Rider Profile – Lilly Hrabosky

November 10, 2021

Interviewed by Travis Brown

I had the opportunity to sit down with a young local rider, Lilly Hrabosky, and ask her some questions about her riding and her life in the bike world. Lilly has grown up in Fayetteville, West Virginia and is a talented rider. Not only can she hit jumps better than me, but I have seen her stop in the middle of a race to help a rider who had crashed in the mud and snow — truly, a solid human! Read through this interview to get into the head of young riders to see what drives them, how mountain biking can change their life and the impact that they can have on the mountain bike community. 

How did you get into mountain biking?

I kind of just grew up biking. I started biking when I was three. We started off on a Strider Bike. We never did training wheels because if you get used to them too much it will be harder to move on. I have been on trails since I was three (for seven years now). 

Do you remember the first time you rode a bike?

We were on our street. I was just riding around pushing my bike, not pedaling, but it had pedals on it and I put my feet on it and started pedalling, my dad was like “Go Lils!” Then, my mom came around the corner and she was so happy that I was just riding around! 

What has mountain biking allowed you to learn about yourself?

I see something I haven’t done before and I think, “I could probably do that now!” So I went back up the trail and did it. And it’s easy, I should have done it straight off the start. 

What do you think prevented you from doing it at the start?

It’s probably because I wasn’t sure I could do it, or that I have enough skills to do it so I just kept riding the trail. When I came back the next day I felt like I could do it!

When you skip a feature, what gives you the confidence to try it the next time?

Just knowing that I can do it. I have seen my brothers doing it so I could probably do it if I just did it. And wrecking is kind of just part of riding!

Who do you like riding with the most?

My brother, Gabe, because he pushes me, he says, “Oh you can do that.” And I can see him do it. It’s fun because I can do new trails with him and he pushes me to do new stuff. I like to see him do stuff like drops and big stuff, it’s just really cool to see him do that. It’s like if he can do that at his age, then I could probably do it if I pushed myself.

How do you think bikes will play a role in your life in the future?

I am going to do NICA next year. You have to be in sixth grade. I am very excited! I feel like I am racing whenever I see my brothers cross the finish line. I am so excited for them and I wish I was doing it! We always go up to the NICA races. 

What do you think about the NICA MTB races and GRT (Girls Riding Together)?

It’s awesome because everyone is so excited for whenever the first place finisher crosses the line and for when the last place crosses the line. They are always just so happy for them, even the other teams. I have gone on every GRT (Girls Riding Together) ride except one because I forgot my shoes. It’s super fun! I think it’s cool to see other girls riding, sometimes it feels like I am the only girl in the whole wide world that rides. But then I see the other GRT girls riding and I think, “Huh, there are some other girls that ride!” We went up to the UCI event at Snowshoe and I saw all those girl riders doing the road gap and was like, “Oh my goodness!” 

Is there a rider or person that you look up to?

Honestly, probably all of them. I see them do stuff, and I feel like I could do that if I really pushed myself. It’s like there’s something we can learn from everyone.

What made you want to talk about mountain biking to your class?

I just do it so much so it’s one of the things I have stories about. I have been doing it for so long that there are so many things I can say. I want more people to ride and my stories can help do that. 

What’s it like to ride with your family?

I think it’s cool because whenever people see all of us riding as a family, that makes them think, “If that whole family is riding, why can’t my family do that?” 

Kids are the future of mountain biking and it is great to feel so optimistic about the mountain bike community moving forward. I think there is a lot of wisdom in Lilly’s words and I hope y’all took as much out of this interview as I did!