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Podcast: Jo Peters on taking gender out of Mountain Biking

Today on the show, I got to head out for a rip with Jo Peters. We rode one of her favourite trails here in Squamish, Two Stroke Smoke, and then sat down for an insightful conversation.

Jo is active in the mountain bike community as a coach, volunteer, and enduro racer. She also works full-time as an RMT and is an expert when it comes to the Mind/Body/Bike connection.

Coaching-wise, Jo runs her own foundation called Jo and Co. - which aims to make MTB more accessible to women in British Columbia. Along with a small team of talented female-identifying coaches, she runs women’s coaching programs and events at trail centers all around the province.

We talk about what it was like to start out as a female Mountain Biker in a male-dominated sport, and how she has used some of those early negative experiences as fuel for her fire, inspiring her to take a lead now and provide meaningful change.

Along with this, she shares a bunch of the mental tricks, tips, and tools that she uses to ride at her best, whether it be between the tape or simply lapping local trails with friends.

You can follow Jo's adventures on Instagram @Jo___Peters and check out her coaching on her website,

Full Transcript Below:

Jake Johnstone: [00:00:00] Welcome to Grit With Wisdom. This is the podcast that delves deep into the inner psyche of mountain bikers from all aspects of our sport in order to discover the tools and the tactics that can help us have more fun out on the trails more often. Our aim here is to help you understand what it takes to push our own personal boundaries in the sport we love, from a mental and emotional perspective.

Awesome. Hello, hello, and welcome back everyone. I am sitting down here today with Jo Peters. We've just got back from an awesome ride on the hill here in Squamish. Uh, Jo is really active in the local mountain bike community here as a coach, as a mentor, a volunteer, and also as an enduro racer.

Um, coaching wise, [00:01:00] Jo runs her own foundation, which is called Jo and Co., very fittingly. And you specialize in mountain bike camps, mountain bike lessons for women. And it's all ran by female coaches as well, which is really cool. On top of that, uh, Jo also works in town here as an RMT. Um, and runs her events on the weekends at trail centers all around the province.

So, super excited to get into a chat here today and continue what we're talking about on our ride. Jo, welcome to the show. Thanks for having me. Super stoked to have you here. Uh, how was that intro there? Is there anything big that I've missed?

Jo Peters: I don't think so. It's always like, oh, I, I, I do that, I guess.

Jake Johnstone: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's always a little bit weird doing the intro right next to you. That's right. Why don't we start then for people that haven't already met you out on the trails. It'd be cool if you could tell us a little bit about where you grew up and when bikes first came into your life. Oh,

Jo Peters: yeah. Cool.

Um, I grew up on Bowen Island, so not too far from here, but surprisingly, I actually never came up to see the sky. Um, you know, I spent my whole childhood staring across the highway, but never actually came up until I left high school. Um, I rode horses growing up. And that wasn't something that was, like, really handed to me.

That was something [00:02:00] that I, like, just so badly wanted to do. And I did everything I could. I'd be like, if I do the dishes and, like, these chores, like, can I go riding for one hour a week? And, like, just begged my parents so much. Like, just had this need. For what I, for that feeling, which I thought would come from a horse.

So I did that for 20 years. Dedicated like my whole life to it. Got super into it. Um, and then kind of one day just realized that it wasn't going anywhere and um, I can't remember exactly how mountain biking happened, like the day that it happened. Um, but the first ride after, after my first ride on a mountain bike that I invited myself out to with a boyfriend at the time.

Um, I was like really hooked and was okay with moving on from horses because I was like biking is actually what I've been, I think I've been looking for this whole time. Yeah, so. That's a cool story. Definitely got into biking really slowly. Uh, wasn't my priority like right off the bat. But I instantly knew like this is [00:03:00] definitely for me.

Right, and

Jake Johnstone: kind of like on a mountain bike from day one as opposed to like

Jo Peters: growing up riding other bikes. Yes, I was, literally had no idea what mountain biking was. The boys were always, off doing it. And I was just like, I want to come. And they're like, Oh, I don't know. And then I, so I bought, someone was away and I borrowed this like medium layer, like a medium to large side, like the bike that was way too big for me.

Full on downhill bike went to, uh, the North shore. Yeah. Took me down ladies only. Yeah. What a baptism of fire. Yeah. And so then they were kind of like, yeah, I guess you can come, like you can keep up, you can come. And obviously I didn't keep up. And it's like. A double black trail that I struggle riding now, and that was my first ride.

That's a harsh way to get into the sport. Yeah, or one of my first rides. I think I played around in a park or something before that. But yeah, I was on a downhill bike on a gnarly trail. Like, that was my intro to mountain biking. Cool. Yeah.

Jake Johnstone: Well, it really shows that you must have kind of seen something that you loved.

Jo Peters: Yeah, I don't think I rode most of it, but the little sections that I wasn't tumbling down, I was into it.

Jake Johnstone: And I'm [00:04:00] curious, like, describing that feeling that you were chasing and kind of throwing up riding horses. Yes. And then you kind of finally felt it when you were in a mountain bike. How would you describe that?

Jo Peters: Yeah, it's so funny, um, because I still feel like it's what drives me today. I think it is like that feeling of very much being in the moment, looking ahead. And then you're feeling the world beneath you, around you, you're feeling the world through your feet. Um, you're feeling it through your hands, like you're literally feeling the earth and the rocks and the roots, like, through your body.

Um, and I think running or walking never really did it because it wasn't quite fast enough or it wasn't flowy enough. There's something about, uh, biking and, and horse riding that has this like beautiful dance, dancey, flowy feeling. Um, that kind of did it for me. Yeah. But you're also very focused and, yeah.

Jake Johnstone: I love that description. Yeah, and I think what you're saying there, it's almost like the speed forces you to be focused, right? Yes, yes, yes, yeah. So combining that with the connection to nature, I love that. Mm hmm. And was that on Bowen Island? Like, uh, when you living in Vancouver then?

Jo Peters: Yeah, I was actually, um, living out in Langley.

Because I had moved to Langley to, um, pursue horses really seriously. Right. Um, and, yeah, just kind of with paying for university and the horse, the horse that I had access to ended up having a, um, a pretty bad injury, so it kind of like, it just hit a bunch of walls, essentially. And, um, I just happened to, um, my, the person I was with at the time was really into mountain biking, so it sort of like naturally happened.

Yeah, like one door closed. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jake Johnstone: That is awesome, and then obviously these days here, mountain biking is a huge part of your life. [00:05:00] Yes. Here in Squamish, I'd love to find out more about like, going from like that first time on a mountain bike, like okay, this is something I'd like to try more.


Jo Peters: Yeah, it's funny, it's like, um, I like how, I like how you asked that, because it makes me like reflect on the journey. And I feel like bikes are so natural and easy as part of my life now. Um, but it was definitely a struggle. I could think at one point I was actually told that I was so bad at mountain biking I should probably quit.

Um, I crashed a lot. I just had like injury after injury. I was like I was pretty bad, actually. I think we all started out pretty bad, right? It was like a really, um, and maybe we see it, I definitely see it in like select people, is I had zero skill, but like, all the keenness. Right. So like, I would see a big gap jump, and I'd be like, I want to hit that, and I actually didn't know.

I didn't have a skill for it, at least now I know. I might, you know, I still come to feature something I can do and actually can't. Um, so that was like a big battle for the [00:06:00] first couple of years. And, yeah, just not having encouraging people around. I didn't, I never met any woman who rode. Um, yeah, I had a boyfriend at the time who wasn't super encouraging about it.

Um, yeah, so it was really hard. I feel like I... I, uh, really pushed to continue.

Jake Johnstone: Yeah, it must have been a lot of, kind of, discipline in, like, going back and going back. When you're not getting, yeah, any encouragement from the people you're riding with, or... Um, yeah, from the terrain either, kind of,

Jo Peters: it was stolen too.

Yeah, um, having ridden it for two days. You know, I saved up for six months, bought this beautiful bike, I still remember it. It was, uh... All white with black components. That thing was pretty. Yeah, yeah. Two days it got stolen. Oh my god. So like, just things like that. It was like, hit in the wall. So tough. Yeah, it

Jake Johnstone: was like, you were put through every test possible.

Do you really want to

Jo Peters: do this, Jo? Yeah. But I think like, now like, every opportunity that I've gotten, or like, every little step of progress, I like to, um, I'm like, so grateful for it. And like, it feels so good. Um, cause I just like, know what it was like to not.

Jake Johnstone: Totally. Yeah, and I think that's [00:07:00] great for people listening who maybe are just starting out in mountain biking or in a rough journey.

Yeah, but like keep pushing through it and it's like the fruit of that reward comes off to it. It's like you mentioned that now, like we went out for a ride and it's easy and it's fun, right?

Jo Peters: Um, so it does get that up. It's kind of like, um, you know, like surfing or something like that too. It's like you, you think of the whole process that goes into it and you only have about like, Maybe two seconds of like pure bliss and and like three hours of like struggle.

Yeah, but those two seconds Just keep you coming back and those two seconds turned, you know, turn into ten seconds and so on. I can relate Do you do a bit of surfing as well? Uh, like, yes. Very little bit. Me as

Jake Johnstone: well, yeah. That's why I can relate. It's hard work isn't it? You spend your whole session paddling out getting smashed by the waves Oh yeah.

Maybe catching one or two

Jo Peters: again. And that's all you think about until you go next year. That's

Jake Johnstone: awesome. Yeah. So would you say that kind of journey at the start of your mountain biking career had a big part to play in what you're [00:08:00] doing now?

