Michelle Emmons

I began riding singletrack back in 1987 – my favorite ride back then was the McKenzie River Trail. Though most of my cycling adventures were contained by my commuter routes, I began venturing out further in the late 90s as a trip leader for the Univesity of Oregon Outdoor Program. After graduating from college in 2000, I moved on to more serious riding, exploring trails in central and southern Washington, the Columbia Gorge, and throughout Oregon and northern California. I always, and still do, ride for fun. My first mountain bike race ever, was in 1999 at the Oakridge Fat Tire Festival on Willamette Pass. I signed up as a random participant and knocked myself cold on the third run… but I woke up and I still finished! My most active race season was in 2011, completing most of the Oregon Super D Series before it morphed into the Oregon Enduro, as it’s known today. I also found a new addiction to speed in downhill racing. But, while I loved the challenge of racing, it was the camaraderie and constant meditation of self-improvement that I enjoyed so much about mountain biking. In 2012, I became a certified instructor, so I could share my passion as a professional educator, tour guide, trail advocate and event organizer. I feel privileged to provide opportunities for other riders to grow themselves, both mentally and physically. Although I love the speed and unpredictability of downhill racing, I am taking some time off this year to build my endurance. After several knee injuries, my mantra has changed to “going the distance” – I am planning to focus on my climbing fitness with the goal to finish the Fat 55 and complete the Cascade Cream Puff 50 Mile course lap in September. Along the way, I am excited to exchange inspiration for mountain biking as part of Team No Apologies, representing at a variety of events this season.

Photo: Trask Bedortha