Pro Mountain Biker and Coach Rab Wardell on Chasing the Dream

Rab Wardell talks about making mistakes along the way to living his dream as a professional mountain bike athlete.
photo: Joolze Dymond.

Rab Wardell is a mountain bike athlete and coach living in Glasgow, Scotland. He recently launched a new video series with Wahoo Fitness called Old Enough to Know Better.

In this episode, we ask Rab:

  • How did a big early race loss affect your outlook on your career as an athlete? What was it like to essentially retire in your early 20s? What did you decide to do instead?
  • What are some of the biggest mistakes that stand out as being the ones where you learned the most?
  • As an athlete, are there ways to learn beyond just personal experience?
  • What risks are involved in becoming a professional athlete?
  • What types of normal, everyday things have you decided to cut out of your life to focus on racing? How much of it feels like a sacrifice? Were there any times when friends or family members suggested you grow up and get a “real job”?
  • What competitive advantages do you have at your age?
  • Why is play important? Are there ways you’ve found to incorporate play into your training?
  • What do you hope to be doing on the bike at age 50, or even 70? At 36, are there things you still have left to learn and experience?

Watch the Old Enough to Know Better series on YouTube and connect with Rab on Instagram @rabwardell

This episode of the Singletracks podcast is sponsored by Explore Brevard.

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Jeff 0:00
Hey everybody, welcome to the Singletracks podcast. My name is Jeff and today my guest is Rev Wardell. Rab is a mountain bike athlete and coach living in Glasgow, Scotland. And he recently launched a new video series with Wahoo fitness called old enough to know better. Thanks for joining us again, Rob.

Rab 1:12
My pleasure, it’s great to be back.

Jeff 1:14
Yeah, well, the last time we spoke I was looking at it was almost exactly a year ago. I think it was last January that we spoke. So how have you been? How was 2021? For you?

Rab 1:25
It’s been a good year. Yeah. I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve been getting to ride my bike my bike a lot. I’ve been able to travel a little bit this year, which is which was definitely no, I’ve just really been really been enjoying it.

Jeff 1:41
Yeah, that’s great. Well, your video series old enough to know better, which again, sponsored by Wahoo fitness, explores the idea of dream chasing. And your story sort of begins back in 2006. So 15 years ago, tell us what happened then.

Rab 1:59
Yeah, that’s quite some, I guess that’s one of the major benchmarks and this fell in was 2006 I competed in an event called the Commonwealth Games, which is our is the Commonwealth is like, I guess it’s what was the British Empire. And so it’s, it’s a major event. So it’s like a mini Olympics if you like, and I competed competed for Scotland and Australia. And you I left school in 2003. And really made it my it was my dream was to be able to compete in this Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006. So it was a it was a huge part of of what I did for young as a as a young adult. And it was a great experience. There was also a disappointment. And it was after that point, it was actually yours is kind of the start of my story. And it’s also it was the end at the time. And yes, when at the end of that season a kind of gave up on the dream of becoming a professional bike rider. It just wasn’t wasn’t sustainable for me to do that. You’re being blunt, just purely I couldn’t afford it. And I couldn’t see a career path, certainly as a as a Scotch mountain biker at that time. So it’s maybe it’s maybe a bit of a dull, dull start to the series, but it’s just my story. But you’ll still been riding my bike after. That’s what got me coaching at that time, and was able to began coaching for Scottish cycling at that time as a development coach. And I’ve continued to write and compete and set goals ever since then.

Jeff 3:40
Yeah, yeah. Well, I mean, I, part of what I’ve read and heard about kind of your thinking at that time was, I mean, you essentially described it as like retiring in your early 20s. I mean, you’re, you’re super young, really, you know, for a lot of people, that’s when they’re just starting their career. So like, what were the emotions, you’re kind of feeling around that I mean, to be like, I’m sure you had goals and you’re like, This is my career, I’m going to be a professional athlete. And then you had to, like, make that realization that like, I got to maybe figure out something else.

Rab 4:13
Yeah, really. It was a dream, typically, you know, to chase that pro lifestyle and to compete and still look back on it and think was was riding really well. And just just unfortunately, it wasn’t a viable career path at that time. And for me, so I felt like going to the going to the Commonwealth Games as an event. I almost wanted that to be a springboard I was imagining that was going to be a springboard to to a greater career and it was going to open up doors and create opportunities. And unfortunately, the timing of that was just it just wasn’t the case. It was yeah, it was just a case. There were the actual the opportunities I’ve actually had in the lead up to going to that event were probably some of the best ones that I had had in terms of support and coaching. When I came back from that event, I lost my coach I lost my funding, like my, I guess my national national team funding. And also at that time it was it was a shame. It was, it was quite tough to take but I mean, the track program, the British Cycling track program was really strong then. He was some of the riders at the same age as me that we’re competing there and got Gareth Thomas and Mark Cavendish with two riders. That was the same age as me but competing on the track and on the road. In the moment make face after I punctured, I actually ended up racing with Chris Froome, who probably all know has gone on to win for tour de France’s and yeah, and, you know, those guys really didn’t, you know, they were able to make the most of the opportunities. And to be fair, they had better results than I did. At that time. And just for me, it was a few doors closed, and it just my motivation really dropped. Yeah, it was just really hard to take to be honest. Yeah, looking back on it. And it was it was a, it was a big challenge. And I think it’s, it’s not an unusual story. You know, it’s like, not everybody is able to go on and live the dream and make it as a professional. I think the the current time is Chris Froome. Mark Cavendish, they’re really the outliers, and they’re deserve it champions. My story is probably more, there’s probably another. I don’t know how many people have a similar story to me, I guess I’m still quite lucky that I get to tell it.

