April 19, 2021

condoritolapelicula

Half the Automotive

Who Is Cannondale’s Rising Enduro Star Kera Linn?

Who is Kera Linn?

Just a girl who always loves riding her bike.

Where are you from and where do you live now?

I grew up in Iowa (not Ohio), which is in the middle of the United States very far from the mountains. I moved to Utah in 2018 but spend more of the year on the road than in Utah.

Who are your sponsors?

Cannondale, SRAM, Rockshox, Maxxis, Stan’s NoTubes, ION, Ride Concepts

What bike(s) do you ride?

My Cannondale Jekyll is my primary bike. But since signing with Cannondale my eyes are open to all sorts of different biking avenues like gravel, dirt jumping/pump track, cross country, etc. I see the benefits of training on numerous different types of bikes.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Wake up and coffee while I work on the computer for my other job as a dietitian. By noon I am ready to eat a bowl of oats and then get out for a long pedal ride or bike park laps at Deer Valley. If I am lucky, I meet up with friends and mess around at jumps, pumptrack, etc. Then dinner and bed!

What are your strengths?

Tracks that are open and technical. I like steep, techy rock sections, drops, and jumps.

What are your weaknesses?

Memorizing trails. Horrible. Also tight, flat corners. Taking photos for social media. Resting/days off.

What’s your biking story, from when you started riding up until now?

My biking story started a little later than most…at age 24 in 2017. I competed in soccer and 3-event waterskiing in college. After graduating I was looking for a new sport I could learn and found out about “mountain biking” (no mountains in Iowa). I bought a $500 hardtail and rode the local single-track for a year and took part in a couple xc races. After an Outerbike trip to Crested Butte where I got to ride a real full suspension bike on trails that weren’t flat, I decided to leave my job and move to the mountains in hopes that one day I could be a competitive racer. My first day in Utah I competed at a Utah DH series race and won first place in the pro category. I only signed up for pro assuming I would get last place but knew that I could work towards a better placement by the end of the season. This surprising result got me all fired up to continue racing and riding as much as I could. Then next two years I primarily raced the pro GRT downhill race series and a couple US enduro races. Here I am a couple years later with an amazing opportunity to ride my bike around the world.

What made you want to focus on enduro?

Downhill was enticing to me right off the bat because I like jumps and technical riding and had no cycling endurance for long stages. But now as I learn more, Enduro is the most appealing because the tracks are still gnarly… with the bonus of being blind. But, you have to be dedicated to training for the long stages and long days on the bike. I love to train and spend as much time on the bike as I can so enduro is a good fit.

You’ve made an impressive splash on the racing scene pretty quickly. What has that been like?

The last couple years has been crazy fun. I spent the first 24 years of my life in a completely different world away from bikes and now I am trying to make up for lost time so I am trying my hardest to progress quickly and that means racing at every chance I can get. I’ve put myself in a lot of situations that were above my skill level. For example, in 2019 at the peanut butter mud, Windrock Pro GRT DH race. I was still brand new to mountain biking and especially wet trails and a DH bike… hitting all the big features at the end of the race was nerve wrecking but I knew if I wanted to get on the podium I had to hit them. I finished 5th place so it all worked out and had no injuries but I definitely had some gnarly crashes that weekend trying to survive. I still have a long way to go and I am not really impressed by any of my past results. Instead, I look at them as part of the learning curve for a season in the near future where my skills are more developed and I can win some big races.

What riding accomplishments are you most proud of?

Just getting to a level where I can ride any trail at a respectable speed. Early on it was intimidating riding with really fast people because I’d fall behind because I’d get tripped up on a section or fall ☺

What’s your favorite part of a race weekend?

Riding my bike all day with friends. Races where we all get to camp out in a parking lot and hang out by a fire are my favorite.

Where is your favorite place to ride?

Deer Valley bike park in Park City!

What has been your worst crash over the years?

Probably breaking my collar bone at National Champs in 2019. I clipped my pedal at the top of a steep section and just sent me over the bars straight to the very bottom.

Who or what inspires you?

Hard working and driven people. I’m inspired by Braydon Bringhurst because he also took a long detour in other sports before he found mountain biking. He is so driven that this hasn’t held him back and has already made a big splash in the MTB world. Also a great role model for all of us to look up to.

What annoys you?

Cities.

What makes you happy?

Riding my bikes, whether it’s with friends or alone with my music.

What do you enjoy doing away from bikes?

Any other sport with my family. My parents and three other siblings are really good athletes and since none of them mountain bike we always have fun competing in spikeball, water sports, tennis, basketball, pickleball, volleyball, etc.

How do you want to be remembered?

As a tough competitor who is respectful and always down for a good time and a laugh.

What does the future hold for you?

Continue my dream as a mountain bike racer and I hope to win some big races. I have the support from some amazing companies and lucky enough to be on an enduro roster at Cannondale with Mitch Ropelato and Ella Conolly so there are no excuses!