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 via the medium of Bruce Gardiner.
Bruce Gardiner is one half of the sibling team that brought you Mudhugger, that evolved from a rider need and a bit of ingenuity into the brand it is today. Think of a big old front mudguard and you’ll likely hear it called a Mudhugger regardless of brand.
How would your closest riding buddies describe you to someone who has never met you?
A somewhat grumpy fecker that struggles to not take life too seriously. Loves a drink with mates often resulting in total garbage being discussed, argued or just laughed at.
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?
Struggled with this as not bought much in the last year but my USWE backpack has been brilliant, stays put, does not bounce about on rough descents or push forwards on really steep ground.
What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?
I don’t tend to stop and chat after every descent and would much rather get on with the ride and keep the flow going. I find myself in a definite minority who prefer to ride like this. Talk is for the pub later.
What piece of advice do you think every mountain bike rider should hear? And what piece should they ignore?
Very trite and predictable but just ride for fun. Life is too short and riding time too valuable for anything else.
Please ignore people who just want to goad you into doing a feature or line just to make themselves look or feel good, especially if its likely to be at your expense with a trip to A & E.
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?
Easy this, although I have had some incredible days out on the bike, one that really stands out was in about 1991. My brother and I spent a week biking in and around Aviemore and decided to ride from Loch Morlich campsite round to the back of Cairngorm via Loch Avon.
We then carried our steel rigid framed bikes up to the summit of the mountain (about 1500 feet of hike a bike) and then rode back down what in winter would be the skiing pistes, just sharp rock trails punctuated by loose rocky hairpins. When we got down to the ski lodge and a steep tarmac road my back tyre blew and I got pulled over by a member of the chairlift company and got a total Scottish bollocking, although he couldn’t quite believe how we had got to the top of the mountain. An epic day that I will always remember.
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 too hard to be a good rider, it just takes away from the fun.
How do you motivate yourself when you’re struggling or lacking inspiration?
Solo ride or even better a ride in the mountains restores my mojo.
What single and specific thing about riding bicycles do you gain the most happiness from?
Riding a route or section to the best of my ability and the sense of freedom that mountain bikes gives me, the only rules are common sense and courtesy to others out on the trails, there are no police or speed limits. It’s just all down to you and what you want to do.
What single thing would you like to erase from cycling history from the last year?
Cop out answer to this but I wouldn’t erase anything. Our present is a product of the past and its there for us all to learn how to live and do things better in the future.
What single thing would you like to make happen in the cycling world in the next year?
Just want to see all the great events and races get back to normal next year so long as its safely done, so that we can all enjoy watching the amazing talent on show.
Who else should we ask these questions to?
My brother and business partner, so long as he doesn’t say too much about me.
Keep tabs on Bruce’s adventures on his 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.