Now Finished: Ask Me Anything With Micayla Gatto

Mar 7, 2017
by AJ Barlas  
Micayla Gatto Ask Us Anything Addison MacDonald Photo

To anyone that has paid close attention to the World Cup Downhill circuit in recent times, the name Micayla Gatto shouldn't be a surprise. Micayla, a Vancouver, B.C. native, started her racing on the world stage as a junior at the Livigno World Champs back in 2005, where she finished third at the event. For the nine years following, Micayla raced as many World Cup and World Champ events as she could make it to, carrying the Canadian Champ sleeve with her on a number of occasions, and in 2014 spent her last full season as part of the Pivot Factory team, alongside the likes of Bernard Kerr and Elliot Jackson. Her skills don't end on the bike, though. Micayla is an incredible artist whose illustrations include a great mix of linework and hatching that create depth and a pretty unique look.


Micayla has also done a fair share of hosting, even with us here on PInkbike, and has also been known to play the guitar and sing as well. While she doesn't currently race on the World Cup, she still loves to ride and be involved with bikes. In a few short weeks, she will take that passion and her experience hosting to Crankworx Rotorua, and will play host at a Bike/Art retreat alongside Steffi Marth from June 26-28 this year. Micayla also continues to represent some of the best brands in the business, including the likes of; IXS, Schwalbe Tires, Oakley, GoPro, Camelbak, Shimano, and Fox Racing Shox.

So what better time to learn more about Micayla? What drives her creativity? What's her favorite creative outlet? Why did she stop racing World Cup Downhill? Does she plan on going back to a full-time race schedule, or is she happy living in Aré, Sweden with her partner and focusing more on her art? Curious about any of the above? Hit her up in the comments below.





How ‘Ask Me Anything' Works:

Starting at 10:00 AM PST/6:00 PM BST on Tuesday, March 7 you can type your questions into the comment box following this article and Micayla Gatto will have a crack at answering them. Sometimes your answer will pop up in a few seconds; others may take a while, as Micayla will be busy responding to the as many questions as she can. Everyone who posts a question, large or small, will be taken seriously. To make the process as efficient as possible, try to follow these simple guidelines:

Keep your questions relevant.

Stay focused. Try to keep your questions on one topic if possible. You can always ask about another item later.

• Try to keep your questions to about 100 words.

Ask Us Anything is a service to PB readers who are seeking helpful information, not a forum to broadcast opinions or grievances. If you do have a negative issue that you want to ask about, no worries, just keep your complaints relevant and in the context of a question so that it can be addressed in a productive manner.

Use propping to acknowledge good—or not so good—questions. Bump them up or down to where they belong.


Micayla Gatto Ask Us Anything Cliff Ensley Photo
Micayla Gatto Ask Us Anything

Micayla Gatto Ask Us Anything Addison MacDonald Photo
Micayla Gatto sketching her way down the course.

Mark your calendars—the conversation starts at 10:00 AM Pacific Time / 6:00 PM British Time today, Tuesday, March 7, 2017.

Other time zones:
• 1:00 PM EST (New York)
• 7:00 PM CET (Paris)
• 8:00 PM SAST (Cape Town)
• 5:00 AM AEST March 8 (Sydney, Aus)
• 7:00 AM NZST March 8 (Auckland, NZ)




MENTIONS: @micaylagatto / @iXSsports / @oakley / @schwalbe / @GoPro / @CamelBak / @shimano / @foxracingshox




279 Comments

  • + 85
 Can you design TLD's graphics for next year?
  • + 4
 can I pre-buy one jersey ?
  • + 51
 I would love to!
  • + 2
 @micaylagatto: yaassssss love your work haven't had an opportunity to purchase
  • + 40
 If you were dog what type of dog would you be?

Do you agree with pineapple on pizza?

Whats your favourite item if clothing and whats your least favourite, and why?

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

Whats the meaning of life?
  • - 13
flag ilovedust (Mar 7, 2017 at 9:23) (Below Threshold)
 What!!! Why is the pineapple thing even a thing? Hawiian pizza is ace
  • + 39
 Okay I'm going to start of with you because I like all of these questions a lot haha

Dog: definitely some sort of Husky/wolf cross. Not saying I think I'm like a husky, but more like I aspire to be more like a husky/wolf cross. They're so darn majestic. And strong, and beautiful and hard working. But in all realness if I were a dog, I'd probably be something awkward and goofy like a lab or a golden doodle or some sort of other high-energy, attention-hungry, food-loving thing haha.

Pineapple on pizza: used to absolutely hate it. My brother would always order Hawaiian to spite me, but, now I quite like it.

Fav item of clothing: my hats, because they always fit, make me look way cooler than I am, and protect me from the sun Razz

One food: well damn I dunno! I wouldn't really want to do that... but something that could be cooked in a bunch of different ways so I didn't get toooo bored of it. Can I use spices????

meaning of life: whatever you want it to be.
  • + 21
 How did you get the nickname TIT?
  • + 63
 hahaha welll it's a lonnnng story. This one time, in BUCKLAND, a small and feeble baby tard was adopted by some older, more experienced Tards. Together they formed a great bond and created the RHAT: Ride Hard and Tard club. The little tard was awarded one celebratory evening, with a pair of granny panties, with the title: Tard In Training. Over the years, the little tard grew, and grew, from Tard In Training, to Tard in Transition, to finally graduating to Tard In Totality. Now, if you hadn't noticed yet, all of these things are represented in the acronym T.I.T.

