Join Co-hosts Samantha and Ross as we bring you the action from two Premier Downhill race series — the Pro GRT and the Northwest Cup — to showcase the fastest & craziest professional mountain bikers in the world.
Samantha is a seasoned TV reporter. She was an anchor and reporter for Fox in upstate New York, and then a reporter for CBS in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She loves biking, hiking, boxing, skiing, swimming, and dancing. She has a B.A. in anthropology from Vanderbilt University, and Master’s Degree from the Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California.
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Ross is a Mountain Biker, Skier, and Videographer. He is especially good with quadcopters. His short films have appeared on pinkbike.com, neontommy.com, and rjmfilms.com. He has a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Southern California, where he was a pole vaulter on the track & field team.
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Christine is an Emmy-nominated producer who brings years of experience to the Mountain Bike Mania team. Her career has taken her across the country, from local news up to the network level at CNN and NFL Network where she produced stories on some of the top football players and coaches. Christine thought football was intense, until she saw her first downhill mountain bike race!
Mikey (The Mad) Haderer is a long time Mountain Bike Industry personality. An accomplished professional gravity racer for nearly ten years as well as wearing several hats at different events from Race Announcer, Event Host, Athlete Manager Product Developer, and Race Mechanic, Mikey always keeps things interesting at the races. Growing up in Northern California’s Bay Area he has many other hobbies including Motorcycle and Car Racing as well as Surfing. He carries years of experience in the Cycling Industry to our team.
MTB Mania as seen in Mountain Bike Action – October 2015, p. 18 (http://mbaction.com):
“Mountain Bike Mania” is a TV show that covers mountain bike races in the U.S. The 30-minute show made its debut in the summer of 2014 when it aired for 10 weeks in 21 cities on local affiliates of ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. The show presented downhill and enduro races from all over the United States. The first episode of 2015 aired on KDOC in Los Angeles on April 4th and featured the Fontana City Nationals, sponsored by Southridge USA.
Nearly 50,000 people watched that episode. The newest episodes of the show are now sponsored by KHS Bicycles, Jenson USA, ODI Grips and Angel Fire Bike Park.
“Mountain Bike Mania” is a family affair. The show is hosted by siblings Samantha and Ross McDonald. Parents Kevin and Diana McDonald help with the videography and business matters (dad Kevin is an investment banker; mom Diana retired last year after 17 years as an art history professor).
Samantha and Ross got the idea for the show in May of 2014. Samantha was then a TV reporter for CBS in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Ross was an avid mountain biker getting his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California, where he also worked as a videographer of extreme sports, including mountain biking. The McDonalds knew that no one was covering mountain bike races on TV. A week before Ross’ graduation, Samantha and Ross asked each other, “Why can’t we do this?” They made a demo reel, and five weeks later the show was on the air.
“We were excited to combine our love of biking and videography,” says Samantha, who received her master’s degree in broadcast journalism from USC. “It all came together very quickly,” adds Ross. “We had to figure out a lot in the blink of an eye. Fortunately, we’ve had great cooperation from bikers, race directors and the TV community. A lot of people want to see mountain bike races on TV.”
This spring the show hired a producer, Christine Detz, who had been a producer for the NFL. “We all know that football on TV had a very modest start,” she says, “yet it has grown to be huge. We are not aiming as high as the NFL, but we do hope that ‘MTB Mania’ can bring great mountain biking into living rooms all over the country.” Longtime pro downhill racer Mikey Haderer provides expert commentary on the show.