Thrill Seekers: Daredevil Diva
"Fear. Guts. More fear. More guts. Thrill seekers. Every day three big-time risk takers put their fear on the line for something they believe in."
Niki Gudex, Professional Mountain Biker: Motivation.
Ask Niki Gudex about the scariest thing she's faced on her bike, and her answer just might surprise you: snakes. "I always see the deadly ones when I'm training, whether it's here in Sydney or in the United States," says Gudex who won the Australian National Series Championship in downhill in 2001 and cross-country in 2003.
Gudex got her start in cycling at 20 almost by accident. The snow season was winding down in Australia, and bad conditions forced Gudex to trade her snowboard for a bike. A pedal broke and she wheeled herself into a bike shop to buy a new one. One of the employees asked her if she raced mountain bikes, and although Gudex had never heard of the sport, she was intrigued. "It sounded like something I would enjoy," she says.
Gudex didn't know anybody who rode or where the best trails were so two days after getting her bike, she went to a bike race. After that, she began racing every weekend just so she could ride new trails. "I love to live in the moment, and when I'm on my bike, I can just enjoy what I'm doing," she says.
Outdoors: On the bike every day (alternate recovery rides with four to five hours in the saddle).
In the gym: Core work and weights.
Diet: She eats whenever she's hungry, usually opting for fresh food. Her newest habit? Wheat grass shots between meals. She also loves some dark chocolate after a long training ride.
What's Next? The World Cup Series and the World Championships in New Zealand.
Profile: Karen Asp. "Thrill Seekers: Daredevil Diva" Oxygen Magazine, June 2006 Issue.