Wise Words | Elliott Heap.

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!

Wise Words this week come to you from Mr Elliott Heap.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll no doubt have heard of Elliott Heap. Rapid Junior World Cup downhiller turned even more rapid Enduro World Series machine with the odd 4X World Champs medal thrown in for good measure. If it’s bikes, he can ride it no bother. Also a coach since way back when, so tap him up if you need your skills sharpened.

Photos by Dan Griffiths.

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

A sarcastic, moaning show-off, probably.

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?

Bought a house, moved to Scotland to train.

What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?

Have a unusual habit of getting back from a ride and eating a packet of Jaffa cakes like it’s normal.

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

Don’t worry about your bike so much and just ride the thing. So many people get caught up in coil or air, stem length, how many clicks of compression are you running… It’s a mine field out there if you’re going to get involved in all that don’t just listen to the first opinion from a Rodney on a forum. Get advice from someone in the industry. Create your own opinions.

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?

Andorra 2016. I got 3rd in my last junior World Cup would be nice to do it again without crashing to try and win a World Cup.

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 if I’m good enough. I spent a lot of time worrying whereas now I just try to make myself better everyday.

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

I say to myself “I bet the 14 other people that beat me in the EWS last year aren’t struggling to get going” usually this gets me fired up.

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

Winning…

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

Not just cycling but everywhere… COVID. P*ss off…

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

When people buy a brand new bike, they get a voucher for coaching. Been a personal goal of mine for a few years now. Can’t think of many people who go skiing without lessons? So why in our industry is it any different?

Who else should we ask these questions to?

Simon Cowell… 

You can keep tabs on Elliott’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.