We couldn't be more excited to introduce you to Laura Slavin, an incredible member of the PNW Squad. Laura sends her way up and down the east coast, hitting the biggest jumps she can find and spreading the stoke along the way. Her enthusiasm and thirst for adventure perfectly embody the spirit of mountain biking and we can't wait to see what 2021 has in store for her. Welcome to the Squad, Laura!
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Stubborn, Earthy, Funny
Tell us a bit about yourself. What’s the “CliffsNotes” version of your life story?
I feel like I've lived many lives in just the one. I’ve ridden many waves to get to the bike phase of things - some positive, some less than. Grateful to have been able to get such a diverse array of experiences!
What makes you tick? What gets you out of bed in the morning?
It actually takes a LOT to get me out of bed in the morning -- I genuinely hate mornings. I've ruined my life over mornings before (haha!). But a couple things that override the hate: a race or an adventure I'm stoked for and my dog, Hoagie, needing to pee, which he politely doesn't wake me for often. (I know I'm taking this question way too literally!)
When did you start mountain biking and what was the progression like? Were you hooked from the start?
I started mountain biking a couple months before I turned 30... I originally just bought a flat bar hybrid to commute to work to help the Earth, but I was brought to an XC mountain bike race on a rainy day and became enchanted by the idea of epic MTB adventures. So I bought one from eBay! And I went HARD. IN. THE. PAINT. I've been obsessed with progressing in some way or another ever since.
What are some of your bike related goals?
It's taken me a long time to figure out exactly what kind of mountain biker I want to be. I think I'd like to be the kind of rider who is decent no matter where you drop them, you know? Fit enough to hang on XC rides, skilled enough for tech, ballsy enough for gravity riding. More than anything, I really want to be STEEZY on it all.
What are some of your life goals?
Hmmmm... I'd like to get to a place where I can learn to be happy with myself while also still being driven to improve, which is harder than you'd think! I also have a list of places I'd like to visit, like Samoa!
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not riding bikes?
My absolute favorite thing in the world is hiking with my dog. His enthusiasm for everything is contagious and uplifting! Dogs have magical energy and no matter what kind of funk I'm in, getting outside with him will cure it!
What’s your absolute favorite thing about riding bikes?
I love that it gives me an avenue to really dig into the very core of myself - through the experience of fear, self doubt, painful physical exertion, overcoming those things - I get to come out the other side with new knowledge of who I am and who I'd like to be.
What’s your least favorite thing about riding bikes?
Probably the fear, self doubt, and painful physical exertion, LOL!!!
How do you hope to add to, or improve, the bike community?
Be the change you wish to see? I’m hoping to keep it focused on the riding, being honest and working hard.
What’s your current music of choice? Do you have any songs, artists, or playlists that you’re hooked on?
Ahh! I love this question! Current favs: Ondara, CSS, M.I.A. I went through a big Grimes phase recently. There’s always Wutang in the rotation.
Do you have any moments or memories of riding bikes that stand out from the rest?
I have wayyy too many to list! My first Sea Otter, my first win, winning the state championship. My first big drop, my first no-hander, first time riding in the desert, first 40+ footer... So many. It's been a RIDE.
Are you currently working on any projects that you’d like people to keep an eye out for? What can you tell us about it/them without spilling the whole secret?
I made a collaboration riding video with Yeti in fall of 2020 that should be out within the next month-ish!! It's an ode to my hometown trails in New Jersey. In honor of Covid, which kept me from really going anywhere or doing anything else last year!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Stoked for the future!