Jo Peters: Oh, a hundred percent. Like it almost, it's almost like an, it's such an emotional, um, like I just feel so like emotionally strong about it.

Like having women there to, I mean it doesn't have to be women, it can just be any human supporting another human through their, through their progression and also taking them through, um, a sport safely. Um, cause I, I don't want some, like I didn't learn in the, um, safest way. And so I want to really help people.

And, you know, when you learn safely, you also learn quite quickly. Cause you're not taking those, you're not getting like pushed back to shore or whatever. You're not having that, I just like believe so strongly in that. And I think, um, women are able to understand each other, uh, pretty well. And, um, just on the mental side of things.

And just vibe off each other. Yeah, so yeah, I feel pretty strongly with, uh, what I'm able to do with because of what I've experienced, for

Jake Johnstone: sure. I love that mentality, and it's definitely so cool to see how you've turned, like, potentially some of these really negative [00:09:00] experiences into something so positive now.

Totally, yeah. And tell us, tell us the story about becoming a coach. When did you first decide to become a coach, and how long have you been doing it now?

Jo Peters: Yeah, for sure. Um, I had to really think about, uh, what, uh, spurred that decision, to be honest. I think, like, a few things along the way, I think I did meet...

Uh, the first two women that I met, um, I was probably three years into mountain biking at that time. Like, just, I was, and when I say three years in, I was kind of like, we can, whoever could take me out. Like, I wasn't really independently going yet, um, had a big downhill bike, so bike parks or shuttling only, like, like relying on a lot of other people.

And they're all dudes. And then I, uh, actually it was at a coffee shop and I overheard a girl talking about mountain biking. And I like ran over to her. I was like, Do you mountain bike and she was like, yes, I'm like be my friend. Let's go Yeah, it was it was like so amazing She introduced me to all of her friends and it just like kick started this whole thing and that was like suddenly I was part of the mountain bike community And then I met another girl who She's in the community names Veronica She's also a really amazing [00:10:00] coach in Squamish.

Um, she was one of the first women I met. And I think she was coaching at the time, so it kind of like planted that seed. And I just really looked up, she was also like totally took me under her wing with racing. And I was so, I would see her ride and be like, I can't imagine ever riding like that. But seeing a woman do it, suddenly it made it look possible.

Um, so I think it was like that seed was planted. Then when I moved to Squamish, um, and was looking for a job, I, that was kind of how I did sports up to this point, like to pay for horses, I got my instructor's certification and like taught kids, because that was how I paid for my riding, so it's just like a very, and I taught so many lessons, um, it was kind of like, I was like, I want to do this sport, so therefore I should probably learn how to teach it, and it was just like, was this natural thing of how to pay for that sport, um, so I'd say that's kind of what encouraged me to do it.

And then, um, I did a program called Peak Leaders through Whistler. They don't, uh, run it anymore. It [00:11:00] is still an organization that's happening around the world. But anyways, it was this incredible, um, experience. It was a two month long coaching, um, course. It was kind of like bike, it was like, uh, a school almost.

Okay. Yeah, Yeah. Yeah. In the bike parks, like rode the bike park every day. Um, got, it was, I was the only woman doing it. So that was intense.

Jake Johnstone: Yeah, how did you find that experience? It was terrible.

Jo Peters: Yeah. Yeah, but I learned it like made me stronger Like there are some I think we're I mean I say it was terrible but it was also amazing because I met all these like amazing dudes who are so kind and so supportive and they're all the People I was working with were very encouraging.

I think the instruction was at that time like that's almost 10 years ago. So it was like It was, it's just, it's just come so far, right? And like, how do we teach all bodies and all humans how to ride? I think we're a lot more understanding of that. And I just remember one thing that really stuck with me was we're all riding and I hadn't received any feedback yet.

And I was like, Hey, [00:12:00] how was, how did that look? He was like, well, you ride like a girl. So that's how, that's what it looked like. Yeah. So it sounds horrible, but like, weirdly, again, that was one of those triggers. I was like, that needs to change. Like, that's not okay. Like, no, I ride like a human. What am I doing differently?

And he never was able to tell me, like, what riding like a girl meant. So it's weird that I still remember that one thing. The overall program was like, I learned so much. It was everything. It created who I am now as a rider, for sure. Like, learned so much stuff that I still use. But that, yeah, that really affected me.

But again, like, in a positive way, almost. Yeah, using that

Jake Johnstone: negative experience to be like, this is what needs to change. Perfect. This is exactly what I want to talk about next. Tell us about Jo and Co.

Jo Peters: Yeah. Um, yeah. So Jo and Co has just been this really slow progression. I think I've just been over the years, like since work, I worked for, so I did Peak Leaders.

That was really cool because they automatically just hire you into the bike park. So for three years I [00:13:00] got lots of experience just teaching everyone from all over the world. From like someone who's never even ridden a bike for, before, to like someone who is actually much better than me. And I just learned so much.

And then I worked for a local company here in town with a friend. And started developing programs with, with um, dialed in cycling. Which was an incredible experience. And I sort of came up with the idea of a women's program. Started that. And I just sort of like narrowed, kept narrowing down like, what is it?

What is the sort of perfect, um, product that I want to create to offer people. I want to give someone like the best day on the bike, right? Um, so that's when these, uh, retreats to the Coast Gravity Park were kind of born out of that. Um, and that was kind of like my baby. Like, rent, you know, didn't, didn't start with renting out the park, but I would like bring all these women to the park.

Uh, hire lots of instructors. And we just had, had this day, um, you know, you've been to Coast Gravity. It's an amazing place to progress. Yeah, amazing

Jake Johnstone: little bike park. It's like, what, some, some techie trails and [00:14:00] then lots of jumps,

Jo Peters: beautiful. Terms as well. Right? Yeah. So yeah, just kind of developed Jo and Code just from that event really.

Yeah. I just wanted, um, like a non-profit foundation so I could run that event. That's so cool. So from what

Jake Johnstone: I, and from there, from, from what I read, it's all about making mountain biking more accessible to women in the cedar

Jo Peters: sky. Yeah. Um, yeah, exactly. It really is open to everyone. Um, Um, I will always be open to everyone and with women it's like those who identify as women as well.

It's trying to be as open as possible, but we, um, you know, it's still, I guess that is exclusive in a certain way, which actually I will touch on later because I've since changed. Um, but yeah, it's just to create a space that's really safe for, um, women to show up and feel energy, like really vibe off the energy of other women and not have that like intimidation factor.

Like. So you know, I mean it could be a good thing too, but seeing all the dudes roll up and like, um, that like, big free ride energy, you know

Jake Johnstone: what I mean? No, but I think that there is plenty of space for that. Yeah. If someone, like a guy or a girl, wants to [00:15:00] go and find that, they can find that. Exactly. So it's great now that you're, yeah, creating these safe spaces for women.

Yeah, it's just like, uh, calm, you know? There's all these pathways for female instructors as well. Yes. Just for young, kind of up and coming, uh, female riders. It's like, hey, that's a job that I could do when

Jo Peters: I'm older, which is what you say didn't exist 10 years ago. Yeah, and like, yeah, trying to, I mean, obviously I don't offer a lot, but yeah, try to make it really worth it for people to come and coach.

And this year was kind of my favorite because we showed up a day early and we like just had a whole day with coaches just to ride, which we've never done. It was really cool. So progression there for the coaches as well. Yes. Yeah. And we just like party trained. Um, and went for dinner and camped and really bonded and then it was so cool how it then just created, uh, you know, the most fun day, the next day, everyone, you know, we've got our riding out of our system.

We're like now ready to give that to other people. Um, yeah, so I just been trying to make this day better and better. So awesome.

Jake Johnstone: And like how many coaches, how many groups do you

Jo Peters: usually have? Yeah. So [00:16:00] my last one was the biggest. I think I had 60 riders. Yeah. That is a party. Yeah. Yeah, so it was really big, or it felt big for me anyway.

Totally, yeah, that's huge. I never saw myself as, I'm not, my strength is being a coach and connecting to people. Right. But on like definitely a one on one or a small group level, I have never seen myself as like an event organizer or, and that's kind of who I became. Right. An administrator, a website designer.

Um, so all these things have, you know, you just have to do that as well. Yeah. Yeah, it's been stressful, but it's been really fun. I can

Jake Johnstone: relate. Yeah, all these other jobs that you never think of kind of spring up along

Jo Peters: the journey. But yeah, seeing, seeing everyone's like very genuine, like, I don't think I've seen so many women in one spot just like genuinely like smiling and laughing and like, like the hooting and hollering down the trails and like, That like, feeds my soul, that makes me so frickin happy, like, that's all I want, I just want people to have fun in life.

Yeah, that's fantastic. Yeah, it's so cool to

Jake Johnstone: facilitate that. I wanted to ask as well, like, from your perspective, doing all of this amazing work, how do you [00:17:00] feel about the current trajectory of mountain biking becoming perhaps a little more inclusive, and where do you see it going in the next, say, three to

Jo Peters: five years?

Yeah, for sure, I think, like, it's amazing, but it also has a really long way to go. Um, there's all these sort of, it makes these huge leaps forward. Especially in the free ride scene. So cool. Um, but then it also has these like leaps backwards as well. Um, and it's kind of hard to explain but you see, I see a lot of, a lot of women come up to me and talk about how intimidated they are.

