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Get out of your comfort zone- it is always rewarding

Three years ago I started riding downhill bikes. It was really crazy, I crashed a lot, but I immediately got addicted to it.

I love being outdoors, meeting new people and set myself new challenges. In my second year of riding I went on bike holidays to Portes du Soleil with eight guys, who I did not know. I met two of them on a local trail in Innsbruck and we started a conversation which ended up with them asking me to join their biketrip to France. Obviously I was a little bit nervous as I did not know any of them, but it ended up being one of the best weeks of my life. They were so kind and taught me many skills on the bike so I got introduced to riding big jumps, which I really fell in love with.

Last year the time came to take part in my first race in Innsbruck. I was lucky to have a friend by my side who was experienced and went through the whole process with me beginning from the track walk, practice runs to mechanical problems ;) Raceday was intense, it was raining cats and dogs and the track was slippery and most of the riders were crashing at the bottom part of the track, including myself. Somehow I managed to finish my run with many crashes in the bottom part which was basically a battlefield. The most rewarding part though was the support of my fellow ladycompetitors who I met during the race. They were particularly supportive so it felt like we were mastering that challenge all together.

My desire for new challenges wasn’t satisfied yet, therefore I decided to take part in a race where I did not know anyone, but I ended up with a bunch of new friends, especially one girl who now is my fellow racingbuddy, crashingbuddy and buddy in life :)

Next stop: Crankworx Innsbruck. This year I took part in the downhill race at Crankworx. It was such a rewarding experience as I met a lot of new people and got confidence in my riding abilities. It was a huge event with elite riders participating, which at first can be quiet intimidating, but it turned out that these riders are so friendly, they cheer for you and give you so much positive feedback.

What I want to tell you ladies is to never give up and always try out new things. The experience makes you so much richer and there is nothing more rewarding than to have overcome a fear or something you were at first uncomfortable doing. Mountainbike-riding is attracting more and more females and it is not uncommon anymore to see more girls shredding in a bikepark than boys. Don't be afraid, in this circle riders are really nice and supportive. Especially if you are a girl - the boys think it is cool that you have the courage to do this sport and they are always happy to help you out. And let me tell you it feels so good to be faster than some guys and do jumps they don’t, lets show them that girls can shred as well ;)

Go out there and fly!


Antonia Dolezal


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