BMXer Taylor Kaus is one of the awesome girls shredding around at Joyride 150, the bike park that inspired the location of the first Shred Girls book (out next year—sign up for the newsletter now to get the details!). I love her advice about making friends and getting comfortable riding around in a bike park—it can definitely be a little intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be!
When did you start riding?
I started riding in 2010 when I begged my dad to for a DK Siklon Complete i found at a BMX store in my city – I rode that bike into the ground!
When did you decide you wanted to start racing BMX?
I decided I wanted to start riding BMX when I was hanging out with a lot of friends who rode and it just looked so fun and exciting – i have always been sporty and wanted to try something new! Racing BMX is newer for me as of this year, I enjoy speed and always loved the pump track and Joyride 150 in Markham. I have a couple of local friends that race and have been guiding me and showing me the ropes, I hope to race a lot more next season!
Favorite part about riding?
My favorite part about riding is how it makes me feel and the community that comes with it, being a girl in a male dominate sport isn’t easy.. but the BMX community is like no other. I enjoy the thrill and excitement when you learn a new trick or hit your personal best for speed.
Least favorite part about riding?
My least favorite part of riding is the injuries that come along with it. Ive had a couple broken ribs and a few concussions and the worst part is not being able to ride during the healing process.
Have you made friends through riding? (If so, any tips for talking to new people?)
Some of the best friends I’ve made is through riding, I’m thankful to have grown up with quite a few BMX riders but I’ve met some wicked girls and guys at Joyride 150 and some local skateparks. My tips for talking to new people is to just remember that everyone in the community is welcoming and love hearing peoples riding stories. I’ve never approached a person riding who hasn’t been incredibly kind and welcoming! and if you’re new at riding, you just might learn a new trick or two!
Coolest trick or accomplishment you’ve had with riding?
I think the best accomplishment I’ve had with riding is the advanced/expert jump lines at Joyride.. I was terrified of them for so long, I practiced a lot on the intermediate jump line and finally just gave it my all and did it! It felt amazing to accomplish something that I’ve worked really hard for!
What does a week of training/riding look like for you?
A typical week for me is usually hanging around some local parks or going for long rides around to get my strength up. I also like to workout so I’m able to carry tricks and keep up with other riders while racing. I love going to Joyride 150 but since it isn’t exactly close to home, i usually only end up there 2-3 times a month. During the winter I take some more time to head there so I don’t become slow and lazy when you can’t exactly ride outside earlier.
Best tip for someone your age or younger who’d love to get started riding/racing, but doesn’t know anyone else to ride with?
Best tip(s) i can give to someone who wants to start out is to just take the chance and do it, you never know how much you’ll love it or the friends you’ll make, I started going out to parks and riding alone and met so many amazing people along the way, its such a big, welcoming community.. just gotta get yourself out there!
Best tip for tackling a scary section in a bike park, i.e the pump track for someone super new to riding?
As someone who used to be very scared of bike parks and even curbs, my best tip is 1) ALWAYS wear a helmet and any protective gear that will keep you protected from serious injuries. 2) make sure your comfortable and be confident! its always scary the first time, but image how proud and stoked you’ll be when you do it! It’s always the first time… that’s the toughest.
Absolute favorite piece of gear?
My favorite piece of gear is of course my bike: I treated myself to a new We The People Justice complete this year! also, my space braces.. I’ve got rough ankles to start so they help me keep everything together and keep me stabilized!