KRISTA COOK
KRISTA COOK

KRISTA COOK

ROSSLAND, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA

Hi! Like many mountain-town dwellers, I originated from elsewhere. I spent a few years in Canmore, Alberta but I’m happy to be living in Rossland now, where my partner and I are one dog and a Tacoma away from the #mountainlyfe dream ;)

KRISTA's Kit

The bicycle is a bit of a north star for me, in a way. I try to prioritize the things that bring me joy, so biking, being one of those things, has become one of the core values that help me make decisions that will shape my life. Where I want to live, the type of job I’d like to have, where I spend my free time, and who I meet are all influenced by my love of biking. If I hadn’t taken up riding the way I have, I’m sure my life would have taken a totally different path.

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WHAT KIND OF A CYCLIST ARE YOU?
I’m mostly a mountain biker right now. My road bike is still waiting optimistically in the basement—it’s in remarkably good condition for being seven years old and unfortunately that’s not because I took such good care of it. By comparison, I think my mountain bike breathes a sigh of relief each fall when the snow starts to fly. I do like to be able to switch disciplines though. I like the accomplished feeling of a big day on any bike and my first choice will always be to pedal to the top if possible.

WHAT IS THE CYCLING ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
Despite my current enthusiasm for mountain biking and enduro racing, the cycling accomplishment I’m most proud of was a bike tour of Eastern Canada from Kingston, Ontario to Cape Spear, Newfoundland. At a time when our classmates were planning their graduation trips overseas, my friend and I realized there’s so much of our own country we hadn’t seen—and wouldn’t it be cool if we could bike it?! We bought nearly everything second hand on Kijiji, and had three flat tires in the first two days. The shop mechanic who replaced the rim tape on my friend’s bike on day two (thus, all the flats) was pretty confident we wouldn’t make it. In hindsight, I don’t blame him but I’m proud as hell we did!

HOW LONG HAS CYCLING BEEN A PART OF YOUR LIFE? WHEN DID IT BECOME MORE THAN JUST “RIDING A BIKE”?
Right around the time we decided to do that bike tour I mentioned above. Until then, I had done some mountain biking with my Dad and it was okaaaay, and I had dabbled in triathlons a bit, but my strongest sport was always the swim. I bought my touring bike in 2012 and I’ve been organizing my life around bike trips and rides ever since.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PLACE YOU’VE BEEN ON A BIKE SO FAR?
That’s a tough one. 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!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO DAYDREAM ABOUT WHERE YOU HAVEN’T YET RIDDEN?
Switzerland or Italy. I love being up high in the mountains, so combining being in the alpine with long trails and huts would be fantastic. Plus, there’s the food and wine. Imagine a full-day alpine ride where you can stop at a teahouse for raclette midday! The videos and photos of riding in Italy, where you start in the mountains and finish at the ocean, look pretty incredible.

HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE WHAT THE BICYCLE MEANS TO YOU?
The bicycle is a bit of a north star for me, in a way. I try to prioritize the things that bring me joy, so biking, being one of those things, has become one of the core values that help me make decisions that will shape my life. Where I want to live, the type of job I’d like to have, where I spend my free time, and who I meet are all influenced by my love of biking. If I hadn’t taken up riding the way I have, I’m sure my life would have taken a totally different path.

HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR FUTURE AS A CYCLIST UNFOLDING?
Good question. I see women out there shredding and progressing into their 30s and 40s, everywhere from group rides to the pro circuits. That makes me feel really optimistic and excited for lots of years ahead of continuing to get better. I’ve just started enduro racing, so I plan to continue on that path as long as I’m still competitive. I’m also so impressed by ‘stylish’ riders— you know, the ones that hardly seem to touch the dirt with the way they hop and bounce down trails. They make mountain biking look so fun and effortless and I’d love to add a little more of that ‘steeze’ into my riding style ;)

WHO INSPIRES YOU AND YOUR RIDING?
I’m so inspired by Veronique Sandler. Maybe this my own ignorance, but I think she’s one of the raddest female riders out there right now! She’s put together some wicked edits, and they’re not only ‘awesome for a girl’, they’re just straight up awesome. She’s out there learning tricks and whips and it is just so cool to see that from a female rider.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SALSA BIKE MODEL AND WHY?
I’m new to the Salsa fam, so I’ve only really ridden the Cassidy! I’m hoping to try out a few other models eventually though, especially the gravel bikes! BC has a lot of forest service roads.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PRE, DURING, AND POST RIDE/RACE FOOD AND BEVERAGES?
My partner and I jumped aboard the quarantine sourdough craze and we’re still going strong at a few loaves a week. Before a ride, we’re probably looking at sourdough and one or two of: butter (mmm), jam, avocado/tomato, cheese, and egg—regardless of the time of day. During: I like those Nuun tabs and if it’s a long ride, candies and maybe a granola bar. After: chippies and a radler!

WHAT ARE YOU DOING WHEN YOU AREN’T CYCLING?
Skiing. If I’m not cycling, that means it’s probably winter and winter means SNOW! Backcountry skiing is like the enduro equivalent of mountain biking: hectic slogs up the mountain and party time all the way down!

WHAT DON’T YOU LEAVE HOME WITHOUT ON A RIDE?
I wish there was something I never left home without on a ride. Maybe a friend? Who is hopefully carrying the thing that I forgot at home.