Erin Roe, AKA Tenacious E. A super stoked and high energy rider and competitor Erin has taken to mountain biking with enthusiasm and dedication that motivates those
around her. She is positive person, with a "competitive edge" that drives her forward and motivates her to become a better rider. Erin is another motivated local female
rider who is defining GRRRLLL power on the local trails.
How long have you been mountain biking?
I occasionally dabbled around on the trails with a
crappy bike for 5 years, but have been seriously
mountain biking for about 2 years.
What got you into the sport?
I've always wanted to give it a try. I used to live in
Bellingham and would hear people's stories of
Galbraith. When I moved to Olympia, a friend of a
friend mentioned that I was moving to one of the best
spots in the state for year-rounding mountain biking,
so I figured it was the perfect opportunity. I bought a
fully-rigid Raleigh from a bike co-op before I moved
and hit the trails.
Did you start riding in Capitol Forest or somewhere else?
Capitol Forest. I remember my very first ride was on a rainy, muddy Sunday in November. I was trying to ride out to Mima Falls, got lost, and fell off my bike about five
times before turning around. Somehow, I kept coming back...
What do you like most about the trails in Capitol Forest?
The huge selection and variety of trails. You can do a quick 5-10 mile loop or a 70 mile epic. You can ride nice smooth singletrack, gnarly moto trails or bermed
switchbacks. You can ride up a puker climb or do a shuttle. All within 45 minutes of home.
Favorite loop/ride here?
Depends on the day and conditions, but my all-time favorite would have to be up trail 8 to Wedekind, across the Crestline, and down Green Line 6. I love the woodsy
climb and traverse across 8, the butt-kicking hills of the Crestline, and the sweet decent down 6 to top it off.
What kind of bike set up are you on/like to use in Cap?
Right now I'm riding a 5" travel geared all-mountain bike with 26" tires. I haven't had too much experience with different bike set ups, but I sure see all kinds.
Any advice for other riders who may be new to riding in Capitol Forest?
Don't be scared away by bad weather and mud; it's nothing that some fenders, good clothing and mud tires can't cure. Always ride with a trail map or better yet, hook up
with those who know the trails at one of the group rides. Keep an eye and ear open for horses and motos. Have fun!!
If you could have one song on loop in your head during a ride what would it be?
That's a tough one! Probably Orion by Metallica or Name of the Game by Crystal Method
What do you think about the riding community here?
Absolutely awesome. If every riding area had a similar group of people riding and maintaining the trails, I think mountain bikers would have much more trail access. The
riders out here are dedicated to every aspect of the sport.
Are you involved in any trail work here?
I come out to work parties whenever possible, although it's difficult during the racing season when nearly every weekend is eaten up by races. One of my goals is to get
more involved in trail maintenance and to help build the new trail. My most significant contribution to the trails is packing them down with my bike tires =)
You recently started racing. What discipline?
Cross-country. I like the variety of skills; the test of lungs, legs, bike handling skills and endurance. Plus, I like earning that sweet descent. Once I get faster on the
downhill I might start doing some Super D's (besides the Capitol Forest ones)
What got you interested in racing?
I've always been pretty competitive and I love the outdoors. I had a spin class instructor who was a mountain bike racer who would talk about his races during class,
which piqued my interest. He encouraged me to try my hand at it because he thought there needed to be more women involved in the sport. When the first Capitol Forest
XC race in March came around I took the plunge, thanks to the encouraging responses from those on Capitol Forest yahoo group. The race was a complete mud-fest and
it took me over 4 hours to finish the course, but I was hooked! I raced the rest of the season.
How have you progressed as a competitor, classes, confidence etc?
I've always been competitive by nature, but my confidence has definitely improved. I've learned not to assume everyone else will be faster than me, and I've learned where
my strengths are and how to best utilize my strengths during a race. It was a good feeling to see my times gradually improve. I did pretty well this last season and I'm
moving up a category next year.
What has racing taught you the most?
It has taught me efficiency; how to take corners more efficiently, how to pick quicker, more effective lines, how to position my bike and how to shift more efficiently.
If you had to pick one strength you feel you have as a rider and one weakness you'd like to improve what would they be?
I have fairly good endurance and can climb up trails more efficiently than I used to be able to. My weakness is definitely staying confident, especially on technical
descents and trails with lots of side-hill exposure. So much of that stuff is more mental than anything else.
As a female rider do you have any advice, guidance or suggestions for other women wanting to get into the sport?
Don't be intimidated and do it! I actually think women just starting out have it better off then the guys because of the enormous support network. For example, there are
many women's-only clinics and rides throughout the Northwest that help the ladies build skills in a safe, non-competitive environment with other ladies. You will not be
alone!! Check out the Seattle Luna Chix. Locally, there are beginner rides on Monday nights hosted by FOCF's own Rachel Delateur.
Any shout outs, thank you's or other you would like to mention?
I would not be the obsessive mountain biker I am today without the encouragement of everyone in the Capitol Forest riding community. Not only did they encourage me
without even knowing me to come out and ride, but they have been so awesome I come back on a weekly basis and race with them all summer. Besides the phenomenal
trail work and thousands of volunteer hours, these folks have really been soooo supportive of riders just joining the sport.
Real biker chicks pedal
|Tenacious E in her element