30 August 2021
The 12-year-old Liv Cycling Canada Off-Road Team athlete sent it at the inaugural Dark Horse Invitational women’s-only slopestyle event in Revelstoke, BC, Canada to win the first-ever Dark Horse Award. The brainchild of women’s freeride legend Casey Brown, the event was designed to foster progression in a welcoming atmosphere. We got in touch with Tayte following the event, here’s what she had to say:
Liv: Tell us how you got into Dark Horse Invitational Event?
Tayte: I heard about the event, and I was immediately stoked! I was talking to Casey [Brown] and she offered for me to come and hit mulch jump and airbag. But when we got closer to the event it turned into an official invitation to attend Dark Horse! I couldn’t believe it. I was beyond excited!
Liv: How did you prepare for the event?
Tayte: Doing the Dunbar Summer Series/BC Cup DH Series really helped my bike handling skills. Silver Star Mountain is my home mountain and it’s got some pretty gnarly and fast runs, so I’m kept on my toes all season. I felt really confident coming into the event!
Liv: What was it like to be at Dark Horse?
Tayte: When I first got to walk the course, I was very intimidated, but the concept of the event was to ease into hitting the course. It was such a welcoming environment, so I felt no pressure to hit any of the features, but I was stoked to tick off a majority of them.
Liv: How long did it take you to build the confidence to hit the full line? Where those the biggest jumps you’ve hit so far?
Tayte: It took me a good three days of run ups to get the line, but once I got it, I was so stoked to see my progression in three days with an amazing group of women. They were definitely the biggest or close too the biggest jumps I’ve ever hit, but then again some of the best jumps I’ve ever hit too! And being with a group of the best female riders, I felt so lucky to be with them. They were encouraging and inspiring. I have never been to an event where I felt as included as Dark Horse.
Liv: What bike did you ride for the event? Did you change anything?
Tayte: I rode my Liv Intrigue Advanced 27.5 bike! This bike was super smooth and fast through all the jumps, drops and rollers. I ended up stiffing my suspension quite a bit because of the size of the jumps, and really slowed down the rebound on my front fork and rear shock. I also added 10 psi to my front and rear tires. I was so impressed by how well the bike handled the big jumps! Pretty stoked on my set up!
Liv: Congratulations for earning the Dark Horse Award! What does it mean for you?
Tayte: Thank you! Winning the Dark Horse title is something I could have never imagined winning in a million years. And I’m absolutely going crazy about it! This is one of the most meaningful awards I’ve ever been given. I'm still buzzing from the event! Big thanks to Casey, and all the girls at Dark Horse!
Follow Tayte Proulx-Royds on Instagram @tayte_proulx_royds
Learn more about the Liv Canada Off-Road Team & Tayte at Liv-Cycling.com/ca