Episode three of Live to Ride’s Coronacoaster features Enduro World Series pinner and Gowaan Gals co-founder Bex Baraona.
Nico Turner meets up with Bex Baraona for this week’s Coronacoaster. For those that don’t know Bex, 2019 was the year that saw her bag an opening round Enduro World Series podium, following that up with two top 10s at the next two rounds.
When she’s not cutting it with the best enduro racers on the planet, she’s inspiring the next generation of riders through Gowaan Gals.
Their longest trail timing in at 4 minutes in length, a fairly impressive feat around here. The trails are set on a backdrop of dark wet woodland but they offer the perfect mix of physicality and technicality for Bex’s training.
“The hill is 400m but that’s from the very top, but we don’t go down to sea level, most trails are 120m vertical over 1km usually. The last two I’ve built were more training specific actually, 10 minute sprint up a fire road dropping into a crazy gnarly trail, sometimes I don’t plan the trail I just start digging, turn by turn feature by feature and see what the lands got..” – Bex Baraona
One of the gems in Bex’s collection was this neat little bridge they’d built, hidden in the depths you’d think you were in New Zealand from the photos. From spending just a couple of days hanging out with Bex she was constantly fixing up bits of trail whether it be drainage or blocking off Strava lines.
A big part of Bex’s life is Gowaan Gals, a not for profit organisation she set up with good friend Martha Gill, each year they do an annual event and they’re hoping it will happen this year.
“There’s no race result that comes close to how proud I feel about Gowaan, that probably sounds pretty deep but honestly we’ve set up a little company that essentially is getting other people riding bikes. Because we’re both women it gets people thinking “oh I can do that too” Sometimes I get more of a kick out of seeing people progress in a ride than riding myself. We’re hoping the timing of the festival will be perfect but we will just have to see what happens.” – Bex Baraona
With this unusual pause in racing the downtime seems to have been good for Bex, she was very open about enjoying her time at home and feels that when she does go back to racing she will be the fittest she’s ever been.
“Racing can be stressful at times, there’s definitely points last year like when I broke my ribs where I wanted to throw the towel in. This for me has been a perfect little break which everyones had to take. I’m excited to go back racing because I know when I’m happy and content being a bit more relaxed about it and less uptight about my training, it definitely brings out a stronger Bex” – Bex Baraona