It’s been a couple fairly quiet years since Micayla Gatto retired from World Cup DH racing. Gatto has been enjoying her personal time and pursuing things beyond the track, and specifically, her passion for art. With her recent broadcasting gigs to winning the Dirt Diaries video competition at Crankworx, it seems that she is trucking along just fine as a personality in the mountain bike biz. The recent release of Gatto’s Red Bull Intersections video proved that she is as versatile as she is driven. We reached out with some questions to find out what it’s really like in Micayla’s colorful world.
You’ve had quite the summer! First a viral rap remix and now a motivating yet inspirational piece with Red Bull. How’s all that settling in for you?
MG: It’s been a trip for sure! It’s been so amazing working with such talented people, and the biggest reward has definitely got to be the reactions from the viewers. It’s so cool to see other people just as passionate as I am about the messages I’m trying to spread, and the love for riding and community that is forming out of these media pieces. It’s blowing my mind.
Most people know you from your time as a professional downhill racer. How has the transition been after leaving the start gate and training routines behind?
MG: After crashing and suffering through a pretty bad concussion for 2014/2015, I had a lot of time to reassess what it is I wanted in life, and what I want to accomplish with riding. I decided not to go back to the racing game, as I felt like I could make a bigger impact elsewhere by incorporating more of my creative mind, and I didn’t want that pressure of racing anymore. I also never want to hit my head like that again, and racing would definitely have put me at risk of that. I miss the training, and I am actually getting back into a program with a company called Migration Unlimited for 2018, that is, if I can stick to it! It’s definitely hard to stay motivated to a strict training regime if you don’t have any races to compete in! Might have to sign up for a couple just for a bit of pressure haha.
What has been the hardest part about leaving the race circuit, or should I say, what do you miss most?
MG: I miss my friends! Nearing the end of my racing career, I found I was more concerned about whether or not everyone around me was relaxed and happy than I was with my own racing. I’m a people person 100%. Being able to push myself with my friends by my side is definitely something I miss a lot. You go through a lot together, and no one really understands exactly what a racer goes through except other racers!
What do you miss least?
MG: Hmm…. I don’t miss the pressure and feeling like your only value is your race results. There have definitely been times in my career where I was on a crashing streak, and suddenly sponsors would stop answering emails, and be less interested in helping me out. Then I’d do something like win Nationals and suddenly everyone’s heads popped out of the sand and I was their best friend again. It’s business and it’s part of the game, but I definitely don’t miss all my personal worth being put on a plate number. It’s brutal.