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 comes to you from Vaea Verbeeck.

Vaea Verbeeck proved just how multi-talented she is on a mountain bike by securing the 2019 Queen of Crankworx title at the final event in Whistler.

Photo by James Stokoe courtesy of Crankworx.

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

“Kid in a candy shop when it comes to both bikes, and life. Loves a good send.” Georgie Astle

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?

I bought a house in Vernon, BC last August and that has definitely had the biggest effect on my life. New riding zones and training grounds, new lifestyle and hobbies outside of riding etc.

As far as standard items, I just recently started to use Hemprove CBD oil, or hemp seed oil. I had heard numerous benefits of the supplement for a healthy active lifestyle. I notice that I get much deeper sleep and great muscle recovery with its anti-inflammatory properties. Read into it.

What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?

Hmmm, I’m not sure that I have unusual habits per say. I like to step away from bikes after riding and racing them a lot at once. Then I give my 100% when I get back on. I also like to be competitive within my own performance only and not against others; I’m always happy to cheer on others when they perform stronger because they deserve their performance. Work hard and play hard, not grumpy hard.

Photo by Fraser Britton / Crankworx 2019

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

They need to stop and question themselves on what makes them the most happy about riding bikes. Pick the avenue (or multiple) that makes them happiest.

Ignore what the world thinks is coolest, for athletes, don’t worry about what sponsors might be looking for. First, pitch to yourself what it is that you want to be doing, and then get your sponsors to support you on your quest. That’s a recipe for success and true happiness in my book.

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?

Sunshine Coast BC, private trail built by Linden Feniak just behind their family property, back in early 2013. I had just moved to BC from Quebec and had only experienced the rocky North Shore at that point. My mind was blown. Loam and moss flying over head and we were just laughing out asses off in disbelief. I still dream about that ride. Thankfully those gems are around a lot of BC, you just gotta know the right people and take the shovels out.

Merida eOneSixtyMerida eOneSixty

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 pop tubeless tyres on without a compressor. So much time and frustration, just let a compressor do the extra work for ya.

Photo by James Stokoe, courtesy of Crankworx.

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

During the winter time is when I can lack motivation to train for biking. I like to watch the Supercross races or any sort of epic riding/racing from moto or downhill MTB. Those will get me super pumped to get out there and work hard so that I can play just as hard.

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

Being outdoors.

Photo by Boris Beyer.

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

Hateful comments and speculations made on transgender athletes. I understand the lack of agreement, I just wish that efforts had been put towards education, research and resorting to a solution so that all can agree and move forward with it.

Instead, the industry is left with controversial regulation and a desire to hate on it, yet there’s been no public conversation because it’s political and complicated. This has only hurt people and our sport and neither are deserving of that.

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

Keep developing our top women’s field in MTB throughout all disciplines. All I can do is keep learning myself and show different paths for other riders to see those as possibilities for themselves.

Right now I’m intrigued with the world of freeride and slopestyle tricks are next on the list. It’s a big ol’ game of catch up with the men’s field but it’s been fun to play so far so I’m keen to keep it rolling.

Who else should we ask these questions to?

Mitch Ropelato.

Follow Vaea Verbeeck 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.


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