We’ve all heard of it. Many of us have experienced it firsthand. An adventure that quickly spirals out of control. A miscalculated glance of the eyes that somehow steers your handlebars astray. A snow snake that tumbles you into disarray. For Julia Hobson, the unimaginable quickly changed the course of her life in 2011 when she and her husband were climbing in Moab and his foot slipped before clipping the piece he had just placed above his head. He fell. Julia caught him on the rope quickly and had that same thought that some of us have had: Oh, that could have been worse.
Except this time, it wasn’t a lesson to be learned. It wasn’t a narrowly avoided tragedy. In fact, it wasn’t avoided at all. Julia’s husband Gareth sadly passed away two weeks later and Julia was left with the unimaginable task of moving forward.
Julia now spends most of her time exploring the beautiful mountains of France. Juliana Bicycles photo.
“Amid the turmoil and devastation, you have a choice…let the sadness and grief dominate your life, or turn a tragedy into the motivation and inspiration for a new life, and make something positive out of an awful situation,” Julia explained.
Mountain biking became her solace. It became the thing that consumed her time and her reeling mind as she began the process of healing after Gareth’s death. Slowly, ever so slowly, she did heal, and she now uses mountain biking as a way to rediscover the joy of going to new places, exploring, and sharing her passion for adventure with others.
Julia has competed in countless international mountain biking competitions, including the Trans-Provence in France. Juliana Bicycles photo.
She now has her own company called Endless Trails MTB that guides people around the incredible trails of Europe as well as a women’s bike brand called Juliana Bicycles that she uses to help grow the women’s mountain biking culture in the UK.
This is a glimpse into her new life guiding in the picturesque mountain town of La Grave, France. This is her story. Of pain, growth, healing, and feeling most alive while adventuring outside.
She’s come a long way since she first used a student loan to purchase her first bike. Juliana Bicycles photo.