Often, I hear stories about how girls got into cycling because of a dad or a brother, so when I heard about the Logar sisters, who came to cycling together when MTB legend Sue Haywood was doing some practice sessions in their area, I knew I HAD to chat with them! Check out Raina’s interview and then head over to read about her older sister Zanna here.
How did you get into riding?
My sister was the first out of both of us to start riding because of age. We both started around the age of four. I started racing MTB when I was around the age of six. I did WVMBA races. I started VAHS in 2019 and my first NICA race was in 2020-2021. I started racing on the Highlands Composite team in WV. I only just recently got into DH during the pandemic, since we had more time to go up to Snowshoe and ride for full weeks.
Both downhill and cross country are amazing and really fun sports! I love doing them both. I think that both of the different ways of cycling accommodate each other. Downhill mountain biking helps with balance and skills, while xc riding helps build up your endurance and physical fitness. I love the way biking makes me feel!
What bikes do you ride?
For DH riding, I am on the Gravity Academy team and I ride a Kona Process 134. For XC riding I am on the Seven Rivers Country Day School team and I ride a Cannondale Scalpel.
What’s it like training as sisters? Are you competitive with each other or more like a team?
Having an older sister, I’ve always tried to keep up with her. I have always had somebody to push me and it makes me a better and stronger rider. When one of us has a bad race I think we definitely have a hard time feeling happy about our race and not being grumpy or upset, but we try to be supportive of each other.
What about cycling got you hooked?
I would say only this past year I have really started training for races. I think that my time in the saddle has almost doubled since last season. The more I’ve been biking, the more passionate I have come for the sport. I love the long rides with my friends and family that are muddy, cold, and really foggy. It is almost always raining up in WV when we ride, something about ending a ride soaked and tired makes me happy. But there are also the rides that are sunny, warm, and blue bird day that make you just know that this is why you ride bikes and it is so fun.
Best advice you’ve gotten about riding?
“Fear is the enemy of progression” is a quote from my dad. He has always told me that and it is definitely something I try to use often. If I never do the drop that is a little bigger because I’m scared, I will never get to that drop and get past it and move on. When I think of a quote that has helped me the most and that I have heard the most, I think of this one.
Proudest moment in cycling?
I can’t think of one in particular moment that I am proudest of in cycling, but after a hard effort that I had been training for, working up to, or spending my whole day thinking about it, after that is accomplished it makes me proud of myself and happy.
Least favorite part of riding–and how you move past that?
On cold days early in the morning it is always hard to start my ride, once I get started it turns out to be fun, but at first it is a little demotivating. There are some rides that you know are going to be so painful you nearly crap yourself, but I know that the end result will hopefully make your body and mind feel good. Sometimes I’m really tired and every pedal stroke feels like you’re pulling one hundred pounds along with you. It helps me if I just relax for a second and look around me, take deep breaths. I look around at the clear bluebird day and smell the smell of cow manure and the fresh spring air, it helps me get through the tired moments I have outside on a bike.
Racing is tough, because obviously, not every race goes according to plan. How do you handle it when you have a setback?
Last NICA season I had mechanicals two out of four races. It was definitely disappointing but I tried to stay positive for my teammates and be supportive of their races. The last NICA race of the season ended with a broken shifter and not the place I wanted, but having the experience of dealing with different types of problems out on a race course just makes you want to ride harder next time. This past NICA season was really challenging and there were lots of fast girls in my age category. This helped push me and make me faster, by the end of the NICA season I was able to stay on their wheels. If you race so much you will have bad races and that is just part of learning and growing with the sport.
Any tips for making friends in cycling?
I try to just start a conversation and make it not awkward. Because there are so few girls in DH mtb riding, I feel like we all have a close friendship with each other. It is always fun to have a conversation and talk about the course with other girls in the same sport as you. All the girls I have raced against have been nice and friendly and fun to talk to.
What do you do when you’re not riding?
In the winter, I ski on the weekends at Snowshoe and Timberline. I have recently started playing disc golf and I have been unicycling for a long time. I enjoy reading and doing art if I have some extra free time. In the summer when we are at our house up in Canaan Heights, I like to go outside and jump on our trampoline and hang out with my friends.