Beyond having a racing career, Amy Morrison is a teacher, a coach and an advocate for being immersed in a healthy lifestyle. Morrison took this a step further by starting a mountain bike club at the school where she teaches. Although she has more than held her own in enduro mountain bike events, she has a unique background as a competitor that includes barefoot water-skiing and being a pole vaulter in her youth. Growing up in a competitive environment has pushed her to succeed in mountain biking, with a list of race wins and now two U.S. national titles. Keep your eyes open for this talented racer, as Amy is typically fully pinned on course and has quickly climbed to the top of the enduro ranks.
Name: Amy Morrison
Birthdate: April 11, 1989
Birthplace: Mansfield, Ohio
Weight: 155 pounds
Shoe size: 9.5
Helmet size: Medium
Marital status: Single
Current home: Carson City, Nevada
Car(s): Ford Transit, Subaru Forester
Started racing or competing: 2013
Turned pro: 2014
Racing/riding specialty: Enduro
Favorite course or riding area (North America): Northstar, California
Favorite course or riding area (Europe): Finale Ligure, Italy
Favorite food: Sourdough bread
Goals: To be a role model and mentor to others while continuing to improve my riding ability. I was fortunate to have many coaches, starting when I was young, donate their time to help push me as an athlete. I still think I have more of my own competitive years ahead, but I find myself thinking more of what I can do to give back, whether it’s upcoming talent or just the kids I teach that could benefit from finding bike riding.
Heroes: Elladee Brown
Favorite recording artist: Elton John
Favorite movie: What About Bob?
Favorite hobbies: Stand-up paddleboarding (pretty much just to be at the lake), glamping in my van, baking sourdough bread, being the best dog mom I can be
Jobs held (other than racer): Currently a high-school teacher, previously a pharmaceutical sales representative.
Most embarrassing moment: In my first week as a teacher, I received a cart of laptops that I needed to move from the office to my room. I was pushing the cart across the outdoor courtyard and hit a crack. Twenty new laptops went flying. It was 90 degrees out, and I began to panic-sweat in the heat. Some kids from a classroom that saw what went down came out and helped, but I was sure the principal was wondering what kind of klutz he just hired!
Always takes on a trip: Trident spearmint gum
What you would be if you were not a racer: If I had not found the mountains and therefore riding/racing bikes, I would have stayed in the south (after undergrad at Clemson) and spent my free time water-skiing.
Frame: “I am currently racing a Fuji Rakan LT. It is a 29er with 170/150 travel. The frame is a size medium and made of aluminum.
I really like the M-link suspension design and aggressive geometries. The bike pedals really well, considering it is on the heavier side, and feels planted when descending. The head angle is slack at 63.2 degrees.”
Shock and settings: “I have been alternating this season among three Fox shocks.
“Float X: Lighter weight and simple to adjust. I have been using this for less technical courses.
“Float X2: Super-smooth shock and has lots of adjustments. I am not the best at making the adjustments; typically, Fox helps me set up.
“Float DH X: I just started using this coil shock and love it in the bike park. It really helps with the chunder, and I feel like my rear wheel tracks better.”
Fork: Fox 38, 170mm travel and three tokens.
“I typically run my suspension stiffer with a tad quicker rebound.”
Tires: “On the front, I am almost exclusively running a WTB 2.5 Vigilante in the tough/high-grip compound at about 25 psi. In the rear, I typically run a 2.4 WTB Trail Boss in the tough/fast-rolling compound at 30 psi. I have been running a 2.4 WTB Judge tough/fast when it gets steeper and looser.”
Inner tubes or tubeless system: Tubeless with MyneSweeper inserts.
Rims: WTB CZR i30 carbon rims.
“They have taken a beating and have held up amazingly well!
Front hub: Shimano XTR M9100 Microspline.
Rear hub: Shimano XTR M9100 Microspline Boost hub.
Brakes: Shimano XTR four-piston brakes with 200 rotors front and rear.
“I love the feel of Shimano brakes. The bite is immediate and strong. I ran SRAM brakes a few years back and didn’t like the mushy feel. Shimano brakes are easy to bleed and don’t fade.”
Stem: Tennet, 37mm.
Handlebars: Tharsis 3Five carbon handlebar has a 20mm rise, 9-degree backsweep.
“I cut my bars to 760mm. I feel this is on the wider end, but I ride on the West Coast mostly, and we don’t have too many tight trees.”
INSIDE THE PROS’ BIKES: Amy’s Fuji Rakan LT
Grips: Sensus Meaty Paws.
“I have run Sensus Lites for years, and they are a great-feeling grip, but after breaking and dislocating two fingers this season, I switched to the Meaty Paws to allow for my swollen fingers to not bend as much. After rocking one Meaty Paw for the left hand, I noticed fewer calluses and decided to try both sides. I think I’m Meaty Paws for life now!”
Shifters: Shimano XTR, 12-speed.
Rear derailleur: Shimano XTR, 12-speed, long cage.
Pedals: Shimano XTR Trail (PD-M9120).
Cranks: Shimano XTR Hollowtech II 165mm length.