Jeff 6:21
Yeah. And like you said, you know, you pivoted to coaching, and did that for a number of years. And now you’re back to racing, which is what we’re talking about here? Well, in the film, you say that there are no shortcuts to experience, and that you made a number of mistakes along the way, in your career as a coach, I imagine also, as an athlete, so I’d love to hear what are some of your biggest mistakes that stand out as being like ones, where you maybe learned a lot or, you know, maybe they’re just really big mistakes that you don’t want to repeat again,

Rab 6:54
I think can still the one biggest mistakes that I feel like I’ve learned from was a speaker is getting too hooked. And I get too hung up on a result. And rather than thinking about the process, and how, you know, I think it gets talked about a lot. And it’s, you know, you have to trust the process. And it’s all about executing the process. If you if you can set your you think it’s like, I guess dreaming about or kind of visualizing the result is a great thing to do in terms of to really excite you and to motivate you as like a long term project, you know, actually dreaming about a particular result is a great thing to do. But if you get if you lose sight of what the process is, and what it is that you actually need to do on a daily basis that will help you achieve that go. That can be to your detriment, you know, I think that’s, that’s something that I previously used to do is dream too much about your particular result and not get the process right, not not sleep well enough not have a good enough routine, not, you know, I think it’s what, what I’ve realized over the years is I really, really thrive when I’ve got routine, and I’ve got good people around me, I’ve got basically, stick to a really similar routine, you know, doesn’t have to be super strict, but it just needs to be consistent, and a value consistency over time, as well. Rather than being hot and cold, you know, like being, you know, maybe doing like a really big block of training for for two or three weeks, and always striving for more and pushing harder. It’s much better for me to almost just do enough, but do it consistently for 369 months. Yeah, and you know, almost almost factor in that there’s going to be days where which, which aren’t going to be great. So planning a nice rest days planning and some downtime planning and your adaptation weeks and recovery weeks. And then you’ll make I guess, making a plan that they have faith in, you know, something that I look at it, and I go right, this is this is a good game plan, this is gonna really work and then and then try and execute it. And another thing that I think I used to do, and I still am guilty of I think is not giving myself credit for the things that I do achieve. You know, it’s like, for example, you know, a good example would be if I were doing a race in Scotland, for example, where I felt I had a good chance of winning, or being really competitive. If I won that race. I almost wouldn’t. I would almost think Well, yeah, you kind of should have won that race, you know, and never actually given myself that you’re the credit of being like, right, well, that’s you’ve, you’ve done a great job there. You’ve you’ve gone out and you’ve achieved what you set out to do. Like, you’ll let that sink in for a period of time before thinking about right what’s next or even discrediting that achievement, you know, well, oh, well, one of the best there I shouldn’t want if I didn’t want it would be a failure. You know, it’s and I think that’s quite common. You know, a lot of one thing I learned was, you know, I can say I stopped racing at quite a young age. And I have I mean, I have raced over those years. I’ve still still done a lot of racing. Yeah, but Um, what a deadline is when and races as an easy, you know, even even the law, even the local race and you know, somewhere in Scotland or in Glasgow, like, there’s always going to be somebody there that wants to women is taken it seriously and you know, is. And also if you’ve got the target on your back, people want to take you down. So it’s, and that’s and that’s that sport, you know, it’s great to see that but so, you know if I do win races or if I do have good results, I like to take it from you know, actually actually enjoy it. Don’t Don’t be thinking about what’s next too soon, just was cool, actually savor it for a minute and, and enjoy that. I think finally, the other thing that I do is I like to think finding my levels, you could think, you know, actually trying to be competitive at the, I guess, trying to win races that I’m capable of winning, or trying to get good results and races that I can perform. And previously, I would always want to write the biggest race I could do. So I would always want to be turning up on the Starliner for World Cup, like a horse category stage race that cape epic, would always want to be at that biggest race was really I’d be a real small fish in a big pond and those races, but I love the feeling of being on the world stage. And on the end, the big events is quite hard to survive. And in those kind of races, I think as well, it can be quite difficult. So I think it’s about for me, I’ve learned to be almost like, pack my level. You know, don’t don’t I don’t feel like I’m never like a pot Hunter. You know, I don’t feel I can turn it up, you know, turn up to a small racer, just so I can win. I think I want to be at that. Yeah, I want to ride races that challenge me with that I’ve got a really strong field and try and do my best I still get excited to race. I think the goal for the series that and for this year was which was right in the British National Championships was a was a great fit for me. It was something I could compete. And they were still big enough to get me excited, you know?

Jeff 11:59
Yeah. Well, I mean, I love this idea of tying like mistakes to building experience. And you know, telling ourselves, there are no shortcuts, right? Like we’re gonna make mistakes. And that’s part of the process, like you said, and that seems to be, I imagine you’re someone who doesn’t have a lot of regrets either. Because you look back at those mistakes. And you say, well, I learned something from that I had to make that mistake, because that’s part of my experience. Are you able to take that to like the next level and really, like, seek out experiences where you are going to make a mistake? Like, are you really like that Zen about it? Where you can just be like, yes, another mistake? I’ve learned something else like, like, get it? Can you take it? And then could you take it too far? And really like? You know, it seems like you’re trying to find that balance, right? You’re trying to show up at the right races and do the right things. So yeah, kind of how do you how do you view that?

Rab 12:57
Certainly don’t think tests, trying to make mistakes.

Jeff 13:02
Still try to avoid them?

Rab 13:03
Yeah, I think so. I mean, I definitely like to take myself out of my comfort zone, it’s, it’s another thing that I’ve realized is I like trying to progress, I always like to try and move forward. And even if it’s only one step at a time, it’s like I want to, you know, as I want to be the best that it can be, you know, I want to be better than there was yesterday, whether that’s a lifestyle thing, whether that’s with a sport, whether it’s coaching a lake, your feeling of progression is great, and as hard when you plateau, as well to try and continue to seek that. And as you also have to just accept that there are days that you’re going to arrive even periods of time where you’re going to go backwards, and you’re going to be you’re going to be worse, you know, it’s like revert and reversibility is definitely real, especially when it comes to sport and training and physical fitness. And aging, you know, it’s it’s, it’s a fact of life that you sometimes you may go backwards. So for me, it’s a lot of the time it’s about, it’s about your setting, setting up that process goal, and trying to execute as well as it can. And that’s where you can you know, that I think the enjoyment and the joy comes through the journey. It doesn’t necessarily come through the result and it doesn’t necessarily come through, always getting better. And it’s been quite, it’s quite interesting seeing how these films have been received, because they’re so a lot of people have been, like 30 seconds, you’re not old, you know, there’s other people saying, you know, I am, I am 54 And I’m still right here. And it said, you know, I know that I’m I know that I’m not particularly old. But as as you do age is a fact of life that you are going to at some point you’re going to be over over the top of the improvement curve. And what I want to do when that happens if I’m not going to be physically improving, is focusing on the things that I can improve. Instead of just giving up and saying, Well, asset I may as well give up said well actually You know, I can optimize my, maybe I can optimize my equipment, I can optimize my nutrition, my nutrition can be better against things like sleep and routine and structure, that those are the things I can improve and actually still begin to get better technically, you know, technically it can, you’ll get better and learn to progress and learn your skill system. Or you can always go down level, you can actually totally change tact and go to a different kind of event, you know, it’s, maybe I can risk cross country, the Olympic distance cross country, as well as I want to could, but maybe I can be, I can do an ultra marathon or I can do, there’s going to be things that you’d like to see that they experience is going to lend itself to and having a weight is going to be as actually going to be a real advantage. You know, they’re still writers, there are lots of writers out there who are older than me competing at higher levels. So it’s, it’s just about there, I take inspiration from from those people as well. So, but yeah, I think I’ve rambled answering your question, am I? Am I that, then I am. You’re almost revel and making mistakes. I guess, I guess if it was a totally new experience, if that was something I didn’t know, you know, I had no idea what I was doing. And I felt I can really learn the lesson from it. And that was gonna take you know, that like a life lesson, almost. I guess I would feel a little satisfied by that. Right. I think I would think I could, I can definitely think I could, or I would do my best to look for the positives. And, and, and enjoy it, I guess.

