Bicycles | Clothing | Components | Backpacks | Books and Movies | Bottles | Electronics
Glasses | Helmets | Lubes | Nutrition | Pumps | Racks | Safety | Shoes | Skin and Muscle Care | Tools
Trailers | Trainers |Wheels and Tires
Search


rule Archived Articles:
rule


Sea Otter 2008
Day Two
Genghis Kahn Video
Intro Day One
Choose Life Video

rule


Tara Llanes:
Determined to Recover
Finding your Green Self


New Feature:
Map your Rides!


rule


Cross Nationals
45 Minutes
Win or Lose
Gale Force Cross
Elements of Cross


Photos
Videos


rule






rule


Got Pink?
Speaking With:
Magnus Bäckstedt
Wounded Warrior Project:
Phoenix to Vegas
Grow Your Own Bike?
Young Mechanics
Speaking with:
Shonny Vanlandingham
Stories From the Road:
The Spinning Stars


rule


Interbike
Faces on the Mountain
Cross Vegas
The Showroom Floor
A Cycling Shambhala
BMC FourStroke 03
Rock & Roll Lives at Defeet
Demo Days
WTB MX Prowler Review
Interbike 2007 Intro


Photos
Videos


rule


Junior Development
Voices:
Benny and Christian Zenga

Green Choices
On the Soldier Ride
The Jury is Still out...



rule


Pedros
Faces of Pedros
Lea Davison Teaches
Kids to MTB

Women's Skills by
Alison Dunlap

Coming alive
Going Green



rule


Voices: Reginald Harkema
Bike The World: New York
Team Trips For Kids
The Ironclad Triathlon
The Ride of Silence
Ladies Night at R-A-B
Bike the World
Bike Polo
Get Your Friends to Ride!



rule


Sea Otter
Grand Theft Velo
In the Heart and Mind
of the Beast

It's All About the Wheels
A sense of Paradox
Sea Otter: Super D
What is Sea Otter?



rule





rule


Which Holiday Treat
Are You?

Raisin a Comeback
Marilyn Price:
Making Trips for Kids




rule


2006 CX Nationals Sidelines
2006 CX Nationals Day 2
2006 CX Nationals Day I
2006 CX Nationals Intro



rule





rule


Warmth Recaptured
The Road Ahead
On The Well Worn Path
Fireflies in the
Garden of Gray

A Ride With the Cannibal
Hoop Talk



rule


Interbike '06
Grande Finale
Innocence Lost
Outdoor Demo
and Hangover Ride

Interbike 2006 Intro



rule


24 Hours of Willamette
Twilight at the Velodrome



rule


Pedros Fest '06
The Faces of Pedros
Not-so Still of the Night
The Bold and The Vulgar
Trailing Off
Stickers, Glue, Ribbons,
Markers

Good Times in the Sky
Downhiller Hunting at Jiminy
Pedros Fest Intro 2006



rule


Heart Rate Monitor
Mt. Hamilton
Critical Mass
The Mountain of the Devil
Fighting for the Finish
Hey Watch Your Feet!
Special Film Pull-out
Bicycle Film Festival
Tour du Parc
The Five Boro Bike Tour
VOICES: Peter Sutherland
VOICES: Brendt Barbur
VOICES: Jacob Septimus
Stillwell Interpretive Trail
Resurrecting the Vanderbilt
Motor Parkway

Kicking it up a Notch
Bicycle Film Festival Intro
The Fat Tire Classic
The Road to Zamora
Edison, NJ Show
Carlisle, PA Show
Bike Show Intro
SLIME Torture Test
Step Away from the Lube
Energy Crisis
CX Camp for Juniors
Gear Guide: 2006
Inside the CX Nationals
Road to Nowhere
Take it Hard, Take it Easy
Liberty Mutual Cyclocross
Nationals Day Three

