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Mikayla Parton’s advice for aspiring downhill racers If you’re new to the world of downhill mountain bike racing, you’re interested in giving it a go or if pursuing pro-life is your goal, then check out the advice and life lessons Mikayla Parton has to share. She worked her way up from MTB newbie to World Cup racer with determination and hard work, and these are her wise words.

Mikayla Parton’s advice for aspiring downhill racers If you’re new to the world of downhill mountain bike racing, you’re interested in giving it a go or if pursuing pro-life is your goal, then check out the advice and life lessons Mikayla Parton has to share. She worked her way up from MTB newbie to World Cup racer with determination and hard work, and these are her wise words.

1. Getting sponsorship

 

“If you are starting out and want to think about sponsors, think about what is the most useful thing for you to have support with. I think people get caught up with ‘what’s the coolest thing or the nicest to have’ rather than what’s actually going to benefit you get better on your bike, getting faster, getting better at racing or even getting to the races themselves and making things easier for you when you get there. That’s what matters in the beginning.”

“Think about what you really need. Don’t try and get absolutely everything, like wheels AND tyres AND brakes AND suspension AND clothing, because you can’t get it all, especially if you don’t have the results to back it up.”

 

 

“You can’t just go in and say ‘I want this!’, you need to be more like ‘hey, I can do this for you, I’ve got these things going for me, I’m planning to do X, Y and Z and I can promote you in the following ways, in return for whatever it is you’re asking for. Always say what you’ll do for them, which makes sense because they need to get something from the relationship.”

Mikayla Parton
Mikayla Parton
Mikayla Parton

? Credit: Lousa bike park

2. Get a coach!

 

“If you’re thinking of getting into racing, then you need to be training. If you can afford it, the best thing you can do is get coached, even if it’s an online coach or you’re just getting a bit of help every month, because you can’t do it all! It’s something I should have done a long time ago – I tried to figure it out myself in the beginning and I wish I had just gone to the professionals.”

 

3. Don’t quit, don’t compare yourself to other racers

 

“Don’t give up, even if you think you’re so off pace. And try not to compare yourself to people who are in a different life situation to you. You can’t sit and compare yourself to people who have grown up racing since they were 12 because they ARE going to be better than you. How would you expect to catch up with someone in a couple of years when they’ve worked so hard to get where they are. But you CAN do it, it just takes a bit more work.

 

4. Do what you can and take social media with a pinch of salt

 

“Living here in Fort William, in winter I can’t ride my downhill bike and social media is hard sometimes! You get that FOMO feeling, like ‘I’m not riding my downhill bike and they are and they’re getting better than me!’ It used to affect me a lot, but now I accept that it’s not ideal that I can’t ride my downhill bike but I can ride my trail bike. Just do what you can do.

 

 

5. Stress less and enjoy it!

 

“I think if I could go back in time, something I would tell myself is to try and enjoy it more. Don’t let the little things stress you out, because at the end of the day why have you travelled all the way out to a race to get upset about something small and stupid that you can’t fix anyway, so you might as well get on with it and have fun.”

 

“And everyone knows if you’re having fun and you’re happy, you ride your bike so much better!”

 

 

For regular updates and inspiration follow Mikayla on Instagram.

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