Jeff 16:44
Yeah. Well, it’s good to know, you’re still human, you’re not, you know, someone who’s who’s enjoys making mistakes or, you know, tries to make them. So, yeah, makes sense.

Rab 16:54
And I’m very human. Yeah,

Jeff 17:00
yeah. Well, you know, one of the things I was thinking even more about that statement about, you know, there’s no shortcuts to experience in, you know, I agree with that on a lot of levels. But then I also think about other endeavors, you know, like professional careers and things and like, how do we learn things, you know, if you’re, say, a scientist, like, you’re going to learn a number of things through experience, but you’re also going to, you know, read books, and you’re going to hear from experts in the field and things like that. So, as an athlete, like, Are there are like, what are the ways that you can learn or maybe accelerate kind of your, your learning and your performance? Beyond just the things that you have personally experienced?

Rab 17:47
Yeah, yeah, research is, is definitely high up there. And kind of kind of loud, you. It’s how do you learn what, what are the stages of learning? And how do you go about doing that, and, you know, there’s learning through doing there’s less that you generate your own experience, by just doing things and reflecting and learning and have that feedback loop. Of course, you can work with your peer to peer learning where you can ride with other people. And I think a lot of people talk about that when you you ride with another person who’s more experienced than you and you just soak up all their experience like a sponge, you ask questions, you just watch. And you take that on, of course of coaching. So actually, actively seeking out an expert in the field and trying to listen to them and and you’ll learn from them and actually, actually, ask them to help you. Certainly, certainly another way, and I think, I mean, I think coaching my role as a coach, I believe that I can help others learn from all the mistakes that I’ve made, right? Or acknowledge not necessarily the mistakes I’ve made, but all of the successes that I’ve had as wives as well. So I can I can, I can share that. And I think what’s one thing that I do think helps me is that suddenly as a coach is that athletes that I work with, they trust me, because they they should they can, they can see that I’ve experienced a number of things, they see that I’ve been around for a while. I’ve competed, I’ve competed to a level. And I think that’s one thing that is really important when it comes to coaching is the person who is being coached by you needs to have faith in you and it needs to trust you, right, because a lot of the things that you get told to do, you know, for example, you come to a close you say, I want to be faster, and they say right, you got to slow down. So counterproductive, you know, it’s like or somebody comes to you and say, I want to be I want to have great race results next year. I want to do cross country mountain biking, I go well, what we’re going to do now is you got to learn how to pace your train and so you don’t go too fast. So you can because that’s it’s so far removed to I guess it’s really far removed to what the exercise industry says. Also people as like, as like fitness, you know, the fitness industry is all, you know, no pain, no gain, you know, high intensity interval training, CrossFit, you know, all these, all these fantastic exercises and the fact that they’re really enjoyable to do, they will get you results quickly. Yeah. But again, as a long term plan, there’s no Olympian trains like that, you know, there’s no professional sports cars and trains, they’re much more turning up every day going through the motions, kind of just just ticking boxes. So it’s hard if you do, there’s lots of different ways to do things, for sure. But a long term sustainable plan needs to be considered and quite measured, rather than just if it was just as simple as working hard. It would be very, it would be very simple. You know, it was like, right, I think I reflected a lot like when I was, when I was at that young age, China, I came out into the junior category in 2003. And then I’d like to, there’s no four to five, I went straight into the elite category, there was no under 23 category at that time and moment. So straight in the deep end, right away these these guys. And the races were two hours plus long. And my biggest my big inspiration I used to look at was was on the road was was Lance Armstrong. And he’s, he’s, he’s given it at work the hardest to train the hardest. I’ll do I will do others don’t. And we now know that the truth

about that role model, you’re going off and just need to work harder. I just need to do instead of doing five hours, I need to do six hours, I need to do seven hours, and you get these numbers bandied around and, you know, it’s especially if you have the mindset that you want to work, you’re you’re willing to work hard, it can really, really, it can can really backfire. As well, if you’re, you know, I also think back to when I was training and I had a heart rate, I had a heart rate strap. And that was that was about it, you know, I had a speedometer. And I would want to go out and try and average service speeds, but you’re on the road, the roads in Scotland aren’t fast. You know, the, the weather, the weather is hard, you know, it’s one day the roads are pretty rough and heavy and kind of slow, low. And so if you’re going to have Chase and averages, it can be a really dangerous game. So I was just really guilty of always, always overcooking it, you know, I think, yeah, that was a novice, you almost didn’t Yeah, it’s a cliche, but I should have trained smarter if if I was able to train smarter. And I also think you’re coaching there is so much easier, because you get so much data and information from a rider that will make come back up what the what you’re saying, you can say, well, you actually if you want to, if you want to write better, you need to back off a little bit. Because you’re this isn’t sustainable. You know, we’re not getting the adaptation that you want to get, you might get fat really fast. But you know, we’re we’re willing to be set in six months time, you know, so how do we, how do we build steadily?

