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 Wideopenmag’s own Big Dave Konstanz.
We’re very lucky to have Big Dave K here at Wideopenmag. Dave keeps Team Wideopenmag running sweet throughout the year by organising the living daylights out of our riders and making sure they have the kit to reach the top.
When not standing in muddy fields, Dave also works closely with spinal surgeons for a supplier of medical devices. Master of all trades is our human tree trunk.
How would your closest riding buddies describe you to someone who has never met you?
Big guy that doesn’t ride his bikes enough but loves it when he does get out.
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 toolkit that can be fitted onto the tyre strap on my bike. I hate riding with a bag and love on-bike storage. The more that can be put on the bike the better.
What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?
Love to faff and make excuses as much as possible for no apparent reason.
What piece of advice do you think every mountain bike rider should hear? And what piece should they ignore?
Hear – Everyone should get out on an ebike. The have genuinely made biking more fun for me. I work a full time job of 60 hours a week as well as running the Wideopenmag race team and then have to fit everything else in around that.
I can go out on my e-bike and keep up on the climbs with guys that race EWS and not fall off the back of the group which lets face it is pretty fucking miserable and puts you off riding with certain groups. Think what you like about e-bikes, but if you haven’t tried it then you definitely should, then you can give an educated opinion…
Ignore – That the most expensive kit is the best. Have a look at some of the budget kit out there. You don’t always get what you pay for and often budget kit gives you more bang for your buck.
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?
Back in 2014 in Morzine. It was the week leading up to the final World Cup of the season in Meribel. There was a big crew doing laps on laps of the Pleney, weather was awesome and great riding, until Scotty Mears had a crash and broke his hand. Maybe not repeat that bit…
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?
Nothing really. Everything has been an experience. Probably would have got an e-bike sooner.
How do you motivate yourself when you’re struggling or lacking inspiration?
Think about what you are going to do. You are generally going to go somewhere cool with your mates and get out and about. There are plenty of people that don’t have that opportunity, so savour yours.
What single and specific thing about riding bicycles do you gain the most happiness from?
Probably the same as as looking for inspiration. Getting out in the wilderness with your mates. Even the wettest most miserable day will put a smile on your face at some point.
What single thing would you like to erase from cycling history from the last year?
Doping in the EWS. Richie Rude and Jared Graves both got caught fair and square. The EWS then rewrote their guidance on if you got caught doping then you would have a lifetime ban. For Rude to serve his ban and then come back and win the first EWS he races is bullshit. Martin Maes got caught as well, sure there is an argument that he was using a drug because of its need to counteract another one but pleading ignorance that you didn’t know it was on the banned list is no excuse either. You can download the banned substance list onto your phone nowadays…
Brook MacDonald’s injury. Crashing is part of racing, but the circumstances that happened immediately after his shouldn’t happen at World level events. Seeing him living and working through his injury is truly amazing. I work with spine surgeons from day to day and they are all amazed that he is progressing so quickly. I would fucking love to see him back at the World Cups in the future, I don’t think that there is anyone in the world that wouldn’t?
What single thing would you like to make happen in the cycling world in the next year?
More World Cups like the World Cup final in 2019. There was a proper buzz about the race, the track was rad, the racing was down to the wire.
Who else should we ask these questions to?
Richie Rude and Jared Graves.