My Top Two Most Embarrassing Times

Although I have been riding, racing and speaking the bike lingo for almost 10 years now, I have had my fair share of embarrassing moments. These are my top two, bike related, and highly embarrassing moments.

  • In 2014 I had the chance to race the Cairns Downhill World Cup alongside the world’s best. Nathan Rennie is such an admirable bike rider and human being, and the junior team was lucky enough to have Rennie as a staff member. It was leading up to race day and as we were doing the track walk, I attempted to make small talk with Rennie. I am embarrassed to say that I asked the former World Cup Series Winner:

“So, do you ride bikes?”

(I have since learnt that Rennie did, in fact ride bikes and to the highest possible standard. I was relatively new to the downhill scene, but I now make sure that I am respecting and constantly learning about mountain bike royalty and history!) Check out Nathan Rennie racing on one of my favourite Victorian tracks; Mt Baw Baw here.

  • I can honestly say that bike mechanics is a field that I need to work on. This next embarrassing moment occurred at Life Of Bikes (my favourite bike shop EVER by the way). My dad had sent me a last minute text meaning to say “ask if they could check the bearings.” As most smartphone users know, autocorrect can be both a blessing and a curse. The message auto corrected to say “ask if they could check the Bee rings” and so, you guessed it, I walked into Life Of Bikes and asked;

“Could you please also check the Bee rings?”

(Lucky for me I know the staff well and they’re super friendly. They had a laugh and then (superbly) fixed my “bee rings.”


Track waking in Andorra with another Australian team staff member; JZ.


My Life Of Bikes team jersey on top of a Maldon lookout tower.

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-Ellie

 

My Friends Have No Idea What I Do

Mountain biking has been a big part of my life for so long now that it’s often easy to forget how much of a unique sport it really is. I find it so difficult to describe what it is that we mountain bikers ‘do.’

One time I was trying to explain (to my good friend Cassie) the features you often come across on a downhill track.  As I described the gnarly rock gardens, technical off camber sections and road gaps, I thought I had successfully  outlined the extremity of downhill trails until she replied:

“Oh road gaps? I sometimes ride on the road.”

I have also taken my long term best friend on multiple bike rides and, although they weren’t on ‘downhill tracks,’ we have so many memories together involving two wheels and crashes.

As a young female I lacked ‘bike friends’ who were girls, and so I attempted to rope Lizzie into the world of bikes through a little taste of easy, scenic and fun riding. It was 2014, we were 17 and holidaying in Mallacoota together. Our gear was on, I had convinced Lizzie that we would have a world of fun and we set off on our bike riding adventure.

Lizzie and I are both terrified of snakes and that day we saw the biggest snake we had ever seen. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was stretched out across the width of the whole road. Thankfully we were able to ‘bush bash’ our way around it and carry on with our adventure, which then lead us into some dense single track.

One tree in particular had a vine hanging from it. Lizzie ran into this vine and, thinking it was a hanging snake, almost wet her pants before spending the next 10 minutes trying to break it off. We wanted to keep it (it really did look just like a snake).

To finish our ride we had a not so lovely headwind as we rode back along the beach. That day, Lizzie vowed to never ride a bike again.

And so although my friends still have no idea what it is that i do, I’m thankful that they support me so much (even if it is just from the side lines).

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My mum and I riding bikes in Barcelona, Spain. She definitely knows what I do and is my number one care taker when I come home bruised and grazed. I guess that’s why this is the most extreme bike riding she will do.

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Cassie marshalling at one of our local Victorian downhill Series rounds.

-Ellie

All About My Bike

This wouldn’t be a true mountain biker blog if I didn’t spend hours oogling over my bike. Okay so maybe not hours because I definitely don’t want to bore you, (especially seeings as I’m so new to this whole blogging thing) but I love my bikes too much not to share them with you so here goes.

In my possession I currently have two red weapons- my Norco Aurum C7.2 and Norco Sight C7.2. Between the two of them, they definitely take care of me whilst going up as well as down hills.

My Aurum has been my race weapon of choice for the 2016 season, and my Sight has proved to be the perfect tool for all of my all-mountain/gravity enduro riding needs.

I run Maxxis and SRAM on my race bike, and love the realibility and performance of their products.

We have this strange rule in my family that our bikes are only allowed to stay in our rooms until we go for our first ride on them, and then they have to live in the cold and dark garage. When I was younger, I’m fairly sure this was my first introduction to the concept of “internal conflict,” as I so desperately wanted to ride my new bike, but knew that it would mean giving up the privilege of it being allowed in my bedroom.

I had no problem with the sacrifice when it came to riding these two bikes, as the reward was oh so, so great.

I can honestly say that out of every bike I have ever owned, (dating way back to my cherished, pink Malvern Star) these two would have to be my favourite.

I also own a much loved unicycle, but thats a story for another day.

-Ellie 


 

 

How I Chose The Title For My Blog

I spent 60 minutes straight trying to come up with a name for my blog. I wanted it to to be ‘fresh’ and searchable, and yet creative and witty.

60 minutes, a whole class at Uni. Enough time to cook two minute noodles 30 times. Enough time to clean every single sprocket, spoke and chain link individually five times (not that I’ve timed it).

But really, I had a lot of trouble coming up with a name for this blog.

I liked the idea of “The Two Wheel Deal,” (cheesy I know) and my tutor recommended “Stoked On Spokes.” “Bike Baggage” was also considered for a while, as I liked the idea of exploring all of the “baggage” that is associated with bike racing. I eventually did, however, deem it too negative and ‘gloomy’ for a sport that I so often highlight as my passion. The word ‘baggage’ has too much of a negative connotation for my liking.

And so, after lots of consideration and input from my friends and family, (some helpful and some not so helpful; sorry mum) I created the blog and typed (as lengthy as it may be) “My Bike Is Worth More Than My Car” into the title section.

I am proud to say that, in true mountain biker fashion, my bike is indeed worth more than my 2002 Subaru Forrester.

-Ellie