From EWS Or Bust To GMBN – With Rich Payne | The GMBN Podcast Ep. 36

From EWS Or Bust To GMBN – With Rich Payne | The GMBN Podcast Ep. 36


– This is going to be an exciting podcast, because, actually, it wasn’t
planned to be like this, because you’re about to
hear from Rich Payne, who is an EWS Super Star, and as you’re going to find
out is our new GMBN presenter. But you’re not supposed to
know that until tomorrow. So check out The Dirt Shed Show tomorrow, because there’s more coming on it. But for now, it’s over at Henry to tell us all about Rich Payne. Who is this guy? – Hello everyone and
welcome to the GMBN podcast. This week, something really exciting. We have our new presenter, Richard Payne. So I thought I’d get him on, and hope to get to know
him a little bit better. As always, you can watch
this here on YouTube or you can enjoy the conversation on your podcast streaming
service of choice. As always, don’t forget
to like and subscribe, and I hope you enjoy the conversation. Cheers! (air whooshes)
(dirt rustles) So Richard Payne, welcome to the channel. – Henry, thank you for having me. (Henry laughs) It’s good to be here. (laughs) It’s nice to be on the channel. – So you’re actually taking a
huge weight off my shoulders, I will no longer be the GMBN new boy. – [Rich] Someone’s got
to take up that mantle and I’ll do it. – I’m kind of becoming
like the year eight, no longer the smallest kid. – Yeah. – Which is obviously
a great relief for me. – Yeah. I remember those days. (Henry laughs)
Turning the year seven, terrified of your little
blazer and your new tie on. Do kids still wear blazers
and ties to school? I don’t know. – So let’s just talk a bit about you. Grew up actually local to
the area, Somerset lad. – [Rich] Born and bred. – Yeah. (laughs) – Strong in the arm, thick in the head. (Both laugh) – But you haven’t been
living in this area, we’re based in Bath for
those that don’t know, in the Southwest of the UK. And you haven’t been living
in this area for very long. You’ve kind of come back to it. – I have, yeah. So I’ve lived in Jersey… for the last, what, just under 12 years? – [Henry] Wow. – Until coming back for this
job sort of thing, yeah. – [Henry] I can only
presume you lived there for lucrative tax. The tax reasons, obviously. – Obviously, no. (Both laugh) – You had a pretty… cool angle on your
racing career, I suppose. So based out of Jersey, and you were doing what I
thought was a pretty cool series and sort of ahead of
its time, EWS or Bust. – [Rich] Yep. – Which was there you traveled the world, racing your bike at a
very, very high level. – I thhought you were
going to say vlogging then. I’m glad you didn’t say vlogging. (Henry laughs) But I did, it kind of was, yeah. It was actually me and
my partner at the time. It was never really a concept
to like put it out there. We were just going to make a video just for something cool to remember. Like all our travels and stuff,
going to all these races. But it actually turns out, a lot of people liked it. So we ended up putting it out there and it became a bit more legit. Since then there has
been a privateer series. I like to think none is good. (Both laugh) – I mean obviously racing, EWS which is still… a series in it’s infancy in some regard. – Yeah, in comparison to
everything else out there, I think yeah. – How did it change
for you over the years? Because we saw people when
EWS started coming about, and there was a lot of privateers. And I think privateers could
get very strong results. Did you see the sort
of field of play change over those years you were racing it? – Yeah, definitely. I think as the years went on, the standard has definitely got higher. And I think as there series
itself has become, again, a bit more legit, a bit more official, better locations, better run, bigger sponsors coming in, the caliber of riders it’s
attracted has just raised. – Cause that’s a really
interesting point you make. What do you think was the main
factor behind the standard? Maybe that’s not fair, but there does seem to be, obviously, a level of higher level
professionalism from money which does help. Which it wouldn’t be fair to
assume that’s going to lead to better racing in some ways
or higher standard of racing. But there seems to be a lot of
fresh, young, exciting talent in there, which maybe there
wasn’t on its inception. – Yeah, interesting. I wouldn’t have said the
prize money’s very good, but the prestige of it is really high. To be like ranked up there in the EWS is a big achievement. The courses are gnarly, the days are long. So, I think that is what draws people. And I think the amount of
bike time you get as well. The quality of the bike
time is really good. Also I think in the past, entry system has changed over the years. So they used to like a
first come, first serve and a lottery system. Now they serve pre-qualifying, and then it’s harder to get a spot now. So all of these little factors
just help raise the game and make it tough. – But something that boggles my mind, it really twists my melon with EWS… – [Rich] Man. – Man. Is how the hell, after
say 40 minutes of racing, all those crashes and those mechanicals, and it’s often the same
kind of often familiar faces in say the top five, all separated by sometimes
literally fractions of a second on stages. How it all averages out in such a– – And they’re all (beep), aren’t they? – But say they have a crash
that costs them 10 seconds. It’s funny they all have crashes
and it all works out there. – If you ride for that long a time, even the best riders in
the world will slip up. It’s very hard to ride at full tilt in it for 40 minutes up to an hour sometimes, if not a little more without making a slip up. So by law of averages, I suppose, – [Henry] It will.
