“I fell in love with cycling for the adrenaline but I remain in love with it for the challenges and the relationships it has brought me. Riding is about pushing yourself past any preconceived notion you have of your limit. There can be a million battles bookending the heartbreak and triumph that come with giving 100% of yourself to something.”
KELSEY URBAN IS NOT ONLY ONE OF THE BEST CROSS COUNTRY MOUNTAIN BIKE RIDERS IN THE COUNTRY, BUT SHE IS ALSO A STUDENT AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY. KELSEY SERVES AS A ROLE MODEL FOR ALL OF US ON HOW TO BALANCE LIFE’S CHALLENGES, AND HOW TO KEEP YOUR BALANCE WHILE RIPPING AROUND A WORLD CUP COURSE.
Home base: STANFORD, CALIFORNIA
work off the bicycle?
Student, Stanford University
5x National Team member
5 National Championship podiums
2x World Championship Team member
2016 Short Track National Champion.
Tribe Called Quest
Favorite race or ride?
Absolutely impossible to pick just one as it is constantly changing (which is why I love this sport so much). My most recent favorite ride was a ride I did with fellow ambassador and long-time teammate, Anders Johnson. It was a silent, drizzly morning and we headed out to ride 4 hours on trails I had never touched. It was the type of the day that was the epitome of why I love to ride; great company, the meditation that comes with settling into a rhythm, the satisfaction that comes with working hard and adrenaline from nailing difficult sections.
My dream career outside of cycling is…
Photographer for National Geographic.
My favorite academic subject is…
My earliest memory on a bike is…
No matter how cliche, I remember learning how to ride a bike in my preschool parking lot. I remember feeling absolutely stupefied at the thought of balancing such an unruly machine by myself. Then my mom let go, and it was the closest to flying I had ever been. Then I crashed hard and tore up my knees. But I was hooked.
why do you ride?
I fell in love with cycling for the adrenaline but I remain in love with it for the challenges and the relationships it has brought me. Riding is about pushing yourself past any preconceived notion you have of your limit. There can be a million battles bookending the heartbreak and triumph that come with giving 100% of yourself to something. Riding gives me the chance to work towards living more fearlessly. It has also gifted me with some of my closest relationships and I will always be astounded by the way single track unites people from all corners of the world.
Advice to up-and-coming cyclists:
Some days on the bike are more challenging than others, and after a couple hard rides it can be easy to feel unmotivated. However, each of those uncomfortable days pushes you outside your comfort zone, forcing you to grow stronger and wiser. That being said, the notion of 'growing' isn't enough to subject ourselves to suffering day in and day out, so the other thing I have learned from those tough days is that you have to know the bad in order to appreciate the good. I don't think I could truly appreciate the feeling of flow and everything clicking without knowing what it feels like when that isn't happening. Every ride can teach you something if you are ready to listen:).