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  1. #1
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    Which Pro Racers Have You Met? Were They Cool?

    Pro MTB Racing is a small niche sport within a small niche sport. Races are almost never televised in the states. Salaries range between modest to non-existent to negative. The recognizability of the sport's stars ranges from very low to zero.

    The inclusion of MTB XC Racing in the olympics has raised the profile of the sport a little bit, though. All in all, I'm led to assume that the sport's "stars" are more accessible, nicer and more down to earth. Am I right?

    Which racers have you met? Were they cool?

  2. #2
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    Considering I know very little about the pro circuit that if I did meet one I couldn't tell you who they were or what they look like.
    Will swerve for leaves.

  3. #3
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    I met Shonny Vanlandingham once, but didn't realize who she was until later. I never followed racing, but must have seen her photo in a magazine, because she looked familiar. She seemed nice and normal. Wade Simmons is our local Race Face rep and he seemed fine as well. A local friend raced the EWS in Whistler, which is pretty cool, and you will never meet a nicer young man.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  4. #4
    the discerning hooligan
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    The World Cup races are all available to stream live on redbull tv.

    At the races I've been to, almost all of the athletes are accessible in the pit area the day before the race and again after the race is over. Yes, every one is super nice. If your timing is right, you can stop and chat with world champions just the same way as you'd talk to anyone else at the trails.
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

  5. #5
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    Not a racer but met Ryan Leech at Silverstar last summer.

    All smiles and super friendly (even after my dorky, awkward greeting where I probably gave him the impression that we knew each other)

  6. #6
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    Georgia Gould is super nice and friendly. When she used to live here, it was always a pleasure to run into her on the local trails and around town.

  7. #7
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    Mick Hannah was one of the most down to earth guys I've ever met. He not only signed stuff, but initiated the conversation and it was for about 20 minutes.

    Sam Hill was laid back and very cool. Easy to talk to.

    Peaty was ready to party.

    Arron Gwin is very easy going and relaxed. An all around nice guy.

    The Atherton are self centered and couldn't be interrupted for 2 hours before a race.

    Emily Batty was in a hurry, so I'm not sure if I was bothering her or not. But after saying that while signing my jersey she turned back and talked more to her friends before leaving to get to the starting line.

    Brook Macdonald made it sound like I was bothering him.

    Nick Beers was very cool. I remember having him sign my jersey and he saw that Missy Giove signed it. He stops and goes "Whoah! Missy signed this! Do you mind if I sign it next to her?"

    Lars Tribus is relaxed but energetic! He can motivate you to do something that you didn't think you could.

    Danny Hart was fun. I asked him to sign my jersey the year after he won the UCI World cup. I asked him what color marker he wanted to sign with. He said "The gold of course!" and signed it "Danny Hart #1" and laughed.

    My favorite of all was Missy Giove. She came back to racing in the 2015(?) World Cup. I was walking around the pits and saw her and was kinda star struck. I reached in my pocket for a marker and she's sitting on a curb and sees me and says** "Yo! What's up dude! Whacha got there?" I said a jersey and she's like "Bring that thing back here!". She drops the F-bomb more than an adult with turrets in a nursery. But is AWESOME to be around. She treated me like her best friend that she hasn't seen in a couple years. After her race run that day, I saw her and her wife walking away from the finish area and just wanted to congratulate her on her comeback. But instead she goes "Get the f+*# over here! Take a selfie of us and f+=#ing send it to me!"

    These were from 2012-2015ish when Windham hosted the UCI world cup. Ttyl, Fahn


    **The quotes are along those lines. Just quoted to break up "them" vs "me" .
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  8. #8
    the discerning hooligan
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    I agree about Missy. I was also at Windham that year....I went out the day before to see Missy qualify, so I got to spend some time with her both days. She really does treat everyone like they're her favorite.

    I thought the Atherton camp was very business-like about prepping before the race, but I met Rachel after the race and got to talk for 5 minutes or so....super friendly.

    Josh Bryceland was kind of the rock star of the moment...he never stopped smiling.

    I really, really enjoyed meeting Loic Bruni.
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

  9. #9
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    Missy Giove was a super blast - I met her in the mid 90's and never forgot how friendly and super cool she was.

