhD candidate at UNC Chapel Hill, NC, in the department of environmental sciences and engineering; her focus is Analytical Aquatic Chemistry. Anne’s work is decidedly complicated to say the least. “When I first started I had all of these grand ideas, but I found out that most of the basic science in the field hadn’t been done yet. I had to take a few steps back to focus on method development and trying to determine how we even measure these things in the environment in the first place before we figure out their applications.” She is essentially developing the methodology behind the detection of some of the smallest particles on Earth, so she can move forward with the research she wanted to pursue when she started off.

Her work with instruments like the “Asymmetric Flow Field Flow Fractionation with light scattering detection,” or the river wading and scooping, or the insane amount of work she has put into the past four years of her thesis provide an important context for what she’s accomplished on her bike. Anne is a brilliant scientist, but you’re not reading about her on Pinkbike because of her extensive background in nanochemistry or her upcoming defense this fall. Despite the overwhelming workload she’s presented with on a daily basis, she has somehow managed to become one of the best downhill racers in the country. Last year, she won USAC’s Pro GRT series, competing in 4 of the 7 races and winning 3 of them (she finished 3rd in the other). It was her first time racing the series. Prior to that she spent time in the Gravity East series before an injury took her out of racing for most of 2012.

photo courtesy of Matthew DeLorme

She got into mountain biking during a semester abroad in New Zealand; having joined the local mountain bike club and being inspired by a handful of kiwi shredders, including some one-on-one time with the legendary Gabby Molloy. When she returned to the states, she began amassing the tools she’d need in order to race downhill. She purchased a “super heavy and super old school” RMX bike. “For Christmas I asked for body armor. At this point I hadn’t actually ridden downhill yet. This was my senior year of college, so for my graduation present I asked for a season pass to Snowshoe Bike Park. Then I just started going. I didn’t really know anyone at that point so I would just drive out and sleep in my car, ride all weekend and then drive home. I went from beginner to intermediate to expert class that season and that was that.”

photo courtesy of Matthew DeLorme

The past several seasons have given Anne plenty of opportunities to reflect fondly on her experiences and adventures on her bike. She has developed several strong relationships and friendships along the way. She counts the brothers Mulally as both close friends and sources of inspiration. “They remind me that racing and riding bikes are equal parts fun and hard work.” Hard work ain’t the half of it. Anne’s research, as one can imagine, leaves her with significantly less time to train per week than many of the women she is beating at the races. As a result, she’s forced to take some unique approaches to her training. “I’ve been doing the Carmichael training plan called the Time Crunched Cyclist, which is supposed to help you get fit when you only have 8 hours per week to do it. I don’t often have time on weekends to ride, so for me this works really well. Carmichael’s argument is that you can build viable endurance from 3 or 4 hour efforts ultimately with intervals.”

photo courtesy of Matthew DeLorme

Anne is about as time crunched as they get. The success of the 2013 season led to her selection to the U.S. National team and the opportunity to test herself against the best in the world in South Africa. Unfortunately, time just wasn’t in her corner. “I made the team but I had just gotten a brand new instrument in the lab, I needed to get a paper out and I just didn’t feel like I could be away from school for that long. I literally spent that whole summer with nothing functioning at all, no usable data, instruments broken half the time, so I had all of this free time. As soon as I made the team I had work to do.”

Now, you may be curious as to why she just doesn’t spend a few years racing and supporting herself as a pro downhiller at this point. She was flat out dominant last season and her trajectory is sky high. But for herself and many other professional female riders, time isn’t the only scarce resource they’re struggling with.

Anne working on her slush fitness. Mega-Avalanche anyone

“Guys have a hard enough time getting sponsorship and funding. For us it’s nearly impossible,” she remarks. Part of that may be attributed to the small number of women showing up at downhill races compared to the men. “There just aren’t a lot of women that ride downhill. I have spent a lot of time in my short career racing myself. I’d be the only pro girl there, so the venue would automatically bump up the Cat 2 girls just so we had a podium. That’s not really conducive to getting faster or pushing yourself.” That’s not to say she doesn’t appreciate the women who are out there pushing the sport. She lists several women of whom she’s competed against and calls many of them friends including Jill Kintner, Jackie Harmony, Amanda Batty, Becky Gardner, Ali Zimmer, Amanda Cordell, Taylor Allison and others. It’s clear though that the current state of affairs in downhill here in the States is a frustrating subject for her and rightfully so. “There just aren’t any real opportunities to join a team. No one out there is offering to make a team. There are what, 5 or 6 U.S. riders out there on the World Cup Circuit? U.S. downhill has some work to do...”

photo courtesy of Matthew DeLorme

bigquotesThere just aren't a lot of women that ride downhill. I have spent a lot of time in my short career racing myself. I'd be the only pro girl there, so the venue would automatically bump up the Cat 2 girls just so we had a podium. That's not really conducive to getting faster or pushing yourself.

