Video: Blake Hansen on How Biking Gave Her Freedom to Be Herself

Jul 27, 2021 at 11:04
by Alicia Leggett  

Blake Hansen is an enduro racer out of Salt Lake City who loves to ride fast downhill. She recently spent time in the desert for Red Bull Formation and is working to up her freeride game.

Growing up in Southern California in the '90s, there wasn't much space to be anything but straight and cisgender, she said. But through biking, she learned to be unapologetically herself and hopes to be the role model for transgender athletes she never had. Through creating this film, she hopes to put her story out there in a humanizing way.

In her words:

bigquotesI hope people will be able to see the human in me. A good friend of mine once said “We’re all just a bunch of meat sticks in skin suits on a floating rock, anyway.”

I may have different life experiences and challenges than the “regular” person next to me but that doesn’t make me any less of a human. No one’s getting anywhere by putting others down, even if they think they are, so we should listen to and value each other’s life experiences.

I also hope that the representation this video provides does something for the people out there looking for it. I hope this film gets spread far and wide so that people can see that trans people are out here! We’re everywhere, we hold value and we deserve to be authentically seen and supported in what we do, just like anyone else.
Blake Hansen

Lastly, she distills her message into just two sentences:

bigquotesI would like to remind you to be nice to people, especially when it feels hard. We can all learn a lot from watching other people move through life differently than we would.Blake Hansen

Find Blake on Instagram at @handsblakesen.

As conversations about transgender athletes, inclusion, and fairness unfold, please remember that there are other people at the end of your words. We expect the comments on Pinkbike to be respectful and constructive.

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  • 120 5
 “We’re all just a bunch of meat sticks in skin suits on a floating rock, anyway.”

I take offense to this because I more resemble a bratwurst than a Slim Jim.
  • 54 0
 "negative...i am a meat popsicle"
  • 14 0
 I am confident that if someone was to take a cross section of me ( cut me in half) I would resemble a disappointing corndog.
  • 7 0
 @ampb100: SMOKE YOUUUUUUUU!….wrong answer.
  • 4 0
 @ampb100: supremely underrated comment.
  • 8 0
 Cut me open, all your gonna find is alot of failure and disappointment....
  • 7 0
 This is my favorite comment
  • 1 1
 I bet that the no good scoundrels who don’t think Blake is a woman probably think Blake is a b***h nonetheless. Shame on them!
  • 157 45
 Never heard of Blake before. Thanks for shining the light on her. Always down for more content about LGBTQ+ folks and inclusiveness.

#translivesmatter ️‍⚧️️‍️‍⚧️
  • 59 17
 Imagine disliking this comment... So happy to see more inclusive content to empower more people to enjoy this sport. The local trails around me are getting more diverse every weekend, and it's making riding much more fun.
  • 12 1
 @shreddyloam: I assume you mean the trail users are becoming more diverse around you and not the trails. How does trail user diversity make your riding "much more fun?" When I go out and ride my fun levels are almost exclusively determined by the trail/weather and inversely related to the number of trail users. What does the diversity of other trail users have to do with your personal enjoyment? I can't understand how it would make a difference.
  • 12 2
As a long-time (but off and on) rider who recently got his wife and two daughters out on the trails, I can without a doubt say that my level of enjoyment has increased be seeing more kids, women, minorities, etc out on the trails. I like that my 11 year old daughter can see female riders out there ripping and encouraging her instead of just the dude-bros screaming “ON YOUR LEFT!” as they blow by her on a mellow trail. I like the fact that I get more “Hi!”s and friendly waves when encountering others, and how it feels to encourage someone new to the sport when I see them progressing and improving.
  • 2 0
 @undertheradar: When I do ride trails it’s always on a borrowed bike from my brother or local shop so I’m solo as timing things with friends is hard. I hadn’t considered others riding with family/groups, it’s great your wife and kids have been able to experience a better time on the trail and I can fully understand how that would improve your happiness out there as well. Thanks for explaining!
  • 3 1
 @adamdigby: I respect your mature response to undertheradar post concerning their joy at diversity in the sport.

I think that is what we are all try to get to. Despite our vast differences. We all share one common thing... Riding bikes. It doesn't matter what you look like, where you come from, what part you were born with, what parts you felt made you feel better so those are your parts now, your political views, your income, your gender, your race... None of those differences matter.

Because we all know how each of us feel when our tires hit dirt. We know how each of us feel when we hear the "f*ck yeah" either from our own mouths or the homies mouths. We all know what it feel to clean a line that you've been picking away at for weeks. We all know what those quiet solo moments we've all had just taking it all in, before we drop in. We know what post ride beers, after a summer in the hills with the homies tastes like. This list could go on forever.

What im trying to say, we are more alike then we are different. Because of our passion.
  • 1 2
 @undertheradar: what the f*ck does being minority have to do with riding Bikes? What the f*ck are you even thinking saying that?? We have been riding bikes just as long as you Houle boi
  • 82 13
 Love it. She rips, and she's brave as hell to put herself out there like this. A+ dog content too.
  • 12 0
 Yeah! People say dogs are a reflection of their owners. That little pup sent it so hard.
  • 51 4
 Damn, inspirational level of courage and sense of self. We could all take a lesson from her, I know I can.
  • 18 1
 Sure appreciate youuuuu!
  • 40 3
 This is a rad video!
I think Blake has a great outlook, she rips, and has a rad little “Louie the Dog”.