Liberty Mutual Cyclocross
Nationals Day Two

Liberty Mutual Cyclocross
Nationals Day One

Liberty Mutual Cyclocross
Nationals Intro

Holiday GIFT GUIDE
The Unbearable Art
of Wrenching

Tasting the Brew
A Crewman's journey
275 Miles for Youth
Letters from the Road
Patterson Pass Insurgence
The Power of Critical Mass



rule


Travel:



rule


Interbike '05/ Las Vegas
IB '05: Red Rocks Canyon
IB '05: Indoor Expo
IB '05: Lake Mead
IB '05: Outdoor Demo II
IB '05: Outdoor Demo I
IB '05: Intro



rule


Pedros Fest '05
Night Moves
Roughin' It!
Words With Tinker Juarez
Pedros' Faces
Jiminy Peak Free Ride
Womens' Skills Clinic
Pedros: Day One
Pedros Intro



rule


Chicago
Bicyclist Haven?
What's Not to Bike?
Sites @ Night



rule


West Coast
Cali Travel Intro
Hitting the Wall
Lake Chabot
Tour de Truckee
Ride to Skyline



rule


Tarmac Tacos
The New York Bike Show
The Deluge Ride
New Jersey Bike Show
Stinging the Rio
Roaring Mouse Race Series
(Spring 2005)

The Agony and Ecstacy
of Icy Rain...

Visions in Saffron
Margo Conover Speaks Out
Repurposing
The Blizzard Ride
PBBC 2005 Season Opener
26 Degrees of Separation
The Abondoned Bike
Bite My Style:
Messenger Fashion




rule


Death Valley:
Two Cyclists Enter

Car-Free: Kara
Car-Free: Max
And the Winner is...
Halloween in Gotham
Battling El Diablo
Interbike: The Event
Interbike: Intro
Cape May,
A Cyclist's Dream

A d'Liteful Adventure
Catching up with
the Catskill Wheelmen

BTC Daily 2004
Crashpads:
Crash and Burn?

IBEX MTB Trail [Series]
Prelude to a Champion
Rudy Project: Part Deux
Take Time to Appreciate
Stretching for a Fit Body
A Soggy 5 Island Tour
Incident Report
The Pump Showdown
Manhattan Greenway
Burley D'Lite Pre-Review
Bike Rodeo
When Polar Bears Attack
Almighty Leap Ride
Essential Cycling Toolkit
Training up! [The Series]
Selle Italia/Cannondale Ride
Wanna do a charity ride?
PBBC 2003 Season Opener
Rudy Project Eval Ride
Fixing Flats On the Go!
The Ride Dine 9.13.03
Road Riding Safety
Winter Riding Safety
Cycles Le Femme Jerseys
Helmets and Safety
Shonny Vanlandingham speaks with Ray Storm at Interbike 2007.

When it comes to athletes, cycilists are gods. For anyone who has spent any small amount of time on a bike, whether it be training for a charity ride, amateur race or the Tour de France, we all know (to some extent) something about suffering. With this knowledge, I think we raise professional cyclists onto pedestals. What we forget to remember is that, they, like us, are just human.

I was blessed to have the opportunity to sit down with one of the most succesful cyclists of all time, Shonny Vanlandingham. Sitting on a set of concrete steps quietly away from the cacophony of noise and the glaring distraction of lights at Interbike, her warm smile and calm presence brought a sense of sanity back to the Vegas strip. Most of all she brought some semblance of humanity back to the sport cycling.

Ray Storm: So tell me a little about when you were a child riding a bike and what that felt like?
Shonny Vanlandingham: Ahhh!

RS: You were not expecting that one were you?
Shonny Vanlandingham:I wasn't! Wow! When I was a child I had a pink Huffy. It was my first mountain bike. A pink Huffy with knobbie tires. I would take it off road and do the ramp jumps with the boys, you know with the BMX bikes. And that's what I remember about riding as a child.

Shonny Vanlandingham speaks with Ray Storm at Interbike 2007.

RS: Did It have a bannana seat?
SV:I had a bannana seat, a pink one.

RS: When did you first start racing?
SV: Not until I was 27 years old. I played Basketball in college and I kinda found Moutain Biking through being a bike tour guide in Hawaii. I was a bike tour guide when I was living there after college and I found racing.

RS: How does Basketball compare to cycling as far as athletic passion?
SV: I think Basketball will probably always be my number one love as far as sport goes, but mountain biking is definitely a close second. Cycling is so much more... Mountain Biking is so much more individual. You can control your training, you can control more things, but you hardly have the team aspect.

RS: What comes to into your mind when you plant your ass into a saddle, whether it's a training ride, casual ride or a race. What feelings does that bring up in you?
SV: Freedom! That's probably the number one feeling for me. You're outside, you feel the weather or whatever is going on... your enviroment. You're right in the middle of it whether it's cold, snowy, rainy, or you're hot and sweating. It's very natural, especially Mountain Biking, you're on the trails, in nature.