    Rachel Throop wasn't that friendly - perhaps just a bad day.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    Josh Bryceland was kind of the rock star of the moment...he never stopped smiling.
    .
    So I already met Peaty and Minnar had they signed the jersey and chatted for a bit. Side note here- a good conversation starter is always about the course conditions and stuff. I'm wandering around looking for the racers that I had on my list. As I'm walking past the SC/Syndicate tent some guy in a Syndicate jersey walks out with his bike and just stops me and and asks if he wanted me to have him sign my jersey. Uhh, yeah! I have NO idea who this is, but figured he was someone who I wanted to sign my jersey. Very energetic, cool and looking to make you feel like a friend of his! He was filling me in on the course. I asked him what his favorite course was and he just started telling me all different courses and highlights from them all. I wished him luck and shook his hand. As he walked away I took a pic of his jersey and zoomed in. It said something like "Ratboy" but part of it was obstructed by his goggles. What? Ratboy? Who the F is that? I looked up the Syndicate team and found out that Brycelands nickname was Ratboy! Lol!
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  11. #11
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    I haven't had the chance to meet any racers just yet. I did say hi to Curtis Keene on Facebook and he responded. He is the same age as myself and I told him happy birthday and thanks for inspiring me to try racing out at my age. He responded and told me that mountain biking keeps us young and thanked me for my comments. I honestly hope that I can meet him in person one day.
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  12. #12
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    Every time I have met Emily Batty it ends the same way: I wake up.

    Racers are people, some will be cool and some will not be.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn View Post

    The Atherton are self centered and couldn't be interrupted for 2 hours before a race.
    I wouldn't have a problem with that. 2 hours before a race i'm riding the course over and over again in my mind.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCheesehead View Post
    Racers are people, some will be cool and some will not be.
    I hear Ya. But they're getting paid to represent. How many WC races are there a year? 7 maybe? That's 21 days a year that you really HAVE to be social and in your best behavior.

    The part that bugged me about the Athertons was that they were racing for GT at the time. The shop I worked at for 15 years was a GT dealer for 30 years. That's almost from the beginning of GT! The shop owner was retiring and closing the one shop. He gave me a GT banner. I thought it would be cool to have the Athertons sign it and give it back to him. They were just walking around behind the tents. Gee was mixing up some drink and Rachel was just going in and out of the trailer. They both had in ear buds and didn't even look towards the people walking by/standing there. I asked the woman if I could have them sign the banner and she looked at her watch and said they were getting ready to warm up for the race. It was 2 hours away yet! Seriously? I told her that we've sold GT through the highs and lows and that I wanted to give this to the retiring shop owner. I even asked if I could leave the banner there but she said that they might lose it. So she told me to come back after the race. So I did. An hour after the race. I was told that they were cooling down. I walked by once more on my way to the car and while walking by I said "let me guess, they're too busy?" and she said "I'm sorry"


    If you get paid to rep and can't say hi to someone or be interrupted for a portion of your weekend, then you're not worth the phone call to be sponsored.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCheesehead View Post
    Every time I have met Emily Batty it ends the same way: I wake up.

    Racers are people, some will be cool and some will not be.
    Ran into Emily Batty in Moab a few weeks ago. We had all just finished Captain Ahab, and she comes rolling by with one of the Youtube heroes towards the parking lot. I said "oh look, there's Emily Batty". She looks over, with her cutest and biggest smile, and said "HI, how ya doin?" The rest of us were gassed (she probably wasn't, though) and were kinda surprised how friendly she was. Or maybe she just liked me.....nah!
    You can't buy happiness. But you can buy a bike. And that's pretty close.

  16. #16
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    Does it count if you just hang around the women's XC warm-up tent?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn View Post
    I hear Ya. But they're getting paid to represent. How many WC races are there a year? 7 maybe? That's 21 days a year that you really HAVE to be social and in your best behavior.
    Exactly; they have 8 races where they have to perform or nobody's gonna a crap who they are. The race represents thousands of hours of preparation; it's a ton of pressure. You come across more self centered than they do, imo.

