Tara Llanes is an inspiration to young women and girls around the world. Her success and talent in extreme sports led her to dominate a sport that had previously been considered for boys only.
I never really planned on racing mountain bikes for a living, but an opportunity was there so here I am. When I was growing up I loved sports. It didn't really matter which one I just liked the competitiveness of it, and could usually pick up on different sports pretty quick. Basketball was my first love and started in third grade. By the time I was in junior high I was still playing a ton of basketball, running track, and had just kind of stumbled on to a new sport&BMX. My mom and I used to always pass this BMX track on the side of the freeway. Orange "Y" BMX.
I think my nagging finally just got to her and one night we stopped and watched the racing. By the next week my mom had bought me a pink CW with matching pink and gray AXO gear and we went back to the track. I was so nervous. I didn't really know what to do, let alone know how to balance in the gate. I ended up getting second place that night and was stoked. Who knew that night would have changed my future. After about a year or two I was really getting into this and becoming competitive on a national level. My mom and I would fly out on Fridays race for the weekend and sometimes fly back late Sunday night so that I could be at school on Monday. I loved every minute of it even if I only got 3 hours of sleep.
Once I got into High School though it was a bit more complicated. At that time our basketball team had won numerous League Championships and State Championships and we were going for a National Championship. We had been featured in USA Today's top 25 polls and had a good shot at it. I was a junior and already had a lot going on. Playing top notch b-ball, running on the track team in the 100 meters, 4x100, 200 meters, and believe it or not the high jump! Meanwhile I'm studying my brains out and trying to be a top BMXer. My mom and I had to juggle a bit, but that year our basketball team won the National Championship, which was icing on the cake. When I first starting racing BMX I was picked up on the Aussie racing team. After a few years I was able to get on a bigger team&Team Haro.
After a few years on the team I started to here about mountain biking. I was 16 years old and talked to my team manager about getting me a mountain bike to try out. He finally agreed and I went to a race in Big Bear and won in the junior class. Since then I've been able to travel the world and meet a lot of new friends. Throughout everything I can't thank my mom enough for being behind me 110%. She was the one who would drive me to every single basketball practice, track meet, softball game, or bmx race. She was the one who would work on my bike for me at the BMX track just like all of the dads were doing for their sons. She was the one who would put streamers up in the hotel room at the BMX Grandnationals in Oklahoma because that race always happen to fall on my birthday. She's the best! I hope that has given you a glimpse of my life since racing has been apart of it.