According to Matt, it takes more than just an individual's hard work and talent. Sometimes it requires a cultural shift. “People wonder: ‘Well, you’re good at it, why don’t you just go do it?. But the opportunities aren’t there and the equipment is expensive as hell, so if you break stuff; and you’re going to break stuff, you’re screwed. Especially in the States. If you were in Europe and bouncing around doing the iXS Cup or something like that, you could probably get around pretty reasonably. You want to bring riders to a World Cup level but you’re looking at a race class where you’re racing the same seven or eight people every weekend. How are they going to learn how to really push themselves? The competition is lacking. It doesn’t cultivate a sense of ‘I need to go faster,’ or ‘I need to be that much more pinned,’ or ‘I need to be on that ragged edge just a little bit more.’”

photo courtesy of Matthew DeLorme

Hence the move to everybody’s favorite buzzword: enduro. This year Anne is going to be doing things a little bit differently. With her impending defense this November, Anne’s focus remains on her lab work above all else. For her, the switch to enduro provides her with the flexibility to work on her thesis and race when her schedule permits. “Enduro gives me the opportunity to race when I can afford it and when I have time. I’m a pretty competitive person, so I don’t think I would do too well racing just one or two downhill races. So this feels like the most logical course for the season. Who knows, maybe I’ll love enduro. Maybe I’ll hate it. I’m a little nervous actually.”

“It’s mountain bike racing the way it used to be when it started, ya know?” says Matt. “Before XC guys turned into roadies and downhillers were asked to pretty much risk life and limb now without that much cake. It’s about going out and having fun; not killing yourself on a climb and having a blast on the way down. It’s trail riding and you’re having a race at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, downhill is awesome; it’s fantastic. But on a day to day basis, which bike do you grab?”

photo courtesy of Matthew DeLorme

The Triple Crown Enduro Series, Eastern States Cup and even the Enduro World Series stop at Winter Park are on her short “to-do” list of races this season. In the meantime, she remains fully devoted to accomplishing her top priority for 2014; the defense of her PhD candidacy. Between that workload and racing a new discipline, the year looks to be offering up a multitude of challenges to Anne. But that’s sort of by design. "In high school the sciences were always the biggest challenges I could find academically. My teacher always emphasized that chemistry was about solving puzzles, not doing tedious math or memorizing. Because of this we learned to apply concepts as opposed to regurgitating whatever it was we would read in a book. It was the most challenging class I took in high school, so I naturally decided to major in it.”

She embraces the challenges she's presented with every day in the lab the same way she embraces the challenges she's presented with every day she rides her bike. “I love riding in the same way I love chemistry: it’s hard. It’s challenging. It’s a test of my physical and mental strength. On the other hand, it gives me the freedom of being outdoors, which has always been my church”.
Amen to that.

photo courtesy of Matthew DeLorme

Anne Galyean’s sponsors include: Deity, Fuel Clothing, TLD, Allsport Dynamics, e*thirteen, G-Form, Bike Doctor Frederick and Wicked Wash.

Matthew DeLorme is the team photographer for Trek World Racing and his work is featured heavily on Pinkbike.com.
Must Read This Week

207 Comments

  • + 94
 So sick! a couple of months ago I went riding with a couple buddies and she was part of the group, of course I didn't see her seconds after the trail started, the whole day I was like "who the hell is this?" she just introduced herself as "anne" haha. Only later to find out by one of my friends that "oh yeah dude she is like pro" ...Definitely one the most chill, humble, not to mention fastest (no offense bros) riders I've met. definitely deserves some recognition! f*ck yeah!
  • + 12
 Call me! 867-5309 (pun intended)
  • + 71
 It's actually 867-530Ni-e-ine
  • + 12
 that's Jenny's number, not rejeans!
  • - 20
flag Fastjohn1 (Feb 28, 2014 at 7:44) (Below Threshold)
 Anne should go full Sam Hill with her tattoos. At least a full sleeve on her left arm, there is a lot of room left for ink there!
  • - 20
flag maxlombardy (Feb 28, 2014 at 8:53) (Below Threshold)
 She reminds me of Missy Giove. Awesome!!
  • + 27
 Google Missy Giove... Far from the same...
  • + 0
 Haha Max I was gonna say the same thing, but there are some pretty major differences between the two. I think it's just the "tough" vibe they give off.
  • + 11
 I realize that. I grew up watching MTB in the 90's, I know the whole scoop. Aside from their behavior (Missy's arrest for smuggling dope vs Anne not even drinking) just based on appearances, they remind me of each other... Like Missy had the dead pirhanna, Anne has a dead bat in a jar... piercings, tattoos, badass women MTBers... come on, nobody else sees that?
  • + 11
 To be honest, Anne is one of the nicest, most down-to-earth people I've ever been privileged to know. While 'tough' may be a natural characteristic of any lady downhiller (c'mon, it's kind of required), it's important to see the differences in personality and lifestyle between these women, and give each gal respect where respect is due. Smile Anne is definitely unlike anyone else, and that is a very, very good thing.
  • + 4
 Met her the DC bike swap and bought a ton of stuff from her She was super cool , hopefully some of her talent will find its way onto my bike lol....
  • + 8
 The molecule is for adrenaline
  • + 10
 She puts her pants on just like the rest of us, one leg at a time. Except once she has her pants on she goes out and wins races and earns PhD's.
  • + 0
 Might wanna take a look at annegalyean.wordpress.com/about

