Susan DeMattei
Photo: Matt Burt

This season we will be featuring women riders, runners and hikers of the Gunnison valley on this page. To start things off, we thought it a no brainer to introduce Susan DeMattei—former Olympian and local riding phenom. Susan has lived in Gunnison for over 20 years, works at Gunnison Valley Hospital and spends her free time raising her four boys…three sons and her so-named husband Dave Wiens. Susan agreed to answer our eleven questions which we thought would give us some insight into her riding career and daily life:

What is your favorite movie?

Can’t narrow it down to one, but “My Left Foot”, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, “Shawshank Redemption” and “Animal House” all come to mind.  “Dead Man Walking” left quite an impression, too.

If you could have one (more) superpower, what would it be?

Flying would be pretty cool.

What is your favorite quickie workout?

If my hips will allow it, a 20 min. run will get me through a few days…

What is your favorite ride?

Another toughie…With unlimited time, my favorite piece of singletrack is that sweet section in the aspens on Dr. Park; that being said, some loamy, twisty, tree covered trails in California and Colorado are always a treat.  When time is an issue–when is it not?– coming back to the “front side” on Rocky Ridge is fun at high speed. 🙂

What do you do to relax?

A nice, hot bathtub w/ the hubby is always great, but I also love vegging out w/ my buddies Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart.  Laughing is the world’s best form of relaxation.

What is your favorite trait in someone?

Honesty and integrity, hands down.  A good sense of humor is right up there, too.

What is your favorite pre-race meal? 

Used to be pancakes and a small cup of joe; these days (for pre-ride) I’m happy w/ anything from cereal to cinnamon rolls.

What is on your iPod right now?

Adele, Michael Jackson, Tom Petty, Dave Matthews, Aretha Franklin, Norah Jones, ac/dc, a bit of Eminem, and a variety of others.

Favorite trail food?

Homemade chocolate chip cookies, pbj’s; can’t do gels, etc. unless I’m bonking.

How many years have you been riding?

Is this a trick to get me to tell you my age?  Riding since college, 26 years now, and running about the same.( Not that I’d call what I do, “running”!)  Remember, mountain bikes were just coming into vogue as I started college. Raced for about 10 years.

What other sports do you love?

Love hockey, skate skiing, hiking, and, my new favorite, watching my KIDS’ sporting events!