Win a Bike Light – Motivational Monday with Sonya Looney

ArleighInterviews, Latest, Motivational Monday, Women's Cycling2 Comments

Interview with Sonya Looney

Light & Motion Motivational Monday


Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!

This month’s Motivational Monday posts are brought to you by one of my personal favorites, Light & Motion. Between now and the end of June, Light & Motion wants to know who or what in the cycling community motivates  you. All you have to do us leave a comment here or on Light & Motions’ Facebook page. At the end of the month we’ll be choosing one lucky winner to score a brand new VIS 360 commuter light!

What’s your name and location?

Howdy! My name is Sonya Looney and I live in beautiful Boulder, CO

Interview with Sonya Looney

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Think of a foot wide trail with rocks, the smell of pine, wildflowers, and views of mountains. I love mountain biking at its core, especially when it involves alpine singletrack in the summer!

What is your first cycling memory?

My first memory on a bike was riding without training wheels. I used to have this little purple bike with a white banana seat with a handle. My dad would hold on to the handle behind the saddle and run behind me. One day I looked back and saw that he wasn’t holding on and I was riding all on my own without training wheels. I shortly crashed. 🙂 My dad told me he would let go and watch me ride all the time!

My first memory mountain biking is getting dropped by some guy I was dating when I was 19(it was my first time mountain biking, and it was on my brother’s middle school mountain bike) because we were riding with this other girl that was a racer and he left me alone on the trail to go ride with her… and shortly dumped me thereafter. haha

Who in the current cycling industry inspires you, and better yet WHY?

There are so many people that I find inspiring for different reasons. From people who have a laundry list of amazing accomplishments to the guy who comes in last place at a 100 mile race(to stay out there and finish takes a great deal of will and that is inspiring to me.) At the moment, my teammate Jeff Kerkove has been inspiring me the most. He isn’t afraid of adventures that sound scary on a bike, and the adventures are life changing experiences. They are things that sound so hard that I say, “There is noooo way I’d want to do that” and sure enough, within a year I find myself doing it. This year’s Jeff Kerkove inspired “there’s no way I would do that” adventure is the Colorado Trail Race that starts August 1.

Sure, people with titles like “world champ” or “national champ” inspire me to some degree. However, I am more inspired by people who do so much more than just ride a bike blazing fast. People who want to help other people, people like my friend Nina Baum who spends a lot of time mentoring junior racers, people who work full time with families and still find a way to race their bike and have a total blast, people who do it for the love of pedaling. To me, that is a lot more inspiring than a white jersey with rainbow stripes although I greatly understand and appreciate the sacrifices and talent that go into earning on of those (something I’ll never have)

Interview with Sonya Looney

What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?

That’s so tough to pinpoint. 2010 has been the best year I’ve had on my bike and it’ll be hard to top it. There are many moments that meant a lot to me. I got to race world championships (although I was very disappointed with the almost all dirt road course), I got to race my bike in Brasil, I won a stage race in one of my favorite towns with one of my favorite people (Breck Epic). There were so many other moments that were special as well for various reasons, so I can’t really pick one best moment.

I can say that in 2010, I felt like I achieved all my goals in cycling and then some. I felt like all my hard work culminated into something I never imagined and even today I pinch myself almost daily saying, “How did this happen?!” The tricky part is making new goals, and figuring out what’s reasonable!

In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward in 2011?

My main goal for 2011 is the finish the Colorado Trail Race. It’ll be by far the hardest thing I’ve done in my life, and I’ve done some tough things both on and off the bike! It’s a 500 mile SOLO race, self supported, self navigated… on the Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango. I’ll be in the woods by myself carrying everything I need to survive. Luck is a factor, but preparation is HUGE. Getting to Durango will be the biggest accomplishment in my cycling career apart of making the Worlds team twice! This race is very different because it’s not about racing really… it’s about adventure, an iron will, self reliance, and I know I’m going to learn so much more about myself that I never knew was there. Struggles are when we grow and this will surely be a struggle.

Wanna Know About my Bikes?

I ride a Cannondale Supersix road bike with a flat bar and Ergon GX2 grips(yessss), a Canyon Lux MR full suspension bike, and a Canyon Grand Canyon CF hardtail. All fantastic bikes. I raced some cross last year, but I had to give the bike back to the team. I really want to add a cross bike and a 29er to my quiver!

2 Comments on “Win a Bike Light – Motivational Monday with Sonya Looney”

  1. Jerry motivates me. I met this guy on the bike path a few days ago. He was on a hybrid going in the opposite direction. He’s a big guy; I think he said he weighs 360 lbs. That, in and of itself is inspiring, but it gets more impressive. Jerry used to weigh 550 lbs. I had just stopped to hydrate and down a gel pack when Jerry stopped and asked how far it was until the bike path reached the beach. He was about 7 miles out. We talked for a few minutes and he told me his story. He’d lost his sister to obesity related illness and was now raising her two children. He didn’t want to leave them without another guardian, so he hopped on a bike, changed his eating habits and made a commitment to get healthy. Having struggled with my weight my entire adult live, I can relate to the difficulty of the task that Jerry faced. And, I can share in the joy that success brings. I have only been riding again for 2 months and Jerry has inspired me to train harder and lose the weight I have gained back. We ended up riding back to the coast together and I have to hand it to him, he did a great job of keeping pace with me…and I am less than half his weight, and on a carbon Fuji CCR1 road bike. Great guy and I thank him for sharing his story.

  2. I’m motivated by motivated everyday cyclists. films like those at Streetfilms ( make me thrilled to commute and endorse bikes for transportation, not just recreation. Sure, I’ll ride the commuter home and jump on the road bike for a fun, long, arduous, ride, but I no longer consider those to be my only “real” rides. I love seeing more people on all kinds of bikes for health, recreation, and serious transportation, and the more stories I hear, the more I am motivated to find ways to make my bicycle my everyday vehicle for all kinds of trips to all sorts of places.

Leave a Reply