My Favourite… with Em and Tegan

Em Parkes and Tegan Molloy certainly need no introduction within the mountain biking world. These two inspiring riders (let alone individuals) are definitely no strangers to the top step. Ever since I started riding I have had the benefit of learning from, and watching the success of Em and Tegan.

Em races cross country and eliminator (with a little slice of enduro on the side), and has represented Australia at the highest level (every cyclist’s dream). I was fortunate enough to be on the Torq team with Em, and I’m definitely lucky to have her as a friend and mentor (I’d have enough funny stories to fill another blog post). If you had a peek inside Em’s home (I’m not her stalker I swear) I’m sure you’d catch a glimpse of the green and gold stripes exclusively belonging to the national championship jersey.

Tegan, on the other hand, races downhill. It was such a special moment to watch Tegan win the 2014 Junior World Champion title. We were in the beautiful country; Norway, and the whole Aussie team went crazy as she crossed the line, securing her the fastest time and a World Champion’s jersey. She is such a humble person, and I always know I’m going to have a good race when I track walk with Tegan (and ‘borrow’ all of her sneaky lines). Tegan is currently overseas, probably riding a sweet downhill run as I’m sitting in rainy Melbourne writing this.

To celebrate how great these two are as riders and as role models for womens’ cycling, I wanted to do a “my favourite” just to let you guys get to know them a little better. So enough of my rambling and without further ado…

Whats your favourite…

Favourite bike?

Em: My Merida Big 9 Team edition, equipped with Rock shox RS1 fork and Sram Rise 60 wheels.

Tegan: That’s a close call between my Supreme Operator and Process 153. I’d have to say my DH bike.

Favourite place to ride?

Em: There are way too many awesome places to ride in this world! I have had the opportunity to ride at many amazing places in this world that there are too many to decide from.

Tegan: I’ve been fortunate enough to travel and ride some amazing places all over the world. Throughout the World Cup season I spend a fair bit of time in Bromont in between races. There’s loads of tracks and a good bunch of people to ride with. You can ride downhill all day and then hit the water park in the afternoon. That’s pretty cool. It’s pretty hard to beat Whistler. Dad and I travelled there in 2012 for Crankworx, which was my first ‘taste’ of riding and racing overseas and I loved every minute of it. It’s definitely home to some of the best trails to ride.

Favourite post ride meal?

Em: Strangely I don’t have a favourite post ride meal. I really struggle to eat after some rides so I usually have a recovery shake or a good old nesquik with some added Ribose and Glutamine.

Tegan: Lately I’ve been a massive fan of omelettes and chocolate milk as recovery and post ride snack.

Favourite song to listen to before a race?

Em: I’m probably not the best person to ask about favourite things.. I like too many things. Before racing I like to crank rap/hiphop music with a really good bass.

Tegan: I tend to only listen to music before a race if I’m really nervous or there’s lots going on around me, but my go to song at the moment would be Panda by Designer.

Favourite race you’ve ever raced?

Em: My favourite race would have to be XCO, National Champs in 2015. The race itself wasn’t extremely fun however winning the National Championship jersey was by far a highlight.

Tegan: My favourite and most memorable race would be World Champs, Hafjell, Norway 2014. Just hanging out with the Australian team and riding was awesome. I had so much fun riding that track, there was a great mix of features too, with loads of jumps, rocks, roots and some flat out fast sections.

Favourite bike related joke?

Em: Putting bearings covered in grease in your mates handle bars.

Tegan: Why couldn’t Cinderella win the bicycle race?

She has a pumpkin for a coach!

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Tegan and I after a VDHS race. Champagne in the eyes does not tickle!
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Photo: Duncan Philpott
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Em and the best race face I have seen in a long time.

 

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Guys Dig Scars (I hope)

As a young kid in the school yard I was always proud to boast “well I have broken 3 of my arms!” (disclaimer: my primary school self meant I have broken my arm 3 times, I do not have a hidden third arm). Since then I have rounded my count up to 6 breaks.

My mum always questioned whether or not to take me to see a bone specialist, but quite frankly I do not have a skeleton made of butter. Instead, it seems that I have always had quite an adventures side (or poor judgement).

Throughout my 9 (give or take) years of riding bikes I have had enough x-rays to finance the system, and I’ve laid in my fair share of hospital and physio beds. Therefore, I thought it’d be fun (I really have to get out more) to illustrate some of my most memorable injuries I have attained over the years.

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1. I separated the ligaments in my cervical spine after crashing at Barjarg in late 2015, which left me in hospital for a night and a neck brace for six weeks.

2. In 2015 I broke my clavicle after a silly crash on a jump ((which I have since revisited and showed who’s boss!)(kinda))

3. A few weeks out from World Champs in 2014 (I was racing cross country), a stick made my front wheel come to a complete stop, catapulting me over the front wheel and bursting my bursa sac (in my shoulder joint).

4. I have a scar right across the middle of my shin from when I slid down the Andorra World Champs track in 2015. Luckily, Anne-Marie was there to steri-strip me up so I could keep riding/sliding!

5. During a game of chookball (silly name, basically netball), I tore pretty much all of my ankle ligaments (more painful than a broken bone I believe) which meant I was on crutches instead of on a bike for the first round of the 2015 National Series!

6, 7, 8 and 9. Not so bike related, but over the years I have broken my left arm twice and my right arm twice (you know, just to share the load). I have fallen victim to a slide, swing (I was a very adventurous 6 year old), harder than usual low ropes course and a snowboarding crash.

I have also broken my nose when I was little, which I believe deserves an honourable mention as it was broken after I was bear hugged from behind, my arms were therefore trapped, and I fell straight onto my face.

So there you have it, I definitely hope I don’t have to do an updated version any time soon.

As always, feel free to leave any comments of contact me at elliewale@hotmail.com

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About to go in for surgery (not sure which one)

 

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Anne-Marie giving my shin some much needed care, I don’t know what I would do without her at races!

-Ellie