More of a Kari Byron with black hair vibe goin' on there. Long way from Giove. Long way.
  • + 4
 ^with her hair down....wow.
  • + 56
 Tattooed straightedge DH biker nerd girls are probably one of the best things ever
  • - 3
 straightedge tattoos are nice!
  • + 6
 I was just thinking about that very thing...
Her tattoo says "drug free" but the article says "aeropressed coffee and delicious treats waiting back at the abode."
I'm confused...
  • + 9
 Haha, the coffee is for Matt. We had cookies made the day Brice came to visit!
  • + 9
 Ahh I see! Then you may keep the tattoo Razz Tbh I shouldn't really comment as I drink about 3 gallons of tea a day. Have not read the full article as I am (supposed to be) working, but HUGE props for the whole removing unnecessary metals from the environment efforts. I mean, biking is all cool and stuff, but trying to fix the mess we've made of things is even cooler. And probably makes my tea taste a bit nicer too. Thankyou!!
  • + 16
 You guys are focusing on the wrong tattoo. Adrenaline molecule on her arm. Wish I had thought of that...
  • + 1
 "Her tattoo says "drug free" but the article says "aeropressed coffee and delicious treats waiting back at the abode."
I'm confused.."

It's coffee and treats (ie baked goods). How is this confusing?
  • + 7
 Caffeine is a drug
  • + 7
 The worlds most socially acceptable drug. Imo a pretty addictive one too.
  • + 1
 Coffee sucks tea is the way to go!
  • + 3
 She is a stark contrast to the bike bum from yesterdays article. Life is what you make of it I guess.
  • + 1
 If you're going to be addicted to a drug/ hormone it might as well be one that your body manufactures itself. Adrenaline. You are your own dealer. This is the 'drug', along with endorphins, that get released when we ride hard. And it keeps us coming back for more.
  • + 4
 nice PB handle anne, from one chem nerd to another.
  • + 27
 Wow. Just wow. Brains, beauty, ambition, skill and determination....and the distinction of understanding how to use them -- not separately -- but in concert with each other. Hats off to her. Mad props.
  • - 2
 But no post ride beer...man...what a cruel fate
  • + 14
 Believe it or not, mountain biking CAN be awesome without alcohol involved... and I've been on both sides of the fence.
  • + 7
 Agreed. While I enjoy a frequent stout or two, if alcohol disappeared from this planet tomorrow, my life would be the same. I'm a mountain biker- no need to alter reality. This one is good enough.
  • + 1
 AllMountin, I really like this response. Cheers, man!
  • + 15
 Does she work for NCIS ? ;-)
  • + 1
 Lol
  • + 10
 F*ck yes. F*CK YEAH! Anne is good people, hands down, and brilliant and talented and beautiful to boot. So stoked to see her getting some well-earned and greatly deserved air time!

This is a gal who's going to change the world. Smile
  • + 8
 Also: awesome write up, Brice. Well done. Smile
  • + 2
 "brilliant and talented and beautiful to what?"
  • + 12
 'To boot', means 'also', 'too' or 'as well'! If that was the question!
  • + 1
 Thanks!
  • + 14
 I'd wear DH goggles in the lab...
  • + 2
 If they met ANSI Z87.1 & CSA Z94.3 standards, you'd be golden!
  • + 10
 I am a chemist doing a study onbiosorption for the treatment of heavy metals from wastewater. But I don't have the skills or opportunity to race downhill or practice dirtjumping. But building trails (what i love to do) is also like chemistry.

Its amazing how there are talented individuals in these two fields that i love. Keep up the good work. And good luck on ur defense Anne!
  • + 1
 sudah makan belum?
  • + 2
 dadum balum datum dum dum !!
  • + 5
 Thanks Faisalfadzil, that sounds like a pretty rad project! Good luck on your research as well!
  • + 6
 Username= Chem formula of Adrenaline, very clever. Impressive work btw, I didn't get much past O-chem, but enough that I know your brains work in an amazing 3D state. Maybe that's why you understand the trails so well.
  • + 1
 I second MTmedic31's comment
  • + 11
 I always think how much more productive I would be if I didn't drink.
*shrugs and cracks a beer*
  • + 9
 Next time I am coming home from a ride, I will call my wife and say "I want my food hot and ready when I get home." - just to see how that goes.
  • + 10
 i'd have to keep the fullface, goggles, and leatt when i walk in for that
  • + 2
 Mine knows to text me 15mins before its ready. That's how long it takes me to get from the highest point in my local mtb park to home.
  • + 5
 @ panaphonic- uhh yeah...you're talkin 5star service there and props! ....but i'm talkin about having my brake lines cut while i'm sleeping
  • + 6
 Little girls need more positive role models in our tribe. Great article. Best of luck to you. Love the adrenaline molecule tattoo. I am assuming that's what it is since that is your screen name.
  • + 1
 Cheers, Tim!
  • + 4
 Anne, I've said it a million times, but you are one incredible inspiration. I'm stoked to see this article about you! Such a great insight into what you do too! Bright and humble you are. Smile Cheers to a wonderful year ahead!
  • + 7
 Hot girl + rides a mountain bike= no complaints about wheel size...
  • + 4
 …or "Enduro", apparently!
  • + 3
 Wow Ann your story is such a trip, lots of respect. You seem driven with such passion and talent. Were you always so driven and what created this spark (no impropriety intended)? Any advice you like to impart to young girls coming up? Power to ya in the challenges and peace in the mellow.
  • + 3
 Thanks Dally - I wish I had a more satisfying answer for you, but I've always been this way. My parents placed a lot of emphasis on school and being involved in sports, but the decisions to pursue them to this degree have been my own. I'll share with you one of my favorite quotes:

"One should not pursue goals that are easily achieved. One must develop an instinct for what one can just barely achieve through one’s greatest efforts." —Albert Einstein
  • + 3
 Serving as team captain, my team placed first at the ohio valley ASCE competition at Cleveland State back in April 2013 for desining an aparatus to remove phosphorus from storm water. I have since graduated with a degree in environmental engineering and have landed a job as a certified erosion and sediment storm water inspector. I also enjoy riding snowshoe and widrock. Its great to hear stories from ambituous and interesting individuals!
  • + 2
 Congrats on the competition!! That's rad!
  • + 5
 Great Article.. would like to read more stuff like this on PinkBike.. I met Anne on the lift at Angel Fire this past year, very nice person. Good luck on the PhD stuff!
  • + 2
 Thanks!
  • + 6
 Another great lady that we are proud to support, great article Anne!
  • + 2
 Thanks, guys!
  • + 2
 C9H13NO3, you are definitely going to be a famous researcher someday. As an Engineer that has worked on water purifiers, we badly need your measurement methodology. As industry moves to increase the man made nano particles in their products and processes, we will need your work to know how to handle the waste water. We will also need it to monitor our water sources as there are already reports of artificial compositions showing up in our water systems (mercury and medicinal compounds in aquatic life). As with all things, the first step is the hardest, but it is the most important one! Please keep up your hardwork! I look forward to the publishing of your dissertation and to see your name in the industry journals.
  • + 2
 Thank you! I sure hope so, there is definitely a lot of work going into this method development to make it broadly accessible and dynamic enough to fit interdisciplinary needs. I look forward to the dissertation part too, haha Smile
  • + 0
 I like "listening" to smart people talk. Razz
  • + 3
 A truly good example for my new born little girl, good writing too, I will save this article for when my girl gets older to explain that brain, beauty and muscles can live together.
  • + 1
 Cheers, man. Congrats on your new addition!
  • + 2
 Thanks dude, best thing happened to me ever hahaha and I was a "no kids" dude hahaha
  • + 2
 Amazing write up. Anne is a great person and an inspiration, not only in the bike world, but in the real world as well. One day she might be coming up with solutions to solve some of our most damaging ecological problems. Everyone should be going crazy about her and not just because she is a girl on a bike. She could save all our asses someday. I am awed to find out how much hard work she is putting into her education and still finding time to be an amazing rider. Anne, I hope you do get into the PhD at Chapel Hill. You can come ride with us NC ladies at Beech Mountain! Good Luck this year with everything!
  • + 1
 Thank you!
  • + 2
 Awesome - I am an avid mountain biker who also does research with NP's (For use in drug delivery). Its neat to see something about NP research and mountain biking together. Small world.
  • + 2
 Very small, I wish you the best with your research! Nanomedicine is certainly growing, I can't rule that out as a possible career path for me. Cheers!
  • + 1
 Ahh it wouldn't be a lab photo-shoot without the "Acme Blue Pipetting fluid for lab-related photoshoots"! Loved this interview... it is really refreshing to see someone following all of their passions in life!

