137 – Life’s Journey To MTB with Monika Mixova
Photo: Tim Easton
Monika Mixova – On Life’s Journey To Downhill Racing
On episode #137 we are chatting with Monika Mixova on her life’s journey, that has ended her in the world of mountain biking and in particular the downhill end of things. Monika is still in her young years but she has had a very interesting and action packed life thus far, and I don’t think it is going to end anytime soon. She is originally from the Czech Republic but after living, working and playing in a number of different country’s across the world, fate has landed her in the UK.
Monika has a background with bikes, but not as you may think. As a young teenager she represented her country in the Track Cycling National Championships in Mexico, where she placed 10th. Up until that point track cycling had been Monika’s life, with a very tough training routine etc.. and like anything at that level she had to pour herself into it 100% and for Monika that even meant missing a tonne of school and social life. But that is what it takes to be a winner at that level.
Everything was working out great for Monika and she seemed to have a cycling career planned out for her near future, but things took a turn for the worst that would change Monika’s life forever. This lead to a lot of travelling, working different jobs trying to save money for the next adventure, and I am sure there was a little soul searching in there too. But life is a funny thing, and all those past experiences finally lead Monika to the world of mountain biking where I believe she has found her real passion, something she enjoys, loves and is damn good at.
So tune in as we talk to Monika about life as a teenage track cyclist, travelling around the world, winning her first mountain bike in a raffle, breaking bones, getting scared in Papua New Guinea and finding her love for downhill mountain biking in New Zealand. Plus tonnes more of course!
- How Monika got into track cycling
- What it was like at the National level
- Why she had to suddenly stop cycling
- What her reaction was to this massive life change
- Why Canada and snowboarding (hell, why not!)
- How Monika won her first mountain bike in a raffle
- How her friends helped her build it so she could ride
- What it was like racing a hard tail in a downhill race
- Why she spent a number of weeks in hospital (or was supposed to)
- Why school is just not for Monika
- How Monika fell in love with New Zealand
- The Papua New Guinea experience
- Buying her first downhill mountain bike
- Riding the parks in New Zealand
- Finding Mike and coming to the UK
- Racing, winning and getting sponsored
- Becoming 2018 Senior National DH Series Champion
- How to improve your MTB skills during lockdown
- Future plans for enduro, downhill and the 2020 race season (if it happens)
- How to follow and get in contact with Monika
I really enjoyed chatting with Monika and it never fails to amaze me how people get into mountain biking. Sometimes you come across a great story like Monika’s that makes you sit back and think of all the different scenarios that had to happen and effectively fall into place to lead Monika down the MTB trail. I am 100% sure that Monika has found her lifelong love and weather this is what she was searching for since receiving her bad news a number of years ago we will never know, but what we do know is that with a positive attitude and a passion for what you are doing the sky is the limit, and after chatting with Monika, I have been reassured of this.
Monika has had a number of injuries over her mountain biking time but none of this has put her off, and if anything this has made her more determined to get better, improve her skills and become a better rider. After getting a little nudge into the racing scene by her partner Mike, Monika has never looked back, and after her success over the 2017 season she reached out to some local business to she if she could get help with sponsorship. To her surprise Stif Mountains Bikes returned her email and was super keen to help Monika out, get her some support and a load of new gear. This has made a tonne of difference for Monika, a proper downhill bike, proper riding gear and the support of a local business means the world to her, and it shows.
After winning the 2018 Senior National DH Championships Overall Title, Monika moved into the Elites for the 2019 race season. This is a different playing field, different riders, different skill levels and more to play for. However, after the season she placed 6th overall and was really happy with the result, and why wouldn’t she. Her times had improved from 2018, she was getting faster, fitter, and more skilful on the bike. And for Monika this is what it is all about. Getting better with yourself, not worrying about the other racers and what position you have placed. If you do your best, get better times than before and know within yourself that you are improving, is that not what’s important? I believe it is and so does Monika. After all, it is a healthy way to look upon life, not chasing after something you may never achieve but be thankful that you can better yourself and challenge yourself without worrying what the rest of the world is up to and telling you what you should be doing or achieving.
So tune in and hear Monika’s awesome story about finding her way into the mountain bike scene, what she is doing over this lockdown time to improve her biking skills and what the mountain biking scene is like in New Zealand (another destination on the bucket list!).
Enjoy the show!
To Connect with Monika:
YouTube: Czech girl and the Yorkshireman
Mikes Instagram: mike.dyson_bikes
Stif Mountain Bikes: https://stifmtb.com
All Sports Dynamics Wrist Braces: https://www.allsportdynamics.com
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Thanks to Monika for coming on the podcast and sharing her story!
Thank You once again for tuning into the show!
Join me next week for another MTB TRIBE Podcast show.