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 come to you this week from the left field, one Handy MacAskill.
Handy MacAskill was thrust into our collective conscience thanks to COVID and a bit of creativity by the Cut Media team when it came to the fourth generation Santa Cruz 5010 launch.
How would your closest riding buddies describe you to someone who has never met you?
Just a safe pair of hands.
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 used to spend loads of cash on gloves but kept ripping the knees out of them. I’d cut them into fingerless gloves to get more use out of them but one day I just went without them and it was a revolution. I feel so much freer. Sure, some might say it’s risky but injuries go hand in hand with biking.
What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?
I used to chew my nails or crack my knuckles when I was lining up for a big new trick, but since I started doing yoga I feel more at ease.
What piece of advice do you think every mountain bike rider should hear? And what piece should they ignore?
Pedal less. Riders should both pay attention to and ignore it more, depending on where they are on the trail. Pedaling gets you to better trails, but never ever pedal between jumps. Gross.
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?
The day we filmed the dirt jump section from the closing section of this video was rad. It was one of those perfect evenings where every trick came easy and the crew were buzzing. It was all about the sess’.
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 now know firsthand that having a hands-on approach to things is the only way I can feel content with the outcome. Sitting back and waiting for people to hand things to me just wasn’t working. So I took the law into my own hands, even if it meant getting my hands dirty.
How do you motivate yourself when you’re struggling or lacking inspiration?
For years I’d been living hand to mouth to make ends meet. I’m not in this for the clout, the money, the likes or selling my merch’. I just care about hand-crafting something to ride and then riding it.
What single and specific thing about riding bicycles do you gain the most happiness from?
I do believe that “The devil makes work for idle hands”. I just love digging jumps and stacking clips on the daily. Having something to focus on gives me a purpose and drive which keeps me healthy, happy and sane.
What single thing would you like to erase from cycling history from last year?
No idea. Positivity, man. It’s all good, even the bad stuff.
What single thing would you like to make happen in the cycling world in the next year?
I want to film Parallel 3 with Brandon Semenuk and do a split part with Brage Vestavik. Come on lads, let’s make it happen.
Who else should we ask these questions to?
Eliot and Joi Jackson.
You can catch all our previous Wise Words interviews with the likes of Sven Martin, Manon Carpenter, Ric McLaughlin and plenty more here.