Who We Are Meet Mia Schumann – MCBC’s Student Intern
We are delighted to have Mia Schumann join MCBC as a student intern during her fall semester as part of the Pathways program. Mia is helping with our off-road advocacy and trail stewards program. We asked Mia to tell us a little more about herself and why she rides!
I am interested in trail advocacy and am passionate about getting more people on bikes. I race cross country mountain biking for Bear National Team and this fall I am racing cyclocross for the first time with West Coast Cross/Bear National Cross Team. I am on Tam High NICA team as the girls team captain, and have discovered a new belonging through giving back to the mountain bike community that does so much for me. I’ve learned that a good athlete is an athlete that can perform well but a great athlete has a character that radiates gratitude for their community by returning to it. I strive for my mountain bike career to be filled with success in results but even more purpose driven by being part of an organization where I can get involved in the cycling community.
What kind of bicycle(s) do you ride?
I mostly ride my mountain bike, my favorite bike I’ve had was my full suspension Scott Spark. I just started racing cyclocross and have been riding a Trek Boone cyclocross bike.
What do you like best about riding?
I love that riding can be competitive and peaceful. If I’m having a bad day, I can get on my bike and blow off some steam or just enjoy the fresh air and landscape views by myself while thinking about anything. It gives me the opportunity to slow down and breathe for a few hours. On the other hand, I can also race up fire roads with my friends and then compete for the Strava Queen of the Mountain titles on the descents. I can show up at a race and be aggressive and feel strong and then cheer on my friends after my race. I love that there is something for everyone in cycling.
What do you like best about the benefits of riding your bike?
Mountain biking, especially racing, has benefited my character greatly. I am much more resilient, decisive and mentally tough. The quick thinking skills you gain from making split second decisions while choosing lines descending or constantly being alert during races making decisions have helped me so much off the bike. Mechanicals, mistakes and the occasional bad days racing have made me mentally tough and resilient and those are qualities I know I can use and improve for years.
What would you have liked someone to tell you when you started?
I would have liked someone to tell me to put myself out there! The cycling community is huge and it took me years to realize it. There are so many people just like me that have aligned incentives of growing cycling, competing and just having fun! Being a young girl in cycling, I felt like an outlier for a while. I wish I knew I never had to be ashamed of wanting to mountain bike instead of play volleyball or cheerleading like social norms tell us girls.
Where is your favorite place to ride your bike?
I usually ride on Mt Tam and I always love riding in the Headlands because the views of the ocean and Golden Gate Bridge never get old. I will always have a special place in my heart for home here in Marin County but I’ve gotten to ride in many different states. Some of the highlights have been riding the White Rim Trail and Slick Rock Trail in Moab, Utah. As well as Breckenridge, Colorado and Sedona, Arizona.
What is your favorite ride/route in Marin County?
My favorite trails in Marin County are Tenderfoot and Coastal View trail. On longer endurance rides I like to ride up Railroad Grade to Coastal View and then up Green Gulch to Miwok and finally into Tennessee Valley. On shorter rides I like to go up Railroad Grade and down Tenderfoot.
What part of riding would you most like to improve?
I’ve always wanted to improve my technical skills. I would love to be able to keep up with some of the fearless, potentially wreckless boys on my team. I’ve always been inspired by women who race downhill even though I’ve always been a cross country rider.
What is your vision of bicycling in the future?
I want to see bicycling grow in every aspect. I want to see middle school racing, mothers and fathers bringing groceries home on the back of cargo bikes and a more diversified sport. I want to see big name bike brands making more cost effective bikes to give access to low income riders. I want to see different cultures riding together on freshly paved bike paths and miles of singletrack. I think the newer generations are more environmentally conscious than they have been in the past and I want to see regular people trading their old diesel trucks for two wheels for transportation!