Describe yourself.Nicole Kennedy: My name is Nicole Kennedy and I am a 27 year old from Golden Colorado. I love to be in the woods, the snow, the dirt, or just anywhere outside really. I enjoy riding my bike anywhere from a casual pedal to riding rock slabs and big jumps.
Where are you from and where do you live?Nicole Kennedy: I grew up in the foothills of Colorado and now I currently live in North Vancouver, British Columbia.
What are some of the accomplishments that you're most proud of?Nicole Kennedy: A few of the accomplishments I am most proud of revolve around the fact that riding my bike has helped me overcome some of my biggest challenges. This is not just related to my general riding and racing. I also used mountain biking as a tool for recovery from post concussion depression (this was a consequence of a traumatic brain injury whilst snowboarding). From there I started racing. I placed 1st and won the Overall in the Snowmass Enduro Series in 2018. Following this I placed top 10 in the Squamish Enduro in 2019. Then diving into some freeride terrain and tackling some big hits.
What were some of the highlights of the 2019 season for you?Nicole Kennedy: Highlights of my 2019 season are:
Do you have a full-time job? How do you pay for your racing habit?Nicole Kennedy: I work full time in Mountain Operations. In the summer I build bike trails and in the winter months I work at the ski hill managing night operations. I also work in terrain park fabrication and maintenance and spend some time behind the stick of a snowcat.
How did you get into mountain biking?Nicole Kennedy: I always loved riding bikes as a kid. We would go on cruisey rides as a family all the time. My uncle was a semi pro downhill racer which was a huge inspiration. I also loved listening to my dad's crazy stories about riding bikes in his younger days. No matter what hand-me-down or dumpster Frankenbike I had, I loved it and I was on the hunt for dirt. I moved to the Keystone Bike Park after high school to take a "year off" - my addiction had begun. After a few years of hard tail and beater bike thrashing I moved into my '94 Toyota Pickup to save for my first enduro bike. The rest is history.
What are your strengths?Nicole Kennedy: I am Wonder Women. I would say my strength would be my ability to focus and tap into flow state. This helps me control my mindset going into a race stage, new line, or large feature.
What are your weaknesses?Nicole Kennedy: I am always working on improving on all aspects of my riding and training. But I would say my weakness would be my bike mechanic knowledge and experience. I would love to get more hands on with working on my own bike.
Where is your favourite place to ride?Nicole Kennedy: It's hard to choose one place to ride as my favorite. I love riding here in Squamish and Whistler but I must say nothing really compares to some good ol' desert riding in Utah.
Who are your favourite people to ride with?Nicole Kennedy: My favorite people to ride with are people who want to ride bikes! If you see me out on the trail let's go for a rip! But I do love riding with the group of bike buds I have. All good people and good vibes.
What's been your worst crash over the years?Nicole Kennedy: My worst crash on a bike was my first date with my partner. Already off on a good start. I was trying to keep up with him, then boom! On the ground with a broken collarbone and fork. Then off to the hospital.
Who's your favourite rider?Nicole Kennedy: There are so many incredible riders out there but I would have to say my favorite riders are Tahnee Seagrave and Casey Brown.
What's your favourite motto or saying?Nicole Kennedy: There are a number of favorite quotes I constantly tell myself. One that I often say when in doubt or anxious is "I can do all things", because you truly can do anything you set your mind to.
What annoys you?Nicole Kennedy: Nothing... I am bulletproof. In all seriousness, I mainly just get annoyed with myself. When I have a goal I'm set on achieving and there comes a day when I just feel off I need to learn to be patient and take a step back, even though I know I can do it, it just has to be another day.
What makes you happy?Nicole Kennedy: What makes me happy? I guess the thing that makes me the most happy is overcoming struggles and failures to achieve a goal I'm striving for. In that moment you really come to understand why you're doing what you're doing. Oh and obviously going really fast and flying through the air with my friends on a sunny day. Pure joy right there.
What's your favourite food?Nicole Kennedy: My favorite food is the kind that grows from the ground and tastes fresh. Though I do enjoy some tortellini with garlic Italian bread and some olive oil.
What do you enjoy away from bikes?Nicole Kennedy: When I'm not out riding I love to go hiking, camping, snowboarding, go for a swim, and I like to do some yoga and art. I also recently learned to sail so looking forward to doing more of that.
What's your favourite non-bike website?Nicole Kennedy: I honestly don't think I have a favorite website.
Where can people follow you on social media?Nicole Kennedy: If you would like to follow me on social media my Instagram account is @nicole.a.kennedy
Describe yourself.Ben Wallace: My name is Ben Wallace, I’m 20 years old and I’m a downhill mountain bike racer!