    At least for me, i love chatting with people... but when it's right before i have to perform; be it a race, give a presentation, do a job interview... **** off. I need to get my head straight and focus.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    Exactly; they have 8 races where they have to perform or nobody's gonna a crap who they are. The race represents thousands of hours of preparation; it's a ton of pressure. You come across more self centered than they do, imo.
    OK Gee

    So why are all the other racers hanging out and interacting with the spectators? It was definitely me. Lol!
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn View Post
    OK Gee

    So why are all the other racers hanging out and interacting with the spectators? It was definitely me. Lol!
    I ninja edited before i saw your response. But ya, if i was in the athertons' position i'd behave exactly the same. It's not because i'm self centered, it's cuz i'm trying to direct my anxiety towards improving my performance. I'm always jealous of folks who can just chill and then pull out their A-game like you.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
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  20. #20
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    I haven't met many pro bike racers of any sort. They generally only go to the midwest when they're paid to do so.

    I met Ryan Leech a couple years ago. He was a coach in a clinic I had signed up for. I got to talk to him for a bit, but everybody else did, too, so our conversation was fairly businesslike, with me asking riding skill advice. Super nice guy, though.

    A few others I had a chance to meet at some event or another, but never managed to talk to them. No big. I'm not the sort to push my way through crowds to talk to someone like that. If I have a chance, I'll say hi or whatever, but I won't seek it out.

    I worked with Chloe Dygert in a shop for a little while right before she went off to training camp. She wasn't famous yet, and hadn't won any big races (but had placed well at a national juniors race and got the attention of some teams). But she was signed by a team at that point. After I met her, she won some junior national and world's road races and some UCI senior world's track races, and some road race stage wins. She won silver in the 2016 Olympics in the team pursuit event. She got the world record in the individual pursuit twice (set the record in one heat, then beat her own record in the next) earlier this year. Shortly after that she had a nasty wreck and got a concussion, IIRC, which has messed her up a bit. When I met her, she was a fairly typical teenager. I ran into her at the shop once after she won some of those big races, and she was on hugging terms with everyone. I keep in touch with her, but she's obviously pretty busy these days.

    I've met more pro athletes from other sports. Mostly pro football, but also Indycar racing. Not that I sought those interactions out, either. They were just customers of the shop where I worked. My favorite was meeting Chuck Pagano after he had finished his cancer treatment and was back to coaching the Indianapolis Colts. In addition to helping him out at the shop (helped him buy his wife a bike for mother's day), I got to talk to him about my own leukemia diagnosis, and we spoke about that for a few minutes. He actually came back a few months later and we talked a bit again.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    I ninja edited before i saw your response. But ya, if i was in the athertons' position i'd behave exactly the same. It's not because i'm self centered, it's cuz i'm trying to direct my anxiety towards improving my performance. I'm always jealous of folks who can just chill and then pull out their A-game like you.
    Keep practicing. You'll get there.

    Also, "self centered" is exactly opposite of standing around waiting to get something signed that I'm giving back to a friend. That's the farthest thing from being self centered.
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  22. #22
    the discerning hooligan
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn View Post
    OK Gee

    Gee might just be a bit shy or whatever. I think his competitiveness cuts into his better nature a little too. I'm still a big Gee Atherton fan.
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

  23. #23
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    Not MTB but rode with Bobke at a local lbs ride. Super cool guy!
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    Gee might just be a bit shy or whatever. I think his competitiveness cuts into his better nature a little too. I'm still a big Gee Atherton fan.
    I still root for him cause he's one of the few left of what's (imho) the greatest generation of DH racers. Peaty, Minnar, Ratboy, Hill, Atherton, Rennie, Gwin, Hart, Hannah...

    It just didn't sit well with me the last time. If it was for me I don't think it would bother me as much. But because it was for my buddy who sold GT for so long, I think that's what bothers me.
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  25. #25
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    This was about a decade ago, but I still have the email. In Pennsylvania, the Lehigh Valley Velodrome has a flea market twice a year. That's where this occurred. Keep in mind that Lemond was not a fan favorite at the time.

    10-7-2006


    As were walking around, We hear the announcer say that Bobby Jullich (Pro roadie who races in the TDF) is present and doing autographs. In our search we see Marty Nosthine. He raced the velodrome races in the Olympics and is a local legend as he grew up racing at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome. Marty, I believe won a couple gold medals in his days and is now part owner of the LVVD.

    As Dan and I are looking for Bobby, we hear the announcer say someone special is present and makes some joke about a guy he personally knows. He comes back with a laugh saying that actually Greg Lemond is present by turn 4! Me and Dan look at each other in dis-belief knowing this has got to be a joke. The announcer never corrected himself this time. Some of the people were approaching the turn at the same time we were. Sure enough, there's Greg! He was shaking hands and talking to anybody. Though no pen or camera was handy, we both got to shake his hand!