Jeff 23:00
Yeah, so as a coach is like, you’re getting feedback as well, from the data. I mean, you’re learning, just as they are like, you kind of know what the results gonna be. But, you know, you say, Hey, do this with your training? And then you see, yep, that worked. And so you know, that for the next athlete or for yourself, and, yeah, I’m reminded to it’s, it’s like, you know, every athlete, if you didn’t have the benefit of like books and hearing from coaches, and you know, athletes who came before you, you just be kind of there would be a limit to how good you could be right? Like, you can’t possibly learn everything that you need to learn, you know, in a lifetime. And so, yeah, and this, this brings it all back to to like the idea of fk T’s, which, you know, is something we talked about in our last conversation, and we’ll talk about today as well. But like, that’s one of those things that’s relatively new to cycling. I mean, if you want to see like, are today’s athletes better than, you know, a generation ago, it’s kind of hard to say that, right? Because the courses are different, the equipment is different, you know, there’s a lot of those differences, like even the Tour de France, there’s a different route every year. So how can you say, this athletes faster than that athlete, but with an fkT? That’s a very, it’s a fixed course. And, you know, that’s something that hopefully we’ll see over time, is times just get faster and faster as athletes kind of build on the knowledge of the people before them

Rab 24:30
as the I think there’s the knowledge, I think there’s also the belief, you know, it’s, you know, somebody has set a benchmark and raise the bar, you know, you go well, I pray your faith and do that, then that means it’s possible. You know, it’s like, it’s like when you if you see things in extreme sports, where you see world’s first landed, where people are things happening now. If you go back 20 years ago, people say it’s impossible, right? You know, and then it’s just every, every year, people have just the bar just gets resin and everyone seems to be leveling up. And the fact that information is so free and you can watch, you can watch some writers doing these amazing stunts online. Social media you can see on Strava or, or other fitness apps, how fast people are writing certain, certain claims or certain reps. And not only can you see them, you can see in real detail, you can see how hard and how fast they were going at the start. And if they increase their pace, you can see how you can learn a lot from it. And quite a lot, quite a lot of detail. There’s a lot of information out there. And I think again, it just means that people do dream and believe what they can do. So, you know, when we talked about last year, when Gary McDonald set has His time of your nine hours and 28 minutes for the West End on way when I started that project, my goal was to get under 10 hours. And then he’s he’s way under that. And then that just made me think, well, maybe I can go under nine hours. You know, it’s like what you what can I do? And you know, I didn’t have the best rate and in my West Ellen way, right. And then when I was setting out on that day, I had like a 45 or a 45 or maybe even faster in mind is the time that I could do if I had good conditions and a clean rate. And now I’m thinking that, you know, if I ride that route again, you expect it well. I want to do it totally unsupported. I don’t wanna have anyone. I don’t want to have any mechanical or or your hydration support I want to do totally unsupported and I want to go, I want to go I want to go fast. You know, it’s the record has your FL twice this year, which was really cool to see. Yeah. Wow. And what was what was incredible to see was the color Swift is a British road race. So he set the new fkT for the West End on way around about two weeks after finishing a Tour de France. Oh, wow. He’s a he messaged me on there. He sent me I speak to him fairly regularly. And he messaged me on the rest day at the Tour de France asking me about the hiker biker Loch Lomond and there. How is this? Like? This is what a moment this is fantastic. This guy’s at the Tour de France and he’s thinking about as hiker biker and Loch Lomond, which was yeah, that was pretty cool. Yeah, but no, it’s been it was really exciting to see Connor lay down his marker because he had he had bad conditions. And he went in a half hours, almost, which is the guy super strong. And he and he can ride a mountain bike as well, which is cool. Yeah,

Jeff 27:31
that’s cool. So Right. Yeah, I mean, we can learn from each other. But it also sounds like we can be motivated by each other. And it’s just the cycle. Everybody’s getting faster and achieving more.

Rab 27:43
Yeah, I mean, kind of kind of being pretty open that he he wasn’t at the moment, like the West End, and we had We not made the film. And 2020 You know, he watched it and that got him excited to to go and do that. And he’s a fantastic bike rider. There’s, there’s no doubt about it. And it’s just exciting that he was inspired by what we did. And we’ve all everyone’s from Gary McDonald, Keith precise, we’ve all played a part and, and raising that bar and, and leveling up these challenges in that. And that’s just the beauty of sport and competition is is cool.

Jeff 28:18
Yeah, yeah, we’re gonna take a break real quick. But when we come back, we’re gonna talk about risks, taking dedication and competing against much younger athletes. Stay tuned. Are you enjoying the single tracks podcast? Well, we could use your support. The small but dedicated single tracks team works hard to share the mountain bike information that inspires epic adventures, through this podcast, our worldwide database of trail maps and photos, and daily news and reviews on the website. So consider becoming a monthly annual or lifetime pro supporter and enjoy ad free browsing on website, free single tracks, stickers in the mail and discounts on merch for as little as $3 per month, go to single to sign up and find out other ways you can help support our mission. That single Thank you and happy trails. And we’re back. One of the big themes from the series is the idea of taking risks. And for mountain bikers. I think a lot of us we tend to focus on things like jumping or riding really technical trails. But it seems like one of the big risks for professional athletes like yourself is putting everything else aside and pursuing an athletic goal, because there isn’t really a guaranteed payoff, right. Is that sort of the risk you’re talking about, like focusing and dedicating yourself to something that that really is unknown. I mean, you don’t you don’t know if you’re going to have a pay off?

Rab 29:50
Yeah, I think I think the risk often is

you know, you set yourself this this goal and mechanic talks about earlier with when it came to racing like some All races, you’ve maybe set a goal that you’ve set a realistic expectation that you can do it can be, you’ve got two options, you either achieve the goal and you maybe don’t feel that satisfied by it, because it’s something that you you set a goal that you kind of knew was in reach, or you fail, and then that’s a, that’s a whole other negative feeling, if you make it so that your failure failure doesn’t never feel as good, you know, especially if you come up really sure is can be, it can be really disheartening and can really knock your confidence. So that I mean, I think that can be a real, it can be quite a dangerous, I guess, interest gamer like you’re taking those risks, because it doesn’t have that fear that if you do achieve the goal that you set what, you know, what kind of gives you the joy that you thought it might do you maybe you just feel like, well, I find them what I I really find this, when I when I have a US set a goal once once I actually surpass it, or you’ll maybe I achieve or I fail or maybe I have a great time. But once that goes out of the way I really get like a post event or like a post season low. You’re dealing with that time where it’s, you know, guess where you’re a little bit aimless for a little while you so if you’re working towards something for such a long, long time, you have about 369 months, or even longer, you know, if you think about Olympians who have these four year cycles, where they’re working towards this, this major event, and once that you cross that line and the events done, and then there’s nothing it can be. For me, it’s, it’s, I find that really challenging. It’s I’m always wanting to try and set, you’ve almost set another goal or trying to try and manage through that. But I’ve gotten to a point where I know it’s coming. So I’m almost expecting that feeling. So I still feel it. But it doesn’t scare doesn’t scare me as much as it once did. And I think that was your we can go way back to this for the first episode and the Commonwealth Games, you know, when I said it was a fantastic experience to do that. But when I came home from there, I was like, oh, there’s nothing. You know, what really excites me to do next. And even maybe here you are, at the end of the West hanaway film, I say that same thing, I’m like, what’s next? You know, it’s like, it’s, it’s always striving for something else. So when I was 20, when I was 21, I didn’t know what was happening, I had been warned that there could be like a post games, depression or a post games law that I would feel, but doesn’t quite prepare you for it. You know, it’s, and a lot of the time you don’t know, you don’t necessarily know that you’ve been going through it or you’ve experienced it until you’re on the recovery. So you’ve you’ve been through the law, and you’re kind of climbing the awareness and you go, Oh, now I can see that. That’s why That’s why I felt so bad. Or I felt so low. So yeah, I think it is I I really, I guess as thrive during the journey, you know, and again, enjoying the process, you’re taking those boxes, I would say I’ve changed that maybe I’ve just realized that I much prefer the training than the actual competition or the or the event A lot of times, yeah, both of the times, I can think of the Western way I was really stressed out going into it. I guess the the project this year with the National cross country champs I was I was a little bit more relaxed, but I was surrounded by friends. And it was it was quite good fun, you know, something that I was able to really, really get stuck into. But I think that is for me. That’s part of the rescue. And yeah, and I’ve had I’ve had lots of highs and lows over the years, but I guess I wouldn’t, I don’t think I would, I wouldn’t change much that he says what’s made me the person that I am today.