RS: You're very comfortable (as I have seen you out on the bike) at the races, and even during the races. You have a very confident presence. Do you get that from your parents? Are they very supportive? Are they involved?
SV:Well, I think probably I'm comfortable with myself because I try to be a well rounded person. For me it's a healty way to be, to have other things going on in my life besides bike riding. I'm very involved in real estate and that's kinda my passion outside of cycling. Accuioror propeties, managing rental properties and hopefully set myself up for my retirement. I would rather spread out and have other interests, It tends to work well for me.

Shonny Vanlandingham speaks with Ray Storm at Interbike 2007.

RS: Do you try to influence other racers with that or be a overall good influence? Whether it's a kid on the street, maybe a younger racer-rider, do you try and prepare them for when they are not racing or just how to have a better presenceor or be a better person within cycling?
SV:You know I probably would not do anything different. Athough I try to be a good example, try to have a healthy perpective about sports. I've played other sports at a high level as well, like basketbal. I'm not saying it works that way for everybody, but for me it's good to have balance. And I think that probably would work well for alot of people to have balance. If your sports not going well you can't let that drive your emotions for your whole outlook on life. If you have balance, hopefully that keeps you confident in yourself and what's going on.

RS: There are so many bad influences in professional athletes, Football players having dog fights, DUI, running cars off the road and every sport now has doping scandel's. Do you think professional athletes are good influences on kids as far as role models go?
SV: I think there are good professional athlete role models and bad ones like every other profession. There's always going to be good and bad people. Just because your a professional athlete does not neccasarly mean you are the best role model, The good thing is there are alot of good role models out there that are professional athletes and the focus should be on them. Unfortunatly the media usually focus's on the bad becuase it's more dramatic. But there probably are more good role models than bad out there you just don't hear about them as often.

RS: Who are your role models?
SV:Well, cliche it may be, but my parents. Neither one of my parents finished high school. They were back in the day when you got married when you where a teenager, and they did that. They had kids right away, they had three kids by the time they were twenty one. So they were always working for the family. Looking back on that, seeing how hard they worked when I was growing up, really created a good work ethic for me. Even if you don't start with the best hand of cards, it matters how you play the cards more than how your dealt.

RS: Well spoken in Vegas!
SV:(big smile and soft laugh) That's true, I did not really think about that. But it's true.

RS: How about siblings? Where are they? Are they supportive? Are they an active part of your life?
SV:Yea! I have an older brother and an older sister. My sister lives in Hawaii with her family. My brother lives in Texas, that goes for the rest of my family, Mom and Dad, Aunts and Uncle. They're great, we all get along well and keep in touch. It's hard not being close together, our family's so far apart these days unfortunately. But it's good when we get together.

RS: I can see the smile in your eyes when you talk about them. It say's a lot. How about you, are thinking about starting a family at some point?
SV: Right now, probably not, because I travel so much. I split my time between Durango, Colorado and the Big Island of Hawaii. So at this point i think it would be really hard, I mean I can't even have a pet. When I do actually have a family, I would like to keep dedicated to my family and I think right now I'm really not in a position where I could focus on a family.

Shonny Vanlandingham speaks with Ray Storm at Interbike 2007.

RS: If you could have a pet, what kind of a pet would you have?
SV: Well I'd like to have a dog, I really like Boxer's. Maybe someday? There not to big, not to small, there athletic, and have a good demeanor.

RS: When you're not riding your bike or doing X-terra's or paddle boarding. What other things do you do for an active lifestyle or casual lifestyle? What do you do to keep well grounded?
SV: Well being that I'm doing alot of X-terra triathlons next year, I'm doing a lot of trail running, and a lot of swimming. That's a lot of time when you are training for three different disciplines. So, I'm not just on the bike. Being in Hawaii I do a lot of swimming in the ocean and I have the snorkle, the one that's a swimmer's snorkle. It's great because you can just snorkle while your swimming, checking out life under the water.

RS: Even though the snorkle looks a little tacky?
SV:Yea, it looks a little geeky, but i am a tri geek now and all.

RS: What would you like to do with the X-terra's?
SV: I think I switch over to the X-terra's mainly because it's a new challenge. I have been racing the same circuit for eight seasons now as a pro. For me, it's good for me to have change, it keeps it fresh, keeps me more motivated. I'm commited to doing the X-terra series next year. I feel like I did during my first year as a pro mountain biker. I'm excited about it, I'm excited to train. I get up at six in the morning, go to the pool and I actually want to be there. I think it's good for me and my motivation and also I think it's a great opportunity for Luna (Shonny races for Team Luna Chix) to get into that... It's a growing market. They're very visable, they're on television. It's great for companies that look at multi-discipline atheletes.