    We now find out where Bobby Jullich is at. We find our way over and there he stands. A very down-to-earth type of guy. We got his autograph and Dan talked to him for a couple about what it's like to race and travel. It's kinda cool to run into 3 American legends that influenced riding in general as we see it today, all in one place at the same time.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by habsfan View Post
    Missy Giove was a super blast - I met her in the mid 90's and never forgot how friendly and super cool she was.

    Rachel Throop wasn't that friendly - perhaps just a bad day.
    I’ve met a few but the one that sticks out the most was meeting Missy Giove. It was mid 90’s at The Norba Nationals in Big Bear. I was walking around checking out the booths and she came cruising up with her girlfriend on the handlebars. I knew who she was immediately but the dried out piranha hanging from her neck secured it, LOL. I said hi and good luck in the race. She was super friendly but was more interested in what the booth was offering, so I moved along.
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  27. #27
    the discerning hooligan
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn View Post
    I If it was for me I don't think it would bother me as much. But because it was for my buddy who sold GT for so long, I think that's what bothers me.

    I completely understand why you feel that way....don't blame you at all.
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

  28. #28
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    I haven't met any big time pros. I live in the same small city as Ben King whos a world tour rider with Dimension Data (road cycling). I ride a lot of the same roads so I figure I'll be passed by him eventually.

    On less of a globally known scale I have ridden with a woman named Sue George about half dozen times. She was a member of the women's US National Cycling team and has won quite a few Junior and collegiate titles I believe from the late 80's to 90's. She's also raced in international and world championships. Extremely energetic and friendly. Jeremiah Bishop lives around here somewhere and I've been around him at a few local mountain bike races. Seems like a pretty nice guy.

  29. #29
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    I've met a few pros since I started mtb. Before Chris (singlesprocket) and I met, he met Hans "No way" Rey. Chris reports he was very nice and friendly.

    In 2009, I did a riding skills workshop (small class- 5 of us) led by Wade Simmons. As an ice breaker Wade mooned me and Chris. That cracked me up. He was social and fun and a great rider.

    In 2010, Emily Batty and her husband were riding in the opposite direction on a local trail (3-Stage). I recognised her and said hi and wished her a good ride. She wished me well too. We waved smiled and kept riding.

    In 2011 I saw Emily Batty again at a local indoor bike park (Joyride 500) She had a group of riders following her around sessioning some features. I watched as she rode by me and then she lost her balance and fell off on an off-camber skinny. Her peeps helped her up and she rode away.

    In 2011, I met mtb hall of famer Brett Tippie. Together we rode down one of the trails at a local DH park... needless to say I met him at the bottom and he gave me a big hug for my effort and told he me that I wasn't fast but he was more stoked that I beat cancer. He was incredibly strong.

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    In 2013 I met freerider Geoff Gulevich at a local DH park. I walked up to him and told him he was badass and wished him a good ride at the upcoming Red Bull Rampage... he finished 15th. Not too shabby

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    In 2018 I met trials rider Kenny Belaey downtown Toronto. He was filming for RedBull. He was taking a break in Kensington Market and my hubby and I noticed him and his bike. He was also very nice to chat with

    Which Pro Racers Have You Met? Were They Cool?-30411516_2088928111351629_4659717913303842816_n.jpg


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  30. #30
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    Met Shaun Palmer once back in '96 up at Tahoe....very friendly dude.

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    Tried to Link In with Geoff Kabush. He ignored me.


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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ubermustang View Post
    Met Shaun Palmer once back in '96 up at Tahoe....very friendly dude.
    I was probably there, same experience.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    I met Curtis Keene at the top of Grudge trail in Simi. Super nice guy, gave me and my buddy some tips about setup and tire selection then he just flew down the trail and we never saw him again.

  34. #34
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    Racing is Stressful and Demanding. I met two Pros. Actually more like 4. Jake Kahn, Neko Mullaly to name two of them. Personality is influenced on how well you handle stress and if you let it get to you or not. Years ago, I attended my last Midwest Area NHRA national event. Met Anderson, Angelle Sampey, Ashley Force and John Force. No matter the racing, there's good and bad in everyone. Anderson is cool. Sampey snapped at me and a group of kids behind me because she was stressed and we wanted autographs. John was hard to get a hold of. Ashley was mellow and cool. So, yes, to answer your question, I have met Pros. Not just in DH MTB, but in other types of Racing as well.

