Getting to Know: Kaylee Gibb, A Backflipping Mother of Three
Describe yourself.I am very outgoing and adventurous, love to work hard to play harder, always trying new things, and a bit feisty at times!
Where are you from and where do you live?I am from Council Bluffs, Iowa. I have become a Canadian and we now live in Rossland, BC.
How did you get into riding and how long have you been riding?I ended up going to the Red Bull Rampage in 2004 and got introduced to my future husband, Ryan Gibb. He took me riding for the first time the following summer in Kamloops on Rosehill and I was hooked! I rode here and there until I finally got a bike in 2007. Then I rode off and on for 41/2 years until we started having kids in 2012, our last was born in 2016. This is the first year in a really long time I've been able to ride really hard, focus on progressing my riding, and I've actually started to train!
What has your biggest accomplishment been?...besides marrying my best friend or surviving child birth...definitely my first back flip to dirt! I might have been overly optimistic on the jump I decided to try my first back flip on. It was at the old Rampage site, on a longer travel bike, on a decently big step up (27 feet from take off to landing). It took me 3 attempts but I finally landed it!
What bike(s) are you riding right now?This year I decided to try something different and get an "all-in-one" kind of bike. Right now I am rocking a Pivot Firebird. I rode 7 weeks at Whistler and managed to get me a photo of the day on it! I have also been training on my Devinci Dirt Jumper and then transferring the tricks I learn over to my Pivot. Shimano has been a great support over the last 10 years, Marzocchi has just come onboard,8 and I am currently in talks with a few different bike brands so we'll see what bike I land on this year.
What does a typical day look like for you?I get up with the kids and make green pancakes/crepes and then we all head to the gym/preschool/daycare and work out until 11:45. I usually ride 5 days a week or train with my airbag. We are living in St. George, Utah over the winter, but I haven't been able to bike since the end of March as I broke my collarbone... But I've only got 2 weeks left before I can get back to it! Then there's making lunch for the kiddos, practicing violin, play dates with the cousins, and usually some kind of outside activity before scraping together dinner and hoping something comes out well... And then after wrangling three young kids into bed I try to get some bookkeeping done while walking on the treadmill and hang out with Ry before passing out! Normal day.
What are your strengths?Tenacity, resilience and my husband would say how I manage fear.
What are your weaknesses?Patience.
What’s been your worst crash over the years?I've been exceptionally lucky with my huge crashes! The fourth backflip attempt is what has taken me off my bike the longest of any of my crashes. I misjudge the wind and paid the price but it wasn't even close to the most painful crash by any means...just a lame broken collarbone...didn't even know it was broken into 5 pieces until 13 days later when I finally decided to get it checked out. (I may have deadlifted 55lbs with a broken clavicle just a few days after the crash).
Where’s your favorite place to ride?Whistler and Rossland - I love trees, smooth trails, and big jumps!
What big projects do you have planned for 2018?My main focus and almost all my energy will be directed to creating the best segment I can for my husband's next movie. Ryan Gibb (Co-creator of Life Cycles) and Teton Gravity Research are teaming up to create a new mountain bike film that will be released later in 2019. I will begin shooting for my segment during late fall of 2018 and I will be training for my segment until then. Be prepared to be taken into the unknown!
Who is your favorite rider?I have met some amazing riders over the years being involved with Life Cycles and different biking events, but the person who just puts a smile on my face and I love catching a quick ride with is Brett Tippie. I have never met someone who can put a smile on someone's face so quickly! I dare you to not laugh or smile if you have the chance to meet him! But for straight up riding style that can't be beat, I would say Thomas Vanderham, his whips can take you back in time! He missed his calling as a ballerina! Talk about graceful and inspiring! And one more for the list is, Chelsea Kimball who is a total shredder and helped me out with my backflip over this winter, she has some serious "cojones" (well figurative cojones)!
What do you enjoy doing away from bikes?I LOVE surfing and anything to do with sunshine and being outside. If we're not on bikes, we're usually found outside making mud potions, picking wild berries, hiking, going to city markets/street fest, or scavenging for the best deals at garages sales on the weekends!
Who or what inspires you?Jesus, people with disabilities doing amazing things, and music (Pharell Williams, Tribe Called Red, and Calvin Harris are some good ones this year... I love some good bass)
What’s your favorite non-bike website?Is it shameful to love Amazon and Costco... I find so many good deals! I'm such a mom!
What’s your favorite motto or saying?I have 2! 1) If you're not happy with what you have, you'll never be happy with what you get. (I grew up with very little and was taught early on to appreciate everything you get!) 2) If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything. I watched one of my friends become an alcoholic by 8 years old and both she and her sister became teen moms. I really wanted more out of life than drugs, alcohol, and being a teen mom!
What annoys you?People talking behind others peoples backs without ever having the nerve to say it to their face, also whining!
What makes you happy?I love cuddles from my kids, when my husband sends me super corny poems when he's traveling, the feeling of weightlessness when I jump my bike, sunshine, and tasty cold bubbly water!
Where do you think the future of freeride is headed?People are pushing the limits at younger and younger ages! Jumps just keep getting bigger and bigger! I know limits and boundaries are just going to burst rapidly as this sport continues to progress! I know as the popularity grows, maybe slopestyle/gravity riding will eventually become an Olympic sport. Why not? It brings out the best in all sports!
What does the future hold for Kaylee Gibb?What I see in the near future being able to ride in Ryan Gibb's next masterpiece of a movie. He has crafted a segment for me that will allow my life's challenges to be portrayed out as I ride and hopefully set some new records just for fun! My future is full of big bike events, tours with the movie, and possibly MCing events eventually. I would love to set a precedent, in a male-dominated sport, that women can do big things, not only that, but you can start at whatever age you want. I didn't start 'professionally training', with a goal in mind, until I was 32! My forever stance is that you can have a family and still have a career. You can fail and still get up again (with age it hurts more and takes more time, you just have to plan accordingly). It's always a good day to try something new. I will eventually be moving over to the freeride coaching world for women and kids and get to be involved with coaching my own kids as they begin to ride bigger mountain trails! I will also be contributing to large non-profit organizations in fundraising and helping out with local youth poverty, cancer fundraisers, and whatever else comes my way each year. I want to make a difference for my family and those around me. If I can help but one person, I have succeeded.
How do you want to be remembered?I got back up and tried again. Life isn't easy, but I'm sure making it worth it.
You can follow Kaylee on Instagram, @kayleegibb and find out more about her by visiting her website.