Greetings! My name is Diana Allen. I am based out of Joppa, Maryland. I am a Kona Bicycles global ambassador. I race enduro and am a certified mountain bike coach.
After 12 years of classroom teaching, I finally got the courage to quit my day job as a high school science teacher and pursue my passion for working on bikes. I am now a bicycle mechanic at Patapsco Bicycles in Elkridge, MD. It only took the world shutting down for a pandemic to shake me out of my rut. I went from dreading work every day to absolutely loving what I do. My message to people that aren’t happy with their career choice: Don’t be afraid to make big changes and start over to improve your quality of life and find joy through your work. Life is too short to hate what you do for a living.
Doughnuts or bagels? Bagels, no question. Savory > sweet. A nice chewy Jalapeno Cheese bagel, toasted with some butter. Mmmm.
Home mountain range? Back home in SoCal - the Santa Ana Mountains. In middle and high school my best friend and I would ride up Skyline Drive to go down easier sections of the Troy Lee trails behind Corona on our 26” department store bikes. That was my intro to exposure and steeps.
Fur-baby? Lucy the little old street mutt from Salinas, CA and Olive the smooth coated Border Collie.
Favorite mountain/trail? It’s a tie between Mountain to Meadow in Big Sky, Montana and Brian Head Peak down to Bunker Creek Trail in Utah. Both are long, epic downhills with absolutely breathtaking views.
Go-to après beverage? Cheap bourbon and Dr. Pepper over ice.
Day job? Jobs. Many. Bike mechanic, certified mountain bike skills coach, Maryland NICA associate league director, Little Bellas program lead and being a mom. I’m probably forgetting a few.
What are some causes you support/ways you give back to your community? I love to create opportunities to funnel new riders into the mountain biking community, especially women and kids. I established the first Little Bellas chapter in the state of Maryland, which is a mountain bike mentoring program for girls 7-13. I am the associate league director of Maryland's NICA league and serve and the Chief Course Marshal. I work as a skills coach with Lindsey Richter's Ladies AllRide mountain bike camps. And I also plan education events through my local bike shop, including health & wellness and basic maintenance classes.
Any big plans for this season? I have a number of bike tech gigs on the calendar, including demo mechanic for Kona Bikes at ROAM Fest. I am looking forward to traveling to Big Sky, MT and Thunder Mountain in Massachusetts to coach with LAR. I am helping organize the first ever Women's Takeover at Bryce Bike Park in Virginia with Harlan Price of TakeAim Cycling. In September I'll be headed back out to Bentonville for the second annual Women of Oz Sunset Summit (easily my favorite event last year). And in the fall I will focus on my duties as a Maryland NICA core staff member, putting on races for local middle and high school student-athletes.
Favorite piece of Wild Rye gear? OVERALLS. When I’m working on bikes I need functional clothes. I bend and kneel over a lot. I need pockets. I can’t be tugging on things to stay up or down all the time with grease all over my hands. And they HAVE to be durable. Both the Elorie technical and Eeva short overalls check all the boxes. Plus they look super cute and fit my curvy body well.
Keep up with Diana: @dianimal_mtb