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    I met Josh Kato. He's not a pro but he raced the Tour Divide in 14 days 9 hours.

    Which has got to put him up there with other super-elite athletes.

    He seemed like a pretty humble guy.

  36. #36
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    Chris Eatough- He won the Solo 24hr World championship like 7 times. He raced on the Trek East Coast Factory Team in the early 2000's. Cedar Bike had a race team that I was part of and we'd race the Mid-Atlantic Super Series. He was at every race (and was always first of course). He was very well connected to all the racers and willing to give advice.
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  37. #37
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    Met Kelly Steelman back in '92 when I was a messenger in D.C.

    He raced for Cannondale, we got High AF.

    Needless to say, he was pretty cool.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    I met Shonny Vanlandingham once, but didn't realize who she was until later. I never followed racing, but must have seen her photo in a magazine, because she looked familiar. She seemed nice and normal. Wade Simmons is our local Race Face rep and he seemed fine as well. A local friend raced the EWS in Whistler, which is pretty cool, and you will never meet a nicer young man.
    Sort of funny that you haven't run into the large number of Pro's who are in and out of the Courtney, Cumberland area.
    Katerina Nash spends a lot time there with her boyfriend Geoff Kabush.
    2004 Canadian MTB Olympian Kiara Bisaro is from there and is on the trails time to time.
    Locally you have two most fastest juniors in the country and arguably in north america (Carter Woods and Emilly Johnson).
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    In 2007 I met Pua Mata at a Shoneys after a race in Fayetteville, TN (Dirt, Sweat, & Gears). She was quite polite and all smiles.

    I briefly exchanged some friendly conversation with Tinker Juarez during that race also. He was also quite polite.

  40. #40
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    Crossed paths with a number of pros at DH races over the years and used to ride socially with a handful back when I did the chairlift thing a lot. Still catch up with some of them for trail rides here and there. Most of their names wouldn't ring any bells except for those who were actually racing DH on the east coast bitd.

    Cooler than meeting one to me is the fact that I actually got a friend into DHing who went on to race pro and continues to work in the industry as a guide/coach. Got to meet and ride along with a number of very fast ladies through her.
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  41. #41
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    My sister used to race the Leadville 100. One year [the same year] she met Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis. She met Floyd standing in line at a small grocery store. She said he was very personable. Lance was more of a quick hi and bye type of a meeting.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  42. #42
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    Ha, I may have seen lots more but did not recognize them. Raced in an Enduro with Emily Johnson when she was 12. I think she was the fastest woman and beat my friend and I soundly.

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    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    My sister used to race the Leadville 100. One year [the same year] she met Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis. She met Floyd standing in line at a small grocery store. She said he was very personable. Lance was more of a quick hi and bye type of a meeting.
    Lance still had things to do that day...

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Lance still had things to do that day...
    He was inquiring where the pharmacist was.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  45. #45
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    Back when I did the Vapor Trail 125, I cruised down the Canyon Creek Trail as the sun rose. Got to the Snowblind Campground near the bottom of Old Monarch Pass Rd and there was Dave Wiens, serving up bacon and other delightful breakfast items to me. I chatted for a while, actually being on the verge of quitting and needing a break. He was a super chill, friendly guy.

    Last year, after the memorial service for Tim Watkins, a friend asked if we could take "Kalan Beisel's sister" around and show her our trails.

    Me - "Sure, no prob."
    We had a good ride where she had zero trouble keeping up. Friendly person, too.
    My bud says, "Wow, she's a strong rider."
    Me - "Yeah, I'm pretty sure she's a pro of some type."

    Fast forward to May of this year...
    https://racing.trekbikes.com/sport/m...tional-champs/

    I've ridden endurance races with many other pros (Stamstad, Tinker, Gunnar Shogren), but never talked w/ them. The lasting impression I have of racing with these guys as they blow by me is, "Holy sh!t! These dudes are insanely fast and make everything look easy."
    baker

  46. #46
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    One year while suffering up the death climb at the SM100, I heard a friend behind me catting with someone.

    I looked behind me and the guy chatting it up with my buddy happened to be sporting the #1 plate.

    Mind you, I am not a racer. I barely came in under 11 hours at W101 and for this particular go at SM100, I finished around 12:50 ish.