Um, and how scared they are. And, um, how they don't know if they're good enough. This, am I going to hold people back or like I'm going to be too slow and that kind of thing and I, and I don't know if that because they're now seeing, Oh, actually girls are so good at riding. Maybe, maybe I'm a, I'm a girl too, but maybe like, maybe that's what riding is and I am not that.

Um, so I am, I'm hearing that conversation a lot these days or like, um, girls are like, Oh, [00:18:00] you're, you're so badass. I can't ride with you. I'm like, no, I don't like that. I'm like, no, no, no, that's not what we're about. Right. So, it's just these like, few steps forward, but then this broader group, maybe not being as included.

I don't

Jake Johnstone: know. Yeah. And what part do you think social media has to play in that? Everything. It's huge. Yeah. Well, we kind of touched on this on our ride, but we've both got personal experiences.

Jo Peters: Yeah. And I think it's really cool. Like, I, I definitely get inspired. I love seeing other chicks out there shredding, but it can be, um, pressure too.

Like, yeah, as we were saying, like, features just don't look as big. And you might see someone riding it that you might think that you're, uh, a little bit similar to, and then you'll go check out the feature and you'll be like, Oh my goodness, that is huge. And then you'll be like, well, what's wrong with me?

Like how come I can't hit that? Like we ride together or it can, it can perpetuate those thoughts, I think. Yeah.

Jake Johnstone: Do you have any, any tools or anything to tell yourself like in that situation

Jo Peters: to try. It is [00:19:00] definitely like a struggle for me for sure. But, um, Um, lately, like this year, maybe it's like a new thing for me is I try to just like every thought like that that comes to my mind, I try to just like rephrase it and be like, I'm so damn happy for that person that they're doing that.

That's so rad. I'm so excited for them. Um, this is clearly not for me. And that's like, that's, that's totally fine. I'm going to do what makes me happy. Like it's all good. Yeah.

Jake Johnstone: I love that. Like, yeah. Turning it into gratitude for a friend. Yeah. And also like allowing yourself to go, it's okay because

Jo Peters: I don't want to I think.

My partner calls me on that a lot, because I'll roll up to the feature and be like, Oh, I try this. And he's like, Wow, did you see it on social media or something? And I'll be like, No. Um. It's

Jake Johnstone: a good check, isn't it? To be like, Okay, like, Cool, you want to ride this? Why do you want to do it? Yeah. I try and do that to myself a lot as well.

Like, Hey, Jay, cool, you want to ride it? Why do Yeah. Because some, yeah, so often there is like a, an outside motivation that's kind of crept in without you even realizing it.

Jo Peters: Yeah. But yeah, I also see that it can really help. [00:20:00] Like, I know that people have talked to me and. And that maybe it can be a really helpful thing when you see someone ride something quite smooth or, um, you make, yeah, you don't make something look sketchy and, and it can be quite inspiring to be like, okay, they made that look pretty easy, maybe it is possible for me to do it.

Like that didn't look scary. Um, yeah, so it can go

Jake Johnstone: either way. That's the scale, isn't it? Yeah. Yeah. We were talking about that on our ride today. Just now I wish we could see someone do this feature because maybe then both of us would ride it. Yes. Yeah. I also wanted to ask you about the ride with the girl mentorship program and being a part of that one as

Jo Peters: well.

Yeah. I honestly wish I had more. It's such a cool program. I wish I had more, um, time to do it because I just think that is what naturally did happen to me. Like it wasn't time that the first like, um, girl shredder that I like, it kind of like brought my ride to the next level or got me the next level excited.

Um, so I think it is a really good program. Um, for mine it was just really chill. I would meet up like once a month and just go for a ride. Um, but it was, again, it was so cool because I felt like I had this like [00:21:00] emotional attachment to this one, one girl that I rode with, um, last year. I was just like, like, um, yeah.

Um, how do I put it? Like, I really cared about her, like, safety during the ride. Like, I don't know, it was like almost like really protective over her, you know? I was like, I know you can do this, but.

Jake Johnstone: So from what I understand the program pairs you with like younger up and coming riders. Yeah. Um, and there's a whole bunch of you mentors and a whole bunch of

Jo Peters: mentees, is that right?

Yeah, exactly. Um, yeah, and it's pretty individual like, um, there are a couple events a year where you can meet everyone. Um, I wasn't able to attend any of those, but it is just like, yeah, you're connected with this one person. And, um, it was kind of cool because you see them at the races or, um, yeah, you're just sort of someone that's there for them if they need it.

Essentially, yeah, it's pretty chill. I love it.

Jake Johnstone: So rather than having to like really put yourself out there and like, yeah Find like a random female rider at a coffee shop like you had to. Yeah, exactly Yeah, these girls are lucky enough to be paired with riders that are already doing amazing things and you know [00:22:00] Have a good mindset and good lessons to teach.

Jo Peters: And you're kind of available if they if they want to ride more Yeah, I would totally make myself available, but it's like no pressure

Jake Johnstone: Yeah, good on you for doing that. I know you're already incredibly busy, like, working full time, running a foundation, doing all of these races and everything to yourself.

Jo Peters: Yeah, yeah, it was a nice thing to experience for sure. Yeah. Even just showing them, like, I'm gonna show you, like, my favorite trails and, like, follow my lines. It was just, like, fun to have someone, like, tag along, you know?

Jake Johnstone: I bet. And what are some of, like, the main lessons that you're hoping to leave these young riders with?

Yeah, I

Jo Peters: think just, like, nothing too specific, really. Just, like... Like, get out on a ride and just have a nice time, like, I think they're at, or at least my experience is that the age group you're working with, you don't need to do a ton of coaching. Like, they already, they're already like, in so many programs already, like, they're in school, they're in, um, gymnastics, they're in dance, they're in like, in all these things that are like, very coaching heavy, so it's nice just to be able to like, chat about their friends and their drama and their school, or just completely [00:23:00] ride in silence and just like, just exist with them.

Like, nothing really, just, yeah, just chill out in the woods. I love that, yeah, it's like

Jake Johnstone: showing them how to have a fun time in ways by doing rather than telling them. Yeah, exactly. That's great, I love it. And I was curious, like, have you, either from your coaching students or from your mentees through that program, is there anything you've learned from your students that you're like, oh wow, that's really cool, I'm going to take that away?

Jo Peters: Yeah, I think a lot of it is the importance of learn, if you learn, like, really solid body position really early. Everything is possible. If your body position is off just a little bit, everything is going to be off. So I think that, yes, seeing these younger riders learn good body positions so early on is quite exciting.

Because then they progress quite quickly. And recognizing that is really what held me back for quite a while. Is I just had the worst, or like, you know, that old school, like,

Jake Johnstone: I'm nodding my head here because I totally wish I'd

Jo Peters: [00:24:00] learned this when I was a teenager. Yeah, so much more success with, and also a good bike as well.

Like, um, a lot of the younger riders, especially in this area that we see are seem, seem like a lot of them are lucky enough to have pretty good full suspension bike that just didn't exist when we started. Um, such a really cool thing. It's a

Jake Johnstone: big start, isn't it? Yeah. Yeah. That's awesome. I love that. Yeah. I like those points there.

And I'm curious, like, I wanted to ask, talking about like, getting more women into mountain biking or women identifying riders, and making the sport just more accessible and more friendly to everyone. What can we all do as riders, men or women, to help make the sport more

Jo Peters: supportive? Yeah, I love that question, because I think that often, um, I sometimes come back from the trails and I'm like, oh, I can't do this.

This rider said this to me, and I can't believe it. So, I'm kind of like storing all those little nuggets, and I think just like treating everyone as like a rider. Like, I love just using the word rider. [00:25:00] Um, so I've often like say, I'll give an example. I'm riding with a girlfriend. We're just pedaling along.

A group of dudes comes up on e bikes and they're like, Wow, aren't you girls fit? And it's just like, Huh? We're just riding our bikes. And they're just like this recognition that they would never, I, I don't believe this. I don't know if you would say that to a group of men riding. Yeah, like where are my compliments?

Come on. I just don't know if you get that a lot. That's like a weird thing to say. Like I wouldn't ride up behind other, someone else and tell them that. It was definitely like a gendered comment. And so that would be a start of just taking away any of like, any kind of like gendered conversation. Um, or even like, oh she, like um, you'll be at features and all the guys are doing it and there might be a couple.

Dudes, and this is just from personal experience, maybe it's never happened, outside of this. But guys will be standing there, and they're having trouble hitting the feature. They're like, well I'm too scared, I'm not feeling it. And then a girl [00:26:00] comes and does it, and they're like, I'm doing it. And you're just like, hmm, interesting.

So, I think things like that still show that there's like, a gendered conversation around it. It's like, you, like you actually think, more people are maybe subconsciously thinking that girls maybe, It's surprising when girls are good at it and I'll, I'll get that quite a bit too, is like, you know, not willing to, that sort of like sizing each other up in a group and not dropping in as I make the mistake of always putting myself behind males or like in the back of the group, I just still do it and I don't mind, I like riding in the back, whatever, you know, but every once in a while I'll like, I move out of my way and they're, They just won't let it happen, you know, so there's all those, these little just sort of like, um, things like day to day things that I think are still happening.

Totally. And like, they may be little things, but they compound they, they show like the, uh, they really ref, maybe reflect on like a greater, a [00:27:00] global understanding of how we view men and women in sport, perhaps. Outside of normal. Yeah, like you got that idea from somewhere.

Jake Johnstone: Yeah, I love that advice of just like going back to like, treat everyone like a rider.

