Muddbunnies.com would like to introduce, Diana Walker, the Managing Director and co-owner of Muddbunnies Riding Inc.
MUDDBUNNIES: Di, tell us about yourself. Where are you from? What is your “day job”?
DIANA: Born and raised in Maple Ridge until finishing highschool, then moved to Victoria to go to UVic. After a lot of fun, and hard work, I graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering. I got my first job at a consulting fim downtown vancouver, so, I moved to North Van, since it’s the best place in the vicinity of Vancouver 😉
MUDDBUNNIES: How long have you been involved with Muddbunnies? What have been your roles with the club and company thus far?
DIANA: I ended up at a Muddbunnies Calendar Release Party at the end of the year in 2007, (2008 calendar being released) because my friend, Gord of Beastgear, was there. The party was at the old Bella Candella’s. There were tons of great people, that were all interested in what I loved to do – Mountain Bike! I had never heard of the Muddbunnies before that night, and I turned to my boyfriend and said “I think I should join this club!” His response: “The Muddbunnies are really hardcore, you’ll have to step it up a bit if you want to keep up with them.” So, despite wondering if I was good enough to join the Muddbunnies, I decided to go to their AGM in early 2008. This AGM was held in Seymours Pub, and was very informal. I met a bunch of new people, including Ryan, who was running both the club and the company up until that point. Ryan announced that she would like to start a board of directors to start running the club, since it was growing so fast, and becoming too much for her to run by herself. Being the keener that I am, I volunteered to be on the Board of Directors as co-treasurer.
Thoughout 2008 – I actively participated on the board of directors, creating a little more “official” membership sign-up process. We created membership cards to give to those who signed up, as proof of membership, and we kept an official record of membership, including emergency contact info. I also took over the calendar project in 2008, along with Dorothy Luebke. We organized the calendar models, photographer, graphic designer, and put together a calendar that raised over $1000 for the club!
During 2008, I wrote a Constitution and By-Laws, and with the help of Judy Garren, in early 2009, got the club officially registered with the province of BC as a Non-Profit Society. In 2008 we had total of 76 members!! that’s almost 2,000% growth since the club started in 2005!!
In early 2009, we had our second but first, “official” AGM, and throughout 2009, we grew even more to 106 members! In 2009, I again took on the Calendar project, helping to create another profitable calendar for the Club.
I’ve been involved with the Club ever since, sitting as a member on the board of directors, and Ride Leading on Cypress, Seymour, and Fromme. I think Muddbunnies is such a fantastic organization, and am so proud of it’s success.
MUDDBUNNIES: Why did you decide to sign on as a partner and one of the two Managing Directors for the company?
DIANA: Because Ryan asked for my help. The Club and the Company are so intertwined, and having invested so much time in the club, I really wanted to see the company succeed as well.
MUDDBUNNIES: When did you start riding?
DIANA: I started riding in 2003, when i took a year off university and moved to the middle of nowhere in the hills outside of Christina Lake.
All of my friends were mountain bikers, and I always ended up getting coerced into being the “Shuttle Bunnie” – i.e. drop off the bikers at the top, and drive the truck to the bottom and wait for them to finish the ride. This wasn’t such a bad deal – I got as much free beer as I wanted, but really, I wanted to have fun out on the trails with them all! So, i went to the local shop in Christina Lake – WildWays – and bought myself a Norco Buzz, and full face lid, and some arm & leg pads.
MUDDBUNNIES: What are you current bike(s)?
DIANA: We are a Giant Family – I have a Reign X, and Trance, and for commuting, and Aero TCR… my boyfriend has a pretty sexy Glory, and i’m considering getting a big bike, but we’ll see.
MUDDBUNNIES: Where do you ride?
DIANA: Everywhere!!! Living in North Vancouver, mostly Cypress, Seymour, and Fromme, but when we get over to the Island, we’ll spend time in Cumberland and on Mt.washington, and I’m often in the Kootenays, so will be in Christina Lake, Rossland, and Nelson.
MUDDBUNNIES: When did you start racing and what are you plans for racing this season?
DIANA: Oh boy, racing…. I decided to take a “Learn to Race” clinic with the Muddbunnies over on Mach Chicken on the Sunshine Coast in 2008. What a fantastic clinic, coached by Denise Britton!