– Each one of them’s going to make a little slip up somewhere. – Yeah, it’s just fascinating.
– They all just make really really fast slip ups.
(Both laugh) – It’s just fascinating when you look at a downhill world cup, which is an elite level, and people practice in
these lines, et cetera. And when you… get a result in EWS, and say with five stages, and it’s literally 10 seconds
between the top three. And you divide it by the five stages, you realize how close these times are. – Yeah, it’s crazy, isn’t it?
– Yeah, it seems like them. – Again, if you compare it to a downhill, it’s just three to five minutes,
should we say, on average? – Yep. – And an average EWS stage might be five to seven or eight minutes… over six or so stages or possibly more. Yeah, it’s a lot of time. So for it still to be so tight, I think’s a testament to how
good all the guys really are. – Obviously the people racing wasn’t the only thing that changed, the stages and the racing themself. I think one of the cool
things about the EWS, right from its inception, is it never tried to bottleneck itself into one particular format. They said, “What if there’s a
trail or if we might use it. – [Rich] Yeah, definitely. – What was your perception… of the stages and how… And was the racing harder some years? Cause I think it was
last year everyone said, “Wow, that was…” I’m sorry, the year before.
– Yeah it was the year before. – That was too much maybe. – Obviously I lived on an island. It was about 330 foot tall. So all the stages were pretty wild… (Both laugh) in that sense! (laughs) When you’re on an island nine by five and about 330 foot tall is I think… anything over a slight gradient is a pretty wild stage to us. You could see it, I think, over the years as, again, the sort of a bar was raised, so were the level of
the length of the days, the stages, the liaisons to a point where, like you said, two years ago now, it maybe just went a bit too far. Because you can still
have these crazy days and gnarly stages without
making us pedal… 20 miles between liaisons or whatever, or making the liaison times. I think that’s what happened, was the liaison times
started getting very tight. So actually you’re doing
like an XC sprint race to get to the next stage in time. And you’re trying to recover,
get yourself together, get your food, drink inside you, get your kit sorted again, and then dropping straight
into an eight minute… world cup stage. And it just was probably
a little too much. I feel like this year or last year, sorry, they’ve reigned that in a bit. The stages are, don’t get me wrong, still really tough stages, but the liaison timing
and sort of food stations, things like that, are
probably far more manageable. – Yeah, because when we watch, me as somebody that loves
watching EWS and the highlights, we obviously, we never
really get the full picture, because it’s highlighted. You don’t see… You can watch the helmet cams and stuff, but I think it’s quite the same. With the EWS, sometimes I find… with the alpine stuff, personally, it doesn’t have to always be that steep, but sometimes it’s literally
not made for bikes. – [Rich] No. – And that makes it super technical, and often high consequence. Wasn’t that much of that stuff in the stages?
– Yeah. I think Zermatt the last round last year was a perfect example of that. A lot of the trails
are like walker tracks, which would have these like stone… I don’t know. Like stone curbs almost across them to help like
water drainage off of them. They run at like 45 degrees to the trails. So you’re like pinning it down, and all of sudden, you got to like bunny
hop this big ole curb, otherwise you just smash into it and write a wheel off. And those aren’t obviously
in a mountain bike track, they’re manmade, but they’re in a walker’s trail. So you do see it, but the walker’s trail’s
obviously get really worn, they’re just as us. They might not be as steep, but they’re blooming long and really hard. (Henry laughs) To tell you that was your–
– Physical, as well I bet. – Ah, yeah. – You obviously raced the EWS. – Yeah. – Growing up, dare I say it, you might have had a few more Summers than you being a young wet behind the ears to the EWS’s inception. – Yeah definitely. – What was racing all about
for you when you were younger? – Oh it was proper grass roots… Local, short, fun, little downhills… really relaxed. I think at some races, they still even used like stop
watches and stuff for timing, so it was proper chilled out. You just turn up. Everyone knew everyone, it was really fun. It’s not like now, I think even say it like
quite grass roots how everyone talks about training and practicing. You would just go there,
mess about with your buddies, do some runs, and have a good day. Like obviously, when you start going up to like maybe bigger series
or nationals and stuff, it was a bit more serious. You always want to do well, but it was just fun. – Because in the Southwest though, there was a really strong
riding scene, I guess. – I’d say there still is! – I’m sorry, there still is. (Rich laughs) – I’m thinking, in that time, the Athertons before they moved to… – Yeah, loads of guys.
