1. Just so everyone has the basic information about you, what’s your name, title and how long have you been with Canyons?
Christie Johnson, Mountain Bike Guide, I have been with the Canyons for 3 months.
2. What’s the most gratifying part about being a mountain bike guide and what do you hope to accomplish in your time as a guide?
Watching someone really overcome their fears and fall in love, like I am, with mountain biking.
I would really like to bring more of the local mountain bike community out to see what we have to offer. I would love to see more cross country trails developed from the base so people will spend the day here. I can really see this place turning into THE summer resort for outdoor activities and concerts.
3. You’re now a professional mountain biker. How did you originally get into the sport and how long have you been doing it?
Actually, I am an expert level racer. I have a huge respect for pros as they live their life training, resting, and eating to prepare for the next race. I am a bit lower key in all that. I started to mountain bike 20 years ago, totally different equipment than today, because my husband was into it.
4. When you started mountain biking, descending was a weakness. Has working at Canyons and riding and guiding in the Bike Park helped you become a better rider?
I started to really get into descending on cross country trails quite a few years back as I was determined to not get passed by everyone and their dog in races on the downhill. That said, working in the bike park has cemented my skills and speed to downhill much more aggressively. I think I am going to have to have a downhill bike now….
5. The Park City Point 2 Point, one of the most grueling bike races in the U.S. went down this weekend. You had 12 days to prepare and the weather wasn’t ideal, how did the race go?
Not well….Due to the weather, mud and nasty conditions, I had numerous bike mechanicals, finally ending my day early at Deer Valley. Next year though, I am now determined to make that race my focus.
6. What’s your favorite part about Canyons?
I would have to say the people. You can have the best terrain, greatest facility and most state-of-the-art equipment, but without a cool, fun, friendly staff, it’s just no fun to be a part of it. This resort really has a cool, local vibe and really nice people.
7. When you’re training, you spend 22 hours per week on your bike during a “heavy” week and 10 hours during a “light” week. How do you balance the training required as an expert mountain biker with being a mom to your two kids and wife?
Believe it or not, that’s what it takes to be a competitive expert racer, pros probably spend even more time training. I would have to say relying on my husband and a very supportive mom who also lives here, is the only way this would all work.
8. I’ve heard of some pretty crazy things being handed out to riders during endurance races. What’s the most random thing you’ve ever seen handed out at a race?
We see everything from pickles to whiskey handed out in those long races. I would say my favorite however is the bacon feed. Bacon really hits the spot and is always a favorite of mine.
9. Getting women into the sport of mountain biking is something you’re super passionate about. What have you done and what will you continue to do to make this happen?
I was a part of a great team called Team Sugar. Our #1 mission was to support women in learning to ride and/or race in a completely supportive all girls environment. Women have typically been dragged out by their boyfriends or husbands in the past, and don’t usually come away loving the sport. We tried to erase all of that and start over. To this day, club sugar still exists through White Pine Touring and offers women only rides on Tuesday nights throughout the summer. I am looking at becoming at least an assistant guide with the Trek dirt series, which is women only. I would also like to see a women’s only camp, maybe once a week here at Canyons. It’s fun to teach women, we learn differently, but when we get it, we really get it.
10. As we chatted you bragged that you made damn good cookies. What’s your cookie of choice if you’re looking to impress someone?
I got this one! I make an oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate chip, peanut butter chip cookie that rocks! It even doubles as an energy bar.