Danielle Musto
Danielle Musto

Danielle Musto

Grand Rapids, Michigan

I love races that require me to be on my bike for a really long time. 24-hour races are my favorite but I would love to do a few stage races in the future. That being said I also love riding my bike downtown for coffee and ice cream. As long as I’m on my bike I’m happy.

12 years ago I met a cute guy in a bar. He took me on my first mountain bike ride and instantly I felt like I belonged “in my own skin” for the first time in my life. I fell in love with the sport and everything that it entails and haven’t looked back since. PS. I married the guy :-)

Read More

What kind of cyclist are you?
Endurance Racing! I love races that require me to be on my bike for a really long time. 24-hour races are my favorite but I would love to do a few stage races in the future. That being said I also love riding my bike downtown for coffee and ice cream. As long as I’m on my bike I’m happy.

How long has cycling been a part of your life? When did it become more than just “riding a bike”?
12 years ago I met a cute guy in a bar. He took me on my first mountain bike ride and instantly I felt like I belonged “in my own skin” for the first time in my life. I fell in love with the sport and everything that it entails and haven’t looked back since. PS.  I married the guy :-)

The cycling accomplishment you’re proudest of to date?
Placing 4th at the 24-hour solo World Championships in Scotland. It was my first time racing outside of the country and I was racing on a World Cup course against a lot of really fast women. Instead of allowing myself to become intimidated I focused on my own race and enjoyed every single moment. It was fun, painful and life changing because I learned how important it is to stay “in the present” during a race instead of worrying about the past or future.

Favorite place you’ve been on a bike so far?
Scotland. I wish I could have stayed longer and ridden more. My goal is to go back and bikepack around the country. It’s beautiful.

Favorite place to daydream about that you haven’t yet ridden?
Iceland

How do you describe what the bicycle means to you?
To me the bicycle means freedom. It’s allowed me to go places and see things I normally wouldn’t be able to see. I’ve learned that I am tougher than I often give myself credit for and I’ve witnessed others accomplish amazing things by not giving up. The bicycle has also connected me to an amazing community of cyclists. I’ve met some of my best friends while on the bike!

How will your future as a cyclist unfold?
This summer I’ve started a kid’s mountain bike team (with the help of a lot of amazing people) called the Grand Rapids Dirt Dawgs. Our goal is to get more kids out on bikes, riding trail, and learning trail stewardship. We currently have 70 kids on the team and I can’t wait to spend the summer riding in the woods and teaching kids the importance of respecting our planet and living a healthy lifestyle!

Who inspires you and your riding?
My 45NRTH teammates April Morgan, Jill Martindale and Chelsea Strate. I count myself as one of the luckiest people in the world to be able to race with such awesome female athletes in the winter. They are 100% fun and 200% talented. They never give up, are great ambassadors of the sport, and always have smiles on their faces and great attitudes.

Favorite Salsa model and why?
Salsa makes way too many awesome bikes to limit it to just one. Right now I am riding a Carbon Beargrease, the XX1 Spearfish and the Ti El Mariachi. All three of those bikes are AMAZING! That being said the carbon spearfish is on my wish list :-)

Favorite pre, during, and post ride/race food and bevvies?
Pre-ride: Sweet potato pancakes or French toast and coffee.
During: CarboRocket 333 endurance formula (grape) and a payday bar.
Post-ride: Carborocket recovery and then tacos.

When you’re not cycling…
I’m working at the Grand Rapids Bicycle Company, coaching the coolest mountain bike team in the world (Grand Rapids Dirt Dawgs) or hanging out with my friends, family and 3 adorable rescue dogs Ben, Jeannie and Naomi.

What don’t you leave home without on a ride?
My helmet and a sense of adventure.