Big topic, and there might not be an answer that suits everyone.
My dad once told me “life’s not fair, so make what you need out of it”, Trying to find fairness is a fruitless task, cause fair for one, doesn’t mean fair for everyone. We all have challenges in our life, and obstacles to overcome, and we can let them stop us in our tracks, find a solution, or be at peace with it.

Blake, keep on doing you, keep ripping bikes, and keep pushing boundaries. We are resistant to change, but dont let that stop you.
Be Good to One Another Out There

Friggin Louie the dog sends it!
  • 7 1
 I LOVE this. Big ups to this.
  • 45 6
 Awesome story
  • 42 2
 I tried my best to be non-judgemental, but;
-No shuttle road
-No fern scrubs

-Coffee shot in morning
-Dark garage tinkering with bike
-Close up with helmet
-Dog on trail
-Plenty of high fives
-Top promotion about being self, don't doubt in self
  • 3 5
 @Waldon83: Oh so a super basic edit then?
  • 3 0
 But did it have a shot of her putting on her goggles or slow-mo hiking to the top of a feature while looking over her shoulder?
  • 32 5
 Cool, brave film. May everyone's unique and fleeting arrangement of atoms find a nice place while they are sentient. The dog in the lap in the van reminds me that If humans treated other humans like a dog treats a human, the world would be a better place.
  • 25 0
 The little dog hitting the rock gap at 3:27! Big Grin
  • 29 6
 yeah blake!! that was sick!
  • 13 6
 You da bezzz. I see you defending me and science.
  • 1 3
 @BlakeHansen942: The Blue Oyster has 4 stars.
  • 25 5
 Big move for her to post this on PB, good for her. Kick some ass!!
  • 27 7
 Good for her. That's bad ass!!
  • 24 5
 That was wonderful and dang she's brave to put herself out there like that! Def watching it again with my kids tonight!
  • 11 3
 such a killer edit and VERY excited to see more and more from Blake

* haters on here against Blake, its time to stop, be quiet and be happy that greater people that you make the big decisions in this world

Small minds gossip and talk about other, great minds talk about and build ideas
  • 12 2
 always 100% with diversity in our beloved sport, go Blake much love from the U.K. a place that could do with some peace love and understanding right now x
  • 17 5
 hell yeah blake!
  • 10 3
 I think this was really well done. Great personal story telling about human differences but highlighting the lifestyle and love we share for riding. This speaks to everyone. Your message is ultimately judged not by your own flock but by how many outsiders you can get to stop and think "Okay, huh. Interesting." Advocates for inclusion often forget this latter part.
  • 17 6
 best thing I've seen on PB in a long time.
  • 10 3
 Saw some negative shit in the comments, scroll down passed all that to say how awesome I thought the video was!! Great job!
  • 12 4
 Love this, thanks for your strength in sharing. Keep shredding.
  • 7 1
 I met Blake years ago through the wakeboarding scene in Utah, and I'm pumped to see this article and see her shredding bikes now. Go Blake!!
  • 8 2
 Yes Blake! A beautiful film about a beautiful human. I love it. Thank you for this.
  • 10 4
 Thankyou for being you Blake Hansen. sometimes riding a bike is just the best for a persons soul.
  • 9 2
 Go Blake!!!
  • 7 1
 Thanks for sharing Blake! "Progression has no end." Hell Yeah.
  • 5 0
 Bicycles are the best machine. Everybody thrives on a bike, go fast have fun.
  • 7 6
 Let me just say that I am very happy that there are people in this forum who are very open, accepting, and liberal.

Yes, some of them even own Santa Cruz bikes.

  • 1 3
 /me raises my hand (I own two!)
  • 5 2
 As a former resident of Santa Cruz County, I can tell you it is nothing but liberal. And yes, Santa Cruz bikes are inseparable from Santa Cruz (city and county) IMO.

That said just as it is right to stop enforcing a binary view of gender identities, let's also please try to move away from a binary view of politics (liberal, conservative). Its not constructive.
  • 2 3
 I can't relate to her specific experience, but I do remember the 90's and early 2000's and they were exactly as she describes. The world didn't seem any bigger than your block and there were very few identities to choose from. If it felt stifling to me, I can't imagine how she felt.
  • 6 5
 Stop talking about that she trans, @BlakeHansen942 is most definitely faster than you
  • 3 4
 1. Why can't I add this as My Favorite PB video?

2. People who complain about fairness are only think about "winning". What about the "fairness" to compete?

3. Battlestar Galactica.
  • 4 3
 Why is this so dark? She's amazing but the editor needs some help.
  • 2 1
 Who cares. Just another person to me.
  • 1 1
 Sorry if i repeat myself, but:

It‘s about the flags, the flags ...........
  • 1 0
 Broccoli sender
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