Juntu joined the NWTA board in 2018, became Vice President in 2019, and held the position of President from 2020-22. Her current Board role works to further mountain biking and off-road cycling opportunities and access for all within the Portland city limits. She has been active in the Portland/Vancouver mountain bike community since NWTA was P.U.M.P. and is well-known and loved in the Growlers Gulch family.
You can reach Juntu at [email protected].
How and when did you first get involved with NWTA (became a member)?
I joined PUMP (Portland United Mountain Pedalers), which is now NWTA, in 2005 and was an on and off member until I joined the board in 2018.
What made you decide to join the NWTA board?
There was a void of representation in NWTA’s efforts in SW Washington. Jim Lemonds from Growlers Gulch fame put a call out to his group, which I am a part of, looking for a volunteer. I piped up, and the rest is history.
What part of NWTA’s mission resonates with you? What are your plans to help move this forward?
Creating recreational opportunities for mountain biking. While riding bikes off-road is gaining popularity, access to local trails, especially in Portland, is still sorely lacking. Access to quality equipment and basic skills training for those new to the sport is still prohibitive. I’d like to see mountain bikes skills clinics/classes regularly offered in Portland Parks in the next two years.
When did you first start mountain biking & what was your first bike?
In 2005 my boyfriend Shane, who is now my husband, was really into mountain biking and I wanted to learn to ride a bike to spend time with him. It wasn’t until I connected with the PUMP women’s group that my passion for the sport started. Riding with a group of women who were around the same skill level was not only fun, but we also pushed each other to try new things and together, we all improved. Back then, we had a weekly Wednesday ride that met at 10 am at a local trail system that is now known as Rocky Point! I am still friends with these women, and we all still ride! My 1st bike was a Gary Fisher Tassajara.
What do you love about mountain biking?
I have two herniated discs in my back and hiking longer distances is out of the question. Luckily riding a bike doesn’t cause the same amount of pain. It allows me to access nature where I can unplug and destress. I also enjoy the people I meet from different backgrounds and socio-economic classes; when we are on our bikes, all that is stripped away, and we are equals.
Favorite place to ride?
Mount Hood National Forest, specifically the trails managed by our partners USFS and 44Trails. The area is just far enough away to feel like a getaway but close enough that I do not have to take a bunch of time off to enjoy it.
What do you do during the day (that pays your bills)?
I’ve worked in the apparel industry for over 25 years & have worn many hats. At the moment, I’m a visual merchandiser for one of the largest retailers in our area and I love it!
What song or type of music do you listen to to get pumped up (for a ride or a dig day)?
I ❤️ 90’s Hip Hop and R&B.
Tell us something (not mountain bike-related) about yourself?
I grew up in Portland and unlike most, access to nature and the outdoors wasn’t a given and often prohibitive. I want to be a part of something that changes that.