Only a select few have the honour of calling me this name, so if you ever hear someone shout "TIT" at me from across a grocery store, or any other awkward public place, and I respond as if that is a perfectly normal thing to call someone, you will know that is simply an original Tard calling her young.
  • + 5
 @micaylagatto: hahahahaha that is too damned awesome. Beer
  • + 14
 You've been riding elite level in the mecca of bikes for a long time. Have you noticed changes over time with respect to female riders in the community? If so, in what way? What would you personally like to see change more/faster?
  • + 63
 Hey great (and hard) question! Yes, I have definitely seen massive amounts of change in the industry and in the audience/number of female riders since I started racing around 2003. I think with the whole trail-bike/enduro movement that is dominating right now, biking is a lot more appealing and less intimidating to women who are just starting out. You see a lot more girls out now than ever before, and I think that's not necessarily due to just how we market to women specifically, but on the way the whole mountain-bike stereotype has changed. When I started racing downhill, everything was baggy, training was minimal, and it seemed to be more about chugging beers and throwing the horns than being a dedicated athlete. While this niche still exists, as does the spandex-clad xc niche does, the enduro/trail bike market has created this nice in-between area that is more about living a well-balanced, healthy, fit lifestyle than one or the other extreme. Just my personal opinion but I think that is the market that is most appealing to the female masses.

As far as changes go, I would like to see less of this "rah rah I'm a girl!" type thing, and more of just general acceptance and inclusion. Wearing pink and running around saying "you go girl!" is all a bit much for me. I think showcasing rad girls like Tracey Hannah, Casey Brown, Tahnee Seagrave etc. doing what they do best and being who they are is going to be the most inspiring for women. The more exposure, the more inspiration, the more chances of women actually getting out and trying it for themselves. More girls seen on bikes=more girls seeing girls on bikes= more girls thinking "if she can do it I can do it"=more girls on bikes. It's a classic snowball effect, and it's gathering by the second I think.
  • + 2
 @micaylagatto: You are a total beauty bud!
  • + 2
 @micaylagatto: Amen to that. The second part is 100% true.

I remember meeting you quite accidently in la Bresse 2009 you were sitting at the top of the last chute of the track thinking of the lines probably. We exchanged a few words. Anyway nice to read your answers.
  • + 1
 @Rideuse67: Cheers Smile That track was great!
  • + 14
 "Cities are the place where the fire in my soul goes to die". -Micayla Gatto
  • + 16
 hahaha so dramatic, right?
  • + 2
 @micaylagatto: I like it, and feel it too!!
  • + 9
 First things first.. So much respect and love for you!

Currently I've healed from an old injury and am trying to get back up to speed for the approaching dh race season. Sometimes after a big injury, it's harder to come back mentally than it is psychically. How have you overcome that "fear" that comes along with injury?

Cheers!
K Holster
  • + 8
 Thank you K!

That is such a puzzle that I think every rider struggles with. I think it's different for everyone, but a few things that have helped me:

1. having a mental coach and being able to talk to someone I think is the best thing you can do
2.THIS BOOK: "Thinking Body Dancing Mind" really helped me overcome obstacles and fears.
3. For me, getting back on the bike and starting with basics and focusing on building up your confidence again really helps to overcome that "fear"
  • + 8
 As you're sponsored by Oakley, did you ever think of doing some designs for the straps of their goggles?
and also, a while ago, Anneke Beerten made that famous post on how girl riders are judged by how many likes they get and followers they have rather than their results at a race. What is your take on this?
  • + 14
 Hey! Yes I have thought of the goggle strap thing quite a few years back, before I went to graphic desing/art school. Oakley gave me some templates but I was still too fresh to really be able to contribute. Who knows in the future!

Anneke is a good friend of mine, and she definitely has a point. However, I think this depends on whether you are sponsored as a racer or as a content creator. With social media being such a huge marketing tool, I think that instagram followers etc are a growing factor in sponsorship considerations. It seems like being a successful athlete nowadays for both men and women is becoming more a multi-faceted job rather than just being good at racing. However to be judged and paid solely based on appearances and "likes" on social media rather than on skillset and ability as a racer, is, I find, super infuriating.
  • + 8
 I messaged you a couple years ago asking for tips and got very inspired after your beyond the bike episode and the fact you replied, just wanted to say cheers because the season after that I won my division overall, won the state champ for my division and got a 3rd at nationals which for me was a dream season, cheers gatto!! Best female athlete along with rach in my opinion, and that's for all sports
  • + 4
 This is so cool!!!!! Such an amazing story thanks for sharing and keep it up! wow!
  • + 11
 In all your years of cycling, what is the worst type of animal excrement that you have ever accidentally ridden through?
  • + 20
 I would have to say a big ol' cow patty. They get all crusty on the outside so they look like dirt, but then when you hit them, they are still super gross and slimy and poopy on the inside, and usually make you crash. NOT. FUN. However dog poop smells way worse.
  • + 11
 What a talent
  • + 5
 thanks Smile
  • + 6
 Don't you think some of the artwork you make will also look good as a jersey? Or helmet... or any other gear?
  • + 16
 Yes, yes, and yes. haha working on it! Smile
  • + 3
 Your line work is fantastic! I do illustrations and logos as well on my Ipad pro including some bike related digital paintings @kkiddartdesign. My question is what digital tools do you use for your work? Also do you sketch by hand and scan it in and clean it up?
  • + 4
 Thank you so much! I actually (mostly) do everything by hand, starting with a simple pencil sketch, then going back over it in fine-liner or acrylics. For a recent project I have had to shift into the digital world, and I'm finding what works best is creating the initial sketch on paper, scanning it in, creating a new layer in photoshop or illustrator, then working over the original artwork. For prints or t-shirt graphics that need to maintain a hand-drawn feel, I simply scan in completed work, do a little bit of cleaning up (but not much) and send it off to the printers! Everything digital nowadays I just use a tablet and my macbook pro. I had a nice big desktop computer but it's back in Canada Frown
  • + 3
 Whats you view on the UCI DH World Cup? Do you think the difficulty showcases mountain biking sufficiently, and how do the tracks compare to to other races?