– Wales. I just think that must’ve
been such a cool thing to see what way you all end up. – Yeah, definitely. Like we had a strong group
even going to school. So like me and Gee and Rach
went to school together. And Dan Stanbridge, who rode
for Mojo and stuff at the time, and quite a few others. And then there was like
a bit further West, like all the Western
boys and loads of guys. Loads of us used to go to
all these little local races, and then we’d go further a field. And everyone knew everyone, and meet up at the weekends to go riding. And we’d go ride at lunch time in school and stuff like this. Yeah, we had a proper
right little crew of us. It was real good fun. And then you get older, don’t you? (Both laugh) – You know you’re racing in the Southwest, was that predominately downhill? – Yes, like enduro didn’t exist. – The more I think you
dabbled in four-cross, though. – Yeah, I raced… I started off in downhill. Then as I got a bit older, we had a good BMX track
near us called Burnham, and I really liked a bit, BMX like the tracks and stuff. And four-cross was then… like getting bigger. So I did some four-cross
racing, did alright. Did some nationals and did pretty good, a couple of world cups
and stuff like that. I didn’t move away from downhill, cause downhill’s all what
we had to ride around home. But four-cross, I found it fun
racing against other people. I like a bit of elbows out action. four-cross is different, cause you’ve got like a physical target… if someone’s in front of you or behind you not to get bashed off in
a corner or something, so it’s different. – See, a friend of mine realized that, and it’s actually pretty sneaky, I don’t know how much I
should be endorsing this. – (laughs) Okay. – He realized that for spectator tickets to the world cup at Fort Bill, was x amount of money, but if you entered the world… Sorry, the four-cross, and you’re allowed two
part, your assistance team, for his brother and his girlfriend. He just raced a world cup, didn’t qualify, didn’t care. (laughs) – And you get better passes as well. – And you get a better pass. (Both laugh) – That’s good thinking. – I think four-cross in the
UK’s going to be on the up about 700 entries. (Both laugh) But yeah, pretty cool. – Yeah, it’s true, though. You do get like passes. I think you get like a family pass and like a mechanic’s pass on top of your race entry and stuff. – Smart thinking. – Yeah. The misses suddenly becomes a
mechanic for like the weekend and things like that. (Both laugh) – I want to talk to you about location. Cause it’s something that I find… It’s such an interesting thing for me. You know I grew up in the UK. – [Rich] Yep, a lot of people ask me this, so this is an interesting one. – I moved to New Zealand. I also lived in France. – [Rich] Oh? – I find… I’ve been spoiled. – Yeah, those are some
pretty good riding spots. – Yeah. I’ve said I love riding my bike here. And it offers things that… New Zealand and France
doesn’t offer in some ways. Mainly I feel here, when you feel like you
find a real secret spot or like a real lowery trail. – [Rich] No one can make a muddy rut track like the Brits can. – But in New Zealand, because it’s such a high amount of riders in a small spot in Greenstone, it will be alone for about 25 minutes, and then it’ll be rutted out. But here, you can actually ride… For the stuff I like to
ride, there are plus points and bad points.
– Did you find there then that the riding was really
concentrated in certain areas. – Yeah, I would say so. – Where as it here, we might
be really spread out I think. Everyone’s got their own
little local spot here. – It has, but the thing with Queenstown, it’s quite a weird spot, because it’s a resort town. There are the known trails
and the unknown trails. – (sighs) Off pieced. – Yeah, and the bike park was fantastic. And when I first got there, they didn’t really understand
that mountain biking’s what you can making money off. They thought it was a bit of
a pain in the neck I think. But then they realized Skyline, a bitch my first season
there, put in so much work, and now it’s incredible riding. – Yeah, it’s pretty big
time there now, isn’t it? – Yeah, and it’s got some of
the secret stuff is just… – [Rich] Don’t say it.