Final note: A few day's after this interview I traveled to Lake Tahoe for a little R&R and to watch the X-terra National Championships. This was my first time watching an X-terra. As the pro men's field started to trickle in like wounded soldiers, I realized these races where like war zones. Every racer who finished was more of a casualty of war than a professional athlete. As the racers came within sight of the finish line their expressions turned from contorted suffering to absolute relief. It was as if every competitor just wanted the carnage to end, and when they crumbled across the finish line you could just see their bodies let go.

In typical Shonny fashion though, as she rounded the last corner, and came within sight of the finish line, an ear to ear grin slowly spread across her face. As she crossed the finish line, her "I just peeked at my Christmas present" grin turned into a full on Cheshire Cat smile.

Shonny Vanlandingham speaks with Ray Storm at Interbike 2007.

When it comes to athletes, cycilists are gods. For anyone who has spent any small amount of time on a bike, whether it be training for a charity ride, amateur race or the Tour de France, we all know (to some extent) something about suffering. With this knowledge, I think we raise professional cyclists onto pedestals. What we forget to remember is that, they, like us, are just human.

I was blessed to have the opportunity to sit down with one of the most succesful cyclists of all time, Shonny Vanlandingham. Sitting on a set of concrete steps quietly away from the cacophony of noise and the glaring distraction of lights at Interbike, her warm smile and calm presence brought a sense of sanity back to the Vegas strip. Most of all she brought some semblance of humanity back to the sport cycling.

Ray Storm: So tell me a little about when you were a child riding a bike and what that felt like?
Shonny Vanlandingham: Ahhh!

RS: You were not expecting that one were you?
Shonny Vanlandingham:I wasn't! Wow! When I was a child I had a pink Huffy. It was my first mountain bike. A pink Huffy with knobbie tires. I would take it off road and do the ramp jumps with the boys, you know with the BMX bikes. And that's what I remember about riding as a child.

Shonny Vanlandingham speaks with Ray Storm at Interbike 2007.

RS: Did It have a bannana seat?
SV:I had a bannana seat, a pink one.

RS: When did you first start racing?
SV: Not until I was 27 years old. I played Basketball in college and I kinda found Moutain Biking through being a bike tour guide in Hawaii. I was a bike tour guide when I was living there after college and I found racing.

RS: How does Basketball compare to cycling as far as athletic passion?
SV: I think Basketball will probably always be my number one love as far as sport goes, but mountain biking is definitely a close second. Cycling is so much more... Mountain Biking is so much more individual. You can control your training, you can control more things, but you hardly have the team aspect.

RS: What comes to into your mind when you plant your ass into a saddle, whether it's a training ride, casual ride or a race. What feelings does that bring up in you?
SV: Freedom! That's probably the number one feeling for me. You're outside, you feel the weather or whatever is going on... your enviroment. You're right in the middle of it whether it's cold, snowy, rainy, or you're hot and sweating. It's very natural, especially Mountain Biking, you're on the trails, in nature.

RS: You're very comfortable (as I have seen you out on the bike) at the races, and even during the races. You have a very confident presence. Do you get that from your parents? Are they very supportive? Are they involved?
SV:Well, I think probably I'm comfortable with myself because I try to be a well rounded person. For me it's a healty way to be, to have other things going on in my life besides bike riding. I'm very involved in real estate and that's kinda my passion outside of cycling. Accuioror propeties, managing rental properties and hopefully set myself up for my retirement. I would rather spread out and have other interests, It tends to work well for me.

Shonny Vanlandingham speaks with Ray Storm at Interbike 2007.

RS: Do you try to influence other racers with that or be a overall good influence? Whether it's a kid on the street, maybe a younger racer-rider, do you try and prepare them for when they are not racing or just how to have a better presenceor or be a better person within cycling?
SV:You know I probably would not do anything different. Athough I try to be a good example, try to have a healthy perpective about sports. I've played other sports at a high level as well, like basketbal. I'm not saying it works that way for everybody, but for me it's good to have balance. And I think that probably would work well for alot of people to have balance. If your sports not going well you can't let that drive your emotions for your whole outlook on life. If you have balance, hopefully that keeps you confident in yourself and what's going on.