Also what do you think about female riders being entered into events like Red Bull Hardline in the future?

Cheers
  • + 5
 I don't really know as I haven't raced DH in 2 years and don't watch the races because it makes me sad I'm not there, so I don't really feel like I can have an opinion on this one, sorry!
  • + 1
 @micaylagatto: do you plan on racing it again? Seeing people you rode with starting to gain momentum (Brown and Miranda), does that make you want to get back in it?
  • + 3
 @atrokz: Yeah definitely makes me want to go back, however I really don't want to hit my head again. Suffered some pretty big post-concussion problems after my big crash in 2014 (I stopped racing after that) I'm feeling better, but racing the DH circuit and taking that risk isn't something I want to do. Trying to find an alternative! This christmas I was finallyyyy feeling like "wow I feel back to normal now" so I've started a proper training program again. We will see where it takes me!
  • + 1
 @micaylagatto: yea I remember watching that crash live, where you just disappeared out of sight. Then I didn't see you racing it again so figured that played a role. Understandable, gotta keep that noggin intact!
  • + 3
 I have a nine year old daughter who loves BMX, DH, and XC riding and has been riding since she was five. What do you have as suggestions to her as a learning rider: what to learn, what to ride, how to evolve? What advice to you have to a father of a such a kid?
  • + 3
 Sounds like she's well on her way on the right track! It's impossible to say without seeing how she rides and what she needs to focus on. It also depends on the personality of the kid on how you coach them and encourage them. I'd say for now just keep supporting her in what she wants to do. I raced XC, DH and road until I was 16 before I picked one to really focus on. Just keep doing what you're doing; sounds like its working!
  • + 7
 what place did you ride in 2016 that was the most fun?
  • + 5
 Hmmm well the most fun..... that's a hard one! Coolest place by far was on the rim of a volcano in Bali at sunrise. Not sure what else could top that one off!

Most fun might have to be in Kamloops, BC with my bff Geoff (Gully). It was my first time really riding gnarly freeride lines. Accomplishing new goals, shredding some wicked trails and hanging with my best bud made for a pretty darn good time.

oh I completely forgot about Retallack. EPIC views, crazy sunrises, fear of running into Grizzly bears, great guides and friends, and some of the best trails I've ridden all year.

Awesome but also accessible would have to be the Coast Gravity Park.

Dangit there was also the heli-drop singletrack ride down to Tenquille lake just outside Pemberton!

alright so there's too many to pick just one, but hopefully this answered your question?
  • + 1
 @micaylagatto: thanks!!!! keep shredding
  • + 3
 HUGE fan, Micayla! You're awesome.

Where is your favorite place to ride in the US?

As a kid, what was your biggest influence to pursue biking? Did your parents support your dream?
  • + 6
 hmmm I haven't ridden too much in the states, but I do love Bellingham! So many flowy rad trails, and such a strong biking community. Definitely more of an all-mountain bike type terrain though Smile

My biggest influence to pursue biking would hands-down be my big brother. He got me into it and my mom drove me to every single bike race around the province when I was starting out. My parents were always super supportive, even if they were scared Razz
  • + 6
 Have you ever experienced harassment in the bike industry?
  • + 17
 Absolutely. Verbal, sexual, and physical. Honestly I'd be shocked if there was a female in this industry... actually... maybe even in the world that hasn't experienced at least one of these things on more than one occasion.
  • + 9
 @micaylagatto: Sorry you had to go through that Frown
  • + 9
 @shaun-ridefast-michael: Thanks. There's a lot of great guys in the industry to, a lot whom have helped me out a great deal, especially in bad situations.
  • + 2
 What are your thoughts around concussions as they relate to our sport? Do you think there's enough awareness about the potential dangers of multiple impacts? Seems like we're heading in the right direction with MIPs and overall awareness.

ALSO - where can I buy your stuff?!
  • + 11
 This is such a good question, and the main reason why I stopped racing DH. I crashed super hard my last season racing, hitting my head. It's been two years and I'm just feeling better and getting back into a training routine. I think that there needs to be a lot more education and awareness around concussions and the importance of protecting our heads. I agree, it has gotten a lot better, but you still see people crashing hard and hitting their heads in practice then going on to race the same day.

If you're interested in purchasing prints or anything you can email me at splitlifecollective@gmail.com! Smile
trying to get the webshop up and running!
  • + 2
 Instagram and other forms of social media are obviously easy and huge ways to advertise these days. Do you think ambassadors for companies need a balance between racing and media projects and their social media or can one take over the other?
  • + 2
 I mean, I think there are content creators/lifestyle athletes focused more on creating photos/content and stories for sponsors, and then there's the results/competition based athletes. There can definitely be some cross over but I think to do both at the highest level is extremely time consuming. It's essentially like asking if you can be a professional food blogger and professional chef at the same time.... maybe? I don't know.
  • + 3
 My wife elodie is one of your greatest fan! YOU put here on a mtb so i'll never thank you enough for this!
We both like you as a rider and as an artist.
A little hi to her would be a great gift :-)
  • + 7
 This is so amazing to read!! Really that is such an honour for me. Thank you for sharing, and Hi Elodie! If you ever have any questions for me don't hesitate to ask me! @micaylagatto on instagram, you can DM me any questions you have about riding if you like Smile

Thanks again, and keep shredding!
  • + 1
 @micaylagatto: thank you so much for your answer! She's already following you everywhere it's possible ahah! She'll certainly send you something with insta...
Cheers!
  • + 2
 @fracasnoxteam: So so great! really motivating to hear this Smile tell her thank you for the support!
  • + 4
 Hey are you going to release a clothing/accessories line with some of your artwork? I'd love to buy some stuff!
  • + 2
 Yes it's a total dream of mine to do this, and I am working on it! Smile Hopefully I will have an online store up soon selling prints, but I want to move on to clothing soon afterwards! Starting with T-shirts, then see where it can go from there!