– unreal. Don’t ever go, guys. (Rich laughs) – Discourage everyone.
– Don’t turn up. – [Both] It’s not worth it. – No, it’s miles away. – Yeah, it always rains. Crap riding.
(Rich laughs) Some of the interesting, we
touched on them earlier on, going to school with the Athertons. – Yep. – They moved to Wales. – Yeah. – I’m thinking pretty much
for the quality of the riding, would you prefer to say? – Yeah, pretty much. – They made the decision. – But those guys are banging
out like top results from… year seven. – Yeah. – You know those guys are,
and still are obviously, the same bike riders and racers. They were setting fastest times of the day when they were in youth
categories and stuff like this. – Oh, that’s not good. – Yeah. I remember Gee. I think Gee got like… We were at a race and he was in youths, so 15, 16 maybe, and he got fastest time of
the day in national I think. – Oh wow. – He could hold his own then.
– Was he on a muddy fox as well? – I think it was! (Both laugh) I think it survived the race. (Both laugh) – So then going from the
Southwest to Jersey… – [Rich] Yep. – I know it sounds a bit stupid, but being a main lander to an islander, is there a difference in mentality? Is there a difference in… I think sort of with an
element of kind of… I’m sure there’s many great
things about island life. – Yeah. – But it’s a lot more restricted, on literally where you can go. – Yeah, I would’ve said I
was pretty naive at the time. So I was still racing a lot
of four-cross and downhill and stuff like this. And I was like, “Oh, I’ll move to Jersey.” I moved over with like a friend. UK was going through a bit of a tough time with I think the recession
and all that stuff. I had not long finished uni, so I was like, “Yeah, crack
on, let’s go to Jersey. Sounds delightful. I’ll just keep racing. It’ll be fine to sail back
or fly back or whatever.” Get over there and I’m like, “Oh, they don’t even
have any dirt jumps… or a BMX track, say, or actually any tracks that I know about. This could be trickier than I thought. And it’s very small.” – When we talk about islands, UK islands, off the UK mainland, people think the Isle of Wight, the Isle of Man. They’re a lot closer–
– [Rich] Yeah, they are… – than Jersey.
– [Rich] within miles. – Jersey’s almost–
– [Rich] 75 miles. – How close is Jersey to France? – [Rich] 14. – 14. – And actually that comes
back to EWS briefly. That’s why… I made the decision to start
racing more EWS’s and things, cause it’s actually cheaper
for us to go to Europe… – Oh wow. – than it was to get the boat to the UK. And it was way quicker.
(Henry laughs) It’s a four and a half
hour boat to get to the UK from Jersey, it’s an hour
and a half over to France, it’s cheaper, and the riding’s better. So it just made sense… in a way. – [Rich] No, I understand. – You still got tolls and
petrol and things that you know, all those normal racing away things, but actually worked out easier to race in EWS, which was mental. – I thought it was like
part and pass or bat sort of recommended procedure
for an EWS privateer just to bump with the toll wards. Just follow my bumper, mate! It’ll be alright. Just bloody hell. Keep it close lads. (Both laugh) Just start going the extra 10 hours adding onto a journey, surfing on all these obscure… We tried a couple of
times, it’s just a hassle. So we drove a big buff camper van, big sprinter, long wheel base thing. And you’re going through all these like E roads I guess. And you’re just like oh my God. (Henry laughs) Get sea sick in this thing.
