Singletrack Focus: An Interview with MTB Pro Krista Park
Growing up in Los Alamos, New Mexico, Krista Park was an avid skier who loved the excitement she got from pushing the boundaries on double black diamond runs, sometimes quite literally, as when she was threatened with arrest for skiing out of bounds in Colorado. In the summer, she loved backpacking and she liked the extreme versions of that as well, having a close encounter with lightening at 14,000 feet, sliding down ice fields at 12,000 feet and getting a ticket for illegal backpacking in Oklahoma (seriously, Krista? How did you manage that?) So after Krista and her husband moved to Georgia and settled into her job at Motorola as a senior electrical engineer, she just couldn’t pass up an invitation from some guys at work to join them for a weekly bike ride. She and her husband discovered the mountain biking trails in Georgia (the trails there are “awesome!” she says) From there, it wasn’t hard for her friend Kim to talk her into trying her first race seven years ago. She put her all into the race, pedaling “like crazy” all the while telling herself: “This is not fun…not at all fun…who said this is fun?” She won that race and in spite her mantra, started enjoying mountain biking and racing.
True to her fashion, Krista, jumped into mountain biking with full passion and dedication: she and her husband quit their engineering jobs in Lawrenceville, Georgia, and bought a motor home so she could pursue her pro career full time. While she trains and races, her supportive husband, Todd continues his engineering work by telecommuting. Krista is sponsored by Cannondale, Incycle and FRS, but sorry to say, mountain biking isn’t a big-money sport and when she qualified for the Marathon World Championships in Germany, USA Cycling didn’t have the budget to send her there. Thanks to friends and a few sponsors she was able to go last summer and was the first American across the finish line.
Krista loves the technical aspects of the sport whether it’s “East Coast style: muddy and rooty, or Desert-style: dry and rocky.” She teaches mountain biking skill clinics to women, passing on her love for the sport. If you’re a bit intimidated, Krista mix of enthusiasm and an easy-going nature will have you at home on the trail, “in as little as 30 minutes.” During our interview with Krista, she talked about teaching mountain biking, racing, how she started and what life is like right now for her and Todd. Check out the video below. (At the end of the video, is a slideshow show of her racing photos set to a song by AC/DC , representative of Krista’s eclectic music tastes.)