We catch up with Team Wideopenmag’s squad of pinners about their plans for the 2021 season.
With the 2021 race season hopefully not too far away, we catch up with Team Wideopenmag’s flag-flyers to find out who they are and what makes them tick.
Natasha Bradley might be the elder statesperson in the team, but she’s only 23 and is the one that can turn her hand to pretty much anything when it comes to bikes. Megavalanche, BMX, dirt jumps, enduro or downhill, Tash has it covered.
Photos by Ian Lean.
Who are you, how old are you and where in the world are you?
My name is Natasha Bradley, I’m 23 years old and I live in Torquay in South Devon.
What bike do you ride?
I ride a variety of bikes, from the Nukeproof Snap, Dissent and the Mega. I spend the most time on the Mega at the moment, but when the light evenings come around I will probably be spending the most time on the Snap up my local dirt jumps.
Where are your favourite trails to ride?
That’s a tough one, I absolutely love Morzine and the trails out there are next level. Dyfi Bike Park also provided some incredible trails that I loved riding. 50 Hits is one of my all time favourites.
A little closer to home I love to ride Scadson Woods, nothing beats going up your local woods with your friends and doing full runs and sessioning jumps for hours on end.
How did mountain biking start for you?
I raced BMX for a long time, from about the age of 10, then at the age of 16 I decided to try something new and 4Xs always appealed to me, being a similar format to BMX racing, so I gave it a go and loved it. From there the opportunities have opened and I loved riding a combination of disciplines, from downhill to enduro.
And how did you progress to get more seriously into it?
I’ve never been a serious person and have always raced because I found it fun and enjoyed it. So I wouldn’t say I took it more seriously, but I was always racing in BMX from a young age so I guess that’s always been a part of my life. Just progressing in the sport and always wanting to push my limits and win races, which now saying it, sounds pretty serious.
What are some of the highlights of your career to date?
Winning a silver medal at the 4X World Championships in 2018 and 2019, alongside British Champion in 4X. Competing and completing the Megavalanche, which I placed 16th in. Also sending the top of the pro line at Windhill Bike Park… only the bottom ones to go.
Tell us about your 2020 year. How did it go for you, where were you and what went down?
I had a pretty good 2020. I’d just come back from travelling at the end of January, got myself a job at the Dartmoor Bike Park, (big thanks to Dave Fletcher for sorting me out with that one). Working at the bike park was awesome, seeing everyone sending the jumps and having a right laugh and of course I brought my bike in every day ‘to test the jumps’.
I ended up spending a lot of the year on furlough due to the obvious, which I didn’t mind too much as I got to ride my bike all the time which was cool. My only big riding trip away was to Dyfi Bike Park which was insane, the riding there is next level. I did a few days trips to Windhill and Woody’s but unfortunately, like everyone else, most of my plans were cancelled.
What motivates you as a mountain biker? What are you really passionate about and what makes you want to push yourself to do it more?
Seeing people shredding, watching MTB videos on Youtube always hypes me up. It’s amazing to watch how the sport is constantly growing and wanting to be a part of it, it’s awesome to see what women are doing on bikes nowadays and it really hypes me up to push myself and compete with the ever-rising bar.
What do you do outside of riding bikes?
My jobs are pretty bike-orientated, I’m also a bike ability instructor and MTB coach. I go to the gym a few times a week and enjoy this, even if this is still to do with riding bikes. I love meeting up with my friends and having a good time, a lot of them aren’t into mountain bikes so it’s nice to get away from it and just chill. I love going to music festivals and have been to ones such as Reading, Womad, Bestival and Shambala. I also love travelling and going abroad and seeing new places, but who doesn’t?
What are you excited to achieve in 2021? What’s on the cards and what are you hoping you can make happen?
Well, I’m racing the British National Downhill Series, which I’m pretty buzzed about but also pretty nervous. I’m still not sure if its my kinda racing but I’m going to give it a go and enjoy it. I would love to race the Megavalanche again and get a top 10, but with everything as it is I have no idea if it’s going ahead. Also I’ve got two silvers in the past so I feel like a Gold medal is on the cards in the 4X World Championships, which I’d love to get, but just have to wait and see.
Who do you look up to or use as inspiration for your riding, where did you first see/hear about that rider?
Rachel Atherton has always been an idol of mine because she’s just an incredible athlete and a huge inspiration. I probably heard about Rachel from the Youtube channel they had, It was called the Atherton project and I used to love watching it.
You can keep tabs on Natasha’s season as it progresses on her Instagram feed here.