The new 2013 Cyclepassion Calendar is out and Colorado's own pro mountain biker, Sonya Looney, is one of the featured models. Check out Sonya's blog and the recent Westward Magazine article about her thoughts on the experience including why she finally accepted the offer to be in Cyclepassion, balancing the masculine and feminine within herself, her reflections on her recent racing career and why she likes living and training in Boulder.
A couple weeks ago, my bike case and luggage were back out – the glorious theme of the year. Go to new races, try new things, and enjoy. I wasn’t planning to go to Germany until I got a request from CyclePassion to be in their calendar. They had asked me the year before, but I told them no because I did not approve of the theme of the 2011 calendar. I told them if the 2012 edition was different, I’d consider it. The 2012 calendar was given to me at Interbike last year. I thought it was well done, so I told them I would come to Germany the next year and give it a try. I admit, I was nervous about going. Sexy photoshoots were not really in my repertoire and there are a lot of mixed feelings on the calendar in the US.
That said, there is pressure from the other side if you’re doing a photoshoot. What do you wear? What is ok for me? What am I comfortable with? Will I be sorry? That said, if you’re looking for tons of skin in my photos, you’ll be disappointed. I was probably the more difficult of the athletes to work with because I didn’t want to show as much skin. I wanted to keep it classy and fun. So we’ll see what turns up in the calendar in September!!
There's a lot of pressure to be masculine when you're a professional athlete, and there is a time for that, especially with the ultra-endurance racing I do. You have to be tough, you have to be hard, and sometimes you have to be emotionally hardened. It seems like there are a lot of women in mountain biking and in sports in general who feel that pressure, the pressure to not be girly. I remember being at races when I first started racing pro and I'd feel embarrassed to put makeup on or wear a skirt! So partly I did it to show that you can be feminine and you can have a sexy, hot side to you and have fun with it and still be a hardcore professional athlete.
Living in Boulder is a very humbling experience for a mountain biker because there are so many top elite-level athletes living here. A lot of times there can be fiercer competition at a local race series than you'd find racing out of state or even internationally. Personally, I think it's an advantage to be humbled, to be living in a place where everyone is really good, because there are lots of people to remind you to keep working harder.