Jeff 33:59
Right? Yeah. I mean, if I if I think about sort of myself, and I’m honest, you know, there’s been times when I’ve never been a racer myself. I guess I’ve been in a couple of races never seriously, but I found myself saying things like, you know, basically making excuses saying like, Oh, well, he’s fast, because like, he, that’s all he does. He’s a professional racer, I could do that too. But you know, I’ve got like, other stuff that I need to do, or I have a job or I have these things. And as I got older, I realized like, no, that’s the whole point. I mean, this person dedicated themselves to doing that, right. Like I was too scared to do that or I you know, decided it’s just not worth the effort or the risk or whatever it is to pursue that goal. Is that kind of your experience? I mean, was that for you something where you’re like, you know, I really have to dedicate myself and focus on this and kind of push everything else aside to really, if I really want to make this happen.

Rab 35:03
Yeah, what I what I find most interesting about that, that what you’ve just said there actually is, is actually the way that you don’t play to your own experience and competing. And you know, I think we’re all really guilty of that will always downplay it, you know, now, some people, some people say to me, are you you’re a pro or you’ve been uproar go well, no, I’m not really, you know, and it’s like, you kind of downplay or later somebody says, Oh, you’re really good, or whatever, I go out, I’m not good. You know, it’s like, well, because there’s always somebody better, you know, I’ll always, you’ll always see the those guys the same age as me that have achieved so much more. And I’ve done so much. And that’s, I guess, I guess I’ve kind of changed in the question here. But it’s interesting, the way that we don’t play around, it’s really common to downplay your own achievements and your own things that you really want to do a lot of the time, it’s like you want to, you really want to put yourself out there, and you want to do that do the rest. So I guess it’s, it is really about trying to, you’re not comparing yourself to others, and trying to take the joy of the process and journey because that, for me is like, a big part of all it’s something that I something that I really preach to other people, you know, if I’m, if I’m working with other people, or coaching other writers, because there’s always going to be somebody better. And if you aren’t good enough that you can, you’ll win the biggest events. That’s fantastic. But, you know, it’s, that’s not what, that’s not what sport is about. And that’s not what life’s about. I’ve kind of managed to go off on such a tangent there that I’ve forgotten the question, you

Jeff 36:44
know, that’s, that, that answers it. But yeah, I mean, the sort of my follow on those like, to pursue these goals, this goal of racing and pursuing your dream really, right, which is to compete and to be in that process, sort of constantly, like, Are there normal sort of everyday things that you’ve had to kind of cut out of your life to focus on racing? Like, if you look at your, your peers, people who are your age, that are not professional athletes? Are there things that you’re like, Man, I’m missing out on that? Or? Or does it? Does it feel like you’re not sacrificing a lot, like, Are you content to just chase your dream and, and feel like, that’s, that’s what you’re meant to do?

Rab 37:25
I don’t, I don’t necessarily even feel like I’m chasing the dream all the time. Just what I really enjoy doing is, it’s what it’s what motivates me, I feel like I’m when I was younger, I probably felt like I was sacrificing more or sometimes wouldn’t fit or almost felt like a washed out dead sacrifice more. It’s, it’s something like that. And to be honest, I think the thing that I, I am most grateful for now is that I am surrounded by people who have similar goals and ambitions and lifestyle that I do. So I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing. I don’t feel like I’m the weirdo. You know, it’s like, it’s, it seems a lot more normal to want to want to the rides, you ride my bike every day to want to train in the gym to want to eat well, and you ate good food, you know, I don’t eat you, I enjoy my food. I enjoy. Some, some days, I mean, fast food, but I’m always thinking, I do think about considerably what I eat and what I drink. I still enjoy drinking beer, but I drink a lot more frequently and drink alcohol free beer, because it’s getting a lot better. So I did I do, I did try and cut out alcohol, but I don’t feel I don’t actually feel like that’s a sacrifice anymore. And I’m certainly at that age where I don’t want to hand over yours. But I enjoy the social sides of enjoy the social sides of riding the bike. And so you’re I guess outside riding a bike, I would say My hobbies are probably eating and drinking, you know, the steak is gone for breakfast, it’s coffees and it’s, it’s a social, the social side more than, you know, as much as the experience of kind of consuming the food, I guess.

Jeff 39:15
It’s a simple life, it sounds like and you’ve kind of eliminated some of those temptations or those getting those things that like make you feel bad about the choices that you’re making. Right? Like you’re surrounded by other athletes, people who are have similar goals. And so, you know, I think a lot of us because if we’re surrounded by people who were trying to, you know, keep up with keep up with the Joneses. That’s a phrase we use in the US but like, you know, looking around at what your neighbors are doing and feeling bad because you’re not doing what they are. You know, that’s not helpful. And so it sounds like what you’re suggesting is surround yourself with others who are like minded and who are pursuing sort of similar or goals?

Rab 40:00
Yeah, I think I think I’m particularly fortunate that I’ve kind of got got to this point. Now. And I also think that I would like to think that even if I was, you know, kind of living completely alone, I would be doing these things that I enjoy doing. You know, if I wasn’t completely isolated, you know, I would still be, you know, wouldn’t be, wouldn’t be looking to chase these things out. I’ve, it’s easy enough for me to now look back. And it is has it’s been 20, over 20 years that I’ve been, you’re wanting to ride my bike pretty consistently and wanting to you enjoying him fit you. I really love being fair and being able to go, almost turn my hand to whatever I want to do that, that day, any day, like if it’s one want to climb a mountain, so I want to go ride really fast before I go do jumps, I want to go and really enjoy just having, I guess, being being able to kind of make that choice and go and do it. So I don’t see anything change. And it’s they can I’m 20 odd years deep into this. I don’t see anything changing in 20 years time, you know, I think it’s going to be my days are going to be pretty much based about you’re going to ride my bike at some point every day.

