Most 19-year-olds would agree that attending an out-of-state college is risky. Picking something relatively close to home is, generally speaking, a goal for most teenagers. But never mind the home “hub” of family, friends and comfort: Mayella (Maya) Krause hopped continents at age 19. She learned a new language, started earning a Master’s degree, said ‘yes’ to every opportunity she could, strategically piecing together a very successful career. A career that recently merged her in with the crew at Giro.
Now Ecommerce Merchandising Specialist at Giro, Maya is responsible for managing the giro.com and bellhelmets.com merchandising programs and experiences. And, while she has only been an employee for four months, May knows plenty about the product.
“I’m a cyclist, snowboarder and skier. I’ve known – and have worn – Giro for a long time. This role is the perfect combination for me, uniting my professional career to my passions,” she said.
And, if we’re being honest, “passions” is an understatement, as these activities are more than just something she loves – it’s her lifestyle. Take one glance at her intense, colorful and adventure-seeker photos and you might easily conclude she was born a natural competitor.
To the contrary!
“I wasn’t much of a competitive person until my first race. It was a winter fat bike race and I placed first in my division. Something in me awoke. The idea of racing bikes had always scared me, especially after seeing horrendous peloton crashes. But I always loved riding long distances (I bikepack and biketour a lot) and realized there aren’t a lot of people next to you in ultra-endurance races.”
This opened the door to Maya’s competitive biking.
“There’s something special about seeing how far you can push yourself. It’s not easy (extreme heat, extreme cold, saddle sores, endless climbs, surviving off tortillas with peanut butter), but it shows how capable you are at overcoming struggles – and that, to me, is true freedom, to choose and trust your struggles.”
Though Maya saw snow for the first time when she moved to Park City, Utah as a 19-year-old, she has grown to love winter ultras: a discipline often deemed for “crazy people.” And maybe it is for crazy people. Maya was born and raised in tropical Brazil and says she loves winters and the added challenge of riding in negative temperatures.
“It is dangerous. You must know your gear, know what you’re doing and know how to act fast in case things go awry, but the rewards and feeling of accomplishment are so worth it,” she said.
She is currently prepping for a 200-mile race from Colorado to Utah this spring. In July, she will race the Rift in Iceland. Her long-term goal is to race the Iditarod Trail Invitational in 2023, which requires two qualifiers: a 100-miler in Norway (Fat Viking) and the Susitna 100 in Alaska – races she plans to participate in next year. She already has several races on the books for this year, including the Drift in Wyoming, a fat bike race she won!
Most readers will find her races impressive, no doubt. But she nearly one-ups herself when she is simply adventuring.
“I’m drawn to remote, rugged places most people don’t even think about going. I spent 2.5 weeks in Greenland travelling by fat bike, kayak and foot; camping under the northern lights, hearing icebergs break off glacier walls, paddling among whales and seals through Ilulissat Icefjords, guided by eagles and caribou,” she described. “I went days without seeing a single person or building. At times, I experienced the kindness of Inuit sheep farmers, offering a place to stay and serving me hot meals. The terrain itself was loose and unforgiving – the elevation was not much of a problem as the cold headwinds. At sea – carrying everything in my kayak – time stood still.”
Also on her adventure checklist: Crossing the Arctic Circle. Maya rode from Fairbanks to Anchorage, AK in the dead of winter, with temps as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
“That was also something unforgettable!” she said.
When not on her bike, on an adventure – or planning one – Maya dedicates her free time to the outdoors.
“Outside of work, you’ll certainly find me outside. I’m a dive master, I canyoneer, kayak, packraft, backpack, climb rocks and trees, and sleep outside a bunch.”
Her trusty companion, Colin Robinson, tags along on most everything she does – tail a-wigglin’. Maya is also a photographer and videographer, and always takes a camera with her. She has been to more than 20 countries and all over the U.S.
If you are in awe or perhaps envious of Maya’s past and future endeavors, think of it as a challenge to make your own “unforgettable.”
“Sum” by David Eagleman
Who would you swap places with for a day?
Item on your Bucket List?
Take a couple years off to ride my bike across the globe. Or, go to Antarctica – if I could ride my bike there, even better!
Advice to the younger you?
What would a day off, by yourself, with no obligations look like?
A long bike ride (the pedal kind); that lasts all day, somewhere I haven’t ridden yet.
What does a person need to be happy in your opinion?
A good attitude. Happiness is a matter of the quality of one’s thoughts. Thoughts trigger emotions, emotions give rise to moods, and one’s general attitude about life is a direct result from the moods one experiences most regularly.
What places/cities have you lived?
São Bento do Sul, Brazil; Joinville, Brazil; Itajaí, Brazil; Balneario Camboriu, Brazil; Florianópolis, Brazil; Salvador, Brazil; Park City, Utah; Provo, Utah; Bountiful, Utah; Salt Lake City, Utah; Farmington, Utah
Parental advice not taken?
“Don’t get tattooed so young, you’ll regret it” I love 90% of my tattoos… the ones I’ve gotten as an adult. My teenage tattoos are all being covered now! Should’ve listened to them and waited!
I’m a great dancer! I danced competitively for 17 years (jazz, modern, street dance). Also, I’m a self-taught SFX make up artist. The majority of it is horror-themed and I even won a couple awards for them!
Stale Sour Patch Kids or fresh Circus Peanuts?
Stale Sour Patch Kids, without a doubt!