Thanks for the love!
  • + 1
 @micaylagatto: awesome! You should setup an email list on your site to know when we can spend all of our money in that.

Thanks for the reply and God bless you Smile
  • + 2
 @baldemarch: if i knew how to do that, I would! Cheers!
  • + 1
 @micaylagatto: I can help you, it's no big deal
  • + 2
 You are one cool and talented chick!! Not much riding in USA?. Come to Salida, CO this summer and we'll ride our great trails until you leave me far behind. Then my wife and I will serve Bar-B-Q on our deck.
  • + 2
 So nice! I'm in Sweden though! Frown
  • + 5
 How do you feel not being flamed in PB comments? Smile
  • + 4
 haha what do you mean?
  • + 4
 What has been your most memorable bike trip?
I follow you on instagram, how is Scandinavian life treating you and your man?
  • + 1
 Oh my, this is impossible. Each year I feel like I go to more and more places, with more new and exciting experiences. Some standouts for me so far would be my film trip to Retallack, my trip to Bali with Gopro, South Africa World Cup, Chile VCA race where i got stuck in a massive earthquake, had a super bad crash and got my bike stolen haha, ummm my first and only heli-bike/camp trip up past Pemberton this past summer, my trip to Big Bear for a Mountain Girls retreat, Innsbruck team DH race a few years back, annnd yeah. So many more. Each one is special.

Scando life is good! My man is Swedish so it's business as usual for him, but I'm settling in pretty nicely. We have an awesome apartment right on the ski hill (which turns into a mtb park in the summer!) and I work at a ski shop with some super great people. Only thing I miss right now are big trees and dirt!
  • + 1
 Hey Micayla. I just went through some of your artwork and I love the way you draw landscapes via pen drawings. As an artist, do you prefer to sit and draw the landscape in front you or use something you photographed as reference? Or do you go completely off of memory or perhaps create something from imagination. P.S. I love the hats!
  • + 2
 haha thanks about the hats! Gonna put up a hat wall soon in my apartment. Drawing-wise, I would love to sit out and draw but i usually don't have that much time, so i'll take a photo, or use other photos as references. I also just paint from memory or imagination a lot.
  • + 2
 Any tips for young racers as far as psychological preparedness and track familiarity? I.E. Walk the track/ GoPro footage?
  • + 6
 Glad you made it over here from insta!

Depending on how experienced the racer is, there are a few basic key points to racing everyone should follow

1. Memorize the track. Walk it, study it, write it down, video it, whatever works for you. Just memorize the damn thing.
2. Follow a routine. Establish a "race day" routine at home so that when you get to the race, you can go through the same steps as you do at home. This helps calm nerves, especially for young racers who aren't used to different hotels, foods, etc. Having a routine (get up, shower, stretch, eat, visualize the track, lay out clothes the night before... etc) might feel boring, but eliminates all that other "outside noise" of life, and allows you to better focus on the task at hand.
3. Visualize, visualize, visualize. Once you have all of your lines dialled, go through it in your head as many times as you can until it become second nature. Every morning before practice, go through the track in your mind and where you want to go. If you feel confused or get stuck on any sections, make sure you hit them perfectly in your practice run, then go through it again after practice is over. Walk the track again if you're really stuck, or need a closer look without distraction. When race day comes, there shouldn't be any guess work or wondering where you should go. Your only job your brain has on race day is to make your body push itself as hard as it can, the movements should be second nature.
  • + 2
 HI Micayla, any progress on finding an new bike sponsor and what kind of projects do you have lined up for 2017? I wish you all the success and keep on rocking.
  • + 4
 Hey Thanks so much! I have a few things in the works right now! Project-wise I've got some pretty exciting things on the horizon. Working with RedBull right now on a super cool piece that will hopefully be coming out soon. After that, attending, broadcasting, and sneaking in some racing at the Crankworx events, as well as riding and racing at the Are Bike Festival in Sweden in July! Doing some pieces for Freehub Magazine as well for their online content. I am also hosting a bike/art retreat in Austria, and have been selected to be a part of some cool edit comps Smile Also hoping to do some vlogging, and who knows what else!
  • + 3
 Do you maybe have any tips for beginning racers? In a few weeks i'm racing my second race and i'm pretty nervous ????
  • + 5
 Ooh how exciting! I always tell myself nerves are good: they show that you care!

A few things:

1. don't think about the result or "how will i do? where will I place? will i beat so-and-so?" none of these are helpful or constructive in you achieving your goals. Just focus on doing the best you can do. And there is never any pressure, because you are just racing because YOU want to. It's a bit of a harsh reality, but no one else cares more about the race than you do. So make yourself proud!
2. As I mentioned somewhere in an answer above: create a routine for yourself. Practice at home! Have a mock "race day" at home. Start the night before as if you just finished your last practice day before the race. Prepare your clothes for the morning. Go through a routine all the way from when you get up, eat breakfast, get your gear on, drive to a trail of your choice. Do some practice laps, sit at the bottom for a while and visualize the track, eat a snack, get changed or whatever else you think you will want to do at the race. Then give yourself a race run! Time yourself! Give yourself some pressure. The more you practice this, the more natural it will feel once you get to the race.
3. Have fun! Set fun mini-goals for yourself when you're at the race to dial in your lines and really get the track down.
4. visualize visualize visualize! If you have the whole thing memorized, what's to be nervous about? You know exactly where you are going, now you just have to do it!

I wish you the best of luck!
  • + 1
 Clipless or Flats? I'm wanting to race this year but have only ever done Downhill/Enduro with flats. Should I just stick to what I'm comfortable at or learn the clipless system?
  • + 1
 If you can learn clips, do it, but don't just throw them on and go racing. Start by riding your local trails, even try to strava yourself on the same trail and switch from flats to clips and see what's faster. I am a clips rider all the way, but I know theres some DH racers out there rocking flats, so do whatever you feel is best for you. I would definitely try out clips in the off-season though, as I think for Enduro/long days on the bike, clips help increase pedal efficiency and could be the better choice there.
  • + 1
 Racing has a big mental game aspect. What drives you the most when racing?

If you could race at any place on the planet, where would it be?

If you could ride for fun anywhere on the planet?
  • + 3
 I agree. In racing there is a HUGE mental game aspect. Something that I really wasn't that strong at to be honest. I haven't raced seriously in a couple years now, but I found I did the best at races I really just prepared well for and had a good time at. I don't "focus" well, so sitting all quiet and alone before a race never worked for me. When I'm nervous I get super yawny and tired, so dancing around to good music or warming up on the trainer while visualizing the track really worked best for me. While I'm actually racing, on those races that I did do well at, I didn't think about anything except one step ahead. I just breathed and pedalled my ass off and went through the motions of the track as fast and flawless as I could.

I've been looking at the NZ Enduro this past week and am really wanting to race there I think!

Queenstown! I'd love to ride there. Seems like everyone goes there every winter to train and ride, and I get so much FOMO from watching my friends instagram accounts haha. So I think Queenstown would be next on the list as fun places to ride.
  • + 1
 No question. Just an invite. Next time your at retallack would be happy to show you what the locals in New Denver have to offer. Maybe you've ridden someone the local trails. But I've got secrets. Lol. Cheers girl.
  • + 2
 Sounds rad! I'm down!
  • + 1
 When you were at home preparing for racing the DH World Cups, what was a typical training week for you? Lots of DH runs, gym work, sprints/intervals, xc riding, road riding, yoga/stretching, etc?
  • + 1
 shoot, I answered almost the same question as this somewhere else on here, have a look!

Also, I train with PerformX Training, Todd Schumlick trains a lot of the top dogs and has great training programs based on your needs. I took two years off but started up again last month (a bit late I know). I pay full price just like everybody else, and it's well worth the money.
  • + 1
 @micaylagatto: That's awesome that you work with PerformX, I've been considering doing the same. Do his programs work good even without the face to face meetings, since you are abroad? You are probably doing his WC DH program, any thoughts on whether his Basic Training would be good for an expert level DH/enduro racer?
  • + 2
 @Pe47115: Yep basic training is awesome! I'm actually just doing the base level training right now as I haven't had a program for two years and am just getting back into all of it. Didn't want to overwhelm myself lol. Since I have had a lot of face to face training in the gym on how to lift correctly etc, working abroad with Todd isn't a problem at all. I would definitely make sure you know how to olympic lift, squat, deadlift, etc properly before taking any online program.
  • + 2
 Ironically I'm looking at this during art class lol. Does drawing and riding have some special connection or are they just two things that you like doing?
  • + 5
 Well, I think they keep me balanced. I can't be out racing around, going ham on my bike 24/7, so when Im not doing that I'm inside, resting, drawing up a storm haha. I have what some might call ADHD, so regardless of where I am, I have to be doing SOMETHING. Creating things and being outdoors have always just been my outlets, and I think they work quite nicely together Smile

YAY art class!!
  • + 1
 #1 question: What do you thing is the biggest problem with downhill racing today? (for DH racing in general, and for women's racing specifically). Thanks!