Jeff 41:12
How did you decide that that you wanted to win the British National Cross Country Championship at age 36? I mean, Had this been a goal for you at any other point? Or is this something that kind of came up recently that you were like, Yeah, that’s that’s the goal.

Rab 41:29
Yeah, I think maybe saying that I want it to win. It is is isn’t quite true. Certainly dream of winning it. I wouldn’t say I had any experience.

Jeff 41:40
And dream number two with an interesting distinction. Yeah.

Rab 41:43
So I, like I said, I love race, and I really enjoy it. And then it’s you I wanted, I really wanted to go to the British championships to see how I would perform wherever they measure up against these riders. Because, yeah, you know, a lot of it comes down to which riders turn up on the day of how you’re, what kind of what kind of shape there and how good the season they’re having. It’s, so I wanted to be there and I really just wanted to get there, execute the best race I could, then I would feel satisfied with the result, hopefully. So even if I think last, I would want to be there. And hopefully I would had executed everything as well as possible. And it’s a good I mean, it’s a high enough level race that I’m you know, excites me, I’m racing against fantastic riders. It’s also a stepping stone is a carries UCI points. So if you hadn’t done really well keep going to compete at a bigger race, World Cup or something like that. And that was that was kind of what excited me and it was like, it was more when so much I wanted to go there to when I was I wanted to go there to see how can I do? Yeah, and it’s still I’ve never won the British. I never won a British title. I’ve got one British medal to my name, won it in 2003 as a junior got the bronze medal. And I guess the year that I probably could have had the best chance of getting a medal again, would have been to those of the seventh and retired or retired in 2006. So it was uh, it was it was like you step up into a new category. So I was competing against a few older riders in the under 23 National Championships. So it’s, yeah, I I just Yeah, I like racing. I think. I like to race. I like to race when I’m feeling good. And I feel like I’ve prepared for if, if I’m racing and I’m going through the motions, I can do that for a little while. If I’m not in good shape. I can do that for bet but I would say it’s it’s not I don’t get as much out of it as I would like to be if I’m turning up and I feel prepared and ready to go.

Jeff 43:58
Yeah, well, what did you learn? What was the takeaway racing against those those younger athletes in the in the Commonwealth? or, excuse me, the National Cross Country Championship?

Rab 44:08
I don’t want to give too much away. Because sometimes some people might some people, some people may not have seen it, but what I took from it is I’m still I’m still getting better. I am 95% confident I am. I am still getting better, both physically and technically. So I I think there’s still more. I think I’ve still got more to give. I think I can still see I think it’s taker, I can still get the best results ever. You I’m still setting personal there. I mean think that was one of the things that really inspired this project was the satin personal best power, power numbers and yomo watts per kilogram were were higher than I’d ever seen that I was I was writing a lot more with the power meter that’s for sure than I ever had done. But my my data was suggesting that I was still getting better and I could still get better and that was really after Maybe, I don’t know, like, six months of maybe six months are really good training, maybe not even as much as that, like, maybe. I think, I think there was maybe three months, when I, when I knew the film was going ahead, I really buckled down and, and went went all in. But that was probably only for three months or so. So we’re starting to see like, there’s there’s more gabot still there. I still feel like there’s Wait,

Jeff 45:26
was that surprising to you? I mean, did you think you were gonna have to rely more on just kind of outsmarting these writers to get an advantage? Or? Or did you think it was possible? Do you think yeah, you know, I feel like, I’m 36. But I can, I can still get stronger and faster.

Rab 45:43
Yeah, it was then it was, it was a bit of a surprise, to be honest. In the west side of WordPress, that was a surprise. And then I was a bit more confident and it going into this year, and kind of ready to go, but it’s, I just can’t I get really motivated by just seeing the improvement. I think that’s part of the blessing that having having this data, you know, and having, you’ve seen some power creep up, and you’re seeing that I can actually, you know, I genuinely lost 10 kilos, the, the west side and work and I went from 75 kilograms to 65. Wow. And, you know, and I was like, Oh, my God, because you know, when you get older, you go, Oh, it’s just, it’s harder, you just put weight on, it just happens, you know, and you. And I got to that point where I’m like, Wow, I’m like, I’m actually and lean in, and I feel strong, and I’m writing fast. So it was a bit of an eye opener. And then you’re this year, it started to translate in terms of rise I was doing, I was setting PBS on claims and was setting TVs on upset routes and trails, and that, again, is never going to be the best, I’m never going to be Tom Pidcock. You know, he’s his early 20s. And he’s but he’s the, it’s not his age, that makes him better than me, he is just much better than me, he’s one of the best, you’re one of the best bike riders on the planet. And, and I’m not, I’m still good, and I still got more a gap, and I can still get there. So it’s, it’s all about enjoying that journey and enjoying the process. And, and it’d be better than I was yesterday, that’s, that’s what I’m trying to do. Yeah, try not get too intimidated by the younger riders or the faster riders. You know, it’s an old also just, I think, just get those writers credit as well, you know, as you see them putting on an awesome ride. And, you know, if you’re, if they’re doing it, when they’re young, you’ve got to go, Wow, that’s amazing that you’re doing that so young, with without the experience, you know, you don’t have the experience I’ve got and you’re making these, you’ve got a wide head on your shoulders, you’re making good decisions, you’re disciplined, you’re training hard, you’ve got self belief, that’s amazing, that should be applauded. And then similarly, if it’s an older writer, who’s you’re putting in the hard yards, and learning new skills, and still setting them yourself, challenges go, well, that’s also amazing, that should be celebrated. So if a writer is better, as a new, I like to kind of applaud them and, and respect them, you know, I think that’s one of the things I take a lot from as if I do have the respect of my peers, if I have the respect of the writers I compete against if they think I’m doing a good job, and then Raven, well, I take a lot from that as well. So

Jeff 48:21
yeah, and that’s so applicable to all of us, no matter what level we’re at, you know, to use that to motivate us and to always have a goal of of getting better and learning and, and yeah, just just having more fun on the bike as well. So one of the themes from the series is this idea of play. And when we’re younger play seems to come naturally, we love playing around, but when we get older, it seems like it’s not really a big part of our lives. So why do you think play is so important?