    Recognizing that it was Jeremiah Bishop chatting it up with my bud, I dropped back and said,”Dude, WTF are you doing back here? Did something happen?”

    He said something like, “No, it’s all good. I already finished and am out for my 2nd lap for training. We were just talking about pre race nutrition and fueling strategies.”

    Couple more pleasantries were exchanged and we were summarily dropped like hot rocks.

    I later hear that he rode to the start from his house, set the course record, and was out for more...all in an effort to train for whatever stupid endurance race was promising a 1M prize that never ended up happening.


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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by sam-eye-am View Post
    recognizing that it was jeremiah bishop chatting it up with my bud, i dropped back and said,”dude, wtf are you doing back here? Did something happen?”

    he said something like, “no, it’s all good. I already finished and am out for my 2nd lap for training. We were just talking about pre race nutrition and fueling strategies.”
    lol!
    baker

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by I'm Dave View Post
    I briefly exchanged some friendly conversation with Tinker Juarez during that race also. He was also quite polite.
    Tinker may be the most polite person ever. I was at a NORBA national back in the early 90's, and cheered for him as he passed. As he goes by he says "Hey, thank you" in the most polite voice you've ever heard. Wouldn't know he was going at race pace.

    Also saw Dave Wiens at that same race. He crashed right in front of where I was watching. Seemed super pissed (it was a nasty mud race in southern Indiana). He chucked his glasses and a head band off into the grass. I picked up the head band and kept it. Met him at a trail building summit about a year ago, and ate lunch with him and had a long chat about trail building. Super nice down to earth guy, regardless of folks opinions about IMBA.

    I've also done trail build day's with Adam Craig. He and I built a little hidden kicker off a log that most people would never notice. Super mellow guy. I've also raced against him at local cyclocross races (yeah, he lapped me).

    I've met Barry Wicks and Ryan Trebon a few years back. Barry is from the town I live in. Met him when I donated some money to him so he could get to CX Worlds. Also ran into them both on the trails, and raced with them at local XC races. Both were friendly an approachable.

    Also met Sonya Looney at a trailhead. Chatted a bit. She seemed nice.

    I've raced against a small handful of other fairly well known pro's that didn't seem so nice. Won't name names (honestly can't even remember one of they guy's names anymore), but a couple of them were known dopers that didn't seem so cool, and also seemed to be a$$hats on the race course and treated the volunteer officials like crap.

    Thankfully, those types seemed to be more of the exception.
    No dig no whine

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Ha, I may have seen lots more but did not recognize them. Raced in an Enduro with Emily Johnson when she was 12. I think she was the fastest woman and beat my friend and I soundly.

    Sent from my SM-G935S using Tapatalk

    My wife and I just signed her to race on our XC team next year. Road with her a couple of weeks ago in Parksville, the girl can ride a bike.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    Tinker may be the most polite person ever. I was at a NORBA national back in the early 90's, and cheered for him as he passed. As he goes by he says "Hey, thank you" in the most polite voice you've ever heard. Wouldn't know he was going at race pace.
    I was probably at that same race at the Norba Nationals, Big Bear early nineties. Although I didn’t meet Tinker he had that way about him as he passed. Always smiling no matter how close the competition.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  51. #51
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    I rode with Greg LeMond for about twenty minutes years ago. My wife and I were riding at South Mountain in Phoenix when LeMond rolled up and asked about the trail. My wife didn’t recognize him right away and told him, “Oh, you don’t want to go on that trail. It’s highly technical.”

    After introductions and removing my wife’s foot from her mouth we rode down National together.

  52. #52
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    During Crankworx Rotorua a few years back I ran into a bunch of Santa Cruz pros (most of the 50:01 guys, Cedric Garcia etc) doing a bit of a social ride organised by the local SC dealers [I think]. As you'd expect they all seemed like pretty decent sorta guys, plenty of time for the numerous young guns hanging around, and genuinely seemed to enjoy being out riding their bikes. I had chatted briefly to Cedric, and to Josh Bryceland who'd just come back from riding in Jamaica. Also as expected, following them down a trail makes you realise how totally inadequate your own riding is compared to what you see on the internet...

  53. #53
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    I met Brian Lopes on a ride round Dalby Forest when they hosted the WC XC a few years back, what a nice guy he was, despite of the flack he gets.

