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!
Wise Words this week is being tackled by Mr. Jordan Gould.
According to the gospel of Nick Hamilton, Jordan is a “4X rejecter and OCD trail builder. He sends it before you do.”
In reality, Jordan Gould is Project Manager for Bike Track. Think of any pumptrack or bike trail around Sheffield or the Peak District and Jordan’s hands have likely be on it at some point in the building process.
How would your closest riding buddies describe you to someone who has never met you?
“Trail Dad.” I’m the pushy one that bullies everyone into riding that line or that jump that they’re scared of but I get joy out of seeing their faces once they have done that line they thought they couldn’t.
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?
Headphones/portable speakers for riding and for work building trails. There’s something about music that makes me get everything that’s bothering me out of my head so I can just concentrate on riding the lines or help me get my flow on when building trails.
What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?
I’ve got serious OCD when it comes to bikes so where do I start… Clean bikes is my main one but if I see a random rider with their clutch mech switched off I have to tell them as it just bugs me and it’s not even my bike.
What piece of advice do you think every mountain bike rider should hear? And what piece should they ignore?
The best. I got told a long time ago practice the things you hate the most as that’s the thing that will bring your riding down and that’s what I’ve done ever since.
The worst. The best bike bits will make you a better rider, I’ve seen kids riding their sisters shopping bikes doing the best lines that grown men with all the gear are not be able to do.
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’ve been very lucky with riding and have so many amazing memories that I’m grateful for but the most recent memorable one is of riding in a train down the Gamble film line that we at bike-track built down the Old Ski Village.
Craig Evans and me were sessioning sections of the track while Steve Peat was filming his part of the film. We got back to the top after a few runs and Craig and me would normally set off first to give the camera guys a chance to set up ready for Steve. At this point no one had done a full run top to bottom, we had only done it in sections.
I turned to Craig and said shall we do a full run top to bottom and before we had chance to discuss it Steve cuts in and says “there’s no fucking way you lads are doing a full run without me” and with that he sets off with Craig and me hanging off his coat tails. I’m not a downhill racer but Steve is a friend/idol and to ride a DH line that I designed and built was a dream come true.
Craig also went on to win Hardline a few weeks after this which made it all that bit more special.
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?
Trying to please everyone with the trails we build. It’s hard because you can not please everyone 50% say a tracks too rough the rest say too smooth and that’s just one aspect of a trail. So now I build it the best we possibly can given budgets/timescales and other parameters and in the end it is what it is.
How do you motivate yourself when you’re struggling or lacking inspiration?
I go out riding with some headphones on from home into the hills of the Peak District and look at the amazing landscapes around us and be grateful for everything I have and when I get home and in the shower I’m usually fired up for the next challenge.
What single and specific thing about riding bicycles do you gain the most happiness from?
Riding with friends, talking rubbish about life and just getting away from the hectic real life problems.
What single thing would you like to erase from cycling history from the last year?
Supposed drug taking in the EWS. I did the European rounds and trained really hard for them and struggled with the races as there another level so for the thought that some of the tops guys are taking drugs just makes me upset and angry. Privateers are working hard in full time jobs and then training to go to these races and these guys, if true, are just throwing it all away.
What single thing would you like to make happen in the cycling world in the next year?
More people getting into cycling what ever discipline it might be.
Who else should we ask these questions to?
Chloe Taylor. She’s been riding bikes all her life but only MTB for the last couple and she’s winning big races and inside the top 20 at the EWS.