...By the way, you're awesome! Smile
  • + 6
 Hey thanks! I honestly don't feel like I can have a real opinion on this, as I haven't been super involved in the DH race scene for about 2 years now. However, support for riders outside the top three, and proper athlete development programs would be a great start. A lot of talent lies untapped due to lack of funding and support, both for men and women. It's not an easy industry to get into, or stay in, if you're not at the very very top or have a lot of extra cash lying around. I had to work 2-3 jobs, live at home, and pay my own way (with help from my parents) for almost all of my racing career, and a lot of people can't or aren't willing to do that. I moved out for the first time when I was 27 simply because every penny I made went into trying to get to races. As far as women specifically goes, I think I mentioned above that just by showcasing other women in the sport, and celebrating all the different types of girls racing dh might get more women to think "hey, I could do that".
  • + 0
 If you did not manage to make a living from riding bikes, would you pursue a career life to make money but sacrifice free time or would you have an average stress free job that would allow you to get by but ride your bike lots
  • + 1
 I retract my question, I realise you don't just make a living riding bikes but make a living from numerous different things. Rad life!!!
  • + 1
 I don't make a living riding bikes. Riding bikes is super expensive for me haha. I have never made a full on living riding bikes.
  • + 1
 @Arod1: ah okay haha all good! Wish I made a living riding bikes! But not many of us do unfortunately
  • + 3
 You're mom is miffed that the bike swap isn't happening this year, tell her I'm sorry.
  • + 5
 HAHAHAHAHAHAHA I just laughed so hard! I know she told me!! She's choked. She wants to get rid of the rest of my "crap" that I couldn't take to Sweden with me! haha I would tell her but I know she's going to read everything here, so really, you just told her Razz HI MOM!
  • + 3
 What was the most rewarding moment in your MTBing career thus far, and what was the hardest?
  • + 3
 This one is going to take a bit of thinking, which is why I haven't answered it yet. Rewarding would have to be getting a podium at the Mt St Anne World Cup. It finally felt like all my hard work and all my doubt as a racer and what I could achieve melted away and I FINALLY got the reward for all the hours I had put in. It was such an amazing feeling. Hardest would have to be hitting my head super hard, getting dropped from my world cup team, and deciding to leave the World Cup circuit. It still pains me and I miss racing DH so much sometimes, but at the same time I have had so many new amazing experiences on my bike and I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and when one door closes another opens, so I'm taking it and creating bigger and better out of it!
  • + 1
 @micaylagatto: thanks for your honesty - your life is filled with adventure and positivity, and you continue to inspire ladyshredders everywhere to keep on for the love of it.
  • + 1
 @jayjayjee: Thanks so much Smile
  • + 2
 The last welcome to the team edit your did was awesome... Hope there are more opportunities for you to top that...
  • + 4
 Thanks! Oh I think there will be.... working on a pretty fun project for Red Bull right now that you might like Smile
  • + 1
 @micaylagatto: Any clues/hints you can give us??
  • + 2
 How often do you ride now? When racing World cups how much training did you do a week?
  • + 5
 Well right now I'm in Northern Sweden where it's been -15 for the past few days and snowing haha sooooo I definitely am not riding as much as I'd like to be!! I'd ride everyday if I could. When I was training the most I'd be in the gym about 4-5 days a week, yoga a few days a week, rolling and stretching every day, 3 cardio-specific days per week, and maybe a good old fun ride or two thrown in for good measure.
  • + 3
 Based on your riding style what animal would you be and why?????
  • + 3
 hahahahahha I'm not sure! A Moose?! Would love to think I'm something awesome and stealthy like a panther, but I doubt it haha. Fish out of water maybe??
  • + 1
 The mid-fat revolution, best thing since disc brakes? Also would you like to go ride fat bikes in Svalbard with me? Your partner can come too.
  • + 1
 What is your fondest memory of the old days racing the BC Cups? back in the days when you used to race both XC and DH in a weekend.
  • + 6
 OH MAN what a throwback!!! Those were some awesome and exhausting times! Loved the feeling of pushing myself so freaking hard racing xc, and being crazy fit. That was fun. Best memories would be On The Edge bike shop on the Sunshine Coast, and all the gang from over there. Dusty, Chris, Curtis, Dylan, Matt, Sean, Katherine, Brett, Dave and Lorna, Brad, Bob. Just everyone. Those were the early days when I was like, 13-15. Travelling and getting to see BC, singing at the top of my lungs in those long car rides with my mom (mambo #5 and etta james anyone???) just having so much fun with like-minded friends. And winning lots of races. That was great.
  • + 2
 ANDDD of course you guys and the whole Ellingson Crew! Easy on the eyes, always a pleasure to have at races Razz Big Grin
  • + 2
 @micaylagatto: Haha yes, Definitely good times. Hopefully see you on the trails sometime do a couple laps for oldtime sakes, your probably faster than me now.
  • + 1
 @lornee: that would be cool!
  • + 3
 Misty mountain pizza or fat tonys....
  • + 2
 Is it true that your milkshake does in fact bring all the boys and some of the girls to the yard?
  • + 4
 haha well aint that a throwback of a song
  • + 2
 How can I get a tatto design made by you??? how can I pay? Smile I love your art and your style
  • + 2
 I'm pretty busy at the moment with projects, but email me at splitlifecollective@gmail.com and we can talk!
  • + 3
 Who has better facial hair: Martin Van Buren or Chester A Arthur and why?
  • + 1
 Trick question . Chester A Arthur by default because Martin Man Buren was clean shaven.
  • + 2
 @JLaCroix: nah! Martin had some serious Chops! but to answer @tbubier I'd have to say Chester, because Martin's facial game is like Chesters, minus the stache. So based on volume Chester wins.
  • + 4
 I also had to google both of these guys to figure this out hahaha
  • + 1
 @micaylagatto: Ha! Thanks for the reply. Also, thanks for being such a great ambassador to our sport.
  • + 1
 @tbubier: no problem, and thanks for the kind words!
  • + 3
 What was your first bike?
  • + 4
 My very first mountain bike was a Trek 4900 with Judy TT's, and my first dh bike was the Specialized BigHit Pro with Marzocchi Super T forks and a 24" rear tire. Oh how times have changed!
  • + 1
 Do you think you are more well known for riding or art? Do you find your biking origins comes across or relates to your artwork?
  • + 2
 Im not sure actually! And yes, my art and riding do go hand in hand. My experiences on the bike and where it takes me greatly influences my artwork, and my creativity and search for originality in my artwork translates into my line choice and riding style I think.
  • + 3
 Riding is also an art...
  • + 3
 @lumpy873: yessir it sure is. So is trail building!
  • + 2
 Micayla! Your art is the best. I'm staring at a Gatto original right now. Any cool projects coming up? 3
  • + 5
 OH why thank you!! You're too kind Smile YEP I have one burning up my screen as we speak! Can't say too much about it, only that it's going to be LIT. Bikes + Art. It's been a dream of mine to combine my two passions into one project, and, with a little help, I think it's going to become a reality!
  • + 2
 How many mountain bikes could a mountain biker bike on if a mountain biker could mountain bike on bikes! Smile
  • + 3
 Unlimited
  • + 2
 I dunno, as a woodchuck!
  • + 2
 Your my favorite Micayla!
  • + 1
 Thanks so much!
  • + 1
 How did you manage to keep up with all this great living while secretly starring as the OA?
  • + 2
 I like your ideals. I wish the world had more people like this.
  • + 2
 awe thanks so much Smile
  • + 1
 Here's a guitar joke ... What is the difference between a jazz guitarist and a rock guitarist?
  • + 1
 what!
  • + 1
 What is your current occupation? Do you have sponsorship and or contracts with companies still?
  • + 3
 I work in a ski shop, draw pictures, and ride my bike. I have all my sponsors for riding, but am looking for a frame sponsor. Smile my sponsors include IXS, Shimano, Camelbak, Schwalbe Tires, and GoPro.
  • + 2
 What was the biggest jump you ever did ( Meters)
  • + 1
 Oh man, I dunno but I think it would have to be the jumps on the Windham World Cup track. Have no idea in metres sorry!
  • + 1
 Did you go to University/College? If so how did you balance school with biking
  • + 1
 Yep! Went to University for Graphic Design and Illustration. For three years I pretty much didn't have a life haha just trained and went to school. The training definitely suffered though and I did see a plateau in my race results while I was at school. At that point I didn't have a proper program or coach so I suggest getting on a scheduled program and have someone who you have to answer to, so you prioritize training over parties or hanging out with friends. If you're serious about racing, that is.
  • + 1
 What is your favorite GoPro Angle For Mountain Biking? Thoughts on Drones: Rad or obnoxiously disturbing the outdoors?
  • + 3
 I like the look of the "unicorn horn" as I call it (the one where the camera faces the rider out the front off of the helmet) but it's a pain in the ass to ride with! Chesty is always an easy one, and that combined with a gimbal is pretty money for playback. Inconspicuous angle has to be the under-the-visor mount. That one is great for track memorization.

