Because even unsolicited pointers can turn out to be just what the doctor ordered
We all know that mountain biking prepares us for (and makes us better at) real life by challenging our perceived boundaries. And anyone who’s ever raced their bike knows that competition only amplifies those challenges. To maintain some level of sanity, we mountain bikers need some advice every now and again (regardless of whether it was requested or wholly unsolicited).
So we wanted to know: What advice, philosophical or practical, do some of the world’s best riders heed in order to keep it rubber side down? Read on for some worthy (at times comical) lessons you can take with you on the next ride.
Chloe Woodruff // XC // 2016 Olympian
“Shut up and ride.” That’s from my husband and coach, TJ. It’s in reference to the dialogue in my head that can interfere. Sometimes you just need to turn that shit off and ride your bike.
Alex Grant // XC // Cannondale – Sho-Air
You are what you are on any given day. There is no “would” or “should” in sports, and certainly no excuses.
Tracy Moseley // Enduro & DH // 3x EWS Champ
Always pack a dry base layer and a bra for when you get to the top of the mountain!
Jerome Clementz // Enduro // 2013 EWS Champ
Don’t focus on the goal but on what you need to do to reach it. For example, don’t think about winning a race but on what you have to do to get down the track as fast as possible. It works for plenty of things in life.
Macky Franklin // Enduro // Jamis – Vittoria
Sportsmanship is more important than winning–I was racing U23 XC National Championships in Granby, CO in 2008 and was hoping to win it, but, unfortunately, I just didn’t have it that day and ended up 4th. I was pretty disappointed and sulked off after the race to pout. A while later, my coach at the time, Sean, took me aside and pointed out that the other racers who had finished in the top-5 were getting interviewed and that because I had left I wasn’t. It was a great learning opportunity for me that sportsmanship is THE most important thing and that it’s important to lose graciously. I’ve never forgotten that.
Kyle Warner // Enduro // 2016 NAET Champ
When someone says “No,” It just means you need to find a new way to ask.
Anne Galyean // Enduro // Yeti Fox Enduro Team
“Brains are not for downhill” –Ray Syron
Kelli Emmett // Enduro // Juliana Bicycles
A good result doesn’t define who you are as a person. If I had terrible races, I used to beat myself up for days. I wouldn’t talk to anyone and pretty much avoided everyone at the races. My coach Dean Golich would repeatedly tell me, “It’s just a bike race, Kelli.”
It’s okay to get mad about a bad result, but let it go after an hour. There is always another race. Let go of your expectations and enjoy the process. Once I stopped caring so much about results, my performance improved. I started to have so much fun racing that I cared less about results. I started to realize it was a privilege to race all over the world and not a burden.
Ryan Leech // Trials
If something needs doing and you can do it now, do it now. That goes for skill practice, yoga, meditation, and rides!
Rachel Strait // Enduro // GT Factory Team
Look ahead. Don’t hesitate.
We asked a gaggle of pros some questions. This column highlights their 10 best answers to each question.