On a side-note: Are those colloidal gold nano-particles? in the 1st photo... are you working on characterizing/detecting those too? Anything published yet?
  • + 4
 Haha, I know, right? Unfortunately a chemist's day-to-day just isn't that glamorous. Short answer: yes, and no. I've used them as standards a few times, but I'm primarily focused on silver NPs. Good eye!
  • + 1
 Tell me about it! I'm in Biotechnology and my fiance is a synthetic chemist so it's so awesome to see "one of us" racing DH! We didn't get into MTB until just a few years ago but can't wait to enter our first race... how old were you when you started racing?
  • + 1
 I started in 2009, I was 21 and in my senior year of college. Racing is such a blast, good luck!
  • + 1
 Congrats on your current and future success Anne!...I saw you race at Mt. Creek...my wife and I were super impressed! It's great to read about such inspired people...at any stage in life. A true renaissance man...well...woman! Best of Luck! Sean
  • + 1
 Thank you!
  • + 1
 Awesome interview Anne! Great to see an article on PB about real dedication and motivation. Not sure what river "scooping" is though...? Haha.Way to make your mark as both a scientist and athlete, you are a very positive role model and it's great to see other female scientists and athletes pushing the status quo. It's almost even more rare in the science world, the meet other people who DH. And most DEFINITELY females! I'm sure you'll charge your defense head on! Keep it up lady! Smile
  • + 2
 Thanks! Yeah… I have no idea where it came from either, never done field work in my life, haha. Hope your postdoc is off to a great start!
  • + 1
 If you ever get up to Canada, I could probably arrange for you to help us with some field work. We went out to "study" the current snow pack conditions a few nights ago. Haha. Post doc is super fun, lots of field work and decent lab time too so far, but mostly to train people. It's weird not doing it myself anymore! But also kind of awesome. Big Grin
  • + 1
 That sounds so awesome, I can't wait to get to the next step!
  • + 2
 Nice to see what the pros do for a living. I have to laugh about the cooking vs baking thing. My ex, who is a pharmacologist, is the same way. Great cookies and stuff but dinner was hit or miss.
  • + 1
 "Hit or miss" is a stretch for me, haha. I burned rice the other day. Who does that?!
  • + 2
 ha ha! rice cooker!
  • + 1
 Valid point. On my long list of things to buy when I get a real job and upgrade from a student stipend!
  • + 2
 Rad interview, Anne! You are super inspiring! I don't know how you do it, a full time summer job is hard enough for me. Maybe we'll meet at Winter Park this summer for some "enduroing" haha!
  • + 1
 I hope so, thanks!
  • + 3
 Standard lab setup for photographs. "Sooo could you like, fiddle with the GC and fill some glass beakers with dye and place them in the front, that would be great thanks"
  • + 2
 So true!
  • + 1
 Anne seems a very cool person! As a fellow scientist/mountain bike fanatic, maybe someday our paths will cross. In fact, my closest collaborators are at Duke, very near UNC. Always looking for good Ph.D. candidates and post-docs here at Mizzou ( bioengineering.missouri.edu/faculty/jacoby-b.php). Unfortunately, all that she can teach me about riding, I might be too old to learn Frown . The trails here are great and provide plenty of technical challenges, but no endless downhill. Good luck to Anne in her research!
  • + 1
 Cheers, Jacob! Impressive work you are doing, I've always been very interested in the engineering side of water research. Thanks for sharing!
  • + 2
 I'm honored you looked at my site. We have a place in Salida, CO, which is a mountain biking Mecca. I'll be riding there in May and June. If you enter the Big Mountain Enduro in Snowmass (June 21-22), my wife and I will be there to cheer you on. We'll back East during the Winter Park event. Thanks, Bill
  • + 1
 Cool, thanks! I'll definitely be at the Winter Park event. Enjoy your time in Salida!
  • + 1
 Inspirational and great read! Smile also studying sciences currently, as well as a new but keen mtb rider. Sounds like a hectic lifestyle but at the same time great that you have the best of both. Come on girls need to get out there!
  • + 2
 Thanks! Good luck with your research and your riding!
  • + 2
 Ya Anne! Great article and best wishes from the Canadian crue at Snowshoe.
  • + 1
 Thank you!
  • + 3
 Even your screen name is rad! Very inspirational. As an educator, mt. biker and dad of a young daughter - serious props to you!
  • + 2
 Oh, adrenalin. I get it.
  • + 1
 I wish I knew more people like this. Actually I wish I knew any people like this. A scientist & a mountain biker that has never drank or done drugs & wears TLD & Deity to the lab? Can't really top that.
  • + 2
 Here's your props PB for doing the article!!!! The title was too cool 'cuz it's so fitting, even if you're not familiar with the show Breaking Bad.
  • + 2
 Anne, I love this article and have so much respect for your drive. I am pumped to shred like you! 2014 will be the best season yet!
  • + 2
 you're an example to me, in Italy is almost impossible to get together studies and races... but I try! And you've inspired me
  • + 2
 Great to hear, good luck with your studies!
  • + 1
 Truly inspiring Anne!

I'm currently working to finish my MSc. thesis in engineering while struggling with the situation in my country (VE). I'm a downhiller too so big inspiration!

Keep it up with everything! Thanks!
  • + 2
 Thank you! Good luck to you both academically and in life. I wish you the best!
  • + 2
 ok guys look at this in the real world it is very uncommon to find a great academic and someone who has the focus and hand eye coordination all in one she should get an award
  • + 2
 There are a few of us... But Anne is bad ass for sure! Wink
  • + 2
 Allison is holding down the fort up North for us bike/scientist types!
  • + 4
 Anne is so bad ass, on and off the bike! And a great inspiration!
  • + 1
 Thanks, Kat! You're pretty inspirational yourself Smile
  • + 3
 Good looking woman !! Check those arms out, she's in shape, I like that a lot!!!Smile
  • + 3
 Dream girl. That's exactly what my thesis was on. If only I could've met her at a conference.
  • + 4
 The world needs more renaissance women.
  • + 3
 Love this article! Local chick..... Awesome
  • + 1
 Local indeed, cheers!
  • + 1
 I tip my hat to both of you, very inspiring what can be achieved. Also good to see people who the article is written about taking part in the banter. Viva le velo
  • + 1
 Thank you!!
  • + 1
 Anne, where do you typically ride in the NC area and do you ride with any clubs or groups? I'm an engineer from Raleigh and would love to ride or train sometime.
  • + 3
 Yeah Anne!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 2
 I guess it's the researcher in me that wants to know what the molecule is that is tattooed on her arm.....
  • + 7
 Epinephrine - C9H13NO3
  • + 1
 Very nice. I'm not a fan of the word "inspiration" but it's great motivation to see another rider with a heavy research and academic commitment handling their business.

