Home Base

Portola Valley, CA

Riding Info

What is your primary bike?
Santa Cruz Hightower
Preferred style of riding:
Trail or All Mountain Riding
Facebook: Ben Zdasiuk

Digging Deeper

What motivates you to ride?
When I started riding, the local dh trails in my area seemed absolutely mental; now, those trails are some of my local favorites, and I can ride my bike in ways that I thought barely possible before. But progression doesn't just have to be cleaning new lines-- it can be riding a familiar trail faster, or learning how to overcome an injury or setback. For whatever reason, I've always found that progression incredibly rewarding; it makes me feel like I can effectively cover more terrain, more physically and mentally strong, and overall be a better mountain biker.
Biking related goals for 2017:
This season I'd like to have a strong showing in my last season of the NICA NorCal High School Cross-Country Series. Last season I was just off the podium in three races or so, so I'd like to try to get at least one Cross-Country podium. On the gravity side of things, I'm looking forward to participating in select California Enduro Series events and stepping up to Cat 1 competition. I'm particularly looking forward to the Wild Wood Adventure Enduro; this is it's second showing, and its first showing two years ago was one of my all time favorite events. Besides racing, I'd like to try to feature in another Pinkbike POD this year (I was featured in my first last year) and work on more film projects. I've got a few local locations in mind that I'd really like to shoot before I relocate to the Northeast. On that note, one of my more significant goals for this season will come at the end of the season-- exploring the trails and mountain biking community around Dartmouth College in New Hampshire when I begin in the fall.
Name some of your strengths and talents:
I think one of my greatest strengths on the bike is my ability to teach others about mountain biking. Through my team, I've met a number of riders who I've been able to mentor about skills and other aspects of mountain biking. I've found this process to be incredibly rewarding, as when you try to teach someone a certain technique, you really have to evaluate how you perform that technique yourself and how you act as an example. There have been multiple instances where while I've been teaching I've realized flaws in my own technique and been able to correct and identify them to the person I'm teaching. The process of realizing my own mistakes helps me realize where other riders could be struggling with techniques and how to overcome those issues. It both helps me evaluate my own riding and communicate better technique to other riders.