MTB profile: Katrina Zalenski
By Deb Moulton
Katrina Zalenski is an open-minded Aries from New Hampshire who moved to Maine to continue her life as ski bum at Sugarloaf (which she had been doing in Colorado and Wyoming for three years.). She continues to enjoy doing "anything that can be done in the out of doors" and presently has relocated to the Portland area, where she teaches Spanish to really lucky middle school children.
NU: How long have you been Mountain Biking?
Katrina: About 10 years.
NU: How did you get started?
Katrina: I was living out west in Colorado (skiing in the winter and rock climbing in the summer) and my roommates that I was rock climbing with also mountain biked. I would borrow their bikes and go MTB with them.
NU: You recently did the New York City Five Borough Bike Tour. How was that, and how many people turned out(check out the tutu picture)?
Katrina: There were 30,000 people who all liked biking on all different types of bikes.
NU: Now you're racing?
NU: How long have you been racing?
Katrina: About three years.
NU: How did you get into racing?
Katrina: I like the competition.
NU: How does the tutu fit in?
Katrina: It gives me a non-competitive edge against the other female competitors.
NU: What was the worst crash you ever had??
Katrina:: It was biking with some friends in Fruita, Colo. It was about 100 degrees out, on a 25-mile loop. I was about three to four miles from the trailhead and was flying down this hill that had baby heads (small rocks) in the trail. I hit one of the rocks and went flying over the handlebars, crashing my knee on another rock and split it open. There was a father and son on the trail who stopped to see if I was OK. When the kid looked at my knee, he's like, "Oh my god". I could see white stuff. I wrapped my knee up in my sweaty headband, clipped in and biked out the rest of the way with one leg. It was too painful to bike with my right knee…After reaching the trailhead it was still another 45 minutes to the nearest hospital. They took one look at my knee, grabbed a wheel chair to take me back, but this other guy walked in at that moment and fell over with a heart attack. Since there was only one doctor, I had to wait.
NU: Best day biking?
Katrina: One day out west in Fruita, Colo., with best friends, [who were]pushing each other to go faster.
NU: How many bikes do you own?
Katrina: One full suspension a Jamis, One single-speed a converted Trek, a pink Bayview cruiser ("pinky"), and my latest addition, a Giant road bike. Who is the fastest horse in the stable?
NU: Dream bike trip?
Katrina: Just happy to bike around anywhere, but I would like to make it to Kingdom Trails in Vermont.
NU: What are your thoughts on women in biking?
Katrina: I'd like to see more competitors when I roll up to the start line. I have met some great women through the Monday night women's ride out of Gorham Bike and Ski in Portland. They are all excellent riders but they have no desire to compete and just like to have fun.
NU: Any ideas how to get more women interested in MTB?
Katrina: Fewer mosquitoes, less poison ivy, and some Michalob Ultra at the end of the rides.
NU: What is Michalob Ultra? It sounds nasty.
Katrina: A low carb beer, its not PBR [Pabst Blue Ribbon]. PBR makes me happy.
NU: Other sports you like??
Katrina: Telemark skiing, hiking, rock climbing, running and (latest new sport) adventure racing.
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