(Both laugh) So you’re like, “No,
I’ll suck up the cost.” – How do you feel your
progression as a rider, do you feel that was affected by just anything you had to appreciate different elements more. – And I would’ve said it’s
affected, unfortunately. Like I said, I was naive moving over, thinking that nothing would really change. And I realized the cost of
traveling away’s loads more, the riding. Let’s say the first
couple years, not too bad, cause you’re discovering
all this new stuff and you’re still so fairly fresh. But then what I would compare it to, is it’s really good riding in Jersey. I’d actually recommend people
going there to check it out. It’s a lovely place, but it’s like riding
the same trail center… all the time. Imagine your local trail center. You probably think, “Oh I got a wicked trail center near me.” Now imagine riding nothing else, ever. – [Henry] Yep. – It suddenly might become a bit tedious and then wear a bit thin. – How was that you know people, I said about Richie Rude, in his hometown, there isn’t
big mountains and woods. It’s remarkable how such a talented rider, you know junior downhill world champion, and obviously then went on
to achieve everything in EWS. – [Rich] Yeah, definitely. – How did you practice? Just pick one corner and… (Both laugh) – I’m (beep) talking. I’m really good at left handers. (Both laugh) You know what I mean? No, I’m terrible at left handers. – [Henry] Oh, you have Zoolander syndrome. – (laughs) Yeah! No, so like fitness is obviously something that I can practice. Road riding, XC riding, stuff like that. You cannot turbo train in gym stuff. You can do that wherever. Your terrain doesn’t
particularly limit you too much to that. Obviously we didn’t have the elevation. So we didn’t have really
long downhill tracks. So you just try as hard as
you can on what you’ve got. Make it work. – Cause we’ve come from… You probably had a similar experience. But we’ve done different things. I moved, picked up my whole life, and moved it for the riding. You made it work. – Yeah, I suppose– – What would your advice be… because I’m probably quite proponent being like just pack your bags and move. What would your advice be
to a young, budding racer… – Yeah? – And they want to get better, but perhaps they don’t have
the terrain available to them. What would you– – Just make the most of what you’ve got. If you got a stretch of
land or a hill or whatever, rather than just build, build, build loads of different things, build a good track, nail it, get really good on it, adapt to it. Don’t just build a whole
other track possibly. Cause we were limited
with space in Jersey. I always think people try
and build all these tracks and squeeze them into– And they would all be about
the same kind of track rather than… I mean you’re not really
allowed to build in Jersey, so we didn’t build tracks too. – [Henry] We’re going to gloss over that. – (laughs) But instead of
like improving on a track that you had, I don’t know, make the corners
tighter, deeper, faster, bigger jumps. I don’t know, bring in some dirt or rocks, and then you can make a rock garden. I would suggest that. And then things you can control easier. So like fitness wise, road
ride, and turbo training, and gym stuff. Those are all things you can work on without having to… be too dependent upon your environment. – [Henry] Yep. – Unless you live in the
middle of nowhere, maybe. I don’t know. Obviously kids can’t just drive somewhere if you’re really young
or something like that. When you hit that sort of racing age, generally you’re 17, 18 plus, aren’t you? So things like the gym work out, get a little plan together. Just be organized. It all helps. – So you mentioned
there was, in some ways, made more sense to go to the
European continent and race, and do the EWS’s. If you had stayed in the UK
in God’s country, Somerset, do you think you would’ve ended up doing more downhill racing? Would it had been Downhill
World Cups or Bust? – I don’t know about downhill world cups. I mean downhill’s tough, isn’t it? Well, EWS is tough. It definitely would’ve probably changed– I think I probably
would’ve stuck to downhill, cause I really liked riding downhill. But then, I daren’t say, as a lot of racers do get a bit older, they might make the move to
sort of race a bit of enduro. I’d like to think that
hopefully EWS or Bust would’ve still happened. I had a wicked time doing it. I don’t plan on slowing up
too much just yet anyways. (Both laugh)
– I was going to say– – Nah, it’s not the end. – We’ve sort of been
chatting over this last time, these last couple of weeks, and you seem to be very competitive still. – [Rich] Yeah, I am.
– Just if I mention something, anything to do with bikes, it’s really cool and I
think this is brilliant, but noticed you often talk
about it in a race environment. Or like we’re talking about enduro bike, oh that would be really good for racing. Or you’ll talk about turbo, that would be really good for this. – Yeah, about getting the most out of something.
– Would you ever fancy– – Yeah, I’m sure the boys
would be signing you up for God knows what in durofied racing. Is there any other sort
of racing you enjoy? Can we get you on a downhill bike? – Definitely. I haven’t owned a downhill bike
for about five years, sadly. Cause it just wasn’t worth it in Jersey. I sold it, didn’t need it. And enduro bikes now are
so good, aren’t they? That if you got fairly mellow downhills, you can get away with it. Do you know I like to race cross country? – [Henry] Yep. – I do like a bit of XC. That’s like… I hate it at the time, but then afterwards, I actually enjoy it. – I think though, and it’s
something I always talk about, but the best fun you’ll ever had, isn’t fun at the time. – Oh, yeah.