Just the partial sleeve?
  • + 2
 Those guns.. That is how I like women, fit and able to open jars Smile
  • + 3
 Anne is a boss fur sur
  • + 2
 Please bring some daughters into this world. We need more women like this!
  • + 1
 I can't promise you that… but, yes, I'd love to see more women in MTB!
  • + 2
 Marriage proposals in 3,2,1...
  • + 3
 straight edge...respect
  • + 2
 @C9H13NO3 - Total inspiration to all riders female and male alike.
  • + 1
 Cheers!
  • + 1
 RUH ROH, look out Allison Zimmer, you might have some competition in the East enduro series this year.
  • + 2
 Congrats on the press Anne!
  • + 2
 Cheers!
  • + 1
 That Tattoo "Drug Free" show me, how big is her determination to keep moving forward, i really like this amazing girl.
  • + 3
 Repin Frederick whoo!
  • + 2
 Epinephrine - props for the ink from N. Idaho.
  • + 1
 MORE WOMEN RIDERS IN MTB!
  • + 1
 Amen!
  • + 0
 People see a girl riding bikes and get so excited....why can't you just take it as a "person" riding bikes?
  • + 3
 Because as a male who rides what would be more awesome than going riding with the girl you love.
  • + 8
 It gets other gals stoked that one girl is riding so they want to ride some bikes too. It IS rad!
  • + 3
 Well, there is one thing I like about this girl: She is apparently drug free like me. When 90% of the youth do drugs at this moment, some more than others, I have to admire her. Being a metalhead since 11, me and a friend of mine are probably the only 2 headbangers in this country drug free! There's always joints and other stuff surronding us and we have been able to never touch it!!
So, a big "well done" for you my dear!!! Staying away from that crap shows a lot of determination!!!
  • + 1
 Does it really show a lot of determination? Some people are drug addicts/users & some aren't. Some are cheaters & some aren't. Some are alcoholics & some aren't. Drugs aren't for me either. It's never been a hard thing to say no to. She's a f*cking scientist. A chemist of all things. If anyone is smart enough to know better, it'd be someone like her.

Her pursuits in the scientific field are the real indicator of her determination AFAIC.

Also it's a big deal that a girl rides because it's not very common & she confirmed that in the article. :/
  • + 1
 I see no diference between men and women, that's why I mentioned that. We all know the sort of comments men do when they see women riding on the bike park/trails. :-)
Regarding determination not to touch drugs: yes, I think you have to be commited not to touch it, not even once. There is so many people that give it a go and say " it will be just today, I will never do it again".

But that's just my opinion.
  • - 1
 Yeah to never touch anything, I'll agree that seems like it would take some determination. Not even any alcohol. It's pretty amazing.
  • + 0
 What's with the DRUG FREE*** something tattoo ?? i f*cking hate drugs. They are just dumb.
  • + 15
 I'm straightedge, and have never tried drugs or alcohol in my life. The "drug free" tattoo is my commitment to myself to maintain this lifestyle the rest of my life.
  • + 1
 I am sorry than! seriously i thought it meant drug freedom or smth! But i now i have the highest respect for you madam. Keep it up the great work.
  • + 2
 Thanks!
  • - 13
flag bonkywonky (Feb 28, 2014 at 8:07) (Below Threshold)
 So you need to tattoo something on your arm in order to commit to it? I think SXE is making a song and a dance (aware of the pun) about something that goes without saying in the rest of society (regarding drugs, not alcohol). I have never touched drugs either but it doesn't cross my mind to have that tattood on my arm, neither does 'hammer on toe free' or 'eating dog shit free'..

Then again I don't get tattoos in general; why turn a value into a statement?
  • + 10
 Personal choice, dude. Just like your choice not to get tattoos or do drugs.
  • + 1
 bonkywonky, I really don't like tats on girls & also don't have any because of my own personal feelings about them. There are some rare cases where people get tattoos because they actually put thought into it & came up with something that represents who they are & in even rarer cases those things are actually worth taking notice of. Anne is one of those rarest cases.

Have you ever worn a piece of clothing with a corporate logo on it? Unless you can say no then you might wanna check yourself. The most interesting thing to me is that those tattoos immediately instill this impression in politically correct people of rebellion & delinquency that is arguably common among heavily tattooed people, yet Anne is one of the best of us. Better than you, better than me, tats or not.

I didn't even know "alcohol free" was also a part of it until I read down this far. That arm is one of the best conversation starters I've ever seen, (says a guy that dislikes tattoos).
  • - 4
flag bonkywonky (Feb 28, 2014 at 11:04) (Below Threshold)
 What you are saying essentially is that you have certain values SO you tattoo them on your body and that's were I disagree. I have some pretty strong morals and values as well but to me that's a personal thing. Not that I want to hide it but it's not something I want to show to the world either. If I did I would write a blog or get involved politically (I'm reading up on third world economics and politics for that reason) so I can actually change things. Textual tattoos are a quick and easy way to make a statement and profile yourself, which isn't my thing at all.

