Wise Words | Jordan Lunn.

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 Jordan Lunn.

A stalwart of the UK and European 4X scene, Jordan Lunn is pretty handy on a bicycle, annoyingly so in fact, being able to turn his hand to pretty much anything. When not giving the beans on two wheels, he’s directing Lyon Equipment’s cycle division that includes the likes of Industry Nine and 7Mesh.

Photo by Nils Amelinckx.

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

Rather than come up with something which just isn’t true, I’ve asked them. Aside from being called the obvious (C-bomb), they described me as:

“Someone who’s ambition outweighs talent” ,“Tall” and “Someone who used to have one calf bigger than the other from his National Champion 4X days, but he only wears trousers these days, so we can’t verify if this is still the case”.

I can confirm one calf is still bigger than the other.

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?

Winter appropriate 100% Brisker gloves and Sealskins waterproof socks. In my early days of riding, regardless of weather, I opted for jeans and a t-shirt or hoodie, but as I’ve got older and adult money has become available my riding clothing collection has grown. Long gone are the days of chilblains and wet feet.

Now I’ve become accustomed to riding in incredible kit (I work closely with 7mesh) it shocks me that so many riders are willing to spend well over £5,000 on a bike to spend less than £100 on a coat. Crap clothing is just as bad as a crap bike, and one could possibly save your life in a remote location when you have a mechanical.

What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?

I quite often re-tie my shoes a few times before riding. They need to be perfect. I also wear a full face while dirt jumping which really isn’t the trend (or ever has been), but I’ve seen far too many horrors. The thought of smashing my teeth freaks me out.

Photo by Nils Amelinckx.

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

You really don’t need the latest and greatest bike or standard to have a good time. While of course having a bike with Boost or Super Boost has it’s benefits, I don’t remember frowning while riding Non-boost. If you have the money great, invest it in a bike that’s right for you. There is a world of amazing tech available. If you don’t have money, ride what you have, because it’s better than not riding at all.

And, as much as I like Sam Pilgrim (I had the joy of sponsoring him with Halo for many years), you might not need to “CRACK A MONNY”, especially if you are a teen (wow, I sound old).

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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?

A big bunch of us in the midst of Covid 2020 managed to get out to the French alps the week before the boarders re-closed. The trails were absolutely prime, the weather was perfect and everyone avoided the dreaded ‘rona. The crew included the likes of Matt and Jono Jones, Glen Coe, Becci Skelton, Dan Bateson, Preston Williams and many, many others. I wouldn’t change a thing about that whole week. We all had such a good time (apart from Preston who tried to rip his arm off).

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?

Not listening to my instinct in my career. I’m very good at riding by feel, which quite often works out, but when it comes to my career I can value others opinions over my own too much. Many times I should have listened to myself more.

Photo by Geoff Waugh.

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

I rarely lack motivation or inspiration on the bike or while working. I must be fortunate enough to enjoy what I do, I guess. When I have though I like to think back to how I was so motivated to be living the life I now am as a teen. I couldn’t ask for more. I have a young family, work in the industry heading up a cycle distributor, have somewhere comfortable to live and a few bikes in the garage to play with.

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

Being on the absolute edge of control and doing my best to not stray over it. That one or two percent of going as fast or high as possible where the smallest margin more would result in another trip to the good old A&E department.

Photo by Guy Hillyard.

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

The fact that some of the industry’s biggest brands have treated bike shops as disposable. Yes, demand has slowed and everyone ordered a butt load of stock in the pandemic, but bullying shops isn’t the long term solution.

We (the bike industry) boast the largest pool of independent stores in the UK and we are bound to see a decline over the next few months sadly. Our industry crucially needs these stores. Wouldn’t it be great for the whole of the cycle industry to support shops rather than use them as scape goats for your own purchasing fuck ups?

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

Well, it’s going to happen. Fact checking on green marketing. It’s being implemented soon by the government from what I’ve seen.

I’d also love for the industry to sit up and recognize the environmental impact of production. We are amazing at recognizing that cycling can be a green sport, when it comes to actual participation, but often we are very happy to look the other way when it comes to production.

Who else should we ask these questions to?

He’s short, quite often grumpy, and is missing hair in places he should have it, but Pat Campbell – Jenner offers great insights as a ex-World Cup racer and bike industry veteran. But mostly he’s grumpy.

You can keep tabs on Jordan’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.