– You look back and go– – A lot of it, I would agree there. – But you find yourself
recounting a tale of repine, and about how amazing it was. Oh, man this ride. And then you actually think, “Actually I hated every second of that.” – I feel that about cycle goat races I did a cycle goat race
on my mountain bike. It was horrendous.
(Henry laughs) I mean it’s the same as an XC, but I mean kind of longer and obvious. Your heart’s just red lining for, what, an hour thirty, whatever? My God, not this hill for
seventh or eighth time. Something like that.
(Both laugh) And afterwards, you’re like, “Oof. My heart rate’s finally got below 180, and I actually quite enjoyed that.” (Both laugh) – Do you think then that with, sort of… You know you do see a
trend of people saying, “Oh, the enduro bikes are so good now.” And they are. – [Rich] Yeah. – Do you think you could
justify having a downhill bike in this area? – I do. When we went to bike park
Wales the other day shooting… I was like, “Man, even
like riding bike park Wales has got some wicked tracks.” But even there, I think
there’s probably only a couple that you could justify a downhill bike on. Even there, I was on a
fairly short travel, 130 mil. Alright, you can probably bump
it up to 150, 160, whatever. 130 or 29, and I was having
a blast on all the trails And doing most the trails. So to justify going up to a… – It seems to me, though,
it’s the four-cross sort of riders mentality. Because I think that some people
that come from four-cross, and have raced that sort of thing, and people that have a lot of fine skills, see the bike as nimble and agile weapon. – [Rich] Oh yeah, very. – That people with lack
of skills… (coughs) yours truly, I like to have the blanket
of 200 mili travel. I love riding downhill–
– That’s your fail safe. (Rich laughs) – There is nothing better to me. It’s funny, the only time
I like riding cliffs, is on a downhill bike. Cause in a bike park, so when I hit stuff, charge through the
roughest, most horrible– (Henry babbles) And you’re feet are going– And you’re just like there, lock and load. That’s why I love riding. (Rich laughs) – I’m too mechanically–
– I know what you mean. – sympathetic to ride a short travel bike. I’ve seen it on quite a
few occasions. (laughs) (Henry babbles) Yeah. – Bone shaking your way through. (laughs) – Yeah, I love it. – I don’t want to say… How do I word it? Maybe someone who does like that… It’s like a buffer almost, isn’t it? – [Henry] Yeah. – Should we call it a skill buffer? Is that fair? – I think it’s just like there’s… When the trail’s asking you questions. Can you do this, can you do that? It’s basically like a math problem, with the calculator in your hand. You know what I mean?
– Yeah. Where a true skilled rider, like the people that come from that BMX, trials,
four-cross background, they just can a mental arithmetic. – Yeah, I’m doing my algebra all the time. – Yeah, and I’m there just
like, “Oh God, three point one. Where’s the Pi button?! God damn!”
(Both laugh) You know? – Yeah. No, I was too busy writing boobies and putting it upside down. (Both laugh) – That’s one thing I, you know we talk about location, and I’ve really enjoyed living in the UK. But not having a plethora
of steep, rough tracks, is something, it’s the one thing I haven’t been able to adjust to. Because I feel that our
steep, rough tracks here… It’s not–
– They’re very different to big mountain stuff.
– It’s very different. – There’s no comparison,
because unless you maybe went to Scotland and some places, but we generally just don’t have that… wide open, flat out,
rough, big mountain stuff. You know we’ve got very steep,
really rough, teckers trails in the woods and stuff like that. You can find those in
quite a lot of places, but they don’t have the
speed element to them a lot of the time. I’ve done a bit of moto cross in the past, and I found that really
helped with going really fast and getting used to that
speed and roughness. I think you’re right. We just don’t have that element, really, to our riding too much. And no doubt some places do have it, but it’s the length, the
roughness, the speed. It’s a very hard thing to
recreate if you don’t have that. – So coming from someone
that has put so much effort into racing over the years, and now you’re kind of
stepping away from it. I’m sure you do events here,
much like Neil and Blake do, but you’re not traveling
the world in the same way. – [Rich] No. – How do you think that’s going to affect the metrics you use to
judge how good or how fun a bike rid was. How’s that going to change that for you? – It’s interesting,
because I’ve always raced, and I’ve always used
racing to set a target. I’m quite goal driven, so
you’ll use like the nationals or EWS or something to almost, not be a purpose to ride, but give me a reason to ride and train, and do things the way I do. So yeah, interestingly, now that I’ll be– I’m still going to race. I love to race. Maybe not at the same level
or the amount as before. So I do find it quite
difficult to sort of switch off when I’m with friends and just have fun. So like if I’m with a group of buddies, and we went for a ride, and even at the start of a ride, I find it– I’m like, I get a bit competitive. – Oh yeah, Half Wheel McGee. – No, not that! (laughs) – That’s this guy. So just for the viewers at home. (Rich groans)
I said this was when Rich first came to the office, and I said, “Hello there, dear fellow. May I per chance interest
you in a bicycle run?” (Rich laughs) And he just wouldn’t leave me alone. On the climb, oh he’s half– And I’d catch up, and then
he’d put down the pedal. – Yeah, but I didn’t know the pace! (Rich laughs) – Lambs to the slaughter. Honestly.