Mm hmm. Go eco world. in the school and having fun.

Jo Peters: Yeah. And look at, look if you're seeing a girl hit a drop that you're, that um, you know, a male is, um, or, or say it could be in reverse too, like I see a, a male hitting something and I'm like, whatever, like I just won't look at his male and female. I'll be like, that person had really good body position.

That person didn't. I'm going to follow that person. Doesn't matter if they're a man or a woman. Yes, and leave gender out of it. Exactly. Yeah.

Jake Johnstone: I love that. Wise words there. Uh, I read somewhere online when I was doing some research. research, uh, a great quote. Uh, and you said passion first and everything will fall into place.

Jo Peters: Yeah. Yeah. I think, uh, yeah, I think that quote, um, really spoke to me when I, um, first saw it. And again, I think it's been one of those quotes in my life for awhile, but it's like, if you're [00:28:00] like truly excited about something, if you're crazy, something, if you want something bad enough, you just follow that.

And like, no worries about like, how are you going to get the money for it or where it's going to

Um, and that's kind of how I, yeah, treat most things. I don't think it's always led me to like the best decisions, um, maybe financially, but um, it's been really fun. Totally. Yeah,

Jake Johnstone: it's such I'm smiling because I'm totally relaxed. That's why we're sitting here today. But it's a little bit like mountain biking, isn't it?

It can be scary at times. Yeah. You know, blindly following that passion when you're not quite sure. Yeah. And I'm curious, do you draw any parallels between what you're doing in business or through a foundation and riding

Jo Peters: itself? Yeah, for sure. I think I do, um, like rely a lot on my intuition and what I'm, what I'm feeling.

And if I just get like a really bad feeling about something, I don't do it. It's the same with riding. If I... Like today, like, you know, like where my eye is, it's just like, I don't push through that. Like, I'm just like, yeah, [00:29:00] not happening. And so I feel like I do live my whole life like

Jake Johnstone: that. So the same thing kind of in your work

Jo Peters: and in your business?

Yeah, relationships too. And I'm pretty quick to make decisions and I'm pretty quick to make change. If I'm not happy with something, I don't let it last for too long. It's a good skill to have. Because I don't really want to live in that like discomfort, I guess. And I feel like I really have learned that from, Um, from mountain biking or from doing stuff in the mountains,

Jake Johnstone: for sure.

Totally. Yeah, I do find, like, in a biking sense, making quick decisions helps you, like, get out of that uncomfortable, kind of, maybe anxious, fearful

Jo Peters: state. Yeah, I think, uh, I used to really dwell on, um, like, especially when I'd have hang ups about features, I would, I'd just dwell on them for way too long, and I would dwell on it on the drive there, I'd dwell on it on the drive back, I would, like, wake up thinking about it, I'd think about it all week, I'd go to that feature again, still can't do it.

And that's like not the nicest like headspace to be in because you kind of forget about all the riding that happened up to that point and after. Totally. And so now it's just like quick, like I [00:30:00] get that like gut feeling and it's like, and then it's just that instant and then I leave that instant behind and move on to the next thing.

I love it. Do not let it stick around. Yeah,

Jake Johnstone: it's such a grounded process and I'd love to dig into that a little bit more. I always like to ask my guests, like we're here talking about mountain biking and mindset. Yes, yes. Do you have any specific like tools or processes that you'll use commonly? On the track.

Jo Peters: Yeah. I think one thing, um, I got, um, you know, I kind of steal little snippets from coaching that I've had, and one of the, um, things that really spoke to me a few years ago was that the coach that was coaching me said, tell yourself like before you get on your bike, you're like, I am a good rider. I know what I'm doing.

Or like, in my sense, he was like, you are a provider. You like are, you are good. You're dialed. Like your bike is good. You've gone through all your checks, you've, you know, Do this quick, like, positive talk to yourself. Um, and if something comes up, like, Actually, I didn't get much sleep last night. Actually, I'm, like, really upset right now.

Um, you kind of, like, recognize those things before you even [00:31:00] start riding. And so that's a big thing for me, so I... And then, as I'm on the ride, I, like, Um, it's really easy for my mind to, like, wander. Um, or, like, or even get scared. Like, I'll start seeing the ground and be like, Oh, that really hurt to land on.

Or, like, oh, look, that root's sticking up there. Or, oh, that tree's really close. And I try to reverse that to just, I just start saying, yes, and it's really weird. Just, I find the word, yes, like it's my secret weapon. Like it's such a powerful word. So whenever I'm coming into a feature, whenever I'm getting those negative thoughts, I just like, yes.

I don't know. This time you rode that word. Yeah, that's really cool. I haven't heard like that particular one before. It's almost like a power word. Yeah. So it's just one word and I just like say it in my head and every once in a while I have to say it out loud. Like I'm just like, yes. And yeah, sometimes I say it to people that I'm coaching, like I'll just be like, eyes up.

Yes. And there's something about the word yes that everyone responds to in a really, like, ah,

Jake Johnstone: I can see it in your body language as you're saying it. Yes. Yes. I can do this. Yeah. It's almost like a conditioned response now. Like that word yes makes you [00:32:00] behave in a certain way. Yeah.

Jo Peters: And we've been conditioned since we were, you know, beginning of words.


Jake Johnstone: Really cool. So taking that, yeah, even that learning before you started riding it black

Jo Peters: or riding And we're, and I do find like the word no is the opposite of that. Yeah. And everyone kind of knows that.

Jake Johnstone: I find it a, a similar thing with the words like do and don't, or like I can't. Yes. I'm sure most mountain bikers listening and maybe you as well can relate to like don't look at the tree, don't look at the tree, don't break on the root stone.

Jo Peters: Yeah, big on that. What happens right? I'm really big on that, especially I'm coaching too and people will be like, Oh, I did this. Or like, Oh, I didn't do that. And I'm like, well, what did you do? Or like, what are you doing? Or what should you do? Like, you know, so I always try to rephrase my coaching as well.

And like, as to tell them what to do. I really try to rephrase my language to make sure that I'm never telling someone what not to do. Yeah, and

Jake Johnstone: it's an easy trap to fall into, isn't it? Like, so often I think we are conditioned to look for the threats, to focus on what could hurt us, what could [00:33:00] happen. And it's like, you said that, cool, like recognize the potential consequences.

And then it's like, if we're gonna do

Jo Peters: it, yes. Yeah, exactly, and that's all that's there. Yeah, I think, yeah, the only other one too that's been like, Um, helpful for me is my girlfriend. What is wrong with me? I think my head must have been down or something and she was just like, Look ahead, motherfucker! And so like, that's another one that I'll just say to myself.

Yeah, that's a great one. Um, and it's just this aggressive, like, ahhh! Like, look ahead! Yeah, it's like sometimes

Jake Johnstone: we do need, like, an aggressive command. Yeah,

Jo Peters: she just like screamed it at me, you know? And I was just like, oh, okay. So that's, that's sort of between those two things. It's pretty simple, but that's kind of what I rely on.

I love both

Jake Johnstone: of those. I often ask about, like, specific mottos and things like that. Yep. You just answered the question. Yep. That's fantastic. And it was cool riding with you today, you know, we rode like a nice, you know, kind of fun zone trail for both of us. We rode two stroke smoke here in Squamish uh, and then we got onto like a little kind of janky connector after that and both of us kind of looked at the specific turn that we didn't want to do.

But it was [00:34:00] cool kind of, yeah, being with you and kind of seeing your process. It was a pretty, pretty quick process to, from like, hey Jake, do we want to do this today? Do I want to

Yeah. Yeah. How would you describe, is there like specific steps in your process when you get to a feature and decide it's a yay or a nay? Yeah. Is there like a specific timeline there for you?

Jo Peters: Yeah, for sure. I like, will never, uh, ride in for more than three times, like that's a big thing for me. Yeah. Um, unless it's something happened, like you were in the wrong gear, like, you know, you're like, oh, it's just something wrong gear, like I couldn't put my foot on the pedal, like sure, I'll let that one go.

Right. But yeah, I try to stick to three times. I try to like. Um, kind of like step back from something and kind of like look for the whole line. So I really make sure I've like looked way down the trail to like see my run out and like visualize. I'm not visualizing me doing it. I'm just like visualizing where my eyes will be as I'm coming in.

Because I, people are always saying like, oh, but can you visualize yourself doing it? I'm like, I don't think I've ever

Jake Johnstone: visualized myself doing anything. So rather than like a third person bird's eye view. Yeah, I've never had that. It's almost like,

Jo Peters: yeah. Yeah, and like what, it's almost like a, a simulator in a, in a video game or something.

Like what is it actually gonna feel like? [00:35:00] And so that quick, like from a drop, I always like step way back and I'm like, Hey, this is what I'm going to see on my bike, right? I'm like, this is where I'm going to see my landing. And then I just like quickly memorize that and then walk back up the trail. And the whole time while I'm walking back up the trail, I like have that in my head.

Um, and I say yes the whole time. Yeah. And then, um, I will decide if I'm going to do a run in to something. I'm like, this is my run in and I don't, I'm not trying to do it. Um, so I'm very clear with myself and then I'll, if I see it, then I'll go back and do it. And if I'm going to do it, then I'm 100% doing it.

So you do

Jake Johnstone: that right in, and then if you're like, Okay, yep, that was cool, I'm going to do it. Is that where, like, the point of commitment

Jo Peters: piece comes in for you? Yeah, totally, and it's kind of that, like, Um, you've like, the green light, yellow light, or red light. So, say on that rock today, that was kind of a yellow light the whole time.