RS: There are so many bad influences in professional athletes, Football players having dog fights, DUI, running cars off the road and every sport now has doping scandel's. Do you think professional athletes are good influences on kids as far as role models go?
SV: I think there are good professional athlete role models and bad ones like every other profession. There's always going to be good and bad people. Just because your a professional athlete does not neccasarly mean you are the best role model, The good thing is there are alot of good role models out there that are professional athletes and the focus should be on them. Unfortunatly the media usually focus's on the bad becuase it's more dramatic. But there probably are more good role models than bad out there you just don't hear about them as often.

RS: Who are your role models?
SV:Well, cliche it may be, but my parents. Neither one of my parents finished high school. They were back in the day when you got married when you where a teenager, and they did that. They had kids right away, they had three kids by the time they were twenty one. So they were always working for the family. Looking back on that, seeing how hard they worked when I was growing up, really created a good work ethic for me. Even if you don't start with the best hand of cards, it matters how you play the cards more than how your dealt.

RS: Well spoken in Vegas!
SV:(big smile and soft laugh) That's true, I did not really think about that. But it's true.

RS: How about siblings? Where are they? Are they supportive? Are they an active part of your life?
SV:Yea! I have an older brother and an older sister. My sister lives in Hawaii with her family. My brother lives in Texas, that goes for the rest of my family, Mom and Dad, Aunts and Uncle. They're great, we all get along well and keep in touch. It's hard not being close together, our family's so far apart these days unfortunately. But it's good when we get together.

RS: I can see the smile in your eyes when you talk about them. It say's a lot. How about you, are thinking about starting a family at some point?
SV: Right now, probably not, because I travel so much. I split my time between Durango, Colorado and the Big Island of Hawaii. So at this point i think it would be really hard, I mean I can't even have a pet. When I do actually have a family, I would like to keep dedicated to my family and I think right now I'm really not in a position where I could focus on a family.

Shonny Vanlandingham speaks with Ray Storm at Interbike 2007.

RS: If you could have a pet, what kind of a pet would you have?
SV: Well I'd like to have a dog, I really like Boxer's. Maybe someday? There not to big, not to small, there athletic, and have a good demeanor.

RS: When you're not riding your bike or doing X-terra's or paddle boarding. What other things do you do for an active lifestyle or casual lifestyle? What do you do to keep well grounded?
SV: Well being that I'm doing alot of X-terra triathlons next year, I'm doing a lot of trail running, and a lot of swimming. That's a lot of time when you are training for three different disciplines. So, I'm not just on the bike. Being in Hawaii I do a lot of swimming in the ocean and I have the snorkle, the one that's a swimmer's snorkle. It's great because you can just snorkle while your swimming, checking out life under the water.

RS: Even though the snorkle looks a little tacky?
SV:Yea, it looks a little geeky, but i am a tri geek now and all.

RS: What would you like to do with the X-terra's?
SV: I think I switch over to the X-terra's mainly because it's a new challenge. I have been racing the same circuit for eight seasons now as a pro. For me, it's good for me to have change, it keeps it fresh, keeps me more motivated. I'm commited to doing the X-terra series next year. I feel like I did during my first year as a pro mountain biker. I'm excited about it, I'm excited to train. I get up at six in the morning, go to the pool and I actually want to be there. I think it's good for me and my motivation and also I think it's a great opportunity for Luna (Shonny races for Team Luna Chix) to get into that... It's a growing market. They're very visable, they're on television. It's great for companies that look at multi-discipline atheletes.

Final note: A few day's after this interview I traveled to Lake Tahoe for a little R&R and to watch the X-terra National Championships. This was my first time watching an X-terra. As the pro men's field started to trickle in like wounded soldiers, I realized these races where like war zones. Every racer who finished was more of a casualty of war than a professional athlete. As the racers came within sight of the finish line their expressions turned from contorted suffering to absolute relief. It was as if every competitor just wanted the carnage to end, and when they crumbled across the finish line you could just see their bodies let go.

In typical Shonny fashion though, as she rounded the last corner, and came within sight of the finish line, an ear to ear grin slowly spread across her face. As she crossed the finish line, her "I just peeked at my Christmas present" grin turned into a full on Cheshire Cat smile.

Send This Story To a Friend
Your Name:
Friends Email Address:
Your Email Address:
Custom Message:
Banner Ad

Banner Ad