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!

Mr. Jamie Nicoll is tackling this week’s Wise Words.

Jamie Nicoll has a wicked turn of speed on a bike whether it’s racing to an EWS podium as a privateer or the Mountain of Hell, or taking a bike into some serious wilderness. The quiet Kiwi definitely lets his riding do the talking.

Photos by Max Schumann.

How would your closest riding buddies describe you to someone who has never met you?

A good Kiwi outdoors man, loves adventure, going into the unknown and always has, he’s real. A man who finds his own way, through determination he pushes the boundaries to achieve his goals and doesn’t like to take no for an answer. He loves to create adventures for himself and his mates, encouraging them through challenges. He has a skill for survival and problem solving with minimal equipment. This guy is challenging but never boring to be around.

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?

As a professional athlete I get given a lot of gear and product even from companies who don’t sponsor me directly and that is amazing… but sometimes I need to just buy what I know will do the best job for the task at hand. As an adventure athlete this sleeping bag has been one awesome purchase. My Sea to Summit Spark SP2 ultra light sleeping bag is top in the market for size, weight and warmth.

What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?

Maybe never buying chain oil… I refill my oil from my big container of car engine oil. There is a lot of technology that goes into that 5 litre container of engine oil and a fraction of the price of a bike specific chain lube in a little bottle.

What piece of advice do you think every mountain bike rider should hear? And what piece should they ignore?

ADVICE: Work with your passions and the rest will follow. For example don’t try and become a professional athlete, ride out of love and passion and the rest will happen as a byproduct of you doing things with energy and enthusiasm, that’s a good way.

IGNORE: What people tell you you can and can’t achieve or can and can’t do. Assess things for yourself and make your decisions from there.

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?

I wouldn’t mind re-riding my proudest race day, where in 2013 as a self funded privateer I powered my way to a 3rd place podium finish in the EWS at Crankworx Whistler.

Merida eOneFourtyMerida eOneFourty

The physical and mental strength, the speed and focus I had and the evenings celebrations were all such great memories. I was there being the best I could be for myself and no one else. No changes, because the things that went “bad” teach and shape me so much to be the person I am.

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?

Forcing my body to push harder and harder and not listening to it with a kind and empathetic ear.

How do you motivate yourself when you’re struggling or lacking inspiration?

Riding wise, I message a friend about going riding or riding plans, by doing that I draw myself into a situation where suddenly I have committed to get out riding

What single and specific thing about riding bicycles do you gain the most happiness from?

Happiness… well that makes me think or “real” happiness and so my answer would be that riding creates moments in time where I’m not thinking about the past or the projected future, just concentrating on what’s happening in that very moment, this always leaves me feeling happier and never regretting getting out there.

What single thing would you like to erase from cycling history from the last year?

The painfully slow development of a proper and light gearbox hub and the fixation on the fragile throw away derailleur systems… does that count?

What single thing would you like to make happen in the cycling world in the next year?

To inspire more people to love and respect nature through riding. Telling stories and showing photos of how amazing it is out there in the wild world. Example: Go to the village of Yllas and get blown away by riding in Arctic Finland in winter.

Who else should we ask these questions to?

Guy Wyn-Williams tells a good yarn and he is from the small successful company. Ground Effect Cycle Clothing in New Zealand. Still all made in NZ even.

Keep up to date with Jamie’s adventures on Facebook and Instagram.

You can catch all our previous Wise Words interviews with the likes of Sven Martin, Manon Carpenter, Ric McLaughlin and plenty more here.


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