Clare Hamilton

Bio

What’s your day job? What’s your favorite part of your day job? What’s your least favorite part of your day job?

When I’m not riding my bike, or skipping class to ride my bike, I’m hard at work as a second-year Environmental Design student at the University of Colorado at Boulder. My favorite part about being a design student is when I get to engage both my head and my hands and actually build the things that I and others have designed. My least favorite part about being a design student is all the hours I have to spend working in the studio when I could be outside riding my bike.

When did you start mountain biking? Why did you start? What made you a lifer (was it a moment, a ride, a trip, etc.?)?

I started mountain biking during my junior year of high school after a few of my friends convinced me to join our school’s NICA team. The company of awesome teammates hooked me initially, but it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the thrill of shredding single track and the beautiful places my bike brought me.

What’s the thing you love second to cycling? What’s the thing you love third to cycling? How do these three things (cycling, love #2, love #3) compliment each other and make your life what it is today?

My second favorite place to spend time, second only to the mountain bike trails of Colorado, is the workshop on my family’s farm. I’m lucky to have a pretty rad dad who passed his carpentry and welding skills on to me growing up, and I still enjoy building furniture, getting my hands greasy, or doing any kind of hands-on project when I have the opportunity. After biking and building, my favorite thing to do is cook (and eat) good food. My life has always been filled with good food and good cooking thanks to my parents and a backyard full of fresh produce and even though I’m away at college I still find comfort and joy in cooking and sitting down for a meal with my roommates. Although they may seem unrelated, my love for biking and my love for building and cooking all complement each other. My love for building provides some balance in my life and gives me the desire and the skills to be able to maintain my own bikes, and my love for cooking helps fuel my body with good food (a particularly good batch of cookies can sometimes even serve as extra motivation to pedal my bike).  

What’s your favorite ride snack? 
Carrots, but only when I’m out of cookies

Do you feel that you have a good balance in your life? If yes, how do you achieve that? If no, what's off balance and why? 
For the most part, yes. But if I’m being picky... too much school, not enough time to ride my bike and spend time with my family. Too much speed, not enough style. Too many pancakes, not enough waffles.

If you left for a big mountain bike trip tomorrow, what are the top 3 things you couldn’t live without?
Plenty of snacks, carmex, a pair of wool socks

What's one thing that no one knows about you?
I’ve always wanted to play the banjo in a family band   

What’s your favorite local trail. Why is it your favorite? How many times a week do you ride it?

My favorite area to ride near Boulder is Hall Ranch. The climbs are mellow and the trails have some super fun flowy sections. There’s a pretty long techy, rock garden section that keeps things interesting, and riding it in the uphill direction makes the rest of the ride all the more satisfying. Although it’s my favorite local(ish) place to ride, I only go there 2 or 3 times a month since it’s a 40 minute drive from my house and zipping to the local bike park on my dirt jumper is much easier. The best part is taking a post-ride dip in the river during the summer months (or winter months if you’re me and my roommates).  

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