Getting to know Mo

Here at HUNT, we see everyone on our team as a family. Whether they're a staff member in one of our offices or an athlete from anywhere on the map. In this series that we took a bit of time away from, we're back to introduce you to various members of our family.
In this edition, we chatted with HUNT + Privateer athlete and super stoked human, Moriah Lee.
Moriah, or “Mo”, as she's affectionally known to her friends, takes us through her experiences on and off two wheels, what got her on a bike in the first place and what she sees the future holding for her. So, crack open a cold one or grab your favorite fizzy drink, kick your feet up and take a couple of minutes to cast your eyes over some beautiful imagery taken by Mo’s good friend, Yvi Hoerl, and get inspired by the words Mo lays down – trust us, you’ll be itching to hit the trails after reading this.

Let's start with where riding bikes started for you.

Yeah, so I moved from Maine to Colorado in the Fall of 2019, and I got into bikes pretty much as soon as I got here. I originally got into it as a way to cross train. I was just getting cleared for sports after a second left ACL/meniscus reconstruction and wanted a low impact way to get cardio when other activities like running bothered my knee. It’s funny to look back on now because when I first started I would tell people “Yeah I’m never going to do anything crazy, just ride on the trails I’d be jogging on...

So it sounds like you were immediately attracted to mountain biking instead of trying some other disiplines first?

Starting on my little hardtail I quickly fell in love with the gravity side. It scared the shit out of me but I became hooked. I hadn’t really tried any other disciplines besides MTB. I quickly swapped my hardtail for a full suspension and got into the gravity side of the sport. I love the fitness aspect of biking and love to pedal but just because it makes the downs more fun!

Obviously there's many disciplines that fall under the MTB umbrella. You've mentioned gravity, but at this point in your riding adventures, what disciplines are you most stoked on?

That’s tricky, there’s 3 right now that I’m get me real excited; enduro, freeride, and recently I got my hands on the Privateer DJ101 and that is adding a whole new level of excitement. I am just stoked whenever I am on two wheels.

It's a cliché of a question, but where has been your favourite place to ride?

I still have many place I need to explore but one of the most epic destinations I’ve gotten the opportunity to ride is Oaxaca, Mexico. That was my first time riding my bike outside of the US so it was extra special. Outside of the riding, experiencing the local cuisine and culture was magical.

I know from my own (and I'm sure the readers) experience, bikes have provided us with some of the craziest and happiest moments in our lives. Do you have any you'd like to share?

There have been so, so many happy moments on my bike but one experience last year takes the cake for most memorable. August 7th of last year I knocked off a bucket list ride. Leaving the trailhead at 3am I started my climb up Mt. Elbert, Colorado’s highest peak (14,440ft). Well above treeline, an inversion happened causing the clouds to drop right before the sun rose. Completely alone, just my bike and I on the side of this mountain, watching the sun rise above a sea of clouds. It was a soul filling experience. Being on the summit with my bike was extra special. Then I had a fun janky high alpine descent with the most incredible views I have ever witnessed on my bike.

I think we can all agree that there’s lessons we’ve learned from our adventures and experiences on bikes. Is there something you've learned while riding bikes that you use in your life in other areas? 

Oh yeah, so one big thing I’ve learned from bikes that I’ve been able to take into my outside life is confidence. Progressing on the mountain bike, overcoming injuries and coming back a better rider, focusing on the little things to get better, all of this has made me a more confident rider but it translates to being a more confident person. I notice it in my work life as well as my personal life. Biking has given me an outlet to trust myself and to work on follow through, commitment. Which then translates back into self-confidence. Learning to trust myself on the bike has directly coincided with self-trust and honestly self-love which are things that I have struggled with in the past. 

What are some of your goals as you continue to grow as a bike rider?

I want to find what my ceiling is for biking. I’m not exactly sure what that looks like quite yet but right now my journey is the same. Get absolutely filthy on a bike. Progressing and growing a bigger platform as an athlete so I can have more of an impact within the biking community. I want to share the joy of riding and show that it doesn’t matter when you start, you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. Work hard, fail, get back up and try again with a BIG ol’ smile on your face. Bikes are FUN! That’s why we ride right? Especially when I was learning to ride, I had some unfortunate experiences with people treating me poorly and attempting to kill my stoke. Telling me that I shouldn’t dream too big because it’s “hard”, etc... It obviously didn’t dissuade me however, but for so many (especially girls) out there I know it does. I want to help encourage and spread the stoke that most of us feel (some forget) when we ride our bikes!

Let’s round this out with another cliché but mandatory question. Where would you like to see yourself in the next 5 years? Thinking about those bucket-list opportunities, races or events you want to participate in, community projects, etc.? And are there riders that give you inspiration? 

Within the next few years I want to complete within the same season a no-foot can to dirt, a 100mile ultra endurance mtb race (just one to prove to myself I can) and still be a competitive racer in enduro.  

What do I see myself doing? Traveling and exploring more of the world on my bike. Also would love to be racing the trans enduro circuit, while conquering high alpine peaks in Europe. I’d love to eventually get into community projects and building foundations for younger/newer riders but still unsure how I want that to look.  

As far as riders that give me inspiration...the 50-01 crew, obviously.

Cheers for your time Mo, stoked that you’re part of the family and looking forward to watching the growth! 

Moriah Lee can be found stoking fellow riders out and spinning pedals along the front range of Colorado – you’ll hear her whoops and hollers before you see her, but make sure that when you do see her you slap fives and take a lap together. We guarantee you that you’ll leave her presence with a bigger smile than when you pulled your bike off the rack that morning!

 

Images: Yvonne Hoerl - @ivy.visuals.at

June 02, 2024 — Jacob Rubio