During this clinic is when I did my first ever gap jump! – not the log gap, but the small one just past the logging road, right before the 3 dirt dumps… anyway, I was so pumped!!! I didn’t quite get the nerve up to do the log gap in this clinic, but then 2 weeks later, when we were all back over there for the race, during the practice laps the day before the race, I did it… twice! I was so excited that during the race, the next day, i’d be able to ride the Log Gap! Well…. Race Day came along, and I was 3rd racer down… my adrenaline was pumping, and I was going SO fast. I was having such a great race, nailing all the spots i’d practiced during the clinic. Then, getting closer and closer to the log gap, there were more and more spectators, and CHEERING!!! Cheering for ME!!!! Well, adrenaline combined with excitement and nerves, I launched over that log gap wtih about twice the speed I had practiced, and completely botched the landing, skidded off to the right into the chunder, and endo’d over the bars, landed on the back of my hand (shattered knuckle, hand broken in 4 places, and wrist fractured). I also had a concussion and major cut on my cheek! Off to the hospital I went on a stretcher (they were worried about neck injury) for x-rays. I wasn’t able to ride for 3 months (all of summer) after having surgery to repair my knuckle.
The next year, I decided I would enter the Rat Race again, but this time, I went realllly slow, and didn’t do the log gap. I dabbled in a couple more races – Neds smackdown, and Mt.washington DH, then in 2010, I didn’t race at all.
This year, since starting the Muddbunnies Race Team, I’ve decided to get back into it. I plan to do a few DH and a few XC races. It’s definitely going to be all about FUN for me, and spending time with fellow Muddbunnie race team members.
MUDDBUNNIES: Tell us about your involvement with the Race Team?
MUDDBUNNIES: Ryan and I decided that 2011 is the year to bring back the Muddbunnies Race Team! I’ve taken this on as my pet project. I put out the application for the racers, and we were thrilled to have 14 women respond and want to race wearing the Muddbunnies Jersey!! I’ve been actively getting the ladies’ profiles together, and launched a section on the webpage, showcasing each racer. I’ve set up each racer with a blog login, so watch out for articles from these lovely racers, sharing their racing experiences and adventures! Currently, i’m working on Sponsorship for the team (if you’re interested in being a RaceTeam Sponsor, send me an email ;)). Also, I’ll be putting together a Race Team Calendar for 2012. The Racers will be featured in this calendar, and all proceeds will go toward the Race Team! Lots of work coming up this season, but exciting times!
MUDDBUNNIES: What is your role within the club?
DIANA: I am currently the Director of Corporate Relations for the club. This role ties in nicely with my involvement in the Company. I am actively getting sponsorship for the RaceTeam, and can extend the deals to the Muddbunnies Riding Club Members. I am also a ride leader for the club, and I assist in member sign-up.
MUDDBUNNIES: What are your goals for the company?
DIANA: I’d like to grow the company such that it’s very profitable and we continue to sponsor a Race Team and continue to support the Club.
MUDDBUNNIES: What is your favourite trail?
DIANA: The seven summits was pretty epic… honestly though, I don’t have a favorite. I like a lot of variety, so constantly changing it up keeps it exciting!
MUDDBUNNIES: Iphone, Blackberry or Android?
DIANA: i’m an engineer (aka geek), so of course Android 😉
MUDDBUNNIES: Shuttle or Climb?
MUDDBUNNIES: Clipless or Flats?
DIANA: Currently clipless on my Road, and XC bikes, however I’m keen to go clipless on them all!
MUDDBUNNIES: Favorite Female Rider?
DIANA: Aimee Dunn
MUDDBUNNIES: Favorite Male Rider?
DIANA: Of course my boyfriend 😉
MUDDBUNNIES: What are your personal riding goals?
DIANA: Honestly, I don’t have any!!! I used to set goals, and it was a lot of pressure, and I don’t like to fail…. riding under pressure is not fun. So, I just go riding, no expectations, just ride.
MUDDBUNNIES: Headphones, yes or no?
DIANA: No – I enjoy the quiet of the woods.
MUDDBUNNIES: Fav music?
DIANA: I know it’s cliche to say that I like everything, but it’s really true. The majority of the time I’m listening to the RadioFaction on Sirius, but I enjoy country music in the summer, and pop music in the winter. I have a not-so-secret love for Britney Spears, but I also love Snoop, Avenged Sevenfold, Dave Matthews, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Beethoven. I know all the words to Gangsta’s Paradise (Coolio), and Sixteen going on Seventeen (Sound of Music ;))
MUDDBUNNIES: Other sports you play, participate in?
DIANA: If you consider “Dance” a sport, then yes… I grew up dancing – ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, etc… I used to be a dance instructor (part time job while in University), and I performed as a Tap Dancer in the Opening Ceremonies for the 2010 Olympics. I also like to wakeboard, wakesurf, snowboard and scuba dive!!