I'm a small-town kid from Jasper, Alberta in the Canadian Rockies. Growing up in the mountains, the winters were spent in the hockey rink and the summers riding my bike exploring Jasper National Park. Hockey was awesome, but biking was what I knew would be my lifelong passion. Signing with the Kona Factory Team in my mid-twenties was the catalyst which grew this passion into a career that has led to some memorable adventures and races all over the World. The longer and harder the ride gets, the happier I get. Winning a natural hat-trick of World Solo 24HR Championships titles has been the highlight of my career and I'm excited to find new challenges and adventures on the horizon. It's been an honor to represent a company like Kona which is true to its heart and full of people who love to ride their bikes.
RIDER NEWSMORE FROM THE COG
DATE OF BIRTH07/13/1984
RIDING WITH KONA SINCE1992. 11 years on the race/adventure team.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE KONA IN YOUR QUIVER AND WHY?Libre CR/DL. This is my workhorse. It is built for gravel but is also my choice for road rides, multi-day bike packing expeditions, singeltrack, and select mountain bike races such as the Leadville 100. It is the most versatile bike I've ever had the privilege of riding.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
Hometown: Jasper, Alberta Current: Nomadically chasing races and adventures around the World.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE KONA OF ALL TIME AND WHY? (YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO HAVE OWNED IT)
Hei Hei. This has been my go to XC bike for years, winning World 24HR titles, races such as BCBR and it's even dabbled in some XCO World Cups. It is also my adventure machine for big bike packing trips in the Himalayas and Africa, as well as challenges such as Everesting and FKT attempts. It can fly uphill, and downhill, and can match up against any XC bike out there. It's a great combo of comfort, speed and durability.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS SEASON?
I'm looking forward to spending time with the team in Oregon, Kansas, Canada and beyond. The team trips and spending time with the Kona family are a highlight every year. Heading to Italy to defend my World 24HR title will also be exciting as it has been a few years since the last championship in Brazil in 2019.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TRACK/RACE OF 2021 (DOESN’T HAVE TO BE IN A RACE) AND WHY?
Racing the Cape Epic in South Africa. It has been a dream race for years and didn't disappoint.
WHO HAS MOST INFLUENCED YOU?
When I was young, Dik Cox invited me on a ride with the Geoff Kabush and the rest of the Kona team in Canmore, Alberta. Meeting the team, and especially Geoff was a big influence on me wanting to become a bike racer myself. I have looked up to him since day one. He has led by example throughout his career and is always standing up for what is right. He raced through a tough era when there was a lot of doping, yet he kept winning and fighting the battle for clean racing. Geoff and I often battle at races now, it is fun to race a childhood hero who year after year finds ways to keep racing at a high level while really enjoying himself and continuing to push the sport in the right direction with his wealth of experience.
I've also been influenced a lot by racers from developing countries who may not have the same resources or opportunities but their love for the sport and desire to find a way to succeed is impressive. Riders like Narayan Gopal from Nepal grew up with virtually nothing, but still found a way to chase their dreams. It is a constant reminder to be grateful for whatever we have.
WHAT WAS THE LAST GIFT YOU RECEIVED?
This past December I was given the gift of an open-ended trip to Tanzania thanks to whoever makes the Covid travel bans. Having my flights cancelled from South Africa back to Canada, the best option was to head to Tanzania for two weeks to "quarantine" as it is considered a "green country" regarding Covid. Once landing here, I opted to cancel my flight home after two weeks, and now found myself on an open-ended bikepacking adventure across East Africa preparing for the 2022 race season.
IF YOU WERE A CEREAL, WHICH WOULD YOU BE & WHY?
Corn Flakes. I like to keep it simple and just ride my bike.
HOW WOULD YOUR LOCAL COFFEE BARISTA DESCRIBE YOU IN THREE WORDS?
Always. Riding. Bikes.
2021 STARTED TO FEEL NORMAL AGAIN, CAN YOU SHARE WITH US ONE HIGHLIGHT AND LOWLIGHT?
Last thing you Found?
My iPhone after dropping it in the Usambara mountains in Tanzania. A few days later, a local overheard me looking for my phone, and called up his brother from two villages over who had found it lying in the dirt. He returned it a few hours later.
Last album you purchased?
Last account you unfollowed on Instagram?
Anyone caught up in spreading inaccurate Covid BS.
Last promise you made?
I promised the Tanzanian Park Rangers that I would be safe going for an FKT attempt on Kilimanjaro without a mandatory guide following me the entire ride.
Last podcast or audio book you listened to?
Last thing you googled?
Border crossings from Tanzania to Kenya.
Last thing you shared?
My food with my guide Chris up on Kilimanjaro.
Last good quote you heard or read?
"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." –Theodore Roosevelt
Last photo you took?
A photo of an Ethiopian dinner shared with a couple of Swiss riders in Arusha last night.
Last time you were scared?
When I was headed back for a fourth visit to a dentist in Cape Town to get a root canal done. It ended poorly, and afterwards I switched dentists and eventually got the job done right.