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!
Katy Winton of Trek Factory Racing Enduro is tackling this week’s Wise Words.
Katy is part of the ever-growing group of particularly fast young ladies at the sharp end of the enduro racing world. Wise well in advance of her years, Katy has taken on the cross country world before realising that going downhill fast is truly the best thing to do with your time.
Photos by Matt DeLorme unless stated.
How would your closest riding buddies describe you to someone who has never met you?
This is actually what they said: “Little Scottish Ball of Buzz”.
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 plane ticket to New Zealand. Avoiding winter and getting time to ride my bike in the Summer time and just enjoy it without any big races was awesome.
What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?
As a UK bike rider I have had a life-long habit of running my brakes round the Euro way.
What piece of advice do you think every mountain bike rider should hear? And what piece should they ignore?
Good working bike that is set up for what you like/need, makes a huge difference to confidence and fun factor on a bike.
That you should always put your outside foot down round every single corner… it’s all about feel and how much grip you need which decides how ‘down’ your outside foot should be.
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’d go back to when I was a child with my dad and brother and we went riding in freezing snowy conditions in Laggan. This sort of thing happened on a regular basis, we thought all families just went out nearly froze their hands and feet off pottering around hillsides all in aid of a great descent and a hot chocolate and a slice of chocolate cake at the end. Good times.
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?
Social media… It’s part of the job though, so you’ve got to embrace it and manage it best you can without it taking over your life.
How do you motivate yourself when you’re struggling or lacking inspiration?
Do something, no matter how small… for me that’s usually doing something different. Variety is the spice of life and I like my life on par with a vindaloo.
What single and specific thing about riding bicycles do you gain the most happiness from?
Speed. I love going fast.
What single thing would you like to erase from cycling history from the last year?
Probably this question?!
What single thing would you like to make happen in the cycling world in the next year?
Better concussion protocols and testing. I think certainly in EWS we are on our way to a better system but we’ve still got a long way to go. I feel awareness is getting better now but in terms of testing it would be good to do some when people are at ‘normal’ so when tested for a potential concussion the difference is apparent.
Who else should we ask these questions to?
The mighty duo, Bex Baraona and Martha Gill.