Yep. I was like, maybe, like, we'll just see. Like, if I see it, I'll do it, you know? Yep. Very yellow light. Totally. But there's lots of spots to stop before that happens. But if I know that, like, this is a hard, at this tree. I always pick a commitment point. It's usually like a tree or a rock or something at this tree.

If I'm not [00:36:00] feeling it, it's my last opportunity to stop. Totally. And if not, then my, I like just point my fingers forward. I don't death grip ever, but I just point my fingers forward so they're off the brakes and we are doing it. I love that.

Jake Johnstone: Yeah. It's not a good habit to get into like the reverse and we like potentially go through the last.

Safely stop. Yes. And we're doing like these emergency stops with maybe like one spot to put our foot

Jo Peters: down. Yeah, I try to yeah I try to have that spot quite early and I really rely on my feeling in my Kind of in my body to tell me and if I get this like big like kind of like visceral urge of like I'm gonna throw Up or like any kind of really nasty, you know that feeling where you're getting really scared That's that's kind of I don't like to ride in that state ever.

Yeah, we're not

Jake Johnstone: in a good state to access the skills we have

Jo Peters: Yeah But if I like have seen it and I really want it, and I know it's going to feel nice, then I'll get her done. Yeah, and

Jake Johnstone: like leading on from that, do you ever have any days where perhaps you'll feel like that, that feeling in your chest or in your gut where you're like, oh, I don't know.[00:37:00]

But deep down, you know, like maybe you've done this feature before, you have the specific skill set to get it done, you really want to do it. Yeah. Do you have any process you kind of go through there to get yourself into perhaps maybe more of a calm state? Yeah.

Jo Peters: Yeah, I actually had that last weekend. I was at these dirt jumps, and I'm not a very, um, uh, confident dirt jumper, just because I don't do it very often.

So you're just dealing with the bike with, you know, less, less suspension. Um, no brakes. Or less brakes. Less tires. Less everything. And a steeper lip and a gap. Which is like, a lesser bike, and like, suddenly a harder feature in a way. Like, A line is almost safer. Harsher terrain. More skill set, really. Yes! Um, but...

Quite small and relatively speaking to what you would do in a mountain bike. And so I know I have a skill to do it. I jump a lot. Um, but yeah, I had this weekend where I just had to like fricking have a time out. Like I just had to sit there and watch people do it and just be like, what can go wrong? Like, this is totally fine.

Um, and I just couldn't do it. Couldn't do it. And then suddenly like, I just got my [00:38:00] bike and rode towards, like I didn't do any of that mental process. I just got my bike and rode towards and hit it. Like I just kind of like blanked, you know? And sometimes I have to do that. Like, I just have to force myself to just get on my bike, start pedaling look ahead, and just do it.

Um, and I just try to, like, kind of more empty my mind. You find, yeah,

Jake Johnstone: that process of action or movement helps you

Jo Peters: empty your mind? Yeah, I just have to get going, yeah. Or sometimes I'll just, like, keep riding other stuff and try to get the feeling somewhere else. Yeah. And then come back, but yeah, often I'm not, like, being as systematic.

I'm not, like, running into it. There's no thought process involved at all. It's just, like, just go. I

Jake Johnstone: like that. Yeah, often I'll do a similar thing like hike the way up higher on the trail that I need to to ride the feature that's kind of in question and that process of riding and just feeling the flow will help me feel better about the feature below.

Yeah, I

Jo Peters: like that. Yeah, it's an interesting one. I don't think I hit, I don't, um, I'm not like a big feature hitter either, so I find I don't go through that process too many times in the [00:39:00] week, if you know what I mean. Maybe one feature a week. You could say. That's a helpful note. Yeah. It's not like I don't like overwhelm my ride with constant, um, yeah, nervous system overloads.

Jake Johnstone: Yeah. Well, similar to what we're chatting about on our ride, it's nice sometimes just to be like riding these trails that are like right in the fun zone. Yeah. Like it's, uh, I guess interesting and engaging enough to keep us on our toes. Exactly. To keep us interested. But not so over the top that we're like feeling like we might fall off a cliff at any one time.


Jo Peters: And I respect that some people like that. Or some people, or often people even tell me, they're like, Oh, you're such an adrenaline junkie. And that's why you like biking. It's like, actually no, it's quite the opposite. I like biking because it's like this beautiful calm flow and it's expressive and it's like good feels and it feels very good.

But I actually don't, I'm not like hyped up on adrenaline while I do it. It feels nice.

Jake Johnstone: Yeah, I think we're all kind of chasing those same feelings on different levels or in different planes. And yeah, for sure, like, we might see some people ride in stuff that [00:40:00] is really, really challenging for us and we're like, Oh, that's crazy, you must love, yeah, being fearful all the time, but perhaps maybe they're not fearful

Jo Peters: all the a

Jake Johnstone: different set

Jo Peters: of lenses.

Or you might go through stages in your life where, like, the fear is a little more fun. Where, like, you need to, um, uh, like, go off a big drop to be like, Ah, I'm alive! You know? Totally. Or you can go through other times where you'd rather just... Um, pedal up a hill all day. Yeah. And like get the, the rush from uh, being tired.

Yeah. Yeah.

Jake Johnstone: And I love, like, going back to what you were talking about earlier, like doing a bit of a, a check-in mm-hmm. before the ride. Like maybe some positive affirmations, but also recognizing that if there are anything is anything that is not ideal. Mm-hmm. , that's okay. Mm-hmm. ,

Jo Peters: that's where I'm at today.

Mm-hmm. . And that's a good, a good way to like, if you do find something's off, like a good, uh, reminder to like really focus or like get your elbows out and look ahead. 'cause maybe today is, uh, Yeah, you're not quite on it. Totally.

Jake Johnstone: I'll often do that at the end of a big ride as well. Be like, okay, like [00:41:00] I'm not feeling quite as good now as what I was at the start of the ride.

Yep. Focused. We've still got quite a lot of terrain to get down. It's like, yeah, I really focus. Yeah. Yep. Fantastic. This is great. I'm just gonna check on our camera. That's just to make sure we're recording. Everything's going all good. Awesome. Yeah, we're all good. I had an issue last time. It had like the sun on it.

Oh, I see. I wasn't sure if it overheated or if it was an nesting type. So we've got a new card that wants to fix that. It's alive. Yeah, it's alive, so we're good. Um, this is awesome, great answers so far. You're all good to continue on? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, let's do it. Great, so, yeah, we'll chat in a little bit on our ride there about some of the trail building work you've done, in particular with the new one up trail, Airplane Mode and Squamish.

And we'll talk in there about the relationship between all that time you spend out there shaping the corners, shaping the jumps, and talking with some of the other trail builders. And how that actually worked into your process, or your confidence for riding the trail afterwards. I'd love if you could tell us a little more about that.


Jo Peters: um, I am, and part of that too is, well, my partner, you know, I'm seeing everyday, he is, he trails, trails way more than I do. So I often see it through him, where he'll, I can see his progression in riding because of how he builds trail. So just like feeding off of that, going out with him, and him describing to me, um, What he's feeling.

So he's like, I'm going to build this catch here because you're going to need to slow down for this next thing. And then I'm just like, Oh, you need [00:42:00] to slow down with a corner for the next thing. And I'm like, Oh, I can use a corner to slow down. Ah. So just those little tidbits of like learning how to use a trail.

And it's like, um, through trail building that, um, I've come across those little tidbits. Um, but yeah, and learning how jumps are shaped have been really cool because I, I, um, I think I was quite afraid of the, Size of gap and then it kind of took me to realizing like the size of gap doesn't actually matter It's just like all the amount of speed you can generate before it and you really don't it's more dangerous to have a small gap I mean everyone knows this on a fast trail So if you're making that part really fast, you better make your gap much large for your land There's not a gap but your landing needs to be much further for it actually to be safer It was like that kind of thing.

It's like we don't need to You might have seen people do it or Maybe I've done it too, where you're like, go down to a gap and you measure it, and you're like, it's three bike lengths. I've done three bike lengths before. It's sure, but like, have you, like, what's the speed like, coming in? Maybe you're going way too slow to [00:43:00] hit three bike lengths.

Like, the size of the gap actually does not matter. The only thing that matters is like, the speed you have. Yeah,

Jake Johnstone: I totally agree. It's like, it's an interesting one to wrap our head around, though, when we talk about the mental case, isn't it? Because so often we're looking at the gap. Yeah. Whereas, logically, Most of us know what we need to do is look at the takeoff, look at the landing, and then think about our speed.

Jo Peters: Yeah. Because so many people will be like, Can I do this drop? If I've done this drop this size, I'm like, I could say the airplane mode drop was a brilliant example of that, being around that, being shaped. I remember when it was being built, I was like, Razor, that's way too big. Like, are you serious? Like, no one's going to be able to ride that.

And he's like, no, no, no, trust me. And I'm like, that's the run in? You've got like two pedal strokes. Like, I

Jake Johnstone: just couldn't put it together. Get out of your car at the parking lot.

Jo Peters: You're on a ten foot drop. Yeah, and then when I finally hit it and it's it's literally the most perfect drop I've ever hit and like it is fairly big like But there's no way I'm gonna measure that and then take that size to somewhere else be like, well I hit airplane mode drop So I'll be able to hit this one.[00:44:00]

That's half the size It's like it just doesn't work that way because I'll be more scared of like an awkward little log or rock hop That's like this big than I am of that drop. So suddenly that doesn't that process actually doesn't really work very well I

Jake Johnstone: totally agree. It's really good information for people listening.