Rab 48:53
It’s funny one because I, I don’t really feel like everyone who stopped.

I used to, I used to have a bad bio See how I’m very different to a lot of my friends a lot of my peers you know, a lot of people that I grew up with have suddenly stopped and and I just seem to have continued I think I used to have so if you get guessed that I’m a bit goofy and I used to have this bit of a joke mantra that I used to share with my friends who are who were studying law degrees and they were doing all these you know, I guess all these career type things and I would say that my my main motivation was to do have a lifestyle where I can just have fun, and I used to I used to budget it’d be nice to just like to chill out and have fun basically so I haven’t have I mean, I had a day job I always had a day job and I had a career but it seemed one of the main things that motivated me through life was that I just wanted to enjoy things and fun has been fun is absolutely the core of that so that’s why I’ve read array to BMX biker raid skate park so raid. I watch a lot of film or listen to a lot of new MUSIC You know me, you I think that is one thing is that comes across in this film as I love riding my bike, but I also love the medium of film and making entertain entertaining. The fact that I’m making entertaining films is about cycling, there’s a total dream of mine too. But yeah, I’m maybe not the best person to talk to about this idea of of play as an adult, because I don’t think I’ve ever really stopped.

Jeff 50:26
Yeah, I mean, skateboarding, skateboarding is one of those things. I mean, there’s lots of adults that do it. But I think for most adults, that’s it’s terrifying. Like, why would I do that? Like I could get hurt? And what’s the point? I’m not going I’m not trying to get anywhere on it. I’m just, I’m just investing around like, Who has time for that? Yeah, I’m

Rab 50:46
scared to skateboarding as well. I need I need a handlebar as a Yeah, it’d be more likely to be on a scooter, I think they’re the same. I mean, I think it comes down to what, what motivates you as well, and what you enjoy doing, because there’s tons of, there’s tons of dangerous or, I guess, things that you could do to play that I don’t do. It just so happens that I ride the bike is something that I’m really hooked on, and something I’m really passionate about. So I do use a bike for less playful things, you know, I do a road ride and I do love, you know, a train on their indoor trainer and all that kind of stuff. But I do I do. I do continue to play I guess I think I’m just lucky that I have a sport that I guess rewards playing and learning. I guess I don’t often there may be looks like playing a lot of time. Actually bass is quite often it’s, it’s pretty nice a regimented. But if I do have a clear goal, that not that often that I’ll go right and do something without any without any ankle. So maybe, maybe I maybe I don’t play that often. Maybe it’s more practice. I don’t know. Yeah.

Jeff 52:05
So like, you go on a ride it and you go with other people, right? And for me, you know, say we’re going out and we’re like, we’re gonna ride this 20 mile loop. And, you know, for me, I’m, I’m thinking about the end the whole time, right? I’m like, Okay, we’re gonna ride up this hill, or we’re gonna go down, and then we’re gonna go back to the start. And then I’ll find myself riding in this group. And I see, like, one of the guys, you know, he found a route that he, you know, popped off of, and, you know, I’m like, wait, hold on, I was just gonna go like, straight over that, or I was gonna avoid it completely, because I’m thinking about the end. But, you know, some people are able to, like, see that into really, like, Be playful along the way. Like, does that sort of come naturally for you? Is that part of your training?

Rab 52:49
Yeah, I said, I would be that guy, I would be the guy wanting to do wanting to do a wall ride or wanting to do just want to do a jump or wanting to, like, get some style and on the jump or whatever, and take my hands off. But again, it’s about is, yeah, it’s an interesting one. It is what is the, you know, there’s probably gold too. And it’s the fact that I want it to look a certain way or I want it to, you know, again, it’s because I I’ve seen I’ve seen writers that I respect or you’re like doing similar things, so I guess it’s that expression as well. So there’s a there’s like a creative channel to that as well as just I guess just I’m just doing it just for the sake of it, you know, I’m doing it for guess there is there is like an end game in mind, you know,

Jeff 53:39
right. But yeah, but it sounds like you can do both right? You can do you can have that goal but you can do it with style and do it your own way sort of make it playful.

Rab 53:48
certainly enjoy it. I guess it’s I guess it’s how do you how do you what’s the definition of play? Because you know, if at some point you just enjoy doing something then you know I’m playing when I’m doing interval training sessions on the train you know or right or whatever it is that I did I think I definitely do try keep things fun for sure. As well as social status thing that says you stop and for stopping for a coffee and a laugh and a joke on a on a on a long road ride or whatever bus Yeah, how do you define play? It’s yeah, I guess it is about learning through play isn’t it so there is an end goal but you’re you’re having fun while they do and so so I remember getting asked by the the director in the West End away from he was like, you’ve talked about having fun and like playing and you’re you know this stuff but it looks like you’re training really hard. And you’re and it’s actually really strength which isn’t like playing a tall Yeah, yeah, it was like I just I do enjoy it like enjoy your enjoy. Just enjoy the process. Like they say enjoy the journey. Enjoy. Take care. Second off the objectives I’m trying to trying to get done. You know, I don’t even often know what the end goal is that you say there’s like, there’s a bit of an idea. But it’s I guess that you find where you go and as you as you go through it.

Jeff 55:12
Yeah. And like you said, it is biking, after all. So even when we’re serious at biking, it’s not like we’re sitting down to write a legal contract or, you know, getting a quote on insurance like this is, you know, yeah, if, if we comparing it to other things that people do and spend their time at, you know, I mean, pretty much the whole thing is play. If you look at it, you know, compared to the bigger picture.

Rab 55:37
Yeah, and I’m

having a conversation. My girlfriend was talking to me about this recently. And she was saying things like, when she finishes, when she finishes competing as a cyclist, she would, you know, she loves organizing stuff she likes really likes, like planning trips, and research and flights and all this kind of stuff. And I’m just, that is like, absolute hell, to me. There’s, there’s nothing, I would, I would hate to do that. But she like she she enjoys that, again, enjoys that process enjoys, like getting everything organized. Everything’s been in line. And, you know, she was actually talking about this. Someone who works in the, in the event series that she was competing, and doing this job, and they’ve been brilliant at that job. And just being like, it seems that they are into that, you know, it’s like, and it’s not again, they’re not they’re not bluffing, they’re motivated. They want to do it. It’s, it’s, it’s not it’s not easy, but it’s alright, it’s just there’s the satisfaction in it. I think I would have to work really hard to try and do that and probably wouldn’t take. Charlie wouldn’t come that naturally to me. I wouldn’t feel like I was good at. But yeah, I mean, maybe need to get better at that can be my next goal. Yeah, be more organized.

