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Samantha Soriano

Finding Her Path in Utah

Whether she likes it or not, Samantha Soriano is a pioneer. Now 21 years old, she left behind a successful BMX racing career, moving to Virgin, UT, to chase her childhood dreams of mountain bike freeriding.

Hop on for quite the ride where the pavement ends and see how this glorified grandma (her words!) is inspiring a new generation of young women to follow in her tracks.

Taking Every Day as They Come

For a professional mountain biker who specializes in freeriding, Samantha Soriano follows a routine that’s anything but freewheeling.

She wakes up around 9 a.m. and, after a “gourmet breakfast” prepared by her partner, heads outside to ride, or to the gym for training when it’s not her one off-day of the week. She says she settled on this schedule because, “the more riding days I have, the more burned out I become.”

Racing has been a part of her life for as long as she remembers. “I started racing BMX when I was 4 years old,” she explains. “At that point, I wanted to be a BMX racer and I wanted to go to the Olympics. And that was my career path.”

The thing with plans is, they change over time as you yourself change and evolve. “We’ve hopped, skipped, jumped through a few career paths,” Samantha says. “But ultimately I landed on the freeride.”

In doing that, she turned into a pioneer, whether she intended to be one or not.

Taking the Long Road to Discovering Her Inner Self

Samantha’s journey with bikes started rather inconspicuously. Her father, an oncologist, once drove by a BMX track on the way to work. For one reason or another, the image of this track left such an impression on him that he decided that his children would get into BMX riding.

BMX racing turned into mountain biking, but her journey toward freeriding only started in 2019. Samantha says that she “hated every minute” of that year’s World Cup season. The move to freeriding felt natural.

She quickly learned the key to the sport. “You need to be adventurous and creative,” she explains. “The minute you bring structure into freeride is the minute you’re going to struggle.”

With every competition and run, Samantha is changing the streamlined career path where every rider doesn’t have to become a racer. She’s proud to say that she’s “starting the chain of events for young women and kids to have aspirations in riding.”

It’s a responsibility Samantha doesn’t take lightly. “I almost feel too young to be pioneering anything,” she says. “There are good and bad things that come from pioneering. I’m pioneering but making a million mistakes.”

That’s when you trust the process.

Focusing on the Process

To pick up the sport, Samantha left her Colorado home and moved to Utah. “Adventure goes hand in hand with the unknown, so seek the unknown,” she says. “Moving away from home was a way to move forward beyond my racing career and just be an adult.”

To settle down, she emphasized goal setting. She explains, “I struggle with goal setting because I have this set expectation in my mind, and if I fall short of it, then it’s the end of the world. But if I achieve it and I don’t have more goals set, what now?”

Success in her sport doesn’t come overnight; you work toward goals and must enjoy the process to reach those goals. Every rider, she hopes, finds joy in working toward building their own jump and navigating their own line, and craving the unfamiliar.

The Best Stories Come From the Unexpected

Whenever she can, Samantha also loves to head off-road. In her mind, where the pavement ends is more than just a Can-Am series. “You don’t necessarily know where it’s going to take you,” she says. “It’s the rawest adventure that you can go on.”

That’s why off-road adventures and “anything that is unplanned” appeal to her. When you head out where the pavement ends, Samantha says, “you don’t necessarily know where it’s going to take you.” That makes it fun.

Here, Samantha gets philosophical. “There’s a straightforward self you show the world,” she says. Off-roading is more. “It’s the things that I don’t get to show everybody.”

Validating Her Vulnerability

It’s the Epitome of Fun and Adventure!

In Can-Am, Samantha found a kindred spirit. “I sought out Can-Am because it felt most like me,” she says. “It felt homey, it felt like a community. As someone without a community, I wanted to work with a brand that made me feel part of one.”

For off-road riders like Samantha, driving Can-Am vehicles is freeing. “I’ve driven the Can-Am Commander more than I’ve driven my own car!” Samantha blurts out.

And why is that? “Because I’ve had more fun,” she says. “Can-Am goes hand in hand with my sense of adventure.”

She explains what she loves most. “Being able to go on these new adventures is a cool and enlightening experience. This is another root of fun,” she says.

Because she’s so mindful to not overextend herself, Samantha keeps looking for ways to give herself a rush of adrenaline that don’t include riding a bike. Like pining it on a Can-Am Commander, which fills her up with “the most childlike fun and laughter that you can get.”

And she says this with the biggest grin on her face.


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