Hometown Thousand Oaks, CA Years Competing 4
Team Yeti/FOX Factory Team
How does FOX contribute to your success?
They are a massive part of the success I've had so far. It makes such a big difference to have people that are passionate about making you go faster. They are at all the races and that helps because I can talk to them about my suspension and make adjustments depending on the track I'm at. Plus, the confidence that I've gotten knowing that I'm on the best stuff out there and the mechanics that are working on my bike are the best there are is pretty huge.
Tell us about your best race or event and how it changed you.
Even though I didn't get a good result, it would have to be Val di Sole. Everything about that race was incredible. The atmosphere, the people, the scenery, the track! That was the first time I really thought that I might be able to make a career out of downhill and it was also the most fun race I've done by a long shot.
Tell us about your bike/vehicle setup.
Overall I would say I run my suspension stiffer in front and softer and slower in the rear. I like to ride on the back of the bike so I feel more comfortable with my front end skating over stuff and then just letting the rear end take up everything.
What else is in your garage?
Lots of bikes and motorcycles, a car, miscellaneous garage accessories, ect.
What's your training regimen?
Workout a few days of the week with some intervals thrown in there. It kind of depends on what kind of mood I'm in. I probably ride my motorcycle a lot more than most people do, that seems to help a lot.
Any major injuries, and how did you recover?
I separated my shoulder when I first started riding. It sucked because it happened in the middle of the year so by the time I was better it was the off-season. I tried to take it easy getting back into it and not get too discouraged if I didn't do well.
What's your typical pre-race/event meal? Guilty pleasure?
Oatmeal in the mornings. Always. Usually a turkey sandwich or two during the day and an Oreo shake if I can find one at the track because they bring me good luck.
How do you determine which races or events to enter each year?
Usually just the ones that Yeti goes to. There are some, like Crankworx, that I make a point to go to just because I always have so much fun there.
What motivated you to get started professionally?
I never really had a day where I said "OK, I'm going to go pro at MTB." I've always really enjoyed it and I'm a really competitive person so as I raced I wanted to do better and better. I feel like I kind of fell into it in a sense I guess. I didn't really plan on it from the start at all, but now that I'm here I've had to realize that I am a professional athlete and I have to make decisions based upon that. No more waking up at 11 and relaxing at the beach all day!
What separates you from other professional athletes?
It sounds kind of obvious but I think mainly it's just how much I enjoy riding downhill! It seems like a lot of people are happy just to be on a bike but if it were up to me I would never ride XC or road and just ride downhill all day every day! I think it gives me an advantage over people who just do it as a job because I'm always trying to learn new things and it helps me stay motivated.
What would you be doing if you weren't a professional athlete?
Audio engineering and going to school full-time.
What's the best thing about being a professional athlete?
Having the opportunity to do what you love for a living is the biggest. Mountain biking is one of the few sports that allows you to really travel the world to compete and that's awesome to me. Even though it's not always easy, the good times outweigh the bad and I have to remind myself that I've dreamed of doing something like this all of my life.
What other sports are you interested in?
Mainly motocross, rock climbing, and BMX. Skiing, skeet shooting, and go-karts would be second.
Any advice to the readers dreaming to turn pro?
It's better to at least try than to wonder what would have happened if you did later on down the line, so at some point you just have to go for it. The best advice I can give is don't be afraid to ask for help, try to keep a positive outlook and always give 100 percent because you can do anything if you're willing to work harder than everyone else.
What are your favorite magazines and websites?
Magazines: Dirt, Sound On Sound, and Racer X - Websites: VitalMTB.com, TheBank.la, and Facebook.com
Favorite movie quote?
Anything from Office Space or Joe Dirt.
Who is your hero?
My dad and my brother. And Ricky Carmichael of course.
Are you a Mac or PC? PC, Macs are for losers.
Top 3 bands Opeth, Foo Fighters and The Reign of Kindo
Greatest strength Being able to have fun
Most frustrating challenge Trying not to eat too many Reese's