by: Charlie Bennett & Frida Ronning
You’ve been introduced to Factor’s immediate family here in Clayton that handles the hubs and components before they go out into the world, but we’d like to begin introducing you to our crazy aunts, uncles, and cousins out there—the racers and riders that use our products to perfect their skills on a mountain bike. Like aunts and uncles, there’s always stories to told in the office about our gals and guys, and their on going race seasons. We look forward to watching and following all of them on their journeys through 2020
First up is Frida Ronning. A 24 year old downhill racer. Frida hails from Lillehammer, Norway but is currently living, training and schooling on the other side of the Appalachian mountains from our office, in Knoxville, Tennessee. Far from home, Frida is chasing dreams of being a mountain bike World Champ and at the same time pursuing a masters degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Frida answered some questions for us so you might get to know her a little better.
Q) Can you give a brief background of your cycling career. What got you interested? When did it transition from a hobby to something more?
A) When I was younger I was mostly focused on ski racing, but was somehow naturally pretty good at endurance sports. We would do a lot of biking as training for winter season over summer and my dad would always take me gravel riding. One winter I was hurt a lot and had to pedal the trainer for exercise. I got fit from it and started racing both road and mtb the next summer. For high school I went to a private school for athletes and made it in to both the skiing and cycling program. I went with cycling and raced mostly XC and got to do some junior XC world cups. After high school I moved to Indianapolis with a cycling scholarship at Marian cycling. I got to borrow a dh bike and race collegiate dh nationals my freshman year and loved it. I decided to move to North Carolina and focus on DH while finishing school down there. I’ve always been very competitive, so sports to me has always been something I wanted to become the best at.
Q) What are your current goals in the mountain bike world?
A) This season my goal is top ten finishes at world cups and winning national races.
Q) What’re your long term goals with mountain biking?
A) My long term goals is to win world cup races and also to be able to live off of biking.
Q) What’re your favorite local trails? Favorite location to visit and ride? Favorite place to visit and not ride?
A) I live in south Knoxville so Bakers Creek is my favorite place to ride locally. Trails are awesome and its so nice to be able to ride your bike from your house like I could growing up in Norway. I love traveling and riding in new places but if I had to pick on place Morizne is always an awesome place to be and to ride. I love the view of the alps and its so cool to be able to ride from one bike park to the other over there. Favorite place to visit and not ride is, for sure, going back home to visit my family.
Q) Anything in particular that you like about riding Factor hubs?
A) I love having things that doesn’t cause me any problems and my hubs have been awesome so far. I like to make sure my bikes look good, so having all the different color options is cool. Also the people behind the company are awesome and very supportive and that means a lot to me and makes me stoked to support the company!
Q) What’s your favorite bicycle innovation of the past ten years?
A) I think e-bikes even tho I don’t have one. Its cool to see all the benefits and joy people can have from e-bikes.
Q) What’s the one bike you sold or have gotten rid of that you wish you hadn’t?
A) Not sure, I’m sad every time I sell a bike. My bikes are my favorite things.
Q) What are some of your non-bike related hobbies?
A) I used to ski a lot, so thats a hobby even tho there isn’t much snow around here. I also like to climb.
Q) What was your go-to music in High School? What’s your go-to music now?
A) Hasn’t changed much since high school. I mostly listen to indie pop/rock and some of my favorite artist are Florence + the machine, The XX and Daughter.
Q) What’re goals with school?
A) Finish my masters with two published papers and a good thesis and maybe a job offer.
Q) Do you believe aliens? Bigfoot? Ghosts?
Q) Where would you put your money in a fight to the death: ten lions or one T-rex?
A) Ten lions because T-rex is no longer alive and lions are cool.
Q) Dog person or a cat person?
A) Dog for sure.
Photo: Zach Faulkner
Be on the lookout for Frida at the Pro GRT at Windrock, TN next weekend. You can also follow her on Instagram @frida9. We’re glad to have her part of our family and look forward to watching her chase down her goals in mountain biking as well as in the academic world. We’ll looking forward for those after race discussions here at Factor headquarters.