Sponsors: WTB, Niner, Raceface, Yakima, X-Fusion, Shimano
How long you have been with WTB: Since 2013
Discipline: XC endurance events – 100km, 100 milers, 7/8 hrs, 12hrs and 24hr solos
Hometown: Ulverstone, Tasmania. Currently residing in Lyneham, Canberra – in Australia’s fastest postcode, 2602.
Favorite place to ride: Canberra is my favourite place to ride, it’s close and all the rides leave from my door. I once free camped next to a river with my mate in Winter Park - Colorado for a month and did nothing but MTB all day every day in 1998, I still have very fond memories of that month.
Fun fact: PawPaw Cream heals everything - http://www.lucaspapaw.com.au/
How WTB contributes to your success? Who would have thought a tiny looking tyre like the 2.0 Nine Line would contain so much grip, whip between rocks and still keep you upright whilst it’s looking for grip as the front end is pushing wide late into the night. I’m excited about trying out the 2.25 version on the front end. The Volt saddle is that perfect balance between comfort and speed, just enough cushioning to keep the tail bones happy, but not enough that chaffing gets you later in the day.
How you got started out competing? Straight out of Uni in Tasmania I moved to Adelaide in South Australia for my first job as an Engineer. I remember just riding around in the Adelaide Hills (home of the Hill Top Hoods) on my MTB when I first arrived and trying to find tracks to connect up when I met these ‘old blokes*’ riding around, we got chatting and they ended up become very good friends and in one case a riding/racing mentor. They took me to my first XC race, I believe that I raced C-Grade and loved it. From that I progressed to National Level XC races, National Level Road races and a few local DH’s (I never was much good at them). * I say ‘old blokes’ but they were the same age as I am now, when you’re 22 everyone is old.
First experience with a bike: I remember a small green hollow plastic motorbike shaped kick along thing that you sat on and propelled with your legs along the ground. Apparently people at the time thought it was bad for young developing legs. Dad likes to point out now that might not have been the case.
Who do you look up to? I look up to anyone that has gone out of their way to give me useful advice on life, being a better person, or taken the time to tell me how I raced dumb and how I could be smarter next time. I remember in one of my old jobs that I would cop a bollocking from my boss for getting something wrong, but he’d also spend the next 5 minutes telling me what I did wrong and what to do so I never got it wrong again. I also had another boss that taught me that pure ‘force of will’ will overcome ‘common sense’ in 95% of most instances. Maybe that’s how I approach 24hr solo racing.
Other activities(off the bike): I love a good lay in bed on a rainy Sunday morning, when I’d normally be riding, with breakfast, a coffee and a pile of 2000AD comics that I haven’t read and collected up over months. Apart from that it’s just the normal family stuff, kids sports and making sure that the wife gets out for a ride/run as well. Somehow that seems to keep us quite busy. That and trying to keep something like 15 bikes up and running all the time.
Beverage of Choice: Nothing beats a cold beer after a race, or sometimes during, like the 9hr mark of a 12hr race. I love a very milky latte at home after a good MTB ride, I’ve never been one for lycra and cafes, very un-roadie of me I know. Ginger beer is always good on a stinking hot day and who can go past a lime spider for fun.
Place you have always wanted to ride: There’s still a lot of amazingly great places in Australia that I’m yet to ride, quite a few of them seem to be popping up in my home state of Tasmania, the government down there seems to be getting the idea that mountain bikers are good people, like to stay in places, eat and drink and have a good time and bring money into remote areas. I was lucky enough to ride a lot of the iconic MTB trails in the USA back in 1998. I always wanted to ride one of those endless single track trails that you read about in the French Alps (?). The ones where you catch a chair lift to the top, then ride down to the chair lift on another mountain, go back up again and repeat until you’ve done a big day mtb ride and a big mtb loop that crosses countries.