Juliana Bicycles Rider - Alex Showerman

Q&A with Alex Showerman

Juliana Bicycles Rider - Alex Showerman

Q&A with Alex Showerman

April 26 — 2024

Words // Alex Showerman

Photos // Micayla Gatto

Juliana Bicycles Welcomes Alex Showerman to the Family

Where are you from and where do you live now?

I grew up in Thetford, Vermont. Like all, I grew up always looking to adventure elsewhere. I traveled the country, lived on the road in an RV, and realized just how special Vermont is. Waterbury, VT is now my home for the second time. A lot of people sleep on how good the riding is in New England. Killington and Thunder Mountain were both built and designed  by the same builders behind Whistler Bike Park but have a fraction of the crowds! Y’all should come visit!

How did you get into riding mountain bikes?

As a kid I was obsessed with bikes. In the 5th grade my neighbor and I would time each other racing our department store mountain bikes down the informal trails behind their house. I begged my parents to send me to Woodward BMX camp (which they did not). Even at that young age I had dreams of being a bike athlete. It’s so cool to realize that dream all these years later!

Favorite place to ride? 

The Utah desert. I got to spend a winter living in an RV bouncing around places like Virgin and Green River. I love the endless creativity that freeride mountain biking offers out there. Whatever style — big mountain steeps, slashy scree lines, playful jumps and everything in between — the only limitation is your own creativity. 

Locally, I’m super fired up on the new zone in Bolton, VT called the Driving Range. It’s a fully adaptive-friendly network, but also has a super fun gap jump line. I hope we see more zones like this being built in Vermont over the coming years. Right now they are raising money for phase two and you can donate here.

What's the most challenging terrain for you to ride?

Big jumps. I actually got into hitting big jumps after I turned 30, so it doesn’t come naturally to me. I love it, but it’s definitely part of my biking I have to work really hard at to progress.

A lot of riders I talk to share that they are scared of jumps, and like all things it’s just about putting in the reps (also totally worth paying for a good coach). I worked with a coach for a summer and it was a game changer in my progression. Now that I’m fully recovered from my broken neck I’m hoping to start back up with a coach again this summer. It’s still hard and still scary but it’s my absolute fave.

Juliana Bicycles Rider - Alex Showerman
Juliana Bicycles Rider - Alex Showerman

How did you get into the freeride scene?

The desert has always captured my imagination. Back in 2021, the very talented photographer Emily Taylor and I rented a side by side and spent the weekend camping and shooting in the Middle of Nowhere, Utah. We wound up getting some incredible shots (and rolling the side by side in the process, but that’s another story). I posted them to instagram and a few weeks later I got a DM out of the blue from Katie Holden,  asking if I wanted to do an event with Red Bull and HB (Hannah Bergemann)! It was a week long progression camp and gave me all the confidence to pursue it as an athlete. 

That summer was a whirlwind, did a product launch shoot with fellow Juliana rider, Kajay Rooke at Highland for Wild Rye, and Hannah invited me out to hit Blue Steel at her inaugural Hangtime event in Bellingham. After that I packed up my life and moved to Virgin, Utah for winter. That winter I got to do media work at Rampage which was such a cool experience and was ultimately invited to be a digger at Red Bull Formation the following spring which was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. 

What has freeride meant for you? 

Freeride and the women in it have saved my life. I came out in 2020 and it was a lonely time marked by a lot of loss. I kind of ran to the desert to disappear from the world for a bit. And through that I found the most incredible group of women who have become my best friends and collaborators. Advocating for this sport and the women in it has given me a purpose and passion like none other in life. I don’t know where I would be without this community and sport. 

One of the things I think is cool about freeride is that the more I’ve gotten involved the more I’ve realized how all of us, regardless of ability, are freeriders. Whether it’s at Formation/Rampage or the local trails, freeride is about community, creativity and pushing your own personal limits together. It’s all the same vibe and process whether you’re hitting a massive drop in the desert or a two foot drop on your local trails for the first time. Freeride really can be anywhere. 

What accomplishments are you most proud of as an athlete? 

For me, starting the event Foundation (not to be confused with Formation) is one of my greatest accomplishments. 

One of the most common questions I get asked by a lot of gals is, “How do I get involved in freeride?” So I wanted to create an event that broke down the barriers and helped the everyday rider step into bigger freeride terrain. Thus, Foundation was born… an open registration jump jam that gives amateur riders the chance to ride alongside and receive mentorship from pros. Our first year was so cool to see so many gals come into the event nervous, then hit some of the biggest features they’ve hit with ease and confidence. I really believe that all women are capable of freeride, but just haven’t had the right mentorship or opportunity. Foundation changes that.

Juliana Bicycles Rider - Alex Showerman
Juliana Bicycles Rider - Alex Showerman

You also have two film projects coming out this summer. Can you tell us more about those? 

‘Coming Home’ tells the story of finding belonging in women’s mountain biking. I was joined by Brooklyn Bell and Hannah for a return trip home to Vermont to road trip through some of my favorite places and then together throw Foundation at Killington. It recently won the most inspiring film at No Man’s Land Film Festival and was selected for Mountain Film in Telluride!

The other one comes out in the fall and I still can’t say much, but it was one of the coolest riding experiences I’ve had, and it was my first shoot aboard the Roubion! I can’t wait to share it with you all. 

Favorite hype song or if you had a theme song?

Big T-swift Reputation girlie here. Also a pop punk princess. Coincidentally both of those have also been my favorite Halloween costumes. 

Dream vacation spot? With or without bikes. 

For a proper vacation, either Mexico or somewhere on the Mediterranean where I can sit in the sun, and explore through good food and drinks. I find food is such a cool way to explore the world, and is the best way to really get to know a place and meet locals. 

What person in history, dead or alive, would you most want to sit down and have a chat with?

My mom passed of breast cancer 10 years ago. So much has happened since, and her creative spirit is such a big influence on me. I would love to hear what she thinks of all I’ve been up to. I definitely miss her more ten years on than when she first passed. 

Why Juliana? 

One of the things that is really cool about having a dedicated women’s product is it means the brand has to spend money marketing to and building community for women. Women can feel second fiddle and under valued at a lot of bike brands, while at Juliana building our community is the mission. 

I view Juliana as a disruptor and incubator for change in an industry that needs to figure out how to capitalize on the explosion in women’s sports that is happening in almost all major sports right now. Being a part of that change is really exciting to me. 

What has you most excited about joining Juliana? 

The crew!!! The Juliana team has so many incredible women on it. Constantly inspired by a lot of my new teammates and already been made to feel so welcome even when I was riding for a different brand.  It just feels like home.

Go to bike? And why? 

Got to be the Roubion. Playful and planted at the same time. Impressed how out right off the shop floor this bike was ready to party in pretty much everything. Pro-tip make sure you flip the chip from hi to low setting for maximum fun and confidence. 

Some day, I hope we get to see the Strega back in the line. The witchy launch video, the freeride inspired design, that bike was ahead of its time and was what put Juliana on the map for me. I don’t think it gets enough credit for how influential that bike was in what we see today in the women’s riding community. 

What are your goals for the future? 

I aim to be the connector between the athletes that are doing incredible stuff at the global level and the everyday rider. Show all women that they are capable of freeride. My dream would be to grow Foundation into a series in multiple markets and produce/direct a feature length women’s freeride film to inspire. I’m also hoping to find access to land in Vermont to build a progression zone like cedar dust out in Bellingham to help grow the freeride scene and break down more barriers to progression here on the east. Representation, mentorship and access are my key pillars of change.