Elayna Caldwell has been entrenched solidly as one of the few distinctly female personalities hanging tough in the boy’s club of mountain biking since the days she was a young sport class cross country racer back before bikes had good suspension. During the long ascent to her current status as ‘Queen Of The Bike Dorks’, her career has spanned tenures at such notable companies as RockShox, Santa Cruz Skateboards and currently Fox (the bouncy suspension bits Fox, not the baggy clothes Fox). She now controls the suspension destiny and media popularity of talented children who were probably not even born back when she was being a young sport class racer. The Queen Of The Bike Dorks lives in Santa Cruz, California, rides more than she admits, rules with an iron fist, and can drink with professional grace.
Who is Elayna Caldwell?
A motivated woman who enjoys her job, friends, family, reading and having a good time all the time. Nicknames are ‘Complayna’ and ‘Hellayna’.
Where do you live?
Santa Cruz, California. Native Californian.
What are you studying?
Where to find the perfect burrito.
What do you do to make a living?
I am the Marketing Manager for FOX Racing Shox.
How did you land the job?
I worked at RockShox from ‘96–2000. When FOX needed a new Marketing Manager they called me up and rescued me from the skateboard industry.
Are your racing shoes going to see some more action?
I like to race a few times a year. Favourite races are Downieville, 24 Hours of Moab and the Wednesday night ride feats of strength like the ‘One Handed Hot Dog Hill Climb’.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
I put myself through college as a waitress, I don’t want to do that again.
Where’s your favourite place?
Santa Cruz and anywhere with singletrack.
Where’s your favourite place to ride?
There are so many great places to ride but some of my favourites are Downieville, Moab, Utah and Colorado in general are awesome, Whistler, Black Hills of South Dakota, West Virginia and I just did an awesome trip in the Dolomites.
When are you happiest?
Post bike ride with my friends and a cold one in my hand.
What makes you angry?
Rude people on the trail and in airports.
What makes you happy?
My friends, my boyfriend Joe, riding bikes, being successful at work.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Speed is your friend.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given?
Life is short, take advantage of it everyday.
What are your extravagances?
Expensive jeans, nice bikes and fast cars.
Who do you admire?
Ashley Korenblat, owner of Western Spirit Cycling. Ashley is an amazing and intelligent woman who doesn’t let anything get in her way.
What’s the most important thing in your life?
What would you never throw away?
Obviously you’ve seen my refrigerator…
What’s your greatest fear?
Since breaking my arm – Whistler Mountain Bike Park.
What was your luckiest escape?
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Have some morning Joe.
What’s the last thing you do at night?
What do you think?
What would be your dream meal?
Besides Chicken Wings and Beer, a nice salad and good Italian food.
What things do you always carry with you?
Wallet and cell phone.
Do you have any regrets?
No, life is too short for regrets.
What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learnt?
To learn from my mistakes and failures and to think before I speak.
If you could have dinner with three famous people (dead or alive) who would they be?
Jack Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson and Jim Morrison.
What’s your favourite bike product of all time?
The suspension fork.
What’s your least favourite bike product of all time?
What’s your favourite motto or saying?
What saying do you use too much?
What bike are you riding at the moment?
Yeti 575 and a Swobo Folsom.
What was the last magazine you read?
What are you listening to at the moment?
What one thing would you change about yourself?
I wish I had more patience.
What are your weaknesses?
Chips and guacamole.
What does the future hold for you?
Hopefully starting a family.
What does the future hold for mountain biking?
The future of mountain biking is bright. The bikes and equipment have reached a level that makes riding even more fun. And I see so many young people out on the trails that I am encouraged for the future of our sport.
How would you like to be remembered?
As someone who left things better than they were before.