This is Delia Massey. She’s an Environmental Engineer by day and Enduro racer by night (ok, fine, weekend if you want to be exact). We’re so excited this all around bad ass is riding our components this year, so we sat down for a proper Q and A. We discussed progression on the bike, balancing riding with work and our mutual life goals of starting an Alpaca farm.
Use 3 words to describe yourself…
Stubborn, positive, determined
What’s led you on the path to where you are today with MTB?
I’m a very goal-oriented person, and I really enjoy being fit and exercising (preferably outside). Mountain biking fulfilled my need to get out into nature and decompress after a long day (or week), while also achieving goals and progressing my skills. I started out as an endurance XC racer when I lived in Maine, and I loved just getting in the zone of riding for hours at a time and seeing how far I could push myself.
A few years ago, I switched to Enduro after I realized how much fun the racing format was and got hooked on the adrenaline rush. Mountain biking can be really addicting because it gives both instant (I rode that rock for the first time!) and more long-term rewards (I can ride 50 miles!), and you just want more.
When did you start mountain biking and what was that progression like?
I started riding in high school, when my dad got me my first real mountain bike (a Kona Kula 26” hardtail). I was too scared to ride singletrack at first, so I’d ride the dirt roads in the state forest near our house in Connecticut. When I went to college in Maine, I got a little more adventurous and would ride the one singletrack trail near campus. I recall having 40 psi in my tires (I started out as a road racer, so I figured the more air, the better!), and I was bouncing off every rock and root and it was so difficult, but I loved getting muddy and seeing how I got better every day.
Has biking helped you in other areas of your life?
Biking has given me so much confidence! When I was younger, I felt very insecure about everything—was I pretty enough? Was I strong enough? Was I smart enough? Did people like me? While some of those feelings linger, I think biking has shown me all the things I can accomplish under my own power, and I worry less about being good enough and instead feel proud of my strength and resilience. Seeing yourself progress on the bike is such an amazing confidence builder—I was terrified of some of the trails at Tiger and Tokul when I first moved to Seattle, and now I can ride everything I used to walk.
What are some of your bike goals?
My biggest goal is to race and bikepack internationally. I really want to bikepack the Pyrenees this fall, which would be my first bike adventure outside of North America. I think it would be fun to do one of the “Trans” enduro races, although I’m not sure which one.
What are some of your life goals?
Get my professional engineering license and continue to clean up the environment and make the world a better place. I would love to start an alpaca farm at my house in Issaquah…so stay tuned to see if that happens! A long-term goal is to move to Bellingham someday and not have to drive to the trails (or commute into Seattle ever again).
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not on the bike?
For outdoor activities, I love to get out backcountry skiing and backpacking. When I’m not exercising, I’m probably in the kitchen baking up some delicious treats. I have a huge sweet tooth, and I’m known for pulling fresh baked goods out of my pack on big rides. I’m also planting my first garden this year, so that will take up a lot of my time this spring and summer.
By night you’re a bad ass Enduro racer, but by day you are an Environmental Engineer… what are some things the average joe doesn’t know about your day job?
My job is to investigate and clean up historic contamination from the environment. Before the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972, there weren’t many environmental regulations, so no one thought twice about dumping sewage in a river or letting diesel leak out of an underground storage tank at a gas station or spilling dry-cleaning solvents on the ground. It’s always a bit shocking to find out what were acceptable practices for dealing with hazardous waste 50 years ago, but I guess it’s good job security.
How do you balance racing and your professional life?
Organization, time management, and prioritization! I work as a consultant, so I fit in as many hours as I can on days when I don’t have training after work, which usually lets me leave early on other days to train and race. I’m constantly thinking about how I can optimize my time and do things more efficiently. On weekends I’m getting up early to hit the trails instead of going out to brunch and I do my chores at night instead of going out to the bar. It can be exhausting and sometimes I miss out on parties and events, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What’s your absolute favorite thing about biking?
The post-ride buzz, after you’ve gone out and hit your favorite trails with friends, and the stress from the day has melted away and been replaced with a feeling of stoke and accomplishment.
And what’s your least favorite?
Feeling scared and defeated by a feature. Also, being injured is the worst!
What are you listening to right now?
For some reason I’ve been listening to my playlists from college recently, so lots of Kesha and Lady Gaga…
Ok now for the lightning round…
Favorite trail to ride? Goosechase at Tokul
Clips or Flats? Flats for training, clips for racing
Coffee, Tea or Water? Tea (Earl Grey)
Burritos or Burgers? Burgers