MOUNTAIN LIFE - Coast Mountains | Summer 2018

102 MLCM SUMMER 2018 words :: Tannis Baradziej You need to give a shit about Micayla Gatto. Really. Any serious mountain biker who hasn’t heard of her yet either needs to check their Internet connection or keep a keener eye on their local trails (unless they still think Saturdays are “ferda boys”). A quick resume? Glad you asked. A former pro downhill mountain bike racer since the early 2000s, Micayla earned a host of National titles, podiums, enviable sponsors and, more recently, creative accolades. Teamed with the IFHT Films crew, she stole the show at the 2017 Crankworx Dirt Diaries with Ferda Girls , a parody of Kendrick Lamar’s song Humble in which Gatto raps about some of her experiences as a woman in a historically male-dominated sport. The video had more than 850,000 views on YouTube at press time and has become an anthem for female riders across the globe. Her next video project, Intersection , directed by Lacy Kemp, offers a look at mountain biking through Gatto’s artistic eyes and won the Best Mountain Sports Film Award at the 2017 Banff Mountain Film Fest. After recently shredding in India, Gatto will return home to the North Shore with just enough time to throw her gear into the washing machine, pack it up again, and jet off to Innsbruck, Austria to host the second stop of the 2018 Crankworx World Tour in mid-June. After that she has some guiding gigs, camps, filming, photos, Crankworx Whistler… “downtime” isn’t in Gatto’s lexicon. With her serious talent behind bars, on camera, and with a paintbrush (Gatto’s art combines detailed line work with nature, colour and flow) this triple threat of a woman is inspiring shredders around the world to raise their own weapons-of-expression, tap into their own passions and get rad. We managed to nab Micayla for a moment and get her to “sit down” for this interview. Mountain Life: You’ve heard this one before… How do we get more women into mountain biking? Micayla Gatto: I think it’s pretty simple: show more women riding bikes in the media, and the personalities behind the athletes, and I think you will inherently create a more welcoming and inspiring environment for women looking to get into the sport. I’m not a huge fan of the “pink it and shrink it” women-specific marketing schemes, because I feel that actually segregates us further from men in the industry instead of bringing us together as equals. There are so many women riding nowadays that we don’t need to be put on a pedestal or doused in pink to be a part of the community. Also broadening our views that women can sell non-women specific products is a huge step forwards. FREE RIDER 0LFD\OD *DWWR