Wednesday, October 22, 2008

- BLOGGER APP #12: Mary Wilcox

NAME: Mary Wilcox
HOMETOWN: Ogden, Utah
Where are you from? I come from the womb, but I have lived several places since then; from the Show-Me-State Missouri to Sunny Arizona and now Ogden, Utah.
What kind of bike do you ride? In my bike family I have 5 children. Don’t tell anyone, but my favorite is my Scott Spark 10. I also have a Surly Travelers Check, a Scott CR1/SL and CX/Team, and a Schwinn Homegrown.
What do you love about it? My baby is soft and stiff in all the right places. It’s got curves and class and style. If my bike were a person, it would be an exotic dancer.
Solo or team competitor? Why? Sometimes it’s good to suffer alone. Group suffering has too many perks and could be confused as a fun time. I’ll be going solo.
Done any ultra-endurance stuff before? I’ve experienced the LoToJa and a few other road races that make you nauseous just seeing a bike when you are done and 24 hours of Moab on a team.
Favorite food? I love Thai, Indian, and Japanese food. However, I can never turn down a juicy hamburger or a big plate of pasta especially if accompanied by wheat juice.
Movie? I don’t know if I have a favorite. I like a lot of movies so long as they aren’t too stupid or scary. Scary movies give me bad dreams.
Book? Huckleberry Finn, The Once and Future King, Les Mis, The FountainHead. I like pretty much any book that makes you think.
Worst experience on a bike? Trekking for hours through a muddy river of snowmelt and being passed by four wheelers as I carried my bike over huge drifts of snow. To top it off, we rode a lousy dirt road down for 5 miles to be spit out into a neighborhood. There was absolutely nothing good about that ride and if I didn’t know better, I would have gone straight to the pawn shop and traded my bike in for some power tools and gold. I’m still angry about it. I’ve learned to be suspicious of people that ride very expensive hard-tails.
Best experience on a bike? This is a tough one. This is sort of like asking what is my best experience eating chocolate. The bike feels the best when my legs are completely recovered and going up a climb seems almost effortless. When I can stand up on my pedals and crank as hard as I can or glide past whatever rock or obstacle is in the trail like it wasn’t even there. It’s also pretty cool to see the look on some dudes face when he gets passed by a girl going down hill.
Tell us about your favorite ‘local’ ride: A great after-work ride is to jet up to Wheeler Creek trailhead and do a loop up around Snowbasin Ski Resort. The trail is buttery smooth, flowy, and delicious. After a rain, the dirt becomes tacky but still doesn’t stick to your tires. You can ride up there all day or for just a few hours and sometimes not see anyone besides some wild turkeys and a moose or two. I’m fairly certain that in mountain bike heaven the Snowbasin trails can be ridden. As the seasons change, so does the trail, so it never really gets old.
Tell us about your favorite ride EVER: Wow, talk about a loaded question. I’d like to think I haven’t experienced my ‘favorite ride ever’. I guess that’s what makes going for a ride worth it, because the best one might be still in the future. I love going out with friends or more commonly just rocking out to Green Day by myself. There is a trail network in Ogden that looks out onto the city and makes you wonder how is it possible that out of all of the billions of people in the world, you are the only one seeing life from that angle.
Who will play you in the Breck Epic movie and why? In the Breck Epic movie I would be played by the 5th Element. Just kidding. Actually, I don’t think I can answer this question just yet unless this movie isn’t going to be based on a true story. Maybe I will be played by Angelina Jolie… or maybe it will be Will Ferrell. We will just have to see…
What do you hope to get out of this experience? Expectations/goals/etc. I expect to get fame, possibly a contract, and a new Hummer. Actually, the main thing I want to get out of this experience is just the experience. In my life philosophy, there is nothing more valuable than experience. I have learned that you can never plan out an experience or predict what you will learn from it, but that is what makes it all the more interesting and worthwhile. I’m excited about the opportunity to communicate to the unknown world just a fraction of everything that goes on in my head throughout the day. There is something that happens to the human brain while going through some sort of physical challenge, which is what I think draws us all to endurance events. It’s a sort of mental clarity where everything else in life fades away and you truly do live in the moment. I also hope that what I write will encourage more girls out there to get into the sport and also give all the dudes a different perspective to think about. Bottom line is, I’m still an idealist, so most of what I do comes from the innate desire to somehow make the world a better place.
Tell us about your history as a cyclist or in the industry: My first bike was a 2001 Schwinn Homegrown with a really crappy parts kit. I couldn’t ever get it to shift correctly so I never shifted and was perpetually in granny gear. I tried to ride up huge rocks and down really scary rocks and spent a lot of time carrying my bike. I’ve since learned how to shift, filled up a garage with bikes, joined a mountain bike race team, and quit my job so I could bike commute to work. The bicycle has become somewhat of an appendage. I write poems about bikes, I talk philosophy about bikes, and think of ways to solve all the world’s problems with bikes. My coworkers and boss are now bike commuters and most people I know ask me how the last race went before they ask how I am. I’ve dabbled in road races and I’ve dabbled in cross races. I’ve been bike touring in Italy, Switzerland, and British Columbia. I wave to the crosswalk guards on the way to work and laugh at myself out loud if I mess up on the trail. I think all of those things make me a cyclist.
Feel free to blatantly self-promote here. A quote you like, a direct appeal to the voters, some hateful vitriolic slander for your political opponents (see: Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter…) This is your space. Decorate it however you’d like. I can do calculus in my sleep and I can easily have a conversation with anyone about the nephron. With me as your blogger, you not only get a writer that has won essay contests and has written a book (unpublished as of yet), but you also get an BioEngineer. You get someone who is convincing enough to be hired as a rocket scientist and also win the “Most Prolific Writer” award from Mrs. McFall in 6th grade. You get a writer that not only talks the talk, but can also sniff out a cliché a mile away. I can talk about knee pain, caffeinated gels, numb nether-regions, burn-out, losing in sport, winning in expert, and why to not wear corduroys when riding in the snow (lesson learned this morning). The point is, there are plenty of things that have already been talked about, but to make something worth reading, you have to change the perspective. I can change the perspective on some of the key issues that every cyclist faces and bring you glory and riches while doing so. However, fortune and grandeur are meaningless if the required word count is surpassed, or at least exceeded ever-so-slightly for the sake of rebellion.

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