We are pleased to welcome Krista Cook to our Sponsored Riders team. A passionate mountain biker and backcountry skier, Krista lives in the mountain town of Rossland, British Columbia. Krista co-starred in our recent Cassidy short film, Peak to Pint Throwdown. Learn more about Krista in the interview below and follow her on Instagram (@krista.jayne).
SALSA – Please tell us a bit about yourself, your upbringing, and where you live now?
KRISTA – I’m originally from a small town near London, Ontario. I was always very involved in sports, playing everything in school from curling to track and field to field hockey. My primary sport, though, was synchronized swimming, which I competed in until graduating university. In 2015, I moved to Canmore, Alberta, where I took up mountain biking and really went off the deep end. Fast forward five years and three cracked helmets later, I now live in Rossland, BC—a location my partner and I chose for both the challenging mountain biking and epic annual snowfall. Having lived in a mountain town for most of the last five years, I don’t want to live anywhere else.
SALSA – What was your path into cycling?
KRISTA – I did some mountain biking as a kid, and I don’t think I give my dad enough credit for that. I didn’t really care for it—what teenage girl wants to go biking on some buggy trail with her dad? I realize now that it gave me a good foundation for when I picked up biking again later. I really got into mountain biking when I moved to Canmore as a way to meet new people. Thanks to those annoying bike rides with my dad, I knew how to do things like shift to go up a hill or ride over a root, so I picked it up pretty quickly.
SALSA – Can you share a bit on the how, when and where that your cycling skills really progressed?
KRISTA – I rode a lot with Rebound Cycles, a shop in Canmore, on their weeknight group rides. I didn’t have a bike yet, so I rented a different bike each week. Those rides were challenging, but felt within reach and were a great opportunity for me to pick up some tips and advice from other riders, while still being laid back and fun. I think the biggest thing, though, was that as a beginner I had an approachable group to ride with every single week who were all better than I was. I had the fitness from running and road biking, and I learned a ton from getting to ride with this group—and eventually groups of friends—who were all technically stronger than I was. Riding with people who are better than me is how I’ve progressed to where I am. I’m a great copycat.
SALSA – How would you describe your riding style?
KRISTA – Enduro. I started out very XC—I wore spandex head-to-toe my first year of mountain biking, but I swapped that out pretty quickly. I think I’m a little bit stiff and serious, so one of my goals for next year is to loosen up, bounce around a little more and just, like, bring a little more steeze to the game ;)
SALSA – Imagine we are in a post-COVID world, you’ve got 3 days off work and a stellar weather pattern has taken hold. What’s your plan?
KRISTA – Have a face licking party! Ha! Gather up a few friends, and head to one of the many cute mountain towns in BC with great mountain biking. BC is amazing, because you can camp all over the place, usually pretty close to both town and the trail heads. If the weather is amazing, we’d get up and make a coffee or two, ride for a few hours, then grab some drinks and snacks and hit the lake to cool off and clean up in the afternoon. Then we’d chill for a few hours and hang around a fire in the evening and sleep under the stars (or in the back of our truck). Plus, LOTS of high-fiving, hugs, and cheers-ing!
SALSA – There’s been a huge uptick in new cyclists lately. What is your message to them about the possibilities that the bike offers for their lives?
KRISTA – Make it your primary goal to have a fun, positive experience. Have zero expectations in terms of progression, distance, or technical features. Those things are all secondary to being outside, breathing fresh air and moving your body. In my experience, people (myself included) can be so hard on themselves when expectations about where you should be at and what you should be riding start to creep in. It matters not at all what, where, or when you’re riding—just that you are! If you’re happy and having a good time, you’ll keep riding and the progression will come as a byproduct of loving being on your bike, whatever that looks like for you.
SALSA – Gelato or ice cream? Poutine or French fries? Brussels sprouts or cranberries?
KRISTA – Ice cream, specifically white chocolate raspberry. French fries, sweet potato and regular are both good, although I might change that opinion if someone wafted a poutine under my nose right now. And Brussels sprouts, roasted. Who eats cranberries?! Blah.
SALSA – Any additional thoughts to all the folks out there reading this?
KRISTA - Put a dollop of peanut butter on your French toast as soon as you flip it, so by the time the second side is cooked, the peanut butter is all melty and warm. Real maple syrup, or none.
SALSA – Where can folks follow you on social media?
KRISTA – Just Instagram @krista.jayne
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The best times I’ve had on my bike are the result of so much more than just the place; the whole vibe comes from the trails, the people, where we stayed and everything else! I’ve got to say though, Squamish is pretty reliably an amazing place to visit with your bike. I’ve improved more in a week of riding in Squamish than the remainder of my season elsewhere, so I try to make a trip each year! Plus, there are great breweries and restaurants, the ocean, stunning mountains, and great friends!