Q: How do you get race ready?
A: Without a doubt, if you want to save seconds, walking the racetrack before you race is one of the most important things you can do. I believe it to be the equivalent of riding the course a few times, as you see other lines that you may have missed otherwise.
Before the season, a general base fitness regime is key, whether it’s a few hours on a gym bike, going out for a gentle run or even a cross country ride. You want to train what you are racing for. So in my case, on the the downhill bike, doing various uplift days and getting good times is fundamental. Mixing it up with different riding, such as dirt jumping, is actually good cross training. But, most importantly, it keeps things fun and fresh.
Q: What would be your tip for young riders just starting out?
A: Think of it like this - when you’re learning to drive a car on the motorway, you don’t spend your time starting at the bonnet. At least I hope you don’t! It’s very much the same thing on a bike. Looking as far down the trail as you can will give you plenty of thinking time. You’ll have the opportunity to get your weight in the correct place, which is especially important on steep terrain.
Q: How do you deal with injuries?
A: There’s no way around it - pushing yourself to the limit in any sport is always likely to cause injury. You just need to learn to manage and avoid it when you can! I hate getting hurt more than most, but it’s how you come back from that injury that’s key.
Getting stuck in with the physio and looking at the positives can help you recover after a nasty fall or crash. It’s sometimes even as simple as learning why you crashed. You can take that away for next time, so hopefully it doesn’t happen again. Also, padding up more while you are in the learning phase of trying something new can really help.