Store Ambassadors

Do you remember your very first bike?
I really don’t but I found this photo when I was 9mos old and I’m pretty sure this stationary duck-bike likely kick started my passion for cycling…
 
Stephanie as a kid
Do remember the first time you figured out how to ride a bike? (if so who was there and what happened)
I remember.  It’s actually kind of embarrassing.  I slipped off the saddle onto the crossbar.  You don’t forget that kind of pain.
 
What does being able to ride a bike mean to you?
It means I’m a very lucky person.  It brings me so much happiness. It’s such a huge part of who I am and how I feel.
 
What is your biggest accomplishment on the bike and why?
I’m very proud of my racing accomplishments for sure but, honestly, my biggest accomplishment on the bike is learning (perhaps not mastering) important life skills/lessons through the sport:  fun, passion, persistence, patience, resilience, discipline, commitment, confidence, optimism, self-care, stress management, respect…the list goes on and on.
PHOTO: JODY WILSON PHOTOGRAPHY
Tell us about being an Ambassador for Specialized! When did you find out that this was happening?  What does it entail?
I’ve been super fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a Squire John’s / Specialized Ambassador for 4 years.  This year I’m part of the 2019 Specialized Women’s Ambassador program.  As an ambassador I promote the Specialized brand (and my local Specialized shop, Squire John’s) through group/club rides, events, coaching, publications/photos and social media (Strava, Facebook & Instagram).
https://www.specialized.com/ca/en/ambassadors
https://www.specialized.com/ca/en/stephaniemartinek
 
You are involved in teaching the sport, any highlights or stories that stand out for you? (don’t name names, more situations where something clicked for someone etc).
I really really enjoy instructing and coaching.  I’m enthusiastic about getting people into the sport I love…and helping them get better at it.  I’ve had many memorable experiences coaching adults and kids.  Kids are simply just fun because they say and do hilarious things.  They usually ask deep/interesting questions that sometimes catch me off guard and leave me smiling.  Adult coaching is very fulfilling because I end up feeling what they feel if we are successful.  Hill climbing comes to mind because this is often when people are doubtful about their ability.  I sometimes coach women-only beginner road clinics and there are always a few riders who are scared to death of any climbing we might do.  Coaching those women up hills, and watching them struggle & fight to make it to the top when they didn’t really believe they could, can be kind of emotional (in a great way!).
PHOTO: JODY WILSON PHOTOGRAPHY
Where is your favourite place to ride? Tell us why it holds that place in your heart!
This answer won’t surprise anyone who knows me.  I love BC.  I used to live in Whistler and I mtb raced all over BC.  My brother lives in Victoria and I go to Vancouver Island at least 2x every year.  There are so many incredible scenic trails to ride on the island. 
However, I also feel very lucky to have Three Stage out my back door in Collingwood, ON for mtb.  As well as many awesome paved and gravel roads for those types of riding too.
 
Advice for someone who wants to start road riding or mountain biking?
Just do it!  Let’s do this!  There is no doubt in my mind that it will bring more happiness, health and fun into your life.  If that doesn’t convince you, give me a call…I can change your mind J
 
PHOTO: JODY WILSON PHOTOGRAPHY