SOMEWHERE DEEP IN A FOREST, YOU’LL FIND SALLA OKSANEN RIDING HER BIKE. SHE WOULDN’T CALL IT TRAINING, SHE’S JUST RIDING, SOMETHING SHE’S BEEN ACTIVE WITH FOR THE PAST TWELVE YEARS. IN THIS INTERVIEW, WE GO DEEP INTO SALLA’S THOUGHTS ABOUT HER CYCLING ADVENTURES AND HOW SHE USES NUTRITION TO KEEP HER PASSION GOING THROUGHOUT THE DAY.
“Cycling is a part of my daily life. It doesn't necessarily mean that I ride every day but I do something with the mountain biking community almost every day. It’s become a lifestyle. Some people might call it obsession and to be fair, that's what I might describe it as too.
I enjoy all types of mountain biking, the type of cycling I do is quite broad. I’m into the gravity side, so that means downhill mountain biking, Enduro and Freeride, which is about doing jumps and riding on a pump track and going on different types of adventures.
When I started mountain biking it clicked right away, I knew that I found my spot.
I live in Laukaa, which is in central Finland, located next to Jyväskylä. We have really hilly terrain here, so it’s mostly up and down wherever you go.”
What does a typical week look like?
“I don’t always take my watch with me so I have no idea how many hours I put in within a week. A normal week for me would be about four rides a week, and definitely weekends. Some people might ask, only four times a week? But my bike rides are often adventures. If I’m in a bike park I might be there for an entire day. The training I do is quite intense, but I don’t compete anymore. I just ride my bike because I love it and I get to be with my friends, doing sessions and difficult routes or just enjoying being outside.
When I go out riding it’s never for just an hour. It might be a few hours, or even more, so bringing energy chews with me is like my little bit of insurance in case things go a bit longer than I anticipated.”
What sort of adventures do you go on?
“For adventures I enjoy going to the Finnish Lapland or Norway. I always go for the experience. These are really long days on the bike or hiking up mountains with my bike and then riding down. That’s why it’s important to bring a bit of energy wherever I go so I don’t need to worry. When I go off on an adventure I need my energy to be easy to take with me and easy to eat when I ride.
It can be dangerous if you’re not focused or if you don’t have the right energy level, so I need the energy to be reliable. I have a really sensitive stomach, and the Nosht products suit me very well. They’re easy to consume and they taste really good.
People often think downhill mountain biking isn’t really be physically active because you don’t need to pedal that much. The thing is that we’re standing on the pedals all the time and we constantly need to be alert. We’re using different muscles, paying attention to breathing properly, and then there’s the pump, our arms get so fatigued. It’s really important in those moments that my energy levels are good.”
How does Nosht make you feel?
“It makes me feel happy, that’s probably the most unscientific way to describe it, but it does. The other day I was on a long bike ride as I felt my energy levels dropping and I wanted to continue. I started feeling the bonk coming. I had a few energy chews with me, a drink, and I was good to go again. Nosht is a lot like me in the sense that it feels fun, upbeat and not too serious in the same way that I ride my bike. It helps me do what I want to do and it brings me back to life.”
Meet the Noshter
Name: Salla Oksanen
Activities: Mountain biking of any kind: https://www.instagram.com/salamasalla/
Location: Laukaa, Finland
My kind of adventure: hiking my bike up mountains and riding down them!
Dream this year: A trip to Sweden or Norway for a few weeks just riding around and exploring the area.
Motto: “Salama = lighting… stay wild!”
Favourite Nosht product: For flavours, I love everything lemon. Something fresh. Lemon and Raspberry are my favourites.