Muddbunnies Interviews: Danice Uyesugi
Nicknames: Sunny D
Riding Since: 22
Current Bike(s): Intense 951, Giant Trance X2… waiting for my Intense M9 to come!!
Sponsors: Fox Racing Shox, Outdoor Gear Canada/Intense, RaceFace, Mavic, Maxxis, Giro, MRP, CycleComponentNetwork
Riding Style: Mainly DH but I got an all-mountain bike last year so have been going on some pretty good AM/XC rides lately
Racing Highlights: World Championships ’08 in Italy – first International level race ever, placed 15th; 3rd place Crankworx Garbanzo DH 2008 – standing on the podium with Rachel Atherton and Fionn Griffiths;
Differences between World Cup & BC Cup: They’re different on the surface but deep down they’re pretty much the same. There is a bit more pressure at the World Cup level for sure, but that’s really only the pressure that you put on yourself so it’s up to you to determine that. It takes a lot of work (accumulating points) and money (travel/accommodation) to make it to a World Cup so it can feel like you owe it to yourself to get a great result. If you don’t do well or crash out, it can be a huge disappointment… especially if you’ve travelled a long ways to get there! Also everyone at World Cup races is there to give it their all – people don’t usually go to a World Cup race just for fun. At BC Cup races there’s a mix of people who are pretty serious about it and those who just do it for fun. But really, race is a race, no matter how big or small. You’re there because you want to be, to prove something to yourself, accomplish your own goals, and maybe even get a good result in the process. In my mind, it’s not so much how I do compared to other people, it’s more about whether or not I’ve ridden my best and accomplished whatever goals I had for that race, and that should be the same no matter where I am.
Favorite race course: Rat Race/Sunshine Coaster – it was my first race ever and left a lasting impression on me… not only is the course a blast to ride, the overall vibe at the race is always positive and fun!
Describe your best biking day: Going for an epic all mountain ride in the Chilcotins with a group of friends. We took a float plane in and rode for 8 hrs back to Tyax Lodge. The scenery was amazing, the riding was fantastic, and the weather was perfect. It was a constant battle between wanting to stop and take pictures/enjoy the views and focusing on riding and how sweet the trail was. That was definitely a day to remember!
What discipline do you want to try?: Dirt jumping. It intimidates me but some people out there make it look so smooth and easy…
Fav Female Rider & Why?: Mio Suemasa – She’s Japanese. lol. She’s tiny but she gives ‘er and kills it out there! You don’t have to be big and tall to go fast!
Fav Male Rider & Why?: My boyfriend Bryden… because he’s just so hot. But seriously, he’s always willing to take the time to help me learn as I go, he helps me push my limits, and more importantly he helps me laugh at myself when I’m getting frustrated with the little things and remember that we ride bikes for no other reason than that it’s what we love to do!
What has biking taught you?: So many things! It’s shown me what it means to have a passion in life. It’s taught me the meaning of determination and how to push past fears. How to visualize success and turn it into reality. And every time I get out on my bike it somehow helps me put everything else in my life into perspective and remind me that most of those things that can seem so stressful at times don’t really matter all that much in the grand scheme of things.
Biggest hurdle overcome when riding?: The first time I broke myself – shattered my tibial plateau in 2002. It was a bad one, nearly a week in hospital and 4 months before I could walk without crutches. It was super tough to get over it mentally and feel relaxed again on my bike. I remember being so nervous before every single ride after that and having to convince myself to go every time, telling myself that it’d be fun and I’d be glad I went when I was done. A mental battle for sure… I’m sure anyone who’s had a scary crash can relate. It’s a huge feeling of accomplishment to overcome those fears and feel like a new, stronger person afterwards!
Career other than biking: Emergency Room Nurse. I occasionally get my adrenaline rushes while at work…
Fav place to ride and why?: My backyard (the Shore!)
Fav people to ride with?: The kind of people who love to ride bikes!
Headphones or no headphones when you ride?: The only time I ride with headphones is when I’m climbing up Fromme (never on the descents) or when I’m out on my road bike.
iPhone, Blackberry, or Android?: iPhone
Cats or Dogs: Both. I like animals.
Dream Bike: Pretty sure it’s on it’s way here – Intense M9!
Favorite Biking Gear: My Race Face DIY shorts – haven’t really wanted to wear any other shorts since I got them! My Giro LX LF gloves – they’re actually for road riding but are so comfortable I wear them on any type of bike ride.
Clipped in or Flats: I made the switch from flats to being clipped in my second year racing and haven’t looked back since.
Shuttle or Climb: These days (winter) – lots and lots of climbing! But come summer – probably more shuttles