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 to you from none other than Monika Mixova.
Monika Mixova will likely have blown past you in a blur of pink hair at a downhill race somewhere. Czech born but living in Yorkshire, she’s a privateer taking on the UCI Downhill World Cup, represented Czechia multiple times at World Champs and is a regular national downhill podium botherer.
How would your closest riding buddies describe you to someone who has never met you?
I posted this question into our riding group and the answers were a mix of fast on a bike, funny off the bike, likes beer and cheese, loves a send and is dedicated to improvement with a comical mix of European/Yorkshire accent
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?
Since I broke both of my collarbones this year, I spent some money on a really good physio. I would never be able to recover the way I did without her help. What I found interesting is when you actually do the exercises the physio gives you, it works. Weird innit.
What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?
I really don’t like pedalling.
What piece of advice do you think every mountain bike rider should hear? And what piece should they ignore?
People need to stop listening to advice to ”just send it” from other riders. Everyone needs to understand their own capabilities. We see too many beginners getting hurt because they feel pressured into something out of their ability. So my advice is to be patient with your own progression and send it with caution.
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?
Hungover rides in Queenstown Bike Park in 2016 with Mike. I lived there for a few years and most of my riding was after only a few hours of sleep. If I could change one thing I would be only slightly less hungover.
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?
Probably not believing in myself. I raced on a road bike and on a velodrome from when I was a kid until I was 18 years old, then I travelled the world, ended up in New Zealand where I started riding downhill and then moved to the UK where I raced DH for the first time. I never took it seriously as I always had a full time job and just rode bikes on the weekend. I feel like I accidentally improved into quite a high level and it took me until last year to sign up for a World Cup. Maybe I should’ve planned this a bit earlier, but I never thought my skills would be good enough.
How do you motivate yourself when you’re struggling or lacking inspiration?
I remind myself that I will be sat in the office from Monday to Friday again so I better get out and do something when I can. If I’m not keen to ride my mountain bike I always have other bikes to play on such as my trials bike. I like to learn new skills and it keeps things interesting.
What single and specific thing about riding bicycles do you gain the most happiness from?
Riding my DH bike in a bike park, ideally following someone who’s slightly faster than me and trying to keep up. It makes me so happy and hyped. It’s hard to explain and I think its some kind of illness or obsession really. I absolutely love to ride downhill.
What single thing would you like to erase from cycling history from the last year?
Parents paying instagram for sponsored posts of their young kids riding bikes. I understand why they’re doing it, but they should not feel the pressure.
What single thing would you like to make happen in the cycling world in the next year?
Solutions for privateers trying to race World Cups. The UCI need to decide if they want privateers or not. At the moment they let us race but make things very difficult when we get there.
Who else should we ask these questions to?
Meg Whyte and Adam Brayton.
You can keep tabs on Monika’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.