How, how do you assess a good drop? What makes a good drop versus a drop that's going to be more technical, more challenging? Yeah, for

Jo Peters: sure. And again, I think I learned that through helping out with that trail. Was, um, their process of, um, are the speed that you're, you know, everyone says go at trail speed, which sounds like a bit of a joke, but it is kind of true.

It's like if the trail offers you the speed, you shouldn't have to like pedal or brake too much. So if I'm not pedaling or braking too much, that's... Huge. And then the landing should really match your, your takeoff. So for a drop, I really look for like a nice steep landing. If the landing's like flat at all, it can be quite a small drop and, and, and be quite painful or, or difficult.

And I actually had a really bad injury because I had an impact. I like, uh, broke my ankle through an impact injury. So it's made me see, [00:45:00] um, see drops and jumps very differently. Is I no longer care how big they are. Um, don't really care how high in the air I go. All I care about is like, do I have the speed?

And what is the landing gonna feel like?

Jake Johnstone: Yeah, I love that. It's a great approach. Yeah. It is true. I've never really thought about it, but it's something that, yeah, students bring in really commonly to coaching sessions, don't they? Like, yeah, I've done a three bike length gap jump, or I've done a six foot drop.

Yeah. Um, but it's a great point. Not all drops are the same.

Jo Peters: Or like, yeah, you'll see people hit, uh, crabapple hits in Whistler, and then, um, come to a stop at a two bike length gap on a technical trail. And it's like, why does that happen? Yeah. And it's, again, they're just like, they're not equal. Um, you know, if you have trail speed and you have a good landing, that can be quite big and feel quite easy, versus like, when you have to like pump and pedal and bunny hop, suddenly it's not so easy.

Totally. Yeah. Yeah. So it's been a huge learning

Jake Johnstone: process for sure. I love that. Yeah. Yeah. Really interesting takeouts there. And [00:46:00] I'm curious, uh, thinking back over the years, what has been one of your biggest challenges over the... I'm sorry. What has been one of your biggest challenges on the bike?

Jo Peters: Yeah, kind of like mentioning that ankle injury.

Um, I have had some, I guess that that injury was very life changing for me because it was not a crash. It was through impact. Um, and it took two years to recover from it. And three surgeries later, I was able to ride it in between. Um, so it wasn't like I took two years off biking or anything, but yeah, it completely, I can't clip it.

It has altered it. My life completely. Right. Um, and I just really had, it was really hard for me to like mentally get past the risk aspect of biking, that that could happen again. Um, yeah, it really affected me pretty, pretty strongly for sure. So I've had to do a lot of work to, um, to get past that.

Jake Johnstone: Totally, yeah, I think it's a really cool moment for Maltin, because, boy, he must be it.

Um. So you've kind of changed the way you ride, you know, you're riding flat pedals now, you're wearing ankle braces. Yep. What else has changed for you in terms of like, that assessment of like that [00:47:00] risk versus reward

Jo Peters: piece? Yeah, I started, um, getting a lot of coaching. Yeah, so, um, I think it's really important to keep, um, learning and learning.

Like, for me, I realize like, if I am strong. That's great. Oh, thank you. You can take the pumice away, please. I wonder what it's after.

Jake Johnstone: I think we're good, it's awesome. There's so

Jo Peters: many wasps now. Yeah. Um, alright, should I continue? Yeah,

Jake Johnstone: continue on. So you were talking, uh, yeah, about kind of what you've potentially changed.

Jo Peters: Oh yeah, okay. So, um, yeah, I kind of realized that if, like mountain biking is going to continue to be risky, but life is risky, you know, there's nothing that we can, there's nothing that's going to keep us safe in this world, really.

Um, but if you can stay strong, so going to the gym or whatever it is that gets you strong, yoga, whatever. Um, and then if you can have good technique, then you are more set up for those things not happening. So, yeah, got coaching, like even, yeah, this summer I was kind of telling you I did weekly, getting weekly coaching.

I've had a lot of private lessons, um, I've just tried to learn wherever I could. And then, yeah, hitting the gym pretty hard, that kind of thing. So, just hopefully setting myself up for a little bit more success. And then... I'm trying really hard not to, like, let myself get carried away worrying about being injured.

I'm just trying not to think about it. I do find I have to, like, really avoid talking about it. [00:48:00] Okay. About, you know, when people are, like, start bringing up the stories, and you're riding your bike, and you're like, ah, this, this drop, I did this, and over here is where I crashed that time. So I'm like... Okay, I actually, like, let's talk about that when we're over a beer or something, like I actually can't talk about it while I'm riding because it, like, it, I can't believe how triggering it is, like, suddenly I'm just like, I don't even want to ride anymore, or like, if I see a crash, someone else get really hurt, um, I kind of like can't ride anymore for that day,

Jake Johnstone: you know?

I'm glad you brought that up, because it's so, you're not alone there, I've had other guests on this podcast talk about, like, yeah, like, not even wanting to entertain the idea of crashing. Yeah. And to the point of like, not watching Pink Bike Friday Fails. Nope, I cannot. Yeah, like, just like politely stopping a friend if they're starting to talk about, Ah, I've seen someone go over the head of us.

Yeah, and you're like, I Yeah, can you talk about that afterwards? Not while we're right here, but, It's something I've tried to take on in my own riding. I think it's helped me a lot. Like, coming up to a feature and, Uh, yeah, picking to go out there with friends that do just like talk about, Okay, if we're gonna do this, this is how we're gonna do this.

If we're not, that's cool. But not

Jo Peters: entertaining or something like that. No, yeah, and people will be like, Yeah, and people are like, oh, um, yeah, don't watch me when I crash. Or like, uh, yeah, I see so many places where I can crash. Or like, they start talking about like, nope, just block it out of your [00:49:00] head. Like, yes, we accept it could happen.

But we're just not even gonna like, look at where we would crash. You know, this is not gonna happen. Yeah. Um, yeah, I feel like I was gonna mention something else about that.

Jake Johnstone: That's okay, if it comes back. Yeah, feel free to mention it. Yeah. And I wanted to kind of lead in here, you're doing work as an RMT full time.

I think I also read somewhere that it might have been like one of the setbacks on the bike that kind of inspired you to go down that road, is that right? Indeed,

Jo Peters: yes, I actually broke my other ankle. I'm sorry to bring that up. Yeah, my poor ankles. No, like, and again, I don't mind talking about it, like, this is my line of work as well, I do not mind talking about it off the bike.

Yeah. Like, definitely while I'm riding. Um, but yes, the, the, when I broke my, um, leg, my other ankle, um, I guess seven years ago now, um, I got my first massage and yeah, I've been in pain for probably like six months with like trying everything, like no relief, went for a massage. It was the first time that like, a, I felt like I was like seen and like, um, uh, my sort of, I was sort of like held if you know what I mean.

And someone like really generally cared like deeply about my [00:50:00] body, not just like on a sort of connection sense, but they were really pulling the space for. My leg, you know? And that felt so special. Um, and I literally went home and looked it up, how to become an RMT. Because I'm like, this is the most magical thing.

I didn't even know it existed. From other than, you're like, oh it's a massage, it must feel nice. I didn't realize how it felt to be like, so deeply helped, you know? And seen, and the person doesn't even need to talk. You know, I didn't even know this person's name. So that was like, very powerful for me.

Jake Johnstone: That story, and talk about making good decisions.

Jo Peters: I make quick decisions, yeah.

Jake Johnstone: And

Jo Peters: I didn't realize how hard the schooling process was, but we got

Jake Johnstone: it.

Jo Peters: Yeah, I think that is mountain biking for me. And I always tell people, like, feel the ground through your feet. Feel it through that your ankle is flexing. [00:51:00] And, like, I think I understand anatomy so well. I can almost, like, see what the, the, the joints and the muscles are doing, like, throughout riding. And I can feel...

You know, sometimes I have these really feelings. I'm like, I just feel, like, your chest opening up. Or I feel that, like, hip hinge and, um, sort of your, uh, glutes working. Or, yeah, I love... I love those sensations on my bike, you know, or like I love them, you know, you're engaging your core and you instantly feel more stable and you get a straighter line or I like live for those moments of where you like put more pressure and In your outside foot and you like dig around a corner like I literally feel myself like smile You know where you hit the right spot on a takeoff where you press just perfectly with your feet and you get that like lift off Feeling like oh, that's just like everything for me.

You know,

Jake Johnstone: I want to be doing that right now Yeah, like as you're describing that there you're feeling it sounds really similar to me It's like kind of this idea of like the flow state Yeah, really like in tune with what our body's doing, what the ground's doing Do you find, for you, like, this increased [00:52:00] awareness of you get into the flow state more often

Jo Peters: than not?

Oh, for sure. And, and that's like what I, like, I guess I've, like, kind of lived my whole life and enjoying those moments, like, through, through dancing or, um, like, whatever movement based thing I'm doing. That's kind of, like, where my mind likes to be at all times, and I think, and I love work as an RFT, um, through massage, uh, through touch, um, because I can, yeah, my hands are, are, like, Feeling a whole world.

And then biking, same thing. My body is just feeling this whole world. I don't really have to use my brain that much. It's just a natural process. We're just working. Very intuitive.

Jake Johnstone: It's not math.