(Rich sighs) I came back looking like I
had carbon monoxide poisoning. (Rich laughs)
I was just red like a tomato. I was absolutely rooted. – I was like that. (Henry laughs) When are we riding? (Both laugh) So I do find it hard to… switch off in that sense. I suppose not try and get… Because I think it all links. Like living in Jersey, you try and eek out every
bit you could from your ride. So I still find that very difficult. When I go out on a ride, I got to get something out of it. It’s got to have a purpose
or something almost. – I find social riding very difficult. Obviously, I never rode to the level that you did.
– Yeah, you were really mean to me. – No, I just told you to bloody
slow down for Hell’s teeth. (Rich laughs)
I just thought to show you the local trails, and it turned into like a training camp. I was like, “Oh my God.”
(Rich laughs) – [Rich] I thought it
would be a (mumbles) test. (Both laugh) – I find for me, that I think I’ve become– You know it’s great to have
all the feedback and the data, but I think sometimes I may
be bit of a slave to the data. – [Rich] Yes. – Because that’s what
I’ve come to refer to as my metric for enjoyment. – [Rich] Numbers don’t lie. – Numbers don’t lie. And it’s for that reason, that
I have become a Zwift addict. I’ve become a Zwifter.
– [Rich] You have. – I don’t know what going
full time on Zwift means. I’m pretty sure it’s got something to do with living in your parents spare bedroom. (Rich laughs) But I’ve gone full time Zwift. I love it.
– (laughs) Well hang on. I’m going to have a go at you, though, because you told me off for
half wheeling you on the hill. I got a text message you at
eight at night or something saying, “Do you want to come on–” Oh no! (laughs) “Do you want to come on Zwift?” – Yeah!
– I was like, “No! I’m having dinner.” (Both laugh) – The thing is, right, everyone… The thing I love about Zwift, and we’re going off a small tangent for me to really…
(Rich laughs) – [Rich] You don’t do that. – It’s happened once or twice. I love it, because everyone knows what they’re getting themselves in for. And I sit there, and I see… all of us, on a turbo train in real life. And before a race fans that don’t know, you have the virtual reality
of you sitting on turbo train as in the starting line. And I think, “My God,
what have I turned into?” – (laughs) What has the world become? – And it begins. And I’m just sweating
out my eye balls, man. – Yeah, cause everyone’s at… (Rich zooms)
– It is so sick! (Rich laughs)
And honestly, I think I went one of the
deepest I’ve ever gone on a bike last week. – [Rich] We’ll go for a ride again. – Mine was on Zwift. – [Rich] Oh! (laugh)
– It wasn’t a real bike. And honestly, that satisfies that criteria to me. Yes, I love to see… lovely things when I’m
out mountain biking. Yes, I love ride amazing descents. But something that also
needs to be satisfied, is just the brutalism of
sometimes going and sitting on my absolute rivet. Because I think there’s
something so important, and it sounds really
silly and pretentious, and everyone’s going to roll their eyes and heavily it’s going to be audible. But there’s something
for me, so important, about kind of connecting with
that sort of animalistic side I think sometimes it’s good.
(Rich sighs) I think sometimes it’s good to be in high levels of discomfort. I think sometimes it’s
good to be very cold. I think sometimes it’s good to be hungry. Sometimes it’s good to be hot. And for me it’s like a leveler. And you know, I wonder how… Bringing it back to what
we’re talking about. You know being someone that is
coming away from competition and readdressing the metrics
of what you enjoy in riding. I wonder what you might
find as your leveler. Cause I never thought I’d enjoy Zwift. It’s only–
– It’s a computer game. