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 at you from none other than Mr. Neko Mulally.
Neko Mulally was thrust into our collective conscience with his chainless run at the 2014 UCI Downhill World Championships in Hafjell. Since then he’s been at the sharp end of the resurgence in US racing talent and has been racing a bike he designed at the World Cups in 2022.
Photos by Nathan Hughes.
How would your closest riding buddies describe you to someone who has never met you?
They would probably say that I’m too ambitious with the projects that I take on.
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 a $30 subscription to the basic version of Linkage which I used to design the 2D points of all my bikes, which I eventually had made into ridable frames.
What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?
I wear my helmet to drive to the trail head sometimes without noticing I’m doing it.
What piece of advice do you think every mountain bike rider should hear? And what piece should they ignore?
Respect the use of public outdoor space so we can continue to use it. Ignore the latest trends, ride whatever you have more often.
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 would go back to Windham 2014 and come into a particular corner with a touch less entry speed.
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?
How do you motivate yourself when you’re struggling or lacking inspiration?
Look onto future goals and put my best effort towards them. If it feels like I’m in a rut, I try to get my work done to the best quality I can and look forward to a break after the season.
What single and specific thing about riding bicycles do you gain the most happiness from?
Hitting a gnarly line that made me nervous and stomping it. Gives you so much confidence.
What single thing would you like to erase from cycling history from the last year?
Bicycles becoming more complicated for aesthetic reasons, especially when that comes with a compromise to performance.
What single thing would you like to make happen in the cycling world in the next year?
I would like to build a public DH track in my region of North Carolina. 3 of the 7 riders on our Worlds team live in my neighbourhood (Luca Shaw, Chris Grice, and I) so we need to make it happen.
Who else should we ask these questions to?
You can keep tabs on Neko’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.