Jo Peters: Yeah,

Jake Johnstone: no one likes math. I don't like math. That's why we're mountain bike coaches, right? We're not engineers. That's great. Do you see a lot of mountain bikers in your line of work? Oh yeah,

Jo Peters: yeah. I, uh, try never to talk about my work as an RMT while I'm coaching, [00:53:00] because I don't really want to like, uh, sort of, I don't want to be like, oh yes, get, you know, we'll do this thing and you'll get injured and then I'll help you, or like, I don't, it's just like that's a bit weird.

People always laugh about it or whatever, like, oh, you'll fix me up later, I'm like, yeah, I'm like, uh, yeah, well, it just sort of naturally happens, um, but yes, I do see more, and I think because I, the whole thing with like sports massages. It was like, no, that's sport. It's like, that's the whole base of sport massage.

Right. And so I think I get that with mountain biking. Like people will even, um, you know, it'd be like, Oh, my back hurts. And my hip hurts. And I'll be like, what's your stem height. What's your, what's the rise in your handlebars. What seat, what saddle do you use? Like I know, I know, I know the bike parts quite well.

Um, so it's nice having that background.

Jake Johnstone: That's really cool. Yeah. You're able to do more than like just give a massager. Yeah.

Jo Peters: And it's like, how did this back pain happen while you were pedaling? Let's dive into that. You know, yeah, I love how it works

Jake Johnstone: together. That's great. And that's the cool thing is that living here in Squamish, like, yeah, my physio's a mountain biker as well.

It's so cool. But yeah, they get it. Yeah. No one's going to tell you not to ride. Yeah. They're going to tell you how to

Jo Peters: modify it.

Jake Johnstone: I love it. I wanted to talk here a little bit about the racing you're doing as [00:54:00] well, because that's another huge component that kind of ties into everything up. So why don't we start off, uh, by first talking about the race you did earlier this year, the Trans BC.

Yeah. Tell us about that.

Jo Peters: Oh, it's so, so fun. It's a week long race where you're doing an enduro every day. Um, there's a really special thing about it is it's blind. So most enduros you do get to pre ride and check out the course. Um, this year it was in the Sea to Sky area, so it definitely had, like, a local's advantage.

Um, but lots of people did. Like, maybe half the people had, you know, were familiar ish with the trails. But, I like, the race organizer is so dialed with that, that she'll link together trails in a way that you may not have ridden them before. So, sure, you like, oh, we're going down value added, okay. But, like, you don't know what's after value add.

There's like four different options. So, she is so good at keeping you on your toes to keep it feeling pretty blind. Um, so that's really exciting, is it's blind. Um, the trans BC is, like, really known for... Black, double black, like, pretty rowdy trails. So it makes for really good stories at the day. [00:55:00] Like, everyone's like, oh my god, did you see that shoot?

Like, I can't believe I rode that, you know? Um, so I love that aspect. Everyone's just, um, like, so excited. Um, and often people are riding stuff that they, uh, never thought they could ride. And they're like, if I had seen that, there's no way I would have ridden it. Like, lots of people are chatting about that.

Um, it's a big party, uh, energy. Like, you can, lots of people are party training.

Yeah, I think people who came into the race really serious about like trying to win and that thing were almost like soon soon just dragged into the party atmosphere and they, and it was, there's maybe very few by the end who still have that attitude that attitude to have, but you see it more in like the one day enduros or maybe.

EDRs or, or whatever, um, where it's just that really serious, like every second counts and, and just cause the race is so long. It's just like a chill, like, you know, you turn around the corner and the volunteer will be naked. Like, like, they're all like, you know, playing fun tunes and dancing around, like, you can't [00:56:00] help but just like take a moment, you know?

Um, so it's just cool to see that sort of like break, it's like a music festival. Yeah, that's awesome. Everyone ends up just sort of breaking down the barriers a little bit. Yeah,

Jake Johnstone: so for those that don't know, like, TransBC is like a six day enduro stage race, right? Different locations every day. Yeah. And what is it?

Something like 25, 30 kilometers a day, or is it more?

Jo Peters: Uh, yeah, 30 to 40 maybe. Some days are pretty savage. Some days I'm on like double bike trails. Oh yeah. And some days, I think, um, it's been bigger or smaller throughout the year, but they've been up to like 2, 000 meters in a day, and sometimes over that descending.

So yeah, they're big days. It's not

Jake Johnstone: easy. So, how do you, how do you manage the nerves when you're riding valley trails blind, some that you haven't ridden before? You're also doing that on fatigue by the time you get to

Jo Peters: like the thing. That, and that's why I always tell people who, I mean, it's not like I'm a, I'm not a pro racer, right?

I do do this for fun. I do do it on the side. Um, I do it to stay healthy and just reach my own goals. So I don't have the training program, the time to train like a pro would, but I do say to people who are [00:57:00] getting into it, who are training is like the most important thing is to. Really get good at riding hard stuff tired.

Because I think we do kind of what you were saying at the end of a long day, where like, I have all this descending left, I need to focus. It's actually such a good thing to practice. Because I'm often riding with people and they're like, Oh, I'm just not like feeling, I'm feeling too tired for this trail.

And it's like, actually that's okay. Um, if, if you're wanting to do these kind of races, obviously. Um, it's okay to ride tired. You just have to modify it. Maybe you'll be taking different lines. And I feel like I'm a pretty good rider when I have the energy. When I'm tired, it all goes out the window. I think there was one downhill trail where I, like, my only thought process is where can I sit down?

Where can I shake out my hands? Because the stage is 12 minutes long and I am so tired. Um, so that really takes, you never think about that when you're practicing a race run, right?

Jake Johnstone: Yeah, totally. And do you have any tricks for like, say you're really tired, you mess up a couple of corners? [00:58:00] Do you have any tricks for leaving that behind?

Jo Peters: Yeah, you really have to. Like, um, again, that friend saying, Look ahead, motherfucker. Like, that's what goes in my head. Right, so you've kind of

Jake Johnstone: got this cue

Jo Peters: ready. Yeah, yeah, exactly. And that is my cue. And sometimes, um, uh, yelling is really good. So I come around the corner and just go, And that just, I don't know, that helps.

Get it out. Yeah. Um, and also, um, making like a lot of, uh, exhaling, like really, um, like strong exhaling. will help and that just stutters you a little bit. Um, and then also like pressing through my pedals, so I always tell people to like press through their pedals to like instantly center themselves, and I'll again, just do that to like get myself grounded and leave that like shitty moment behind.

And also, at this point you get so used to having like hundreds of shitty moments that like what's another shitty moment? Yeah. It's just funny at this point. Yeah. And then you really um, kind of, uh, the whole thing really comes together when you can just slow down a little bit and like look further ahead and ride really smooth.

You actually [00:59:00] stop having these, like, messy moments. Yeah, or you just don't even remember that you've had

Jake Johnstone: them. Yeah, and all of a sudden you've refocused, you've reset. Yeah. I was like, yeah, why's, what's that?

Jo Peters: Yeah. It is surprising when someone really fast passes you, and you're like, Oh, that's how the trail's supposed to be ridden, I see.

You're just having this nice, smooth, beautiful, like, zen time, and then someone buzzes by, and you're like, alright. Race energy. Humbled. Yeah. Totally. Should probably go a bit faster here.

Jake Johnstone: Well, it's a different vibe, isn't it? I wanted to ask, like, how does your mindset differ for racing versus running

Jo Peters: for fun?

Yeah, totally. I think that's why I love racing, because it really gets me amped, and I struggle. I'm a pretty, like, chill person, and, like, if I were to tell someone who knows me really well that I'm lazy, they wouldn't believe me, but I think I actually kind of am. Like, I just, I just, like, am not, like, this hyper, um, Um, like try hard every single second.

Like I love just kind of like chilling. I'm obviously very active, like try hard. Um, but I just need that like motivation. I need that like carrot in front of me to like really give her. [01:00:00] And so that's, I love racing cause it's just automatically, I do not have to try. Like it's just the carrot is there and it's so fun.

And so I actually have like, just more fun when I have motivation to go fast. Um, and I leave sort of the risk part out of the window. All my only goal is to go fast. I don't really care about anything else, and it makes me ride way better. So yeah, so it works for me. Do you

Jake Johnstone: find kind of sketchy moments and crashes go up when

Jo Peters: you, when you operate with it?

They used to. Yeah? Yeah. Um, when I first started racing, that was all that would happen. Okay. Is I would just crash, crash, crash. That was, it was mechanicals crashing. Um, yeah, it was really bad. Um, and I just learned how to like Well, I built my skill. I built my fitness. I started to really understand where those crashes were coming from and why it was happening.

And then I think now I drop into a race and I like, I strategize with myself as to where I'm going to gain the speed. Like, okay, I'm going to, my goal for this race is I'm going to lean my bike over [01:01:00] in every corner. I'm going to pedal like crazy on flats. I'm gonna try really hard on the ups and then the rest I'm just gonna ride really chill.

So I just come up with that strategy. Where I think initially, all I could focus on was the steep stuff, the gnarly stuff, and I'd just go like full no brakes into stuff, blow up, and then like, do nothing on the flats, like not even pump, you know? Cause I'd be like so recovered from like, ah, that was so wild, you know?

And now I'm just like, I slow right down to the steep stuff, just get through it, and then go again.

Jake Johnstone: It's a great approach, yeah, to like leverage your strengths. Yeah, I'm really strong right now, I can pedal on the alpine. These bits are really gnarly. I need to be just right and then controlled.

