Rad People Who Ride: Amanda Schaper

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Photo credit: Gritchelle Fallesgon / @gritchelle

Amanda Schaper is a well-known name, athlete and smile among numerous disciplines of riding. She shows up to races with everything dialed and, without fail, leaves with everything covered in mud even after the driest races. While her photos may lead you to believe she spends all her time on skinny tires, she's also a force to be reckoned with when her mountain bike comes out to play. Though last year was her first time racing the Downieville Classic, she instantly became one of the most animated and skilled athletes to grace the event. We look forward to her determination and energy there this year!

She may be into bikes for the fun of them, but she also happens to be the Marketing Manager for Giro. You'll likely find her at cycling events pushing the good word of Giro and providing next-level amounts of stoke while simply inspiring others to get out and ride their bikes. 

Give her a follow on Instagram for endless ridespiration through races, adventures and a variety of humorous antics. 

Photo credit: Dain Zaffke / @dain_zaffke
Amanda Schaper. Nice to meet you!

Home Shop and City: 
Santa Cruz, CA! I’ve grew up near this area, migrated south for college, and lived in Southern California for 12 years before making my way back up to the good land in 2014. I still have a soft spot for Golden Saddle Cyclery in LA from my SoCal days.

Photo credit: Peter Thomsen / @peterthomsen

Notable passions, feats of accomplishment, interests, goals, phobias and unusual experiences: 

A few recent accomplishments I’m proud of: Surviving my first real enduro at Trans Cascadia in 2016 and even winning a few stages (on Vigilantes!). Getting the fastest overall women’s time on the gravel descent stage at Grinduro in 2016 (on Nanos!). Landing on the podium in my Masters race at the 2017 Cyclocross National Championships (on Cross Wolfs!).

Goals: Become a more self-sufficient bike mechanic. Podium finish in this year’s Downieville Classic All-Mountain World Champs. Podium finish in my Masters race at Cross Nationals in Reno (okay, let’s get real…I want to win). Improve my sewing skills. Be better about changing my car’s oil on schedule. Someday do a bike tour along the Pacific Coast from Canada to Mexico.

Favorite WTB product:
Nano 40c TCS Light/Fast Rolling. I’ve rolled on these during countless crazy adventures over all sorts of terrain, and they’ve never let me down.

Photo credit: Robin O’Neill / @robinoneill

Favorite Ride:
Oh man, that’s tough! But really, I think all my favorite riding is right here in Santa Cruz. I’ve gotten to ride some amazing trails and roads all over the world, but something about this place is just so special. Our trails are all kinds of fun, and we have a ton of variety between the trail networks in this area. Our roads are unreal—maybe not the nicest pavement, and sometimes they might not even be pavement—but nothing compares to our big climbs and big descents that wind through the redwoods with coastal views along the way. All that aside, my favorite ride might just be cruising the Wilder bluffs with my main squeeze, Scott, on our tandem under the sunset.

Background, how’d you get into riding, what kept you going with it?
Mine is the stereotypical story of boy introduces girl to bike, relationship with boy doesn’t stick, but relationship with bike does. I started riding in college because my boyfriend at the time was into mountain biking, and he encouraged me to give it a go (thanks Colin!). It didn’t come easily or very naturally (I’m well equipped with the fear gene), but after a few trailside meltdowns, I started building skills and having fun.

At the time I lived in Santa Barbara, and I always saw a crew of people out riding in their matching team kits—it was the local Platinum Performance Team, and they looked like super heroes to me. I wanted in. I wasn’t very good at riding, I was brand new to racing, but when I approached them about joining, they welcomed me with open arms (thanks Todd and Terry!). And that lead me down a path that really influenced my life.

I started XC racing and was immediately hooked. The community that I suddenly found myself in felt like instant family, and I’ve never looked back. After a few years of racing XC, I tried cyclocross and got super into it because it’s silly fun and cx people are simply the best. Seriously—come to a cross race and try not to have fun. In addition to cross I still race some XC, dabble in enduros, and do a few gravel races.

Once I started racing, bikes became a huge part of my life, and even resulted in a career change after a few years. I went from working as an environmental planner to starting a marketing career in the bike industry in 2010. And the rest is history! I’m so lucky to work at Giro and live in Santa Cruz. Pretty much everything in my life—my career, my friends, my partner, my sock collection—has come to me because of bikes.

What kept me going with it? I just can’t live without it!

Photo credit:  Mike Estes / @m_estes 

Tube or Tubeless, why?
Tubeless! Because flat tires are a bummer, and I love running low pressure. On the rare occasion that you do get a flat, tire plugs work great. My MTB and cross bikes are all setup tubeless, but I’ve yet to ditch tubes on my road bike.

3 most important things to bring with you on a ride?
Legs, lungs, laughter.
Craziest thing you’ve seen or witnessed on a ride?
How about in a race? Because I’ll never un-see what I saw in the stripper bus shortcut at the 2016 Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships in Portland. Let’s just say I got my dollar’s worth. 

Most important lesson to teach the groms?
Respect for trails and other trail users. I think that’s the number one thing that will help improve trail access for mountain bikers. Thank you NICA for making that an emphasis in your program!

Photo credit: Jordan Haggard / @jordan_clark_haggard

Left my wallet in… (fill it in):

My jersey pocket. It was probably only pieces of my wallet held together with a hair tie (ID, insurance card, credit card, $20), and it’s probably clean from accidentally going through the laundry.

Anything you’d like to plug, courtesy of WTB’s blog?
Grinduro registration opens in April. Grab yourself a set of Nanos and come join the party!

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