Also note that I'm not slagging off her or tattood people in general. MTB needs more girls (and guys) like this, i.e. bright thinking and an educated opinion on things, both bike related and in general.
  • + 2
 @ bonky, it's all relative. I don't know if you ever had thought or statement which to you was very profound but other's didnt understand. DRUG FREE nowadays it's something to get respected for. Maybe you don't do drugs or never did them. That's really good. But in the society that we are living today when you are surrounded with drugs and never try them, that needs to be noticed. Anyways i am not big fan of tattoos either, but i think she did that in sign of protest. Which is really good thing indeed.

Drug FREE for life ;-))
  • + 1
 I think that's pretty rad. Major respect to her and anyone else who's drug free. Glad to see I'm not alone. It's tough being in highschool with drugs everywhere (my bus got drug searched a few weeks ago) and lots of people doing them but I'm determined to stay clean. Who needs drugs anyway when you can get a wicked high just from shredding some good trails with a couple of buddies?
  • + 4
 Or, you know, we just tattoo them on our bodies because they're important things to us. Who are you to say that you disapprove of Anne's choices because of your own moral 'high ground' or beliefs about ink?

Anne doesn't flaunt her tats openly, nor does she push and prod others to accept her SxE lifestyle. In fact? The only reason I knew Anne was straight edge is because I asked her to have a beer with me at nationals and she politely turned it down. She didn't broadcast anything, nor did she judge me for my lifestyle choices.

Fellas, I know this is a really strange thought because in no way do women EVER do this, but... Maybe she got the f*cking tats for herself? Because she likes them? And they make her happy/better/satisfied?

Also:

Why does it matter so much to you? Live and let live.

And, for the record, THE WORLD (not just MTB) needs more people like this. Women, men and children. People who are who they truly are, without suffering or explanation, and who change the world, simply by being themselves.

Anne's tattoos, her brain, her kindness, hard work and incredible passion are all parts of the amazing individual that she is. Accept that and let it go.
  • - 1
 Yeah dude, YOU may not feel like doing something that you see as trivial & it's a sort of oxymoronic or hypocritical position to be in making that statement here. Realistically if you think about it, what you value enough to dedicate yourself to is probably just shit that is common to the lot of us or things that are neither healthy or unhealthy (personal preference).

You don't feel the need to write something that matters to you on your arm, but what you did feel the need to do was write something about it on an internet forum. Furthermore, that thing that you're writing about is just your personal opinion about something trivial. Drugs are not trivial. It is a hugely important issue in society & even most drug addicts would probably agree that this woman is very remarkable & potentially a positive influence on society. An attitude about tattoos is a "moral" one. An opinion. An attitude about drugs is not. Drugs ARE bad, mmmmkay? No one needs to argue that they are a detriment to personal as well as societal health. Tattoos? Who besides you gives a shit about that? She isn't telling anyone what to do. That would be bad too. She's just setting an example that few people can match. It deserves praise. Your position on tattoos, is totally irrelevant. It sounds almost like you resent something besides the tattoo. You definitely appear to be a bit confused about the significance of issues. Even if you could name something that you've dedicated yourself to that is as noteworthy & positive as living a drug free life, you still couldn't make a valid argument against tattooing it on your body, because tattoos are just a personal choice. As it stands right now, you've been more preachy over something stupid than Anne has been about something rare & important. A career in science that seeks to clean up the world is harder & more beneficial than any career in dick sucking & backstabbing. Yeah let us know when you change the world with that. :/
  • - 9
flag bonkywonky (Feb 28, 2014 at 12:17) (Below Threshold)
 amirazemi - Surrounded by drugs? Unless you live in Mexico I don't think drugs are that big of a problem. Yes there's a few people using them but unless you go to a tekno rave the majority is clean-ish. Other than that, how does the drug use of others affect you personally? Nobody forces you to join them, right?

Also I still don't see why you should promote drugs or drug free lifestyle. Everybody knows what drugs do so let them make their own decision. If not, offer drug counceling at your local highschool, help the addicted get their lives back, hunt down drug dealers,.. That's making a change. Having some cliche statement tattood on your body isn't.
  • - 3
 ...
  • + 2
 I don't remember when it was mentioned that anyone anywhere ever got a tattoo to change anything about anyone anywhere. I think your interpretation of things is a little wonky, bonky.

Also you happen to live in one of the best countries in the world. Arguably better than the one I do. Anne unfortunately does not. I can't say for sure, but the overall health of the USA doesn't seem to be too good & drugs are a big enough contributor.

You're also deluded about everyone knowing what drugs do. The ignorance in the world is pretty high & better education usually leads to better choices.

How much on top of being a professional athlete, brilliant scientist & pollution free person do you really expect any given person to do? "Hunt down drug dealers"? You just said everyone knows so let them make their own choices.

In the interest of letting everyone make their own choices. Everyone knows that a tattoo does no harm to anyone, so let people make their own choices about it. It's not a f*cking promotion!!!! No one is selling anything!!! It's just a representation of something that matters to her. It just so happens that everyone else but you gets why it's rad. Having some "cliché" statement tattooed may not make a positive change, but education is the best weapon against every thing that ever ails anyone & if someone as intelligent as Anne is ever asked about why she has that tattoo, that someone might learn something valuable.

