Wise Words | Nush Lee.

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 Nush Lee.

Nush Lee hails from The Steel City and has been working for Joe Bowman at Steel City Media for just under a year. She started with The Syndicate’s social media and then has taken on several other accounts. When not working she can be found pootling around Wharncliffe/ Greno on her bike…

Photos by James Crossland.

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

Man, that girl loves true crime podcasts and her dogs.

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?

Waterproof trousers. I am British, yet this is the first year I was made aware of the fact I didn’t need to be wrung out every time I’d finished a ride. Amazing.

What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?

I wouldn’t say I necessarily have any unusual habits, but I do like riding with headphones in and I know this freaks some people out because I can’t ‘hear’ my bike. A bit of Papa Roach for a descent never hurt anyone (don’t quote me on that).

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

Ride when you’re feeling good and ride when you’re not feeling good too. No one ever regrets going out on their bike and that’s a fact.

‘Bones Mend Press Send’ I mean bones mend for sure but breaking them is super painful. Ride within your limit.

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?

I regularly think back to when I lived in Queenstown, NZ as I have a lot of fond bike-related memories from my 2 years over there. I don’t have a specific day, but after about 6 months of living there, I had found my people (tricky to find good eggs in such a transient spot).

There was just three of us. Amanda, Charlotte and myself, and we would just have the best time up in the bike park. We would spend days attempting to ride death-defying tracks, and then head home to drink copious amounts of tea. Those were the days.

Built On Baggies

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?

Worrying about what people thought of my riding ability.

Spent so many years worrying whether random people I met in the woods would think I was rubbish on a bike. I think now that I have gotten slightly older (not wiser), I realised that biking is just about getting out into nature, with your pals and letting those endorphins do their thing.

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

My three-year-old cocker spaniel (Obi Juan) does a pretty good job of motivating me. He bounces around the house and uses my furniture as springboards to make sure that I know he needs to be exercised. Hiking, riding and running, he is the best companion.

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

Being able to switch off. The current world we live in is pretty noisy and we are constantly ‘on’. It can be super overwhelming and there is nothing better than going out on your bike and just being present in that moment.

Not worrying about whether you need to be investing in kitchen sink insurance or how you’re going to carry on living without trying the latest croissant, bagel and tortilla chip hybrid. Happiness for me = simplicity.

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

COVID-19.

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

We will have to wait and see what happens with everything next year, but I would love for some events to be able to go ahead. Morale in 2020 has been non-existent and we need some mood-boosting stuff to sink our teeth into.

Also, when it’s acceptable to do so… compulsory hugging within the MTB community. Did not do that stuff enough when it was allowed so we all got some making up to do.

Who else should we ask these questions to?

Emma Whitaker.

You can catch all our previous Wise Words interviews with the likes of Sven Martin, Manon Carpenter, Ric McLaughlin and plenty more here.