Skiing afforded me the opportunity to see the World at a young age, an experience for which I am eternally grateful. And lest you think I was some crazy downhill ski racer, let me assure you I wasn’t! Downhill races were way too scary! I was a strictly technical skier, focusing on slalom.
Competing at top level World Cup races eventually took its toll. After my sixth major knee surgery, I was forced to seek a new path in life. That path took me to the University of Colorado Business School on another scholarship in 1987. Money didn't flow from the trees in our family, so I literally owe my career to these scholarships.
Just as I arrived in Boulder, cycling was booming and it didn’t take long before I was hooked. I won a Collegiate National Road Title my first year racing in 1989, then quickly went on to become the US National Champion. Before I knew it, I was on the 1990 US Road World Championship team and shipped off to race at the Worlds in France. It all just felt like I was super lucky, honest!
In the early 90s, mountain biking was gaining rapidly in popularity. Since I always preferred being out in the wilderness, making the switch from road to trails was a natural one. I instantly fell in love with the sport, and in 1991 I won the inaugural Mountain Bike World Championships in Durango, Colorado.
Little did I know that this was the beginning of an entirely new career. Thank goodness, because I was nearing graduation, and I thought my future lay with an internship at the bank! (I still made graduating a priority, and am proud to have gained my diploma at a time when I was being encouraged to quit everything for racing).
Over the next 6 years I went on to win 5 National Championships, 3 World Cup titles and another World Championships.
All thanks to an abiding love for mountain biking, some good old-fashioned hard work and the unwavering support from friends and sponsors.
I retired in 1997, ready to take on the next stage in my life. Looking around, I felt women weren't being properly represented in the mountain bike market place and made it my goal to offer women the best performing, most comfortable, and most beautiful mountain bikes possible.
In 1999, we launched the Juliana. It was the first ever women-specific mountain bike, designed with help from my friends at Santa Cruz Bicycles.
Since then, I’ve become a mountain biking mom, who serves on the IMBA honorary board and draws inspiration from all areas of life, whether out surfing in the ocean or trail running in the hills.
Today, the Juliana concept has evolved to become the largest range of mountain bikes dedicated to women, including its own components and soft goods line. I worked every bit as hard developing the Juliana products as I did when I was competing at the highest level. I really hope you enjoy the result!
Thanks for reading,