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 none other than Sian Dillon.
Sian Dillon is one half of Cannondale’s C-Dale Sisters, one third of the Project Evolve crew and one hundred percent pinner, having just wrapped the opening rounds of the 2023 UCI Mountain Bike Enduro World Cup, getting bumped to the main race for Blue Derby. Skills.
Photos by Man Down Media.
How would your closest riding buddies describe you to someone who has never met you?
Energetic, up for a good time, fun and I have been told in the past I am like a Spaniel with ADHD.
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?
My new TLD helmet, the new Flowline helmet is so good, comfortable and helps provide so much confidence when on the trails.
What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?
I always try to avoid wearing gloves.
As soon as I get on my bike, I feel like it’s a mission to get as many laps in as you can. I also do hate getting wet and muddy so I would sometimes rather slow down to try to avoid any puddles where possible. Roll on dusty trails.
What piece of advice do you think every mountain bike rider should hear? And what piece should they ignore?
Try not to get wrapped up in people’s opinions, sometimes I find everyone feels they are an expert in the biking world, after all… they are only opinions. Listen to positivity and research things fully if you are unsure. Just do what makes you happy and don’t give up on your goals. Having the right people around you too will help you succeed.
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?
Hmm tough one but think I would love to go back to riding the trails in Finale, Italy. They were so sick and the views were incredible. Then ending the day with pizza, beer and ice cream. Going back with a big group of mates would be sick, all the party laps and trains.
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?
Can’t say I ever feel like I have wasted any time as a bike rider. As it’s a hobby and not a job I just try to enjoy it as much as I can. I make a lot of mistakes, but always try to learn from them as I feel that helps you improve. I like to try and live life without any regrets.
How do you motivate yourself when you’re struggling or lacking inspiration?
Riding with mates is always so good; you just get a buzz of each other and can’t beat a good natter, then finish off with a pint in the pub.
What single and specific thing about riding bicycles do you gain the most happiness from?
I think just being outdoors in general. As I have an office job, going outside and riding my bike is just perfect. Especially when you’re in good company, nice views and the sun is shining.
What single thing would you like to erase from cycling history from the last year?
Maybe not necessarily erase, but a massive lesson learnt is maybe pushing my body too hard and not fueling properly. You’re not invincible and only human, sometimes you have to listen to your body and understand when rest is needed, and the importance fueling your body to enable you to do the things you love.
What single thing would you like to make happen in the cycling world in the next year?
I think I have two things for this one.
Better opportunities for privateers to have a go especially with current changes to EDR, this does seem quite a challenge & everyone has to start somewhere.
Get some more Project Evolve events planned, myself, Becci and Vero have some cool ideas we would like to make a possibility for anyone & everyone.
Who else should we ask these questions to?
Alyssa Podesta, Becci Skelton
You can keep tabs on Sian’s adventures on her 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.