Chainring: Shimano XTR direct-mount, 32.
Chain: Shimano XTR 12-speed.
Rear cassette: Shimano XTR 12-speed, 10-51.
Saddle: WTB, Silverado (medium), titanium.
Seatpost: Fox Transfer, 150mm drop.
Cables and housings: Shimano
Headset: FSA 1 1/8”– 1.5”, sealed cartridge bearings.
Water bottle cage: Fidlock size medium.
Bottom bracket: Shimano threaded.
Carbon or titanium bolts? “Titanium and not sure on the make.”
Extras: RP Chainguide.
Head angle: 63.2 degrees.
Bottom bracket height: 350mm.
Wheelbase: 1243.4mm (48.95″).
Weight of complete bike: 36 pounds (with coil shock)
Estimated value of bike: $7000
MBA: Where did you grow up?
Amy Morrison: After being born in Ohio and spending a few years there, my family moved to Fenton, Michigan.
MBA: What kind of work do (or did) your father and mother do?
AM: My dad worked as an engineer at General Motors for 34 years. My mom was able to work from home as a technical editor for various publishing companies.
MBA: When did you first start riding a bicycle?
AM: My parents have pictures of me riding a bicycle in the neighborhood when I was young (5 or 6), but I didn’t start “riding bikes” until my senior year of college. I was talked into racing an Olympic triathlon for the triathlon club, and a friend let me borrow a road bike. I went from thinking 10 miles was far on a road bike to a 50-miler in a matter of a few weeks. The cycling team convinced me to do a criterium race with them, and I was so scared of crashing and wrecking my friend’s bike, I just led the whole time! The triathlon, however, was a disaster. I was not prepared to swim, run and bike in Alabama humidity, and ended up dropping my water bottle on the bike and getting really bad blisters on the run because I didn’t take the time to put socks on!
MBA: How did your family push you as a competitive cyclist?
AM: Since I started biking late in college and mountain biking at about age 23, my parents weren’t directly influential in my growth as a competitive cyclist; however, I grew up doing many sports. I played travel soccer, did recreational gymnastics, volleyball, swimming and diving, track, and waterskiing. My whole family competed in barefoot water-skiing and traveled a lot in the summer to compete. My parents were always supportive of my drive to do sports, and at times I was doing two to three sports after school. My mom would spend her evenings driving me from one practice to another. Their support in the sport during my younger years definitely gave me the confidence to pursue competitive biking in my adult years.
MBA: What were your best competition results on non-mountain bikes?
AM: At age 15, I made the USA Junior barefoot ski team and went to the Worlds competition in South Africa. I placed third in the jump event. In my junior and senior years of high school, I won the Michigan State Division 1 pole vault event and set the state record at 12 feet, 1 inch. I also placed third in the 50 freestyle at the Michigan swim state meet and sixth in diving. I was a pole vaulter for Clemson University and held the indoor pole vault record at 12 feet, 9.5 inches.
MBA: When did you first start competing on mountain bikes?
AM: My first race was an enduro at Mammoth Mountain in 2013. The next spring I raced the TDS Enduro in Grass Valley, California, and realized I was competitive in the pro category.
MBA: How did you do in your first mountain bike event?
AM: I ended up flatting twice on a stage and, after fixing the first one, I didn’t know what to do, so I walked down the mountain. It was the last stage, and I didn’t think to just walk the course to finish. Instead, I walked down a fire road and got a DNF. I was in the Expert Women’s category and won the first couple of stages, but ultimately ended up with one of only two DNFs in my race career.
MBA: What have been your best national and international results?
AM: I won the USA Nationals in 2019 and 2021. Internationally, I placed 13th at EWS Colombia and 18th at EWS Finale Ligure.
MBA: What titles have you won or come close to winning? What years?
AM: I really wanted to get on the podium at the 2019 EWS Northstar. I ended up seventh with a stage win. I came really close considering I broke the derailleur off mid-Stage 1 and flatted near the top of Stage 2 with no tire inserts and cracked a carbon rim, too, and finished with a tube in.
MBA: Where did you go to school?
AM: I went to Fenton High School. I received a bachelor of science at Clemson University and my master of education at Sierra Nevada University.
MBA: Do you have any other career training?
AM: After a six-year stint in pharmaceutical sales, I received my teaching credential and am currently a health science teacher at Dayton High School.
MBA: Did you earn any awards in sports or academics in school?
AM: I earned Academic All-American honors at Clemson University, as well as Most Improved Strength Training athlete my sophomore year.
MBA: What other sports do you do besides mountain biking?
AM: Dirt biking, backcountry skiing, open-water swimming, water-skiing, beach volleyball and CrossFit.
MBA: If possible, please tell us something interesting or unusual about yourself or your family that is not widely known.
AM: I bought a bit of a fixer-upper house two years ago. With the help of friends and family, I’ve knocked down walls, put in new floors, scraped popcorn ceilings, painted, added new trim, painted the exterior, put on a new roof and much more. I was raised to fix most things on my own, and it seems to be paying off! ο