We were lucky enough to score an E-terview with the world famous Melissa Buhl of KHS Bicycles. Sheâ€™s been all over the place racing and she was kind enough to take some time to answer a few questions we had for her. So check it out!
Youâ€™ve been racing since you were 9 years old, what kind of obstacles did you face through out your 15 years of racing?
Well, there are always injuries that become obstacles of racing, but above that I think the biggest obstacle so to speak would be balance. Trying to live a balanced lifeâ€¦student, athlete and girlfriend can be a challenge, while figuring out how to win.
Was your transition from BMX to DownHill Racing pretty easy? Were you able to take the skills you had from BMX right into DH?
Honestly I thought the transition would be easier, but I found myself on the ground a lot, when I started DH. BMX skills help yes, but riding a mountain bike is different. I had to go back to the drawing board, learning how to shift, brake, ride suspension and flat corner. Once the basics were down I was able to use my BMX skills. Kind of what I am doing on my dirt bike these days.
Do you ever get scared when racing?
Once racing starts, or I hear the beeps, no I am not scared, but there has been plenty of practice sessions that I have been terrified. I love that feeling though.
I would imagine that you must have gotten hurt along the way. How many bones have you broken and what other injuries have you had, which one took the longest to heal?
I have broken my collarbones a few times and blew out both my knees. I had surgery on my right knee, and that took a long time with rehab and all.
Photo by Jeremiah Dylan Dean
Do you have little girlsâ€¦heck even boys or grown men that look up to you? You know, kinda like a groupie?
I hope I have people that look up to me. I know how I looked up to people like Missy Giovie and Elke Brutsart when I was young, and the impact they had on my racing and even today, with the help they gave me. I hope I can have that same impact on other riders. I think thatâ€™s the most important part of our jobs, winning is important and all, but there are pros who win all the time that donâ€™t give fans the time of day. I think there is no excuse for that.
Will you be in any mountain biking videos like Roam or The Collective? If not, have you thought about starring in one with other pro women riders?
I hope some time in the future, but not at the moment. Yes I would love to be in a mountain bike chick flick.
Speaking of Roam and The Collective, do you do any freeriding? You know, big air, dirt jump and stuff?
I donâ€™t freeride so much but I do go dirt jumping every once in a while and do DH runs with the boys at my local trails. The scene isnâ€™t huge where I live.
Being a Pro Factory Racer for KHS, is there a lot of pressure to perform well?
Since I have been racing I have always wanted to do well for my sponsors, but I think the biggest amount of pressure comes from myself.
How do you get yourself to focus on the race?
Iâ€™ve never really had to make myself focus at races. I train really hard in the off season and when motivation levels are low for some reason at races, I just try to remember how much work I put in and now itâ€™s time to use it.
What kind or training is involved in what you do? Do you do cardio and weights?
The past couple years my training has been pretty extensive, with weights and with lots of cardio/sprinting work. I go to school in the off season, so I have to stay pretty regimented to make everything worthwhile. I work with a trainer and coach.
Other than biking, whatâ€™s your favorite thing to do? Skiing, snow boarding, chillaxinâ€™ ?
I love dirt biking, , hiking, camping, my dogs!!
By the way, howâ€™s the Bio-Chemistry degree coming along? Will you be graduating soon?
The degree is slow coming, but I chipping away at it. Itâ€™s been pushed to the side for the last couple falls and then back to full time in Spring since the season is so busy in fall. One of these days though. I enjoy school and as nerdy as it sounds I could be a pro student, so no rush.
Weâ€™d like to thank Melissa Buhl for taking this time to talk to MtnBikeRiders.com. If you want to learn more about Melissa, perhaps check out her schedule or see a bunch of cool pics of her hauling down a mountain, feel free to visit: www.MelissaBuhl.com