    Danny Hart is local to me so I've met him a few times and some of my friends regularly ride with him.

    I've spoken to Nigel Page on the phone back in the day when I was buying my first Intense, the UK importer gave me his number just to chat and ask advice about my new bike purchase! He was more than happy to talk the s*** and give his advice, super nice dude!

    I've also met a couple of random ex-wc racers you may or may not remember, Dave Wardell is fairly local to me and a couple of his ex-MTBUK team mates...

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    I rode with Greg LeMond for about twenty minutes years ago. My wife and I were riding at South Mountain in Phoenix when LeMond rolled up and asked about the trail. My wife didn’t recognize him right away and told him, “Oh, you don’t want to go on that trail. It’s highly technical.”

    After introductions and removing my wife’s foot from her mouth we rode down National together.

    We spent a couple hours with Lemond at the top of the Col de la Madeleine in 1998. Incredibly friendly and honesty fellow. We also talked a bit with Bobby Julich in 1998 as well. In the 90's the NORBA races were open and you would always get a chance to ride the trails and talk with the pros. Ned was always very friendly. The Euros were not.
    On MTBR, the reputation is infamous.

  55. #55
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    I met a different racing pro, but we spent most of our time talking about mountain biking...

    Chatted up Jimmie Johnson in Las Vegas in late 2016. It was cool seeing him change from his “PR” personality to a normal person when I asked about mountain biking. He was very excited to talk about his Trek trail bikes with me.

    BTW: dude is fit!

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by 06HokieMTB View Post
    I met a different racing pro, but we spent most of our time talking about mountain biking...

    Chatted up Jimmie Johnson in Las Vegas in late 2016. It was cool seeing him change from his “PR” personality to a normal person when I asked about mountain biking. He was very excited to talk about his Trek trail bikes with me.

    BTW: dude is fit!
    That's interesting. Only reason I say that is Carl Edwards took second in the Back 40 Trail Race 40 miler this year. I wonder how many other drivers are mountain bikers?

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  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    That's interesting. Only reason I say that is Carl Edwards took second in the Back 40 Trail Race 40 miler this year. I wonder how many other drivers are mountain bikers?

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
    Pretty sure road biking is more popular among race car drivers. And that is quite popular among that crowd.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  58. #58
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    Tammy Jaques and Missy at the 93 Big Bear National
    Russ Worley. I beat him soundly in a Super D race.
    Tomac and Herbold at Mammoth in 05. Had a Budweiser with them out in the parking lot after the Kamikaze. They were both retired and spanked my time, and I was the state DH champ at the time.
    Tinker races all the local races
    Mark Weir at Downiville Downhill
    Kurt Voreis at the Ashland Super D several times. Both him and his wife are class acts.

    And dozens and dozens of industry people racing DH and Super D in Southern California throughout the years.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Pretty sure road biking is more popular among race car drivers. And that is quite popular among that crowd.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
    Jimmie Johnson did say that Hendrick Motorsports has limits on what type of trails he was allowed to ride...
    I like 'em long, low, slack and playful

  60. #60
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    I've met and ridden with some pros, but I wonder more about the pros I've met out on the trail and didn't even know it. I don't spectate much, since if I'm spectating, I could be riding my bike instead.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  61. #61
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    Which Pro Racers Have You Met? Were They Cool?

    Myles Rockwell, Tara Llanes, and Joe Lawwill. All very cool. I met Tara just before she broke her back

    Jeff Kendall-Weed. Seemed a bit shy and humble but way cool.

    Jared Graves. Met him at Sea Otter when he was racing for Yeti. Super nice and chatted for a while.

    Curtis Keene. Met him a few times. One of the nicest guys around.

    Kat Sweet. Had a few coaching sessions her, and she’s now a friend .
    Guerrilla Gravity BAMF, Colorado Front Range