Where are you from and where do you live?Ben Wallace: I’m from the OG North Shore! I’m currently living in Victoria on Vancouver Island.
What are some of the accomplishments that you're most proud of?Ben Wallace: I would say I’m most proud of my first top ten at a World Cup back in 2018 at the La Bresse World Cup finals where I finished 7th in Junior. Qualifying 19th in my first Elite World Cup was crazy as well!
What were some of the highlights of the 2019 season for you?Ben Wallace: Moving up to Elite World Cup racing was a super cool experience. Getting to race against guys you grew up watching is pretty unreal. Making it on Red Bull TV for the first time in Maribor was also definitely a highlight.
Do you have a full-time job? How do you pay for your racing habit?Ben Wallace: I have done some part time work over the last few years but I am also a third-year student at the University of Victoria and so I have been focused on that for the last couple years. I’ve been lucky enough to have a really supportive family and sponsors.
How did you get into mountain biking?Ben Wallace: I got into mountain biking because both my parents were super into it and it fully rubbed off on me. I always looked up to my dad and thought he was the coolest when he’d go for a ride. He was always shredding shuttle laps and bike park laps and that got me stoked to ride as a kid.
What are your strengths?Ben Wallace: Racing in the wet, doing whips, having fun.
What are your weaknesses?Ben Wallace: Choosing schoolwork over riding. It never happens…
Where is your favourite place to ride?Ben Wallace: Mount Prevost
Who are your favourite people to ride with?Ben Wallace: Either Forrest Riesco, Kendall Mclean or my non-racer buddies at home, they send.
What's been your worst crash over the years?Ben Wallace: Probably riding Mt. Fromme after school one day when I was in high school. I went over the bars and landed face first into a rock and broke my nose and got 25 stitches in my face. That did not feel good.
Who's your favourite rider?Ben Wallace: Amaury Pierron or Brandon Semenuk
What's your favourite motto or saying?Ben Wallace: “If you ain’t first your last” – Ricky Bobby
What annoys you?Ben Wallace: When people sit in the left lane and drive slowly. So frustrating.
What makes you happy?Ben Wallace: Party trains with a good crew.
What's your favourite food?Ben Wallace: I love some good Japanese or Thai food.
What do you enjoy away from bikes?Ben Wallace: Watching sports, going fishing, hanging with the lads.
What's your favourite non-bike website?Ben Wallace: NHL.com
Where can people follow you on social media?Ben Wallace: @Ben_wallace7 for the Insta!
Describe yourself.Michaela Pacakova: I am active, fun and friendly. My happiest place is to be with friends in a forest most likely riding bikes.
Where are you from and where do you live?Michaela Pacakova: I am from Czech Republic, living in Whistler, BC since 2012
What are some of the accomplishments that you're most proud of?Michaela Pacakova: Possibly getting on a plane and arriving in Canada, but being part of Trophy of Nations would be my proudest moment.
What were some of the highlights of the 2019 season for you?Michaela Pacakova: Racing in Zermatt and Whistler EWS and Trophy of Nations.
Do you have a full-time job? How do you pay for your racing habit?Michaela Pacakova: I work as a full time Ski patroller on Whistler Mountain during winter. In summer, I am trying to combine work and biking, having two part time jobs gives me some flexibility. I work in a local bike shop and as
How did you get into mountain biking?Michaela Pacakova: I have been riding bikes since I can walk thanks to my parents. I built my first hardtail at university and raced mountain bike orienteering. But I had no idea that bike park existed until I came to Canada.
What is something you believe that other people think is crazy?Michaela Pacakova: I believe that we are not made out of sugar and any day is a great day to be outside.
What are your strengths?Michaela Pacakova: I have a will and I don't give up.
What are your weaknesses?Michaela Pacakova: My brother would say I am emotionally unstable.
Where is your favourite place to ride?Michaela Pacakova: From Squamish to Pemberton.
Who are your favourite people to ride with?Michaela Pacakova: My partner Tory, he challenges me on the uphill and downhill.
What's been your worst crash over the years?Michaela Pacakova: Last stage at Canadian Enduro in Williams lake, OTB, some broken ribs and lots of scratches.
Who's your favourite rider?Michaela Pacakova: Nino Schurter
What's your favourite motto or saying?Michaela Pacakova: What does not kill you makes you stronger.
What annoys you?Michaela Pacakova: Cigarette butts, litter.
What makes you happy?Michaela Pacakova: Freedom while riding bikes and good laugh with friends.
What's your favourite food?Michaela Pacakova: All of it.
What do you enjoy away from bikes?Michaela Pacakova: Reading a good book, skiing, running.
What's your favourite non-bike website?Michaela Pacakova: www.windy.com
Where can people follow you on social media?Michaela Pacakova: Instagram: @m.pacakova
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