JoJo Petterson

DH, 4x, FreeRide

JoJo hopes to win the Nobel Prize in biking. We're kidding. Actually, she readily admits that mountain biking isn't the kind of serious pursuit that could win her one of the most prestigious awards in the world. Still, she's proud of what she does, proud to promote the riding of bikes and healthy living and especially for female riders. As she says, "Downhill racing is thrilling, scary and exhilarating. It's all wonderful and horrible at the same time. Getting more women and young girls to take the notion of riding—or just anything they can dream of—and doing it. I love sharing the idea that following your dream is possible."

Considering JoJo splits her time between Johannesburg, South Africa, Kauai and a couple of spots in the continental US, she's clearly a dream follower on the go. A few years ago, she was between races in Europe and decided to spend some time in the mountain town of Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. She says, "The mountains are incredible in the region and I explored on my 4X bike as much as I could. I rode up some trails and found the snowmelt and an Olympic training center. Another day, I rode up a mountain to the three corners where Italy, Slovenia and Austria meet. The view was spectacular," she remembers, "and I swear it smelled like coffee when I crossed into Italy. A few days later, I swam in the glacial Lake Bled, the bluest water I had ever seen. It was turquoise and brilliant, and I loved it!"

Date of Birth: November 24 1979

Years Riding, Ripping and Shredding: I'd like to think I've been shredding since I was born but I've been riding bikes competitively for 10 years now. Loving it!

Notable Results: 5 World Cup Podiums, National 4X title. In 2011, I've been on a not quite first roll; 2nd in Dual Slalom at the Sea Otter Classic. 2nd in DH at the Pro GRT at Highlands NH, 2nd at the Pro GRT in Plattekill NY and 3rd in DH at the US Open NJ. Working towards that 1st.

Earliest Memory of Riding: "When I was about 12 I rode my bmx bike everywhere in South Africa. One day I found a BMX track miles from home. I started going there when I could and one day I just went for it, no helmet or pads, and I tried a trick on a jump. I pulled up and tried a bar turn, well, I got it half way right but didn't get my bars back in time for the landing crashing to the ground. The whole experience was thrilling so I don't remember if I got hurt or not, I just realized it was a great moment of trying something without anyone instructing me or showing me how to do it. It is probably my earliest memory of some of my self taught antics."

What's she listening to? Florence and the Machine, Feist and GirlTalk.

A recent favorite movie? Temple Grandin

Words to live by? It's all downhill from here

Additional Sponsors: Promax, Alex Wheels, Maxxis, G-Form, Moloaa Bay Coffee, Specialized Bikes, Nema Clothing, Smith Optics, THE Helmets, Leatt, ODI and Ortlieb


FOLLOW ME: FaceBook Twitter


>> Joanna Petterson Shreds the Missoula XC Course