While I was driving out to meet Andréane Lanthier Nadeau, all I could hear in my head was Eminem’s Lose Yourself, “If you had one shot or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, would you capture it?” I know that’s a little dramatic, right? But maybe not…I knew Andréane and I would only have a few runs to shoot, and after hearing Nikki Smith speak at this year’s Frostbike, explaining how important it was to show real people, people of all walks of life, people of all different colors and genders doing their craft, not just standing with their bikes. I knew this was important. I also knew that ALN, short for Andréane Lanthier Nadeau would crush it, but I was skeptical of my talent behind the camera. I needed to nail what few photos I would be able to take because she was leaving for her home in Canada the next day and wouldn’t be back in Southern California for a year. So yes, I literally only had one opportunity to show y’all how ALN is one of the greatest mountain bikers I have ever ridden with and spoken to.
Andréane is a great example of how gender is not a determining factor in how good one is at mountain biking, it just takes work, and that’s something she most definitely puts in. You don’t become the third-fastest FTW enduro racer not putting in work. I mean I’ve watched ALN practice wheelies for 14 days straight on Instagram! Wheelies are probably one of the most frustrating things to learn on a bike, and she just keeps going, showing the world all of it, even the frustrations.
While going downhill, ALN and I did not do much talking, I was mostly white-knuckling my bars, hoping there would be a jump for us to shoot, just so I could slow down. On the way up the hill, we talked about things I never expected to hear from a world-class enduro racer. I’m not even sure how it came up, but one thing we talked about more than anything, was our love for Brené Brown(LOOK HER UP). While I’m just sharing Brené Brown talks in my stories on Instagram, ALN is out there talking about vulnerability in enduro racing, in front of hundreds of people in that world.
ALN is a true believer in kindness, she makes it a point to have meaningful interactions with total strangers on the trail. This is actually how she and I met, and this is why I knew her story had to be told. The gravity sector of mountain biking definitely has a bad wrap, but people like Andréane are working on changing this. Many just put in the work to be better mountain bikers, but ALN is putting in the work to make mountain biking better.
Andréane Lanthier Nadeau races for the Rocky Mountain Race Face Enduro Team and you’ll be able to see her at this year’s rescheduled World Enduro Series, but I hope y’all get to have a genuine interaction with this human being someday.
Thanks for the ride ALN!