Jeff 56:52
Well, you mentioned it earlier that, you know, a number of folks said, hey, you know, you’re 36 years old, like you’re still young. And on the flip side of that, you know, these 18 year olds that you’re competing against, they’re saying that guy is old. Right? So, so old age is relative, depending on what age you are and who you’re talking to. But I’m curious, like, have you thought about what you’re going to be doing on the bike at age 50? Or even 70? I mean, an age that there’s not a lot of people beyond that age that are going to be riding so what do you see yourself doing when you’re, you’re really the old old guy out on the trail.

Rab 57:32
It’s not really something that I’ve pondered out, to be honest, but just asking the question is really made me think about Sandy Wallace, who so the series is the whole series, every episode is dedicated in loving memory of Sandy Wallace. And he was the he owned the bike shop and ran the club that I started with as a teenager. He passed away this year. Not long after we’d filmed the series. But he was riding this bike all the way up till now he was racing. He was doing my Masters World Championships when I when I started racing. He was racing mountain bikes mostly. And then he was doing the long distance time trail race and in the UK, he was doing track racing in the Velodrome. We have our first indoor velodrome opened in Scotland and he started doing track sprinting, and uns in his late 60s and into his 70s You know, and it’s like, that’s why I’m gonna be like, I’m gonna be late. Right? It just you’re getting you may be getting older and you weren’t as fast as you once were, but you just start moving the goalposts a little bit like how do we and he, you know, he was the other thing he was he did a lot was he really supported other riders resupport support and young writers, you know, he sponsored young riders, he sponsored older riders as well and he was always involved in, you know, in, in running a club and, and helping you know, and I think, you know, as I’d like to think I’ll be riding my bike as long as I can. Exactly how that is if it’s, if it has been just be doing the club ride on a weekend or taking people to go out and mellow trail ride or gravel ride or, or whatever, or maybe I’ll be still looking at push, push, push myself and a skatepark who knows? The I literally can’t tell you what I’ll be doing but I’m pretty certain I’ll be riding a bike. I’m pretty certain I still want to compete in some way and yeah, I’m sure I’ll be you know, as long as it puts a smile on my face, I’ll still be doing it. And then he was funny as well. It kind of stresses me out doing it as well like you do get really nervous going into events and question why I’m doing it all the time. But it’s uh, yeah, just I say it in the series a whole lot. I just love it. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s why I do is I think, doesn’t define me but is A big part of my life. I love it.

Jeff 1:00:03
Yeah, yeah. i A few weeks ago, I went on a bike ride with a friend who I’ve known for a few years now, who’s 86 years old, and he rides bikes. And I was like, You know what, like, I would like to go on a ride with you, you know, knowing that, like, we’re going to go in kind of a slow pace. And you know, it’s going to be different from the rides that normally do. But yeah, I mean, one of the things I learned from him was just like, confidence, like, we were riding on the road, but he would just kind of put his hand out, like, we’re going through an intersection or whatever, you just put his hand out, like kind of stopping traffic, and just, he was gonna go wherever he wanted to go. And I was like, wow, like, I don’t have that, that amount of competence. And it made me realize that, you know, I can learn so much. I mean, one, I’m motivated a lot by that to think, well, you know, at six years old, I would, I would love to still be writing, but also realizing, there’s still so much that I need to learn about biking and so much I can gain from that, like, what do you what do you see as the things that are still left for you to learn and experience on the bike,

Rab 1:01:12
when it comes to progressing as a rider, there’s always something that you can work on. It’s a it’s a cornering you. I think that’s part of the beauty of mountain biking as well as like the, the sport is progressing you and it’s like, you have to procreate you, you don’t have to, but you can progress with it. So if it’s right and beggar drops, bigger jumps, tighter corners, steeper slopes, there’s always something new, there’s always a new trail terrain as well. So you can and that, and that takes so many other boxes as well. Because you take the the idea of adventure, you know, you can travel to new places, you can meet new people, it’s there’s so much there’s, there’s so many things that that I take from cycling and from mountain biking. And that is, I think that says I just always want to be progressing. It’s almost set setting, setting many goals along the way, whether it’s going to another country riding a new trail, meeting new people doing a different kind of race, going to an event, you know, so many, there’s so much, there’s so much to be done. And I’m really, I’m just, I guess I’m just enjoying the prospect of that’s can happen. Moving moving forward. Again, it’s like a lot of the time, it’s how you frame it, how do you how do you view something, what lens do you choose to look at it through, then you can look at it through a negative one or a positive one. And I do my best to look for positives. I do, oh, I’m the same as anyone they can see, I’m very human, I have the negative lens on a lot of the time too. And I guess it’s just about trying to catch yourself when you’re using it and, and see if you can reframe what you’re looking at, or what you’re saying about doing because sometimes I can look at and say I’m just doing the same old things from you know, a ride the same routes, a lot of the time when I read the same, you know, I’m doing the same kind of training, that kind of stuff can be can be quite repetitive. And you can look at it two ways. I guess it’s but I think why? You know, and I’m definitely looked at in different ways over the last 20 years. I’ve definitely seen the negatives. And right now, I feel like I’ve seen positives, I think they can say they’ve still got a lot ahead of me, I can still get better. I still really enjoy it. You know, that’s that hasn’t changed. And I guess that’s that’s just something to be to be kind of grateful for.

Jeff 1:03:43
Yeah, absolutely. Yes. super inspiring. And, yeah, to hear sort of your outlook on mountain biking. I think for all of us, we can connect with that no matter what age we are, or whether your goal is to win races or just to have fun. Yeah, it’s a really super, super helpful message. So thank you for taking the time to chat. Always a pleasure. And appreciate it.

Rab 1:04:07
Yeah, it’s great. And I really appreciate coming on. And I think one thing that just just to add one thing to add is, uh, you know, it’s great to inspire people. But I think one thing that I you know, there’s a selfish side to this, I’m inspiring myself, I’m definitely you know, there’s a lot less I’m doing, I’m doing for me, and if I can share that it’s, it makes it even better though. It’s like if I can share and inspire is that I take a lot of inspiration from the community of bike riders from the other riders that are right where the right race against and I think that’s part of that shared community and that shared journey. So it’s not it’s a pleasure, I wouldn’t be doing these things. So if there wasn’t a wasn’t people to do it with.

Jeff 1:04:49
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Well, you can watch the series old enough to know better on YouTube, and you can keep up with Rob on his website and more have a link to that in the show notes so we’ve got this week we’ll talk to you again next week

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