Kialani Hines talks 2020, “Validation” and the road ahead

Crankworx: First of all, happy 2021! Where and how did you ring in the new year?

Kialani Hines: My new year was great! Of course the last day of the year went for a bike ride and ended the new year around a bonfire with my close friends at our place. I loved being able to end such a chaotic year with smiles, laughs and peace…

CWX: Let’s look back for a second… We were thrilled to be able to put on a few races, but obviously it was different not being able to have our American riders join us because of travel restrictions. How was your 2020? Did you keep pushing and training, or did you focus on other things?

KH: Yes, 2020 has been very challenging year for everyone. I was lucky enough to start the year in Rotorua for the first round of Crankworx where I was in great place on my bike, feeling strong and fast! Unfortunately I crashed in Speed & Style which ended my race week early. The day after we returned from Rotorua the US went into lockdown. We quarantined and then eventually were able to get back to a new version of “normal.”

Riding my bikes is always a priority, but this year it has been nice to take a step back and look at biking from a different angle. I got to do other things in this community that’ve had a huge impact on me. My video “Validation” has been one of those things. For me I love to race and that’s what I do, but to be able to share what riding really does for me in Validation was such a cool experience. I feel that pull even more now…to pull to share the power of mountain biking.  

CWX: What did it feel like releasing that project out into the world?

KH: It was such a personal project for me. So naturally I was nervous to put something out that meant so much to me. In today’s world you really don’t ever know how people will receive a project like this. In the leadup I was definitely asking myself: “Will people understand my message? Will people care to watch it?” My goal was to just help people feel what I feel when I ride. I think we were successful at creating a video that managed to capture that. 

CWX: Here are some of the comments that came in on Pinkbike:

“…this is how you drive more engagement in the industry/sport…”

“Really awesome to see so many great female riders being promoted and take a lead role in the MTB landscape. Im so thankful for a sport that my 3 month old daughter will be able to grow into and will have the opportunity to look up to such great role models like Kialani and so many others.”

Were you surprised at this the response?

KH: My goal with the video was to share my perspective on how biking has been such a positive outlet for me in my life. So if I could share that with even one person it would have been a win for me. But the response to the video was better than I could have imagined. I received so many kind messages from all over expressing positivity towards the video.

I’m an athlete that races and rides in front of so many kids and families all the time. And I know what it’s like to be in their shoes: pulling inspiration from riders you look up to who do what you love. So to be able to contribute to that was pretty special.

CWX: Along with the video, you worked with Grow Cycling Foundation and Pivot on this project. What layers did they add to the project?

KH: Heather (who filmed and edited Validation) and I were so excited when Grow Cycling and Pivot wanted to be a part of our passion project. Having their support meant a lot to me, it also helped give my story a platform so we could share it! Along with the Video Pivot Cycles provided a Mach 55 to raffle off through Grow Cycling, all donations go to the Grow Cycling Foundation! 

CWX: Heading in to 2021, hopefully riding a high from this project, what goals/intentions have you put out to the universe for your year ahead?

KH: 2021 is the year of following my heart. 2020 put a lot into perspective for most of us. It’s allowed me to appreciate where I am in my life even if it’s not always easy. So my goal is to continue on my path and be more open to walking through new doors and starting new chapters. Whether that be in my racing career and in my personal life. 

It’s a year of continued unknown, so I am choosing to roll with it and make it a special one.