Spotlight: Ariana Bibic

Ariana Bibic is a BMX Freestyle rider from Germany with a beginning that many of us can relate to. She has over 20k followers on Instagram, and on a regular basis she does live Instagram interviews with BMX girls around the world! We did a bike check with Ariana earlier in the week but we really wanted to get to know her too and her future plans in BMX. Learn more about Ariana below!

How did you get your start in BMX?

I started when I was 13. My best friend and I started together. We bought a no name, cheap and heavy (20kg) BMX because we had no clue what we were doing. So, since I lived in a small village with no skateparks nearby we just started to ride in the streets. But we didn’t stick to it because at this time it wasn’t “normal” that girls would ride BMX. So, the “hate” comments from others got annoying and we lost motivation. As well, because I was pretty shy and wouldn’t ask anyone to explain some tricks to me. After two years I just gifted my BMX to a friend and got into other sports. But when I saw someone on a BMX or when I passed by a skatepark I always missed my BMX. So, after some years with the start of Instagram and social media in general, it was the first time I saw more women riding and killing it on their BMX bikes. I was so impressed and excited to see them riding what motivated me to buy another BMX. And well, here I am.

I really love your instagram series where you’re interviewing female riders from around the world, what inspired you to do this and @kaninilea wants to know how you decide who to interview?

When I see the skill level of women in BMX today who ride since 10 years, I always regret so much that I hadn’t the confidence in myself to just keep riding and pushing through the “hate” comments. Because if I wouldn’t have stopped riding BMX, I would be riding for 12 years now and could be riding with the pro women. Now, I feel that for me with 25 years it’s too late to focus on becoming a pro rider concerning having kids in 3 years… Why I do these interviews is exactly because of that!

I don’t want that any girl has to feel like me when I was 13, alone in this sport and dealing with this comments from boys and then loosing motivation. That’s why it’s so important to connect and get to know each other through these interviews. It’s motivating to feel the support of other female riders and to realize that we all kinda face the same issues entering a skatepark. At the same time, I want to make us female riders even more visible to the BMX world and explain why there is a difference in skill level between male and female riders. So, male riders get more aware of helping us instead of throwing mean comments. @kaninilea : I don’t have special criteria on choosing who to interview. You only have to be a female BMX rider. So if you want to get interviewed just leave me a message on Instagram.

Of the interviews you’ve done so far, which interview stood out for you the most and why?

Every interview is special and interesting because the women are all so different in character and their stories. I enjoy listening to every BMX girl and the best feeling is that after every interview I feel like I have made a new friend. It’s amazing to feel how we connect because of this sport, even if we are 1000000000000 miles away from each other. The fact that all these girls come from different countries makes it so interesting to hear about which problems they have to face because of their cultures or even just because of the financial situation of the country and due to that the quality and amount of skateparks. I also love to see how we support and help each other when we talk about tricks. And also mentally it’s important to create this safe space and female rider community through the interviews. Besides of the interviews I also loved to see how the female riders became friends through the BMX girl online jam I organized a few months ago.

Anyone you’re dying to interview?

I would love to interview every girl!! But I was asking Nikita Ducarroz and some other pro riders but they’re often times very busy which I understand. It would just be very interesting and motivating to hear how they became a pro rider and which difficulties they had to face when they just started.

Photos by Nick Kirschbacher

Of all the ladies you’ve interviewed, have you noticed a common struggle amongst the ladies, or a theme?

Yes, definitely. You can clearly see that the “older” female riders all kinda had to face the problem of feeling alone as a women in this sport and not feeling accepted. The younger generation has the benefit of social media and seeing female riders killin it all over the world even in the Olympics. So, they have role models and feel more accepted as part of the BMX community. This makes me really happy because it shows that our fights were worth it to make it just normal that women ride BMX, too. Even though, we are not at the end yet. That there is no prize money for female riders in Simple Session just shows us that we still have to make the female BMX community even more visible and stronger.

How is the BMX community in Germany, are you finding there to be a lot of up and coming young female talent? Anyone we should keep an eye on?

The BMX community is amazing, but concerning BMX girls, we are not that much yet. I mean in my generation there are like 2 very good street riders and some more nice park riders. We definitely need more younger next generation riders. Here in Germany I feel like the girls focus more on skating and roller blades. You should keep an eye on Kim (@kimlea.mueller) and Lara (@its_laraa_bmxx06). I can see them riding the next Olympics!

@Alonso_Muela wants to know if you have any plans to compete in the Olympics in the future

Like I said earlier, I feel like I’m too old to focus on being a pro rider concerning having kids in a few years. But I’ll enjoy to see the others ride.

@baldemar_vasquez wants to know Who’s your favourite BMXer to watch? And who influences your own riding?

I love to see all the women ride and I get inspired by everyone! Perris Benegas is my fave rider for her riding style and flow. Natalya Diehm and Chaz Worther are just so skilled in tricks and always leave me speechless.

As someone who has a significant amount of followers on Instagram, have you received any weird comments or DM’s worth sharing?

I receive a lot of weird and sometimes mean comments but in comparison to the supportive and nice comments of my amazing community it’s not worth it to share or focus on them.

For someone who may be interested in growing their followers, do you have any general tips that worked for you?

I never really focused on that, I mean it wasn’t my main goal to get followers when I started my Instagram account. But with the time I just realized that it’s important to only share what you love, your passion and true personality. People get inspired by others who have a mission and a story to share to which they can relate their own lives. Be you and in general stay in touch with your followers, text them back (everyone!), react to comments, have conversations with your community and get to know them. So, they will feel so much more connected to you and want to see what’s next. That also means you should post as much as you can, like 1 post a day and some stories where they can see your daily live and more personal stuff. But like I said at the beginning you have to love to do that. It won’t work if you only do it for the amount of followers. In my case I just love to interact with my community, especially concerning the female BMX community and see how we grow and cheer each other up.

Check out Ariana’s Bike Check from earlier in the week!

If someone were to travel to Germany, (I know it’s a big country, but) what are the top 5 parks that a rider should go to or check out?

I haven’t been to the last one (recently build) but here is a list of my favourites:

1. Skatepark Wendelstein
2. Rheinpark Duisburg
3. Wicked Woods Wuppertal
4. Mellowpark Berlin
5. Skatepark Darmstadt

If you could travel to ride anywhere, where would it be?

My dream is to ride at Woodward West California but I’d also love to go back to Ecuador and ride all the nice Skateparks by the ocean like Playas and Las Palmas.

Finally, where do you want to take your interview series and what are your future plans in and outside of BMX?

I was thinking about creating a podcast series, so that people can listen to the interviews while they’re in the car or something, too. It would also be nice to interview a BMX girl face to face and afterwards have a BMX session together. My future plans in BMX are: Enjoy riding as much as I can and just having fun learning new things. In some years I’ll buy baby BMX bikes and teach my kids about this awesome sport and lifestyle. Thank you so much Beatrice from TheBloomBMX for this interview and to you for reading!

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