Drones are rad, but to keep down annoyingness, should never be used in anything that isn't a legit edit i think. Home videos should be drone-free in my opinion, because yes, they are obnoxious. I also think drone footage might become like the new super-slow-mo. Overused most of the time, but amazing and a great tool to increasing viewing experience when used properly
  • + 1
 What events will you be placing highly in at Crankworx? There's this thing I'm working on...
  • + 1
 haha Not racing much at Crankworx to be honest. At this point i'll be competing in the Pumptrack while broadcasting live riding on a borrowed bike, so I'm not sure placing high is really a priority haha
  • + 1
 @micaylagatto: so pump track it is then
  • + 1
 Have you ever visit germany? And if yeah, what´s the most think you like in germany?
  • + 1
 Haven't spent a ton of time in Germany actually! Would love to go there more. Any riding recommendations over there?
  • + 1
 Can I purchase some artwork? Love the pen and ink landscape stuff , oh and the hot girl one too!
  • + 3
 yes you can! email me at splitlifecollective@gmail.com Smile right now I only have prints available, but more coming soon!
  • + 2
 What's your opinion on transgender athletes competing?
  • + 3
 That's a super hard one and a can of worms I don't wanna open.
  • + 1
 @micaylagatto: thanks for being honest
  • + 1
 @acfulton77: no problem Smile
  • + 1
 @micaylagatto: I've always wanted to meet you and Casey on a trail somewhere and have this conversation. I love your art btw
  • + 1
 Nice illustrations, I like them a lot. What camera is that you use and what's your favourite lens?
  • + 1
 Thank you so much! Not sure which picture you are referring to for the camera question, but I use a GoPro Hero5 or GoPro Session5 for all my personal photos. Either that or my iphone when I forget my GoPro at home! haha
  • + 0
 Is a steak pie still a pie even if it just come with a puff pastry lid or is it just a casserole with a lid ???its for my friend Lecky he's confused!
  • + 3
 I feel like this is a British question in need of a British answer haha I am not well versed in the subject of meat pies Razz
  • + 1
 Remember when our camper Mitchell snapped his arm on Dirt Merchant? I miss Camp of Champions!
  • + 2
 yep I do. and he dislocated his hand... i still talk about that to people. That was some gnarly stuff.
  • + 2
 Will you answer this question?
  • + 21
 will you answer THIS question?
  • + 2
 What is the most important part of training for the world cups?
  • + 3
 Training.
  • + 1
 Have you always lived in Canada previous to Sweden? Also, how is the transition from Canada to Sweden?
  • + 1
 Yep! Westcoast born and raised! I miss Canada a lot, but Sweden is super beautiful and I'm always down for new experiences, so embracing the snow has been a pretty fun adventure!
  • + 1
 @micaylagatto: sweet, glad to hear you're taking to it well! Thanks for responding to my 0-point comment!
  • + 2
 @dancingwhale: no problem! Cheers!
  • + 2
 What is your main source of income now? Bikes or art?
  • + 10
 Working in a ski shop hahaha, then art. Bikes are last, every time, but first in my heart.
  • + 2
 How did you get the nickname TIT?
  • + 1
 answered above!
  • + 1
 Would you agree that is Canada is like a loft apartment above a really great party?
  • + 2
 HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH
  • + 9
 I think that great party is in the process of getting busted. Underage drinking and a noise violation. Party's over.
  • + 1
 Who has been your favorite teammate? Or if that is too hard, then the funniest?
  • + 3
 oooh I don't want to pick favourites! However if we are going that route I'd have to say my homegirl Casey Brown. It was my most successful World Cup season to date, WAY too many good times/laughs. We worked really well together, and she's the only female teammate I've ever had! She's still one of my favourite humans and we were just talking today about riding once I get to Rotorua! SO stoked to hang with her again!
  • + 1
 What's your favorite band/singer?
What is your favorite movie?
Favorite quote?
  • + 2
 My goodness this is too hard! Really loving First Aid Kit right now for those mellow days, and I always love the classics like The Highwaymen and Jimi Hendrix.
Favourite movie: Jungle Book
Favourite quote: Sometimes you have to create what you want to be a part of.
  • + 1
 +1 for First Aid Kit. Also, great quote. You sound a bit like Ghandi
  • + 1
 Do you know rachel pohl? She does art and bikes too.
  • + 1
 I don't know her personally but I discovered her instagram account the other day and she looks super lovely and rad!
  • + 1
 What are your thoughts on the state of the UFC right now?
  • + 3
 UFC? As in the fighting thing? Don't watch it. Can't watch it. I think its gross. Too much blood.
  • + 1
 Any chance you show up to Gothenburg? Fancy an enduro comp in May?
  • + 1
 oooooh ya maybe!
  • + 1
 Why aren't there more women in DH?
  • + 1
 And how do you think we can increase participation?
  • + 5
 Well, that's a great question! I think it will always be the less popular of the disciplines for women, simply because its kind of marketed as this extreme, high-consequence, rough, gnarly sport. Which I guess appeals more to men than women. It's hard for me to speak for those who aren't into it, because I love it!
  • + 1
 @micaylagatto: In what ways do you think it's different from a sport like skiing or snowboarding where there's a much higher degree of participation, at arguably the same cost, risk, and time investment? Do you think there's a way to change the current perspective on it to bridge the two?
  • + 2
 @me2menow: I think skiing has been around for so long that it's started at an early age and accepted as a pretty mellow sport to get into. You start as a small kid and grow up doing it. Maybe if people put their little girls on mountainbikes when they're 2 years old they'd stick with it too. I think crashing when you're learning how to ski or snowboard also is a lot less painful than on a mountainbike. At least that's what I've experienced! Mountainbiking is also still a pretty new sport and they've only just started to get into the kids market. I think give it a bit more time and you'll keep seeing an increase in participants across the board if we can market it as a fun summer family activity.
  • + 1
 Would you like to tattoo someone?
  • + 1
 Hey, so what are you going to do tomorrow?
  • + 4
 I'm going to wake up, eat breakfast, go to the gym, draw until noon, eat lunch, then hang out with my boyfriend's niece and go snowboarding on the mountain, then play the piano and sing with her, come back home, eat dinner, and draw until i fall asleep. Smile
  • + 1
 Craziest thing you have ever seen on a trail?
  • + 1
 besides bears? Nothing but the usual natural stuff!
  • + 1
 Can you do a vinyl wrap design for my bike ? Big Grin
  • + 5
 For a price, ya.
  • + 1
 choked i missed this. seems like a rad lady
  • + 0
 What do you think of people getting your work tattooed?
  • + 5
 I think it's awesome! Super honoured, but I do appreciate permission and a photo afterwards of the work once it's done Smile
  • + 1
 @micaylagatto: Thanks! I'm thinking about getting a small and simple nature/mountain piece and everything you do is spot on!
  • + 1
 Hello
  • + 0
 Kiss, Marry, Kill... Nick McConachie, David MacMillan, Bernard Kerr
  • + 5
 wow you would in that order? Good for you!
  • + 0
 Is the last drawing a self portrait?
  • + 1
 i'll take that as a compliment Big Grin
  • + 0
 What's the offside rule ?
  • + 4
 not sure I get this?
  • + 0
 @micaylagatto: silly football thing !
Have you been riding with Bernard in Surrey uk , if yes did you enjoy ? Wink
  • + 3
 @Matt115lamb: Yes I did, and yeah, it was fun! Short tracks but fun.
  • + 0
 open to commissioned artwork or collaboration?
  • + 2
 Yep! and depends what kind of collaboration you mean! What did you have in mind? you can email me at splitlifecollective.com Smile
  • + 1
 @micaylagatto: gracias, micayla. will do.
  • + 1
 @micaylagatto: dig the flow of your website. well done.
  • + 1
 @fullbug: is a road rider now, don't listen to him.
  • + 1
 @fullbug: thanks so much! So many hours haha it's still very much in progress but it'll get there! Kind of a side-project at this point
  • + 5
 @diego-b: aint nothin wrong with road riding. I just did a road ride trip to Italy a couple weeks ago! Loved it!

