11 Questions: Leigh Donovan

Donovan does it gluten free.

Photo: Greg Maino
Leigh Donovan is one of downhill mountain biking’s most decorated women. She was crowned national champion ten times, the 1995 World Champion and 2001 World Cup Champion. In 2010, Donovan was the oldest competitor at the World Championships. On top of all that she is a multi-time BMX National Champion.

Now, Donovan’s love for biking has led her to give back to the sport by helping riders learn and progress. Recently, she helped coach and organize the Ray’s Mountain Bike Park’s Women’s Weekend in Cleveland, Ohio, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.




1 — Describe the perfect hamburger.
Glutin free bun, grass-fed beef, and lots of veggies. No sauce.

2 — Who are your heroes or role models?
In life, parents–they’re just amazing. Hero is my mother in law who just spent 9 months battling breast cancer, and did it with with no expectations.

3 — What would you be doing if you never discovered bikes?
Probably be a social worker.

4 — Where is the most interesting place on earth?
Venice, Italy.

5 — Who is your favorite musician or band (right now)?
Lady Gaga.

6 — What was your first bike?
Random 20” schwinn from a garage sale.

7 — If you could play any instrument, what would it be?
Piano

8 — Who do you think is the best bike rider of all time?
John Tomac

9 — What is on the perfect pizza?
Gluten-free crust loaded with (gluten-free) pepperoni and sauce.

10 — If you could have coffee and conversation with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Frank Sinatra

11 — Describe yourself in three words.
Inspiring, loving, emotional