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 from Canadian enduro pinner, Andréane Lanthier Nadeau.
Andréane Lanthier Nadeau is another cross country rider who swapped World Cup XC for the joys of racing bigger bikes on bigger terrain. Fast forward five years and the Quebec-born, Squamish-based pinner is now ranked third in the World after bagging four EWS podiums in 2019 and only straying outside the top 10 once.
How would your closest riding buddies describe you to someone who has never met you?
I imagine they would say something like that: “She’s keen on riding with anyone, but that she’s probably going to tell you to slow down on the uphill. And she’s going to have a lot of fun on the downhills.
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 denim shirt, this year I will buy DWR treatment and it will really change my life. Nothing like a technical denim shirt.
What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?
When I get dressed the morning of a flight, the first item of clothing I put on is my socks. I don’t know why, I think it’s weird, but it just happens, only when I fly.
What piece of advice do you think every mountain bike rider should hear? And what piece should they ignore?
Ride bikes because you love ‘em. Be open-minded to critics and tips, they will help you progress so much. Although, something I learned as a racer is that sometimes your line is the fastest way down for you, so maybe ignore some stuff sometimes and stick to your gut feeling.
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?
Maybe I’d go back to my very first EWS, Whistler 2015, stage 2, Top of the World. I sprinted with all I had into the start of this and held on until the 3rd corner where I smashed my face into that little rock wall-ride. And yeah, maybe I’d change how fast I sprinted into that trail, but at the same time I learned so much from that crash.
Taught me many lessons that made me the racer I am now. So, maybe I’d just go back to this really sick ride on the North Shore with a bunch of people from Rocky and just be buzzing to ride the North Shore with a good crew.
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?
Counting suspension clicks…
Honestly, time on two wheels or with anything bike related is never a waste in my books, whatever it was, it brought me this far.
How do you motivate yourself when you’re struggling or lacking inspiration?
If I am lacking motivation it is probably because I haven’t been moving. Getting my butt off the couch and getting going usually does the trick. And sometimes motivation might just be lesser on the day, doesn’t mean it’s not there or won’t ever be there again.
For inspiration, I like to journal, draw, or read.
What single and specific thing about riding bicycles do you gain the most happiness from?
That every moment will never happen again. Whether it is discovering a new trail or riding your usual loop at home, there’s something special about riding a bike that captures moments and feelings in a fleeting manner.
What single thing would you like to erase from cycling history from the last year?
People that write disrespectful and mean things on the internet.
What single thing would you like to make happen in the cycling world in the next year?
It would be awesome to see an environmentally conscious switch in the industry. Less packaging? Carbon neutral shipping? We can do so much better.
Considering that as athlete our footprint is not the best with all the travelling that we do, it does not mean that the little things we can improve don’t count. On my end I’ve been trying small changes.
I travel with a water bottle at the airport, easy. Last year I also travelled with a small mug so flight attendants don’t mind me using this instead of a the plastic cups they pass along during the flight. I also have a set of cutlery in my bag. I’ve also started using shampoo, conditioner, and face lotion bars to cut on plastic, super travel-friendly too.
In 2020, I want to find more things to improve to be kinder to the planet.
Who else should we ask these questions to?