Age: 24 | Vitals: 5’10”, 145 lbs. | Years Riding: 14 | Current Residence: Northern California | Instagram: @xanmarshland
For as long as I can remember, I’ve never been too interested in team sports. It’s not that I’m against competition. Rather, I was just always the type of kid that would rather make up his own rules than follow someone else’s. Given this attitude, it should come as no surprise that I quickly gravitated towards outdoor sports.
I was introduced to mountain biking when I was about 10. It started casually, when my uncle started taking me on mellow rides around the gravel fire roads of the Bay Area. I don’t know whether it was the first time my tires left the ground or the first time I rolled down a hill brakeless, but something clicked on one of these rides, and riding bikes quickly became an obsession. What followed was a beautiful few years of poorly executed staircase hucks, trail rides, and prepubescent bike tomfoolery.
High school gave me a chance to do a bit of XC racing, which I credit for getting me fit, but not much else. Racing had its moments, but after a few trips to burlier terrain in Utah, Colorado, and the Sierras, Lycra and race results got a lot less important. Sending it became the new priority, and my XC days were left in the dust.
This attitude prevailed throughout my higher education at Colorado College, where road trips to the desert, 8,000-vertical-foot shuttle runs, and DH racing became regular activities among my friend group. Against all odds, I managed to graduate with an environmental science degree and no broken bones.
My life today consists of working for a Berkeley-based company that’s creating sustainable, bio-based materials for use in outdoor equipment, writing for Blister, and coming to terms with the fact that I live in an urban area once again. Although I enjoy the insane number of veggie burritos available within a two-mile radius of my doorstep, I still find myself escaping to Santa Cruz, Oregon, or the Sierras as much as possible in search of open space and sketchier trails.
Riding-wise, I like to mix in the occasional DH race or park day with long and epic technical rides that emphasize burly descents. A combination of low-speed technical moves, reckless high-speed charging, and a few rock ledges to huck make up my ideal ride. And while I’m always happy to take out the hardtail and make my lungs hurt, I’ll always feel most at home on a big bike in big mountains.
Some Favorite Equipment:
Maxxis Minion DHF, High Roller II, and Aggressor. Rohloff Speedhub. Pinion C1.12 gearbox. Honey Stinger waffles. Avocados.