When Kaysee Armstrong first discovered mountain biking through friends in the whitewater kayaking community, she thought, “This is a lot less scary than kayaking and I still get to exercise and hang out with friends.”
She immediately took all her savings and went and bought a mountain bike. When a friend took her to the trailhead, she was overwhelmed by a rock and a group of roots. Like, “How am I supposed to ride over that?” That day she turned around and went back to the car. Realizing she couldn’t just give up and return the bike, she threw herself at mountain biking full-force–literally. She wrecked a lot, cried, threw a tantrum or two, and sold her kayak.
Naturally, she did show improvement. Learning to make it over obstacles gave her a sense of accomplishment that she started craving. “Mountain biking can be as easy or as hard as you want it and there are always new obstacles to conquer.”
A former competitive cheerleader, she now brings that competitive spirit to pro XC racing. She’ll join teammate Evelyn Dong focusing on the Singletrack Series this year. When she’s not racing, she’s coaching the Gravity Academy XC National Team, or mentoring Little Bellas to show the next generation of women just how empowering the bike can be.
On your day off, what do you enjoy doing most?
I’m a busy body, so on the proper days off I try to force myself to sit still. Hanging with my two cattle dogs (Annie Mae and Billie Wayne) is a priority. They keep me pretty centered and grateful for all the little things like taking naps and going for a walk in the woods. Also, a bit of a secret: I love trash reality TV. There’s nothing quite like watching a dumpster fire on TV to make my brain shut off.