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Emily Smith

Downhill MTB

Sponsors: Troy Lee Designs, Devinci Cycles, Terrain Gym, Fanatik Bike Co, GoPro, Renthal, 100% Eyewear

140 lbs
Bellingham, WA
current residence:
Bellingham, WA

How did you get into Mountain Biking?
I started trail riding with my dad as a kid then was introduced to downhill racing by the guys at my local shop.

How old were you when you started riding?
I rode trail bikes off and on from the age of 13 or so and started racing downhill when I was 20.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up outside of Everson, WA on 12 acres with my parents and older brother.

How did you first get introduced to TLD and/or Troy?
I was first introduced to TLD through Fanatik Bike Co where I work as a sales rep. After many conversations over the phone placing orders for the shop I eventually built my own relationship with them that lead to my racing for TLD.

How long have you been riding for TLD?
2013 will be my second full race season.

Which TLD products are you using?
Most of them:) My favorites are my D3 Carbon, XC Gloves (pink of course), the women’s GP Air kit, the KG 5450 knee/shin guards, and my SE Gear bag (I don’t pack lightly).

Do any athletes/riders influence or inspire your style?
Athletes of numerous sports inspire me, but from biking specifically I have always looked up to Anne-Caroline Chausson and Missy Giove as pioneering women of our sport who shred. I have always been impressed with Greg Minnaar’s consistence and Sam Hill’s all out speed. I am also jealous of Brandon Semenuk’s style on a bike of any kind, he makes everything look easy.

What do you like to do when you're not riding?
When I’m not riding I enjoy hanging out with friends, playing with my dog Brimley, reading, baking and lets be honest, shopping :)

What bands/music are you into?
My taste in music is all over the place. From Paul Simon and Neil Young to Pierce the Veil and Sleeping with Sirens, from Taylor Swift and Sean Hayes to Brand New and Skrillex; it really just depends on whether I want to get excited or relax.

List 3 goals you have for the upcoming season:
1. Stay injury free!!!
2. Consistent top 5 results
3. Get more international races under my belt and handle the added anxiety of bigger caliber events

List a few highlights of your career:
Definitely winning 2011 US Nationals for Cat 1 Women. It was the biggest event I’d been to at the time and it was absolutely horrible conditions but I held it together the whole weekend and pulled out a run I was really proud of (it just happened to be the winning run too)!

What's your favorite race/event and why?
My favorite races are the local NW Cup Series in Port Angeles, WA. This was the first place I ever raced and I hold a special spot for it. The tracks remind me of riding at home and there are always tons of good friends to practice with over the weekend. It’s just a really fun, relaxed environment (minus the moving van shuttle).

What's your idea of an epic day riding?
Epic riding days start with an epic breakfast! Then head out to my favorite local spot where you know every root, rock, and sniper line in a truck full of awesome people and the co-pilot dog. Ride until it’s too dark then its bonfires, refreshments, and the pump track with lights:) Pretty epic if you ask me!

What's the best thing about being a Mountain Bike athlete?
DH racing is a sport that is so intense for a relatively small amount of time. When you are on your bike nothing else is in your mind, you don’t care what you’re making for dinner or those bills you have to pay; everything that matters is right now. It’s very calming oddly enough. I’ve also met the most amazing people through bikes that are in it for all the right reasons and are a joy to do laps with. I feel lucky to be a part of this industry. Oh and the girl to guy ratio :)

If you weren't a Mountain Bike athlete, how would you want to spend your time?
I would probably go back to school for my masters in public administration with a focus on environment and natural resource management and get a ‘real’ job. I really enjoy the routine and challenge of school but it will always be there so I don’t feel rushed about it. I would also probably try to excel at another sport, maybe rally or golf?

If you were running things, what would you change about the industry?
There is a vicious cycle in our sport, not unlike many other sports, that it is difficult to get high-level results without support but it is hard to get support without high-level results. I feel that many racers never reach their full potential because they never get the support that would enable them to do so. Support takes money and its not an easy issue to address but I think more junior programs to get young racers to international events and working with the right coaches will help them get on factory teams in the future.

Who would you like to thank?
First and foremost I would like to thanks my parents, they are my biggest cheerleaders and have been my whole life. I would also like to thank Fanatik Bike Co for teaching me everything I know about bikes of all kinds and helping me see the industry from many sides. I would like to thank my sponsors as well, Devinci Cyles, Troy Lee Designs, Terrian Gym, Fanatik Bike Co, GoPro, Renthal, and 100% Eyewear for their continued support through injuries and podiums, without them this dream would not be possible.

Any words of wisdom?
Dreams take dedication and sacrifice but if it’s truly your passion it will all be worth it. Set goals that reflect how hard you are willing to work and don’t look back.