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 comes at you from none other than Mr. Andy Lund.
Any Lund spends his downtime ‘turning spanners at Dee Valley Cycle Workshop’ but you’ll more likely know him for his job doing similar tool-wielding for Trek Factory Racing, where he keeps tabs on the condition of Hattie Harnden’s bikes, amongst others.
Photos by Boris Beyer.
How would your closest riding buddies describe you to someone who has never met you?
Somebody that can be quiet, is focused, committed and passionate about what he does. However, never takes himself too seriously.
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?
In no particular order; My Trek Rail e bike, more bike time used primarily for accessing big mountains and more descending. Riding a eEbike is a completely different sport to a normal bike its like starting riding again.
Followed by a Knipex Tubix pipe cutter, steerer tube and handle bar cutting made easy, my Motion Instruments Data system and the time spent to learn from it. All tracks aren’t the same and your bike set up will need to change. A trip to the opticians to buy some contact lenses so I can actually see when I ride my bike, get your eyes checked.
What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?
None that I’m aware of…
What piece of advice do you think every mountain bike rider should hear? And what piece should they ignore?
Ride many bikes for as many disciplines as you can, don’t focus on one thing, even more so if you are young. Keep it fun. That is the reason after all why we ride bikes.
Turn off Strava, if you think you’re fast go and do a race.
If you ride clips, at some point in the year, every year ride flat pedals it will do you a world of good. I use the time when the clocks change in the autumn to go back to flat pedals.
Don’t get lured in by all you see online, there is some very experienced people putting out very good information, however on the other hand there is some less experienced people putting out some bad information. Find ways to validate what you see, just because something has lots of likes doesn’t mean its right, don’t be afraid to ask questions, you can’t buy experience.
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?
December 8th 2012, North Wales, God’s country. The small issue of going over the bars resulting in T6,7,8 spinal fractures. Landed on the top of my head and compressed my spine, had a ride to hospital in the big red flying taxi, a week in hospital and 14 weeks in a spine brace. Support your local air ambulance.
I would change that day, other than that all bike rides are good ones.
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?
Social media, for some reason as humans we have made ourselves “very busy and limited on time” we have the same amount of time as we have always had, get up earlier, plan your day. Don’t waste time scrolling. I am making a conscious effort to spend less time on social media and I feel better for it. The negative to this is that there is so much emphasis on social media in the line of work that I am in.
Instant gratification with images and media that you won’t remember seeing 1 minute after you have scrolled past it. I see some incredible photos which would look so much better in print, bring back more print media.
And remember, you only see the good times on social media, it is unlikely that people are having a good time all the time, people won’t post about the bad times, who wants to see that? I’ve been one of them. Life isn’t always good, and talking about things makes it a little easier. How are you today?
How do you motivate yourself when you’re struggling or lacking inspiration?
I don’t think I lack motivation, the only thing that affects this somewhat is the weather, Wales gets pretty wet. From a riding point of view I will go and dig something new that will motivate me to ride. I like to build hard, technical trails that challenge me.
What single and specific thing about riding bicycles do you gain the most happiness from?
The places that my bicycle takes me in general, be it locally or globally. I try not to drive to ride my bike.
The people I meet from being involved with bicycles, most of them have been good people that I’m happy to surround myself with.
What single thing would you like to erase from cycling history from the last year?
The approach from British Cycling on some issues, it has been dire. Vloggers… can’t say I’ve ever watched a complete one from anybody ever. Concentrate on your own life not watching what somebody else does.
What single thing would you like to make happen in the cycling world in the next year?
Not a specific thing but I would like to see, improved access for people riding bikes & more places to ride bikes, in all environments from urban to rural.
Make cycling accessible to all people, it is a sport that is very privileged, white and middle class. Brands to become more involved with the above, without people and places to ride they won’t sell bikes and products. Bike brands need to support trail associations, race series and put more back into the sport.
All domestic mountain bike racing to be better, this would need all riders, including elite athletes to attend and support the events.
I would like a cycling federation that recognises the discipline of Enduro along with a National Champs race where the winner gets a recognised jersey and medal, and let’s have it at a time of year where all the best riders can attend and at a venue that warrants a national champs race.
The return of seeded, enduro races for national level races with harder race tracks, this could bridge the gap to world level racing, making the step from domestic racing to world level at the moment the gap is huge.
I would like to see new venues or at least not the repeat of the venues from consecutive years, There is a place for grass roots one day racing and it should be exactly that and lets have more than 6 minute race time if you’re saying its a national event, bring back UKGE.
All Ebike race categories to have climbing stages. Climbing is a great part of having a bike and its great fun seeing what you can ride up. Will we all be on Ebikes in 10 years?
More coverage and exposure to a wider audience helping grow all aspects of the sport for the benefit of riders and staff alike. Fingers crossed for 2023 and the forth coming plans.
Who else should we ask these questions to?
Reece Wilson. Tim Flooks.
You can keep tabs on Andy’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.