The last thing is, since you're so interested in talking about change, which was never stated to be the point of anyone's tattoos (that I know of) & discussing how a tattoo doesn't bring about the change that it was never intended to anyway, I'd like to point out that carrying on in a forum about your hatred of the things & telling everyone else how to make the world a better place, will do absolutely nothing to actually make that happen.
  • + 3
 Bonkywonky, you're the kind of guy that says "you do know that they're on there for life don't you?" aren't you?
  • + 1
 Did someone say free drugs?
  • + 2
 I think they said free hugs.
  • - 4
flag badbadleroybrown (Mar 3, 2014 at 1:05) (Below Threshold)
 It's all a matter of personal choice but, as far as I'm concerned, anyone who has a need to so heavily modify their own body has bigger issues than drugs or alcohol... a tat or two for things that are deeply important to you is fine but the whole inch wide holes in the ear lobes and silly straight edger semi-sleeve is just juvenile and sad on a grown woman... It's all just so tacky in a way that surpasses even bumper stickers on a VW bus.
  • + 6
 I sure hope I don't have bigger issues, haha! Except, maybe my obsession with Star Wars and bacon? Feeling pretty healthy with some decent career prospects ahead of me. Not here to please everyone, but happy to knock-down your stereotypes. I've surrounded myself with friends and loved ones who accept me and my choices. My little sister is a damn good tattoo artist, and I'm proud to display her work. There are plenty of women out there without any body modification getting black-out drunk, high, and knocked up, but perhaps that's more your style. I never fit in to that crowd. I'll take some personal body art and my less-than-1" reversible earlobes over the 3 Xs (drinking, drugs, sleeping around) any day (holy crap, I have a mohawk and several Star Wars tattoos, too!). Cheers for that tidbit of personal info about yourself, badbadleroybrown, I truly wish you the all best in finding someone who fits your preferences.
  • + 6
 Also, badbadleroybrown, for someone who subscribes to the forum thread, "Penthouse: Where sexy girls pose with bikecycles [sic]", this article was not meant as a want-ad or advertisement. Just in case you were confused.
  • + 6
 I have to say, it's boggles my mind that a select few of you are getting hung up on Anne's ink or piercings. First of all, they're awesome. Secondly, judge not lest ye be judged on a Pinkbike column. Read the story and be stoked that someone as bright and capable as Anne is around.
  • - 5
flag badbadleroybrown (Mar 3, 2014 at 21:04) (Below Threshold)
 Lmao... I guess someone got all butthurt and went trolling my profile. Damn right I like good looking broads and good looking bikes! I came for the science actually... then the tats made it hard for me to take you seriously.

Out of curiosity though... why must it be one or the other? Why not non modified and sober and prudent? What kind of sad life experiences you must have had that you believe it's either body modification and clean living or clean body and dirty living...

Whatever... cheers, good luck with the science and the super hardcore straight edgerness/body modification/human bumper sticker thing.
  • + 3
 Dudes, I'm a conservative Baptist pastor from Texas with one tattoo and a mountain bike addiction, and even I'm shocked by the close-mindedness displayed here!
That really ought to make you check yourselves LOL

@C9H13NO3- I appreciate your dedication to putting the healing of our planet above biking. Props to your MTB success, but even more well-wishes to your life-saving career.
  • + 3
 epicsidequest.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/holes-first-law-digging-pickaxe.jpg


Visual representation of "badbadleroybrown" and his seemingly endless views on body modification and sobriety.
  • + 2
 this is to cool
  • + 2
 Right On Ann!
  • + 1
 Thanks, Ninja!
  • + 1
 Nice, clever, fit and likes bikes.....gets my vote
  • + 1
 Sooooo pro!!! Hope to see you at some races this year.
  • - 3
 Why a tat that says drug fee? Must be a sad story there. No coffee? That's a powerful addiction. a drug. Riding can be an escape from reality as well...................Maybe drugs are not the problem.
  • + 4
 …I think you're right, drugs are not the problem. You try going through 8+ years of school without some sort of "escape"! I think choosing MTB as mine is probably better than most.
  • + 1
 So beautiful eyes.
  • + 1
 Pretty inspirational!
  • + 1
 you said it Hex!
  • - 1
 TV is the only thing that drowns out the voices
  • + 0
 boys go wild
  • + 0
 go mad
  • + 0
 And why not
  • + 1
 my girlfriend gonna shoot me....................
  • + 4
 WOW SHE'S A FEMALE LETS GO CRAZY.
  • + 0
 cheers Razz
  • - 1
 word to the wise... dont pit too close if your rowdy
  • + 5
 *you're
  • - 3
 That's one big arm
  • + 7
 That's one STRONG Arm, man......go tell you're Grandma she has a big arm and see what happens! I learned that lesson the hard way!
  • + 1
 Hahaha, you're right, i didnt mean to offend anyone. I have lots of admiration for these type of girls
  • - 2
 Maxim take note.
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