Teresa Tarn

I am deathly scared of snakes. Like, I covered up all the snakes in my biology textbook with post-it notes scared. On my very first mountain bike ride 4 years ago, I saw a snake get run over and then corkscrew away through the air. Yes. A FLYING SNAKE. That I continued mountain biking after this encounter shows just how quickly I fell in love with the sport.

At first, I mostly enjoyed the downhill part of mountain biking because of its similarities to snowboarding (my other favorite sport). Both allow for creative line choices, require technical skills in addition to fitness, and are way more exciting than walking down. I just had to get the uphills over with. With time, I’ve come to love the climbs too. Cleaning a set of rock steps is now at least as rewarding as descending flowy single track. I love that every ride takes me to new places both physically and mentally, and leaves me with glimpses of where I can go and progress to next. It’s why I keep coming back. 

Like many people, I sometimes face doubts about my own abilities (for example, I don’t consider myself a “natural athlete”), but I find that I can almost always overcome them with careful planning, tenacious repetition, and encouragement from friends. It’s gotten me to bike down Mt. Elbert and also around the entire island of Taiwan. In the future, I hope to apply it to multi-day bikepacking adventures and my first mountain bike race.

As a VIDA Ambassador, my hope is to help more women discover and grow their love for mountain biking and the outdoors. I want them to get to the next level in their riding and also speak out about how trails, equipment, and races are designed. Whether you're sessioning a tiny rock drop, racing enduro, or attending a town hall meeting on land use, I will enthusiastically cheer you on and be your corner girl! The only thing I ask in return is to prepare for my occasional scream at a squiggly stick on the trail.