Laura BattistaSquamish local Laura Battista got into mountain biking by accident. Purchasing a bike for her commute to work she soon found it was better suited for the trails than on pavement. One thing led to another and Laura now races the EWS as a Juliana SRAM Free Agent.
Some of Laura Battista's accolades include winning the 2018 Trans BC, finished second at Andes Pacifico in 2019, and coming in 7th at the Enduro World Series race in Val di Fassa. All while holding down three part-time jobs.
Passionate, high achiever, very busy (chaotic?) and caring/empathetic.
Where are you from and where do you live?
I was born in Adelaide, South Australia but moved to Manchester England with my family for 10 years. In 2014, I made the decision to move to Canada and now I live in Squamish, British Columbia which I now call home.
Who do you ride for?
I’m a Juliana SRAM Free Agent and get support from 7Mesh, Corsa Cycling, Giro Cycling, Maxxis and Clif Bar.
What are your strengths?
I feel I’m a naturally strong person which is a big advantage with enduro racing. I don't give up easily!
What are your weaknesses?
Chips and trying to fit too much into my life. Sleep is also important!
What does a typical day look like for you?
Each day is different. I'm currently juggling three part-time jobs on top of training in the gym and on the bike as much as possible. I'm working as a Veterinary Technician at Mountainside Animal Hospital in North Vancouver, mountain bike guiding for Ride BC in Squamish and I'm a server at Samurai Sushi in Squamish. I suppose a typical day off work would usually be gym in the morning and a ride in the afternoon. On workdays, I try and squeeze in rides before or after work depending on energy levels.
Do you have any big projects or trips planned for the rest of 2019?
I was hoping to be ready to race the last EWS in Europe but I had to make a few changes due to a hand injury. I'd like to get some long adventure rides in before winter and some small photo projects.
How do you set up your bikes?
Tire pressure 20 psi in the front with double down casing and 22 psi rear with DH casing. I'm still figuring out my suspension setup. It's definitely a challenge but I'm enjoying figuring things out for myself.
What’s been your worst crash over the years?
I fell on the first stage of practice in Les Orres, France and fractured my 5th metacarpal which took me out for the rest of the season but otherwise I feel I've been really fortunate with my injury track record.
How do you train for racing?
Mainly I just ride bikes and have fun. I go to Rebel which is a local CrossFit gym a few times a week, mainly during the winter. I also enjoy keeping fit over winter with split-boarding.
Where’s your favorite place to ride?
I just love going to new places and riding all sorts of different terrain so this is tricky. I'd have to say Squamish and anywhere in the Kootenays.
How did you get into mountain biking?
Funny enough by chance. I bought a hardtail to commute to work. It wasn't very efficient so ended up sticking to the road bike as it was way faster and kept my mountain bike for the trails. After my first trail ride, I was totally hooked. All my free weekends were spent driving around the UK and exploring as many mountain bike zones as possible.
What bikes are you riding right now?
I’m riding a Juliana Maverick and Joplin.
Who’s your favorite rider?
Casey Brown and Isabeau Courdurier.
What’s something you believe that other people think is crazy?
Egg on Vegemite toast! (or maybe just the non-Australians).
Who or what inspires you?
Being part of the Squamish mountain bike community. Seeing women getting out riding and conquering their fears.
What do you enjoy doing away from bikes?
Spending time with my boyfriend, friends, and family.
How did you get into enduro racing?
I wanted to meet more people that mountain biked and improve my riding skills. I definitely achieved both of these things.
What’s your favorite motto or saying?
“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”
– Oprah Winfrey
What annoys you?
I find it hard to make decisions and when I lose my car keys.
What makes you happy?
My boyfriend, bikes, travel and food.
Where do you think the future of racing is headed?
I think it's just going to keep growing, especially in the women's category. Each year it's getting more and more competitive with more women taking part. I think it's just awesome that it's accessible to so many people.
If you weren’t a pro mountain biker, what would you be doing?
I would still be riding my bike as much as possible. I would probably work on my career more and specialize within the Veterinary Technician field.
How do you want to be remembered?
As a fun-loving person that is stoked on making the most of life.
Anything else we should know about you?
No not really, just that I'm stoked to have the opportunity be able to write this interview and be involved with such an amazing sport.