Head shot of L.L.Bean Ambassador Lea Davison.

Lea Davison


3 Min. Read | Ambassadors

As a child, Lea Davidson loved exploring the Vermont woods and waters with her sister. That love of the outdoors led her to her true passion, mountain biking. She would go on to become the top female mountain-bike racer in the country, a respected LGBTQ+ activist, and an inspired ambassador to girls in sports around the globe. She also co-founded the Little Bellas, an organization dedicated to getting the next generation of girls riding mountain bikes.

What has been your most significant life moment or favorite outdoor experience this year? 

Even though I retired from World Cup racing, I competed in the Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships. This is a longer format of racing than I have raced for my entire career. It felt like a new challenge and such a fun, no pressure way to return to international racing at the highest level. I had the time of my life at the World Championships. My wife, Frazier, and I traveled to Denmark, a country that neither of us had been to before. It was so neat to spend time in Copenhagen for two days and then to ride bikes together in the Danish forests and countryside. Plus, my race went really well! It was SO FUN to be back racing with the best in the world.

What projects or adventures do you have on the horizon that you’re most excited about?

As I continue pivoting out of competitive cycling, I’m so excited about trying ALL the different sports that I haven’t been able to do since my focus has had to be so narrow on cycling. It feels like a world of opportunities is opening for me, and I’m so thrilled to say yes and try it all!

“If I’m feeling down, upset, or stuck, I go outside, and things always seem a little bit clearer and better.”

Lea Davison

What is your best advice for someone who wants to live an active life in the outdoors?

The hardest part is that first step out the door. It can be so challenging to get ready, get changed, and start moving, but I have found that once I take that first step, start moving, and get the momentum going, it’s way easier from there. It doesn’t always need to be an epic adventure. Just a simple ten-minute walk outside will make you feel better. I always feel better after I move outside.

When faced with doubt or discouragement, how does time outdoors help you remain inspired and optimistic? 

Life is filled with ups and downs, even for me, a person naturally filled with joy. For me, time spent outside is my go-to recalibration. If I’m feeling down, upset, or stuck, I go outside, and things always seem a little bit clearer and better.

You are vocal about the need for more equitable outdoor access for all. Why do you think it is so important that underrepresented communities are active in the outdoors?

I think everyone deserves to have the grounding and restorative experience of time in the outdoors. Underrepresented and marginalized communities have not been afforded the access to the outdoors that privileged communities, me included, have enjoyed. The outdoors has the power to change lives. It certainly has played a central role in my life. We must work to create access for all to the outdoors and give everyone these opportunities.

What would you say to people who don’t feel athletic, but want to mountain bike or paddle board or try any other outdoor recreation? 

You belong. It can be really intimidating trying a new sport. I’m here to say, it’s enough that you are showing up and trying. Also, it helps to reach out to a friend or a friendly store, like L.L Bean, to get some advice if you are just beginning.

How has the outdoors created lifelong bonds for you, whether between you and your sister, you and your wife, or other close relationships?

The best memories are made outside. In fact, adventures outside have been the pivotal bonding force in my life. There’s something about sharing an experience outside, whether it be overcoming bitter cold temps on a full moon hike or getting to see a rainbow together, that brings me closer to the people in my life. Most moments together with the important people in my life are outside. It’s everything to me.

What's your favorite L.L.Bean Product?

It’s so hard to pick ONE favorite L.L Bean product. I would say it’s the Ultralight 850 down jacket because it’s so lightweight and it’s really warm. Plus, it looks good! I’m living in this jacket once the temperatures drop.

Women's 850 Hooded Down Jacket in light purple

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