MTB Magic: An Interview with Mountain Bike Coach and World Ride Executive Director Julie Cornelius
Posted on August 09 2022
Photo courtesy of Momentum Mountain Biking
There's something magical about exploring the world on two wheels. It allows you to see new places and meet new people you may not otherwise get the chance to. But the magic doesn't stop there. Mountain biking can impact your life in other ways - big and small.
What is something you’re working on in your own riding right now?
I’m continuously working on improving all types of cornering - from getting faster and smoother in high speed corners to tight switchbacks. One thing that I’ve focused on recently is staying forward in switchbacks, both going uphill and going downhill. Really, it’s staying centered, and for me that means shifting forward to stay centered. Keeping my chin over my stem. It has helped me a ton.
When you keep your weight more forward in a downhill switchback, what does that do for you?
It helps me drive the front end around the corner, stay more stable, and make the switchback - especially when it’s steep and loose. My front end doesn’t get out from under me, and I’m able to ride harder switchbacks that I wouldn’t have in the past. It was a lightbulb moment for me. I’m excited to do more, practice even more.
What is your favorite skill to teach?
The roll down lunge, peek, and push. This is such a confidence-inspiring thing for chunky downhill, which is my favorite thing to ride, so I love how that skill helps me ride my favorite trails confidently. I love how intentional it is. It is not just surviving and hoping it goes well, it’s being in control and directing the bike. I think one of the top things is knowing that you can actually do it slowly. One of the awesome things about that peek and push is that you can stop and make sure you’re ready, make sure you’re comfortable. It doesn’t have to be a super fast thing, you can do it slowly and in control. Also, committing and being really intentional about that push. That’s what’s going to give you the confidence and direction. You’re in control and you’re telling the bike where to go.
How has mountain biking made a difference for you in your life?
Mountain biking has given me confidence and that has translated into other areas of my life. Another thing I’ve gotten from mountain biking is community. The people that I’ve met through mountain biking all over the world have inspired me and completely changed my life. The sport has allowed me to meet some of the most amazing people all around the world. I wouldn’t have been able to meet the ladies in Nepal, Guatemala and Peru. It’s so cool to be anywhere in the world and you go into a bike shop and you have new friends. In most places I travel, rolling into a village or a community on a bike as opposed to a car, it makes you so much more approachable. There’s just something about a bike that makes everyone smile. It’s this universal thing that everyone loves.
Have you seen mountain biking make a difference for others?
100% yes, and that is why I founded World Ride, to give that gift to more women. Every person that we have worked with around the world has grown and learned from the bike. One of the most fun stories is about one of our guides in Guatemala. She didn’t mountain bike before she became involved with World Ride. She was a hiking guide and our partners approached her to ask if she would be interested in mountain biking. She said that it has been the most freeing experience for her. She gets on a bike and feels so free and confident and has learned so much about herself through riding a bike. She has been riding for a year and is crushing it. She has gained so much on the bike. Now she’s getting more women into mountain biking in Guatemala. That’s the coolest thing.
What are you most fired up about in MTB right now?
World Ride and seeing so many women riding. Feeling the momentum of the sport growing and things changing.
If you want to grow your riding skills and expand your own MTB community, join SHREDLY and Momentum Mountain Biking for our first-ever women's mountain biking retreat this fall in Park City, UT. The retreat includes for four days of learning, growing, and forging friendships surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the country.
What makes this event special? Think three days of guided instructional mountain bike rides through golden fall aspen leaves and conifer forests with thoughtful MTB festival vibes sprinkled throughout.
Event exclusives will be waiting for you around every corner that include product goodies, private access to the newest gear from SHREDLY, creative off-bike sessions you won’t want to miss (did someone say tie-dye?) that will light your fire and make this your best year of MTB yet.