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn View Post
    My favorite of all was Missy Giove. She came back to racing in the 2015(?) World Cup. I was walking around the pits and saw her and was kinda star struck. I reached in my pocket for a marker and she's sitting on a curb and sees me and says** "Yo! What's up dude! Whacha got there?" I said a jersey and she's like "Bring that thing back here!". She drops the F-bomb more than an adult with turrets in a nursery. But is AWESOME to be around. She treated me like her best friend that she hasn't seen in a couple years. After her race run that day, I saw her and her wife walking away from the finish area and just wanted to congratulate her on her comeback. But instead she goes "Get the f+*# over here! Take a selfie of us and f+=#ing send it to me!"
    Missy is the best. She came out to a local race and camped for the weekend. She absolutely did act like we were all her old friends. I'm not too into 'celebrities' so I wasn't really interested in autographs or treating her differently than I would any other rider, but she does have a very cool energy to her that stands out for sure. I missed the shuttle runs with her the next day, which still bums me out.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    Missy is the best. She came out to a local race and camped for the weekend. She absolutely did act like we were all her old friends. I'm not too into 'celebrities' so I wasn't really interested in autographs or treating her differently than I would any other rider, but she does have a very cool energy to her that stands out for sure. I missed the shuttle runs with her the next day, which still bums me out.
    I agree, great energy to her. See my post above on meeting her.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  64. #64
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    I was checking my bike onto a flight many, many years ago, and a guy behind me was doing the same. He looked familiar and it was actually Greg Herbold. We chatted for quite some time, and he was a recent Grip Shift endorsee. I said I had been wondering about Grip Shift, and he dug in his bag and pulled out a set to give me! Very cool guy. Unfortunately I didn't care for the Grip Shift stuff, but, unless you're reading this Greg, I never told him this...
    It's all Here. Now.

  65. #65
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    Plenty of talk about Missy Giove out here. The mom of my daughter's college room mate was good friends with Missy in the early days. She lived with her out in Colorado, and has plenty of interesting stories about her. ADHD defined, for sure...
    You can't get a suntan on the moon...

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by 06HokieMTB View Post
    I met a different racing pro, but we spent most of our time talking about mountain biking...

    Chatted up Jimmie Johnson in Las Vegas in late 2016. It was cool seeing him change from his “PR” personality to a normal person when I asked about mountain biking. He was very excited to talk about his Trek trail bikes with me.

    BTW: dude is fit!
    Just read this issue recently...

    https://www.bicycling.com/culture/a2...-into-cycling/
    You can't get a suntan on the moon...

  67. #67
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    Name:  Emily Batty.jpg
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    I met Emily Batty last summer at Durham Forest in Ontario. She is super nice, and seems so happy to meet everybody, even an old geezer like moi. She even signed my MTB Olympic team jersey.
    That's her on the left.

  68. #68
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    I haven't had the opportunity to meet any yet, but several have been super friendly with a few responses to comments I've made on social media.

    Emily Batty, Kate Courtney, Gunn-Rita Dahle, and Mathias and Lukas Flueckiger are some of them.


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  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    Very cool.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  70. #70
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    Quite a few. Have a few friends that are in the pro scene in motorcycle racing currently. I don't hang out at the track anymore since I stopped racing so we don't talk much, except when we talk cycling.

    Few cycling pro's, but I just think of all of them as regular people who are just really good at bikes. I know I am a bit introverted in person, and when I am trying to prep for a race physically or mentally, distractions are annoying. But after the race I have chatted with Tinker and others (I've raced Tinker a few times, finished on the podium a step below him once).

  71. #71
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    Back in the early 2000's met Tinker Juarez, he was around for an endurance race. Also met Mary McConneloug, Michael Broderick, Todd Wells, Adam Craig a tall skinny guy riding for Kona and the Trek female team that raced the pink 29ers back in those days. This was when they where trying to get UCI points for the Olympics.

    From all of them the most friendly was Todd and Mary and was very disappointed with Tinker, he was shy and when the conversation went to bike wrenching he bailed out leaving us with the feeling that his bikes are set by the mechanic and he only rode them. Mary was a pleasure to watch race, she was all smiles.

  72. #72
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    I haven't met any pro racers yet but my best friend Mike races in the sport class. He's a complete jerk.

  73. #73
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    Bart Brentjens(and the whole giant factory team) came to my school in 6th grade. Not long after I traded my bmx in for a mtb.

  74. #74
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    Josep Betalú is a Spanish racer (Catalán). Tha cap guy, I'm green t-shirt. Josep is famous on Europe but he enjoys run here on Costa Rica and America , in fact this year he's moving here to race the national calendar some of these UCI events.
    Also known great racers like Luis Mejia a Colombian racer he's like a motorcycle really crazy.

    Enviado desde mi moto x4 mediante Tapatalk

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    Good article Thanks for sharing.
    F*ck Cancer

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