Wise Words is our 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!
This week’s Wise Words come to you from none other than Hannah Bergemann.
Hannah Bergmemann may have only been riding for a few years but her impact on mountain biking has been nothing but significant and the meteoric rise seems to continue unabated. Not only has she posted killer times at Enduro World Series races, she’s also won the Trans BC, and was the first rider to do a top-to-bottom run of her features at Red Bull Formation.
How would your closest riding buddies describe you to someone who has never met you?
I didn’t know how to answer this one, so I had my close riding buddy, Skye, answer it for me, “I’d describe HB as a humble giant. Her kindness and attitude makes her approachable by all, while her skills on a bike speak louder than any words could describe.”
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?
I bought an airbag for learning tricks which has been super fun and helpful. Also, a TrailBoss tool which has levelled up my trail building game.
What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?
I don’t think I have any super unusual habits, but I love going to bed early & waking up early.
What piece of advice do you think every mountain bike rider should hear? And what piece should they ignore?
Every mountain bike rider should hear – Pursue whatever type, discipline, style of riding you find the most fun. Make sure you’re always trying to have a good time, and not taking anything too seriously.
I would ignore any advice that encourages the idea that success is based solely on results or any forms of external validation.
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’d love to go back and ride a day in Ladakh, India with Vero Sandler and the TGR crew. That was such an unreal place to ride, my first time doing any sort of major film project, and an overall incredible experience.
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?
I don’t think I really wasted any time in my life as a rider or bike industry career, every step has been a valuable learning experience, even things that felt like a waste at the time.
How do you motivate yourself when you’re struggling or lacking inspiration?
I just try and do whatever sounds fun, whether that’s playing around on a dirt jumper in a parking lot, or doing some trailwork, that really helps me maintain long term motivation and not put too much pressure on myself.
What single and specific thing about riding bicycles do you gain the most happiness from?
Probably sharing riding experiences with friends. I love how much of a community based sport biking is, and I love riding, digging, hitting new features, etc. with my friends in the community.
What single thing would you like to erase from cycling history from the last year?
What single thing would you like to make happen in the cycling world in the next year?
Improve inclusiveness and diversity in the cycling world. Help create more welcoming spaces for everyone.
Who else should we ask these questions to?
Cami Nogueira, Blake Hansen, Brooke Anderson, Harriet Burbidge-Smith, Robin Goomes.
You can keep tabs on Hannah’s exploits on her 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.