Jo Peters: Yeah. And now maybe, like, maybe I went a bit too far on the conservative side, like, too used to racing at 70%, and now maybe I could, like, up it a little bit?

Yeah. Because maybe I hold back too much? But it's finding that balance, right?

Jake Johnstone: Totally. It's a tricky balance to find. I find myself, yeah, quite often in racetracks, like, [01:02:00] I wish I pushed a little bit harder. I know. Yeah. So I could really relate now, like, yeah, just be the chiller and ride it for fun. Um, but yeah, racing definitely a cool tool to, to get you motivated.

Jo Peters: Yeah. And yeah. And to like focus on riding really well is, um, yeah, cause crashes are slow. Yeah.

Jake Johnstone: And I wanted, I wanted to talk about kind of like confidence in that competitive environment. We were chatting there at the truck before our ride about like, you mentioned like, Oh, don't check on those results.

Mid race anymore.

Jo Peters: Yeah. Yeah. I think, um, I kind of learned that the hard way, like. Um, I just really get in my own head, if I, the first trans race I did, I checked race results in the first day, and I was actually doing really well, and then it kind of like got to my head a little bit, and that's all I could think about, um, while it was, you know, I'd be riding down an early section, and all I could visualize was like, my, the black lettering on a white piece of paper, in a list, and that's all I could see, and it just like became too much, because it was all, I was like, that's all I want is my name to be in that second place, [01:03:00] or whatever.

I lost sight of like riding itself, you know, and then when that, uh, that black letter on the white sheet went lower, it destroyed me. Like, I was so focused on it staying in that spot and then as it dropped lower, I just like, fully couldn't handle it. And it was so weird how just this one image of some letters on a piece of paper were like, affecting my life.

Like, that's messed up. Like, it's just some letters on It means nothing. It sounds so serial y, but

Jake Johnstone: I'm sure there's so many people who rise here when they're listening and they're like, Yeah. Crap, that's

Jo Peters: me. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. But yeah, you just have this whole day that you're out, like, climbing mountains, and you're with people, and you're riding epic trails.

Like, why, how are we forgetting about all of that and just having our emotions controlled by this little... Cause basically you tag out and you get handed this slip of paper and you look and suddenly your whole emotions change. It's just so messed up to me. Yeah, it's

Jake Johnstone: like that outcome orientation, isn't it, without meaning it?

It's like the [01:04:00] outcome of moving up in the numbers, doing better, becoming like a particular place.

Jo Peters: Yeah, you forget about everything amazing that happened that day, you know? How to have fun,

Jake Johnstone: or how to go fast, or whatever other process

Jo Peters: goals there are. Or like all the amazing views that you saw, you just forget about it.

Yeah, so like, what do you do

Jake Johnstone: now? You get handed a bit of paper?

Jo Peters: I, uh, I just don't let them even hand it to me. Yeah, and then it's kind of funny because, you know, throughout the day people will, you start kind of like being curious and people start commenting, Oh, you're doing really well. And then other girls will be like, you go ahead.

You're faster. And it's like, how do you know that? Or like, you know, so you've got these little hints that like, maybe you're doing well and it's kind of fun. Um, but even that, I have to be really careful because then I'll be riding down a trail, but, Oh, she said it was fast. Cool, cool, cool. I'm going fast.

Woo hoo. You know? And then, boom! I hit a, I hit a rock and I'm like, whoa! Like, ride your bike!

Jake Johnstone: Yeah, you're trying to live up to this image of being fast and go behind these guys.

Jo Peters: Yeah, so I'm trying to be really careful. It's, it's, it's not like an easy process at all, but I'm just really trying to [01:05:00] focus on, on the riding and not care.

On the process. Yeah, and then if I do see that my name is, you know, second to last or last or whatever, I just have to like, again, just remember all those good moments in the day and really try not to worry about it too much.

Jake Johnstone: Yeah, it's tricky, isn't it? But at the end of the day, like. It's always a good day if we get to spend it on that.

Jo Peters: Yeah, exactly. And then, you know, I think when I'm at the point where I can emotionally handle it, then it's fun to look at results and be like, Okay, I can now strategize by looking, you know, maybe halfway through. Like this last race, I actually did look at the results halfway through. Okay, yeah. And then I was, but I was emotionally stable.

Right. You know? And I was able to be like, Okay, I need to make up ten seconds on that stage, and I actually, like, used that to motivate me in a positive way, and didn't throw me off. And then you know you're at the place where it's now, okay. So did

Jake Johnstone: you go, you said, okay, I need to make up 10 seconds. Did you go then to like, how am I going to do that?


Jo Peters: exactly. It was very strategic. It's like, I am going to sprint. Yeah, because you can always make time up on the sprints. But to say like, oh, I'm going to [01:06:00] really send it. Or, oh, I'm just not going to brake as much. Like, not a great way to do it. Yeah, it needs to be a little more specific. Yeah. Yeah, and how did it go?

It actually went really well this time around. Yeah,

Jake Johnstone: It sounds like you've really cracked the code, like dialed in a bit of a process, specific to you, your strengths over all these years of racing. Mm hmm. I love it. Yeah. That's awesome. We're gonna start wrapping things up here. It's been a great conversation.

Uh, but I wanted to ask if you've got kind of any industry partners or sponsors you'd like to mention that kind of this happen. Yeah,

Jo Peters: for sure. That's a good time. Yeah, I think, uh, well Kona Bikes is, is a really special one to me because my first bike was Kona. Um, and it's so amazing to come full circle and just see how the brand's developed.

And I knew from like day one with Kona that they, their whole mindset was like, I have fun on bikes and their bikes are like known. I love Kona bikes so much because every single Kona I hop on is just this fun, playful bike. And they all feel, they all feel that way. Um, so that one's really special and I'm really happy to be on Kona.

[01:07:00] Um, Noble wheels, also like such a huge one for me because I like randomly demoed them at a Crankworx and fell in love with the wheels. Um, so it's just cool to like work for the company that way. Um, yeah, I just love their product so much. Um, and it went from like just demoing them and the feel was so good.

So that's always a big thing for me. If it feels good, it's worth it. You know, um, one up components. Amazing. Cause they're, I'm just like so proud of where that company's come from. Um, so it's so amazing to wrap their parts. Um, seven mesh, amazing local brand. Again, it's like you put on their piece of clothing and.

It feels good, and that's so, goes so beyond, um, you know, something else. It's not just a brand, it's a feeling. Yeah. Um, my suspension that I run, out of Elba. Yeah, you're on the

Jake Johnstone: EXT

Jo Peters: as well. Oh my goodness. Nice one. Um, that kind of actually came out of the, the ankle injury. Okay. Because I was really struggling with the air shock and got recommended to, um, check out the [01:08:00] EXT coil shock, and it honestly allowed me to ride my bike.

Wouldn't even be able to mountain bike. Maybe I would now. By the time my ankle was pretty bad I wouldn't have been able to bike without it. Yeah So yeah, it's all based on a feeling. Yes, I think all those all those brands I work with are like they're very very special to me. Yeah, really

Jake Johnstone: cool brand partners there It's sweet to hear a couple of local names as well That's awesome.

And I want to ask like you've got lots going on Kind of finishing up this season getting into the fall with Jo and Co Is there any other cool projects you're working on? I know you're about to head off to some more racing.

Jo Peters: Yeah, I'm about to go on a two month road trip across the states to the east coast and go for another, um, the Trans New England race, which I'm really excited about.

Um, so I think it'll be a really good time just to connect with my partner and ride a new spot every day and we're going to try to do a little bit of filming to kind of get a little, um, Or, you know, our goal is just to show a little snippet of each [01:09:00] trail zone that we ride. So I'm really excited to work with, um, with him for the first time on doing some social media stuff together, or doing some creative projects.

Really chill, but yeah, something creative with him, so that's kind of our next big project and then we'll go from there. That's

Jake Johnstone: rad. Yeah. And where can people find you and follow along with some of

Jo Peters: these adventures online? Yeah, um, Instagram is really the best way, and it's Jo three underscores.

Jake Johnstone: Fantastic.

I'll put that in the show notes as well to make it nice and easy. Yeah, thank you. Um, that's right. Are you going to put any of the other stuff on YouTube,

Jo Peters: like the trailer previews? You know, I've really tried to use YouTube and it's, uh, it just, we haven't got there yet. Yeah, that's a lot, right? Those, uh, those eight second reels are really where

Jake Johnstone: it's at for me.

Yeah, yeah. I think that's what people want too. Yeah. Yeah. Right, well, thanks so much for such a great, uh, conversation. It's been super inspiring. Honestly, I'm just excited to go and ride my bike and get some more of those good times.

Jo Peters: Thanks so much. Um, yeah, is there anything else you wanted to add before we go?

No, that was a lot of verbal spew. Lots of talking.

Jake Johnstone: Good stuff. Thanks so much for being a part of the show. Yes. Yeah, that was a great chat.

What's up guys, just one more thing before you hit the trails. If you enjoyed this podcast, please be sure to subscribe and don't be a stranger. I'd love to hear from you about any topics or any particular episodes that you enjoyed, and even about any guests that you'd like to hear me have on the show in the future.

You can find me on Instagram at [01:10:00] The underscore Mind underscore Mountain. This podcast, mountain biking, and mindset are all things that are very close to my heart, so I feel super grateful to be able to share these conversations with you. So much love to you all for taking the time to listen, and I'll see you next time.

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