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!
This week’s Wise Words comes to you from one of the UK’s brightest cross country stars, Annie Last.
Annie Last is your current Elite ladies British National cross country champ, cross country short track World Cup medallist, World Cup XCO winner and arguably our best chance of securing an Olympic medal next time the games take the World by storm.
How would your closest riding buddies describe you to someone who has never met you?
Has messy hair and likes comfortable clothes but always has her nails done.
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?
Inserts that dry my shoes. British winter got a whole lot better.
What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?
I really don’t think I do anything that unusual as a bike rider, although I probably have a few habits in life that are questionable.
What piece of advice do you think every mountain bike rider should hear? And what piece should they ignore?
The goal is about having fun, and not being afraid to have a go.
There’s a right and wrong way to do something. (Everyone is an individual and you have to do what works for you.)
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?
Lenzerheide World Cup, 2017. Even the cheap Champagne from the service station on the way to the airport was all part of the fun.
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?
Over-thinking things. Often your gut decision is the right one.
How do you motivate yourself when you’re struggling or lacking inspiration?
Add a café stop to the training ride.
What single and specific thing about riding bicycles do you gain the most happiness from?
It’s so hard to give one thing. I can’t choose between the challenge and the freedom.
What single thing would you like to erase from cycling history from the last year?
This is a big question. But I’d like to see the sport cheat/doping free, and the roads safer for everyone.
What single thing would you like to make happen in the cycling world in the next year?
I’m not sure I can make this happen in the next year, but certainly in the future I would love to be involved in getting more people out on mountain bikes in one way or another. Maybe I can inspire a few people in the next 12 months, that’s a start.
Who else should we ask these questions to?
You can follow Annie Last’s racing exploits on her Instagram feed here.
You can catch all our previous Wise Words interviews with the likes of Sven Martin, Manon Carpenter, Ric McLaughlin and plenty more here.