Wise Words is our new interview series talking to some of mountain biking’s most switched on people.
We’ll ask our short list of questions to a heap of influential, inspiring and outspoken people that we feel are driving the direction of mountain biking today. Some will make you think, some will make you laugh, some will be plain dumb, some will inspire you to better yourself and your riding. We hope!
Santa Cruz Syndicate’s Kathy Sessler is next up for the Wise Words treatment.
A World Cup racer in her own right, Kathy Sessler has turned her attentions to helping the crop of champions that have gone through the Syndicate’s books since its inception back in the early 2000s. Rennie, Peat, Minnaar and Bryceland have all won big under her stewardship, and there’s surely plenty more to come.
How would your closest riding buddies describe you to someone who has never met you?
She is full of energy, lots of fun, adventurous, loves fine food and wine and the company of good friends and family….oh, and loves the champagne!
What thing or things have you bought in the last year that had the biggest effect on your life as a mountain biker / cyclist / person that works in the bike industry?
A business class upgrade. I’m much more able to land and start working fresher and better.
What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?
That I run a lot and should ride my bike more often.
What piece of advice do you think every mountain bike rider should hear? And what piece should they ignore?
Just have fun and if given the opportunity for some learning, work on basic skills. Always ignore the person who takes you on a trail that is over your head that tells you to follow them anyway.
If you could go back and re-ride one day from your life so far, where/what/when/who would it be? Would you change anything?
It would be in Bromont, Canada at the 1992 World Championships. I had worked on my mental plan so well and then it was executed perfectly and I reached a place in my mind where time slowed down, in the zone they say. It was an amazing headspace to be in something not easy to recreate, and I received a silver medal for my performance.
What have you wasted the most time on in your life as a rider or bike industry career that you wished you’d given up years ago?
Can’t say I’ve wasted a moment on anything. I aim to live life to its fullest with no regrets and to take all the opportunities that come my way. I would have wasted time had I not done that.
How do you motivate yourself when you’re struggling or lacking inspiration?
Basically I think people do what they want to do… so if you say you want something but aren’t doing something about it then you don’t really want it, at least not bad enough to do something about it. So, if I’m lacking inspiration I must not want it so bad. I did find that if I entered a race then my motivation was higher for training than if I didn’t have a race coming up.
What single and specific thing about riding bicycles do you gain the most happiness from?
The fun I have once I start the descent.
What single thing would you like to erase from cycling history from the last year?
Greg’s mechanical at World Champs, and World Cup finals.
What single thing would you like to make happen in the cycling world in the next year?
Support my team of champions to their destiny.
Who else should we ask these questions to?
You can catch all our previous Wise Words interviews with the likes of Sven Martin, Olly Wilkins, Ric McLaughlin and plenty more here.