Get to know: Lorin Whitaker
HONOR ROLL STUDENT - FREERIDE/BIG MOUNTAIN RIDER - UTAH HIGH SCHOOL CYCLING LEAGUE ATHLETE
"CYCLING HAS OPENED MANY DOORS AND HAS ALLOWED ME TO EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS AND PURSUE MY LOVE OF BEING ON A BIKE. IN MY STYLE OF RIDING, CREATIVITY IS KEY. LIVING IN SOUTHERN UTAH HAS ALLOWED ENDLESS OPPORTUNITIES TO BUILD AND RIDE IN MY BACKYARD. THE GEOGRAPHY OF SOUTHERN UTAH DRIVES ME TO PUSH MY LIMITS AND PROGRESS IN THE FREERIDE/ BIG MOUNTAIN DISCIPLINE. IN THE PAST YEAR IVE BEEN INVITED TO RIDE WITH LEGENDS, RACE/RIDE WITH MY LOCAL TEAM WITHIN THE UTAH HIGH SCHOOL CYCLING LEAGUE, BUILD LINES AT RED BULL RAMPAGE, PARTICIPATE IN PROFESSIONAL PHOTO AND VIDEO SHOTS FOR INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIALS AS WELL AS WORK WITH AN ARRAY OF COMPANIES THAT BROADENED MY VIEW OF THE MOUNTAIN BIKING INDUSTRY."
WE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONTACT LORIN AND SEE HOW HIGH SCHOOL MOUNTAIN BIKING PLAYED A ROLE IN HIS CYCLING CAREER.
UTHSCL: What high school do you attend?
Lorin: Hurricane High School
UTHSCL: How did you get into Cycling and when did you start?
Lorin: I always loved riding bikes as a kid! I would say I was first officially introduced to mountain biking by a good friend of mine Jermey Hottinger in 2012. He took me out to the original Red Bull Rampage site. Watching him ride opened my eyes! I put down the skateboard, put away the soccer balls, and knew that cycling was where I wanted to spend my time.
UTHSCL: Which professional athlete do you most look up to as a role model? Why?
Lorin: Man, there SO are many. Cam McCaul, Cam Zink, and Brett Tippie to name a few. But if I really had to pick one it would be Cam McCaul.
McCaul is a visionary and a Legend. His NWD 7 segment is proof! You will never find Cam without a smile on his face. I worked with Cam on a film shoot for Trek a few years ago, during this shoot we had the best time riding and digging in the desert! Whether it’s riding bikes, coaching Summer Gravity Camp, or announcing competitions Cam is always living in the present moment and having a good time! Something I look up to.
UTHSCL: What is your favorite memory while on the bike?
Lorin: Probably doing Flying Monkey/King Kong trains with 13 of the craziest riders in the world before Rampage 2016. I remember thinking to myself “Dang, I’m keeping up with these guys!”
Another memory, related to my experience with NICA was my last race as a high school student. I was ready to give that race everything I had in the tank and then some more. A flat tire on the first section of my first lap prevented me from doing this. Then a second flat tire on the decent of the latter half of my first lap damaged my rear wheel. I had to spend twenty minutes in the pit zone finding a teammates wheel with the same spacing as mine. I decided that I was going to finish my last race and put the hammer down regardless of the situation I was in. No one was telling me I had to finish the race; I was doing it for myself. The officials almost didn’t let me back out on course because so much time had passed. I knew I wasn’t going to place, but I wanted to get the most out of my last race. So, I finished the course purely for the satisfaction of ending my high school racing career doing what I love most, having fun on my bike.
UTHSCL: What was your favorite thing about being apart of your local HS team?
Lorin: The list is endless!!! The vibrant energy amongst everyone riding in the NICA league was something so unique and I feel lucky to have been a part of it. NICA offers such a cool opportunity for high school kids to get involved in a sport that instills a love of bikes that can be carried on far past high school racing. I enjoyed it so much that I am planning to come back and help coach the Flying Monkeys this fall.
UTHSCL: Who was your High School coach? How did he impact you?
Lorin: Ron Jensen, the head coach of the Flying Monkeys. I think its safe to say that he has personally impacted every kid on the team. Ron’s positive energy and enthusiasm for high school racing is contagious!
UTHSCL: What was your favorite High School Race? Why?
Lorin: The Eagle Mountain make up race for the Southern region. With both the north and south regions at one event I was able to see the magnitude of high school racing! I believe this race was the largest in the Utah league and in NICA history. The course was one of my favorites and it was a memorable race because my seat rails broke and my saddle came off on the last dirt road climb forcing me to sprint standing up to the finish line.
UTHSCL: On the bike, where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Lorin: As and 18yr old, five years seems like a lifetime. I would like to get more involved in creative projects. A few weeks ago I finished up a film shoot about my experience racing High School XC. I really enjoyed the creative challenge of working on this project and hope to do more video projects in the future. I plan on coaching the Monkey’s this fall and I could definitely see myself doing more coaching down the line. I love getting people stoked on riding bikes and I feel like coaching is a fun and interactive way to achieve that.
UTHSCL: What are your other hobbies?
Lorin: Rock climbing, gardening with my dad, and graphic design. I’m stoked on anything that gets me outside.
UTHSCL: For a Career, what do you see yourself getting into?
Lorin: A few of my interests are graphic communication, nutrition science, and permaculture. All of these could be potential career paths. But being a professional nomad riding bikes and building trails sounds pretty nice though. ;)
UTHSCL: If you could thank one person right now that helped you get you to where you are, who would it be? Why?
Lorin: It would have to be two people, my parents. They both have so much knowledge and I am constantly learning from them. Their support has made everything possible. I can’t thank them enough!
UTHSCL: If you could give any advice to student athletes currently participating in the HS League, what would that be? Why?
Lorin: If you are on your schools mtb team tell your friends! Get more kids involved with high school racing, it has the potential to positively impact on so many kids!
As far as advice: I think of a race season as if you’re playing a game with your self. If you want to do well, you have to be dedicated and put in the time building base fitness and spending time on the bike. Likewise the more pre season time you put in the better prepared you are to race. Most importantly when you don’t get a result you’re looking for or have a bad race, rather then getting down on your self, look at the positive things that came from that situation and focus on what you can learn. At the end of the day even if you don’t race at the top of your game, you spent a day out on your bike. And a day spent on a bike is never a bad day.
UTHSCL: What are your plans when you graduate from High School?
Lorin: I plan on taking a year off of school to spend time with my family, ride bikes, coach the Flying monkeys and hopefully work on some more creative projects.
UTHSCL: Which number out of the three do you like best? 26, 27.5 or 29?
Lorin: 26 FOR LIFE!! Haha I have bikes with all three wheel sizes and I ride them all. For XC racing definitely 29!
UTHSCL: Do you have any pets? Names?
Lorin: Family pets yes. Two dogs. Roper and Dingo are their names.
UTHSCL: Do you have an Instagram? Twitter? Facebook?
Lorin: Instagram: @Lorin_W, Facebook: athlete page Lorin Whitaker.... I haven’t made the leap to the twitter machine.
UTHSCL: Favorite recovery beverage?
Lorin: Guayaki Yerba Mate.