Please tell me a little about yourself, and how you met Adam LZ.
I’m 21 and come from a family of six (two parents, three older brothers, and myself). Growing up as the only girl with three brothers, I was still pretty girly but of course was used to playing outside often and playing sports with my brothers. For a few years, my brothers were actually into skateboarding, and we had a quarter pipe, rail, box, and mini ramp in my backyard. I had my own neon pink skateboard but never really learned any cool tricks.
I’m really focused on my academics and always have been a straight A student. Other hobbies include distance running, piano, and hanging out with my family and friends. I met Adam at UCF during our first semester there in 2013. We were both in the Honors College and had to take this course called Honors Symposium which required each student to get on a bus provided by UCF and go to an elementary school to promote attending college to low-income students and teach them strategies on how to get from where they are now to becoming a college student. Adam and I were both in the same Honors Psychology class, and one day after class he asked me if I knew where the Honors Symposium buses met. I showed him where they met and discovered that we were assigned the same bus and elementary school. We started talking each Tuesday and Thursday that we had class together and overtime started hanging out more and eventually dating. Adam was actually injured at the moment (his foot), so he had more free time than normal since he wasn’t riding every night after school. If he hadn’t been injured, we probably wouldn’t have hung out so often or even dated. Everything happens for a reason, right? 😉
I understand you’re in college, what are you studying?
I am currently attending UCF (University of Central Florida). My degree is in Elementary Education, but I may decide to teach or tutor middle school to high school math. I love little kids, but I also love challenging math, so I am in that decision process currently. I am a senior in college and will graduate with honors this May 2016.
How were you introduced to BMX?
I was introduced to BMX briefly when my brothers were in their skateboarding phase. I knew my brother rode a bike with pegs, and we would always play that Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX video game growing up. I never really knew much about the sport, however, until I met Adam. Once we met, I watched a lot of his videos and other riders and also went to the skate parks with him to see what the sport was all about and to hangout.
Compared to when you first started riding, what can you do now that you’re super proud of?
I’m super proud of the trick when I go backwards with my foot on one peg and my other foot on the wheel. I think it looks so cool and is so fun! Also, I’m a lot more comfortable riding around bowls (my favorite thing to do!) and going pretty high on the sides of the bowls. I just learned a week or two ago how to bunnyhop into ramps which I was so stoked on! I kept doing this trick repeatedly trying to improve it and get higher. It was addicting haha
What challenges (if any) have you faced showing up to a park?
Hmmmm. Confidence. Definitely confidence. It’s intimidating arriving at these parks where people are doing 360 tailwhips and flares and knowing that all I can do is cruise around the bowl or the park and drop in depending on the incline and height…. And will likely need help getting out of the bowl. So, definitely confidence. I just have to remember that everyone started out where I was, and the only way to get better is to push myself and ride with people who are better than me and will push me within reason. It’s easy to think that people are going to just make fun of you or laugh at you because you aren’t good, but you’ve just gotta go out there and try and have fun anyway. If people do laugh at you or make jokes, people will usually have your back and help you get better. Just remember why you’re there in the first place and what the sport is all about – having fun.
Any challenges with internet trolls, how do you deal with them?
Honestly, I just try to ignore them. If I get nasty, rude comments on a photo or on one of Adam’s YouTube videos, usually we have like a thousand fans that handle the situation for us before we even see what was commented in the first place. We have more people that support us than those who dislike us, so if either of us gets crap, there are thousands of fans that will tell that person why they’re wrong or argue back. We have the greatest fans, really. Another way I handle rude comments is just acknowledging them and making it seem like a joke. Usually the internet trolls just want you to start an argument back or to make us look bad, so if we just acknowledge it but don’t comment back meanly or anything, then it makes the troll look immature.
I see you’ve dabbled in some flatland, any thoughts on developing more in that?
I love that trick because it’s not too difficult and I’m not scared of falling. No one’s really taught me or shown me anything else that I think I can learn given my current skill level. I am trying to learn how to get out of the peg trick and get back onto my bike without having to touch my feet to the ground, but it’s pretty tough and will definitely take a while. It’s the challenge of the learning process that’s fun though!
Is this a sport you would encourage young girls to do?
I would definitely encourage young girls to do this sport! It’s so fun. It’s a great way to stay in shape. It’s an awesome sport for all skill levels – you can never be too bad or too good for BMX. You recognize your skill level, challenge that current level, and grow from it. BMX is such a great sport because regardless if you’re a beginner or a pro, you always have the challenge of learning new tricks and the greatest feeling of accomplishment once you finally land the trick. Also, if you have male friends, brothers, or a boyfriend, it’s a great way to bond with them. Some of my favorite memories with Adam are when we are at the skate park or in the car traveling to or from a skate park.
What are 3 top tips you have for a girl who is kinda thinking about trying BMX?
1) Just go try it out, regardless of your skill level. Even if you just cruise around on the bike at the skate park, until you actually get on the bike and feel what it’s like peddling around up and down minor slopes, you don’t realize how fun and awesome it is!
2) Don’t let people knock you down. It’s easy to feel intimidated due to skill level or due to being a girl… Put the two together and yikes! But seriously, you just have to stay confident and realize that everyone started out where you are. The majority of people at the skate parks will respect you for being a girl BMXer and for trying to learn new things. Chances are you’ll have people giving you tips and trying to help you out. So don’t scare yourself out of trying the sport!
3) Just have fun with it! Maybe you’ll see guys at your same skill level dropping in or doing insane tricks just a few weeks down the road while you’re still learning how to bunny hop. No big deal! Don’t take the sport too seriously. It’s all about having fun, hanging out with friends, and pushing yourself within reason. Be safe and have fun. Focus on what you can do and how much fun you’re having doing those tricks instead of the tricks you can’t do that the other riders are doing. Once people start taking the sport too seriously, it’s not fun anymore. So just enjoy yourself!
– Definitely just start getting comfortable on your bike. Go to a skatepark and cruise around the ramps and in the bowl! Once you’re comfortable, you can start learning some basic tricks like a bunny hop or dropping into a bowl where it isn’t too steep or far down!
– Being able to spend the time together and building a stronger relationship for sure. We connect so much through filming together because I can see how hard he works to learn a new trick and can keep giving him words of encouragement. Then, once he lands something, we both feel the same sense of satisfaction. It’s great being an integral part of the YouTube videos and helping him do what he loves while making funny comments and jokes behind and in front of the camera! Plus, I love that through filming him, I have become a part of the LZBMX team and have tons of fans that I can motivate, connect with, and talk to at the skateparks!
– Nicole’s peppers are flaming hot! As long as there’s a bowl or half pipe for me to cruise around in, I’m down!!
– Whatever Adam puts in them haha about 60 psi! And right now, I’m riding Caleb Quanbeck’s grips that came with the Stranger bike, but my favorites which I’ll switch back to soon are the Odi super soft grips! They’re great!