but i mean.... I'd never go FULL road. Just sayin.
  • + 1
 @micaylagatto: will be lookin forward to your site. have similar side project goin.
  • + 1
 haha i know @diego-b
  • + 0
 What musicians inspire your guitar playing and singing?
  • + 3
 anything with the chords A, D, C, G, Am, E, Em, Ccad, Dsus, and Bm. because those are pretty much the only chords I can play hahaha
  • + 1
 How do you like Sweden?
  • + 1
 It's super great! Love it! Miss dirt. Excited for summer. haha
  • + 1
 @micaylagatto: are you gonna be at crankworx whistler? This is Oliver btw
  • + 1
 @NorthShore19: Oliver!! Yeah I will be! See you there?!! How's riding going?!
  • + 1
 @micaylagatto: fantastic. But Seymour got 40 cm in the past 24 hours so not much riding now. At crankworx we should do a lap together ✊️????
  • + 1
 @NorthShore19: abbbbsolutely!
  • - 1
 Broken or parkvillan?
Ninjarappet or getrappet?

Questions the local Årebo should know answers to by heart! Wink
  • + 2
 I'd say BomBom and Wersens, and I'm not sure about the other two.... I'm still learning!
  • + 0
 What are you going to do tomorrow?????
  • + 0
 Will you ever come to ski at mt. Baker this year
  • + 1
 would love to but would have to say that's a definite no. The only places I'm going by plane is to ride bikes Smile would love to shred Baker at some point though!
  • + 1
 Where was you born
  • + 2
 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada baby!
  • + 1
 Is 26 dead?
  • + 0
 Sorry don't know what that is. 26?? Razz .... dead and gone my friend.
  • + 2
 @micaylagatto: but, but freeride
  • + 4
 @FabianD: I don't even know of a bike with 26" wheels anymore....
  • + 1
 Clips or flats???
  • + 0
 Clips!
  • - 1
 Are you still friends with Clay Porter?
  • + 3
 I mean, we never had a falling out, but we haven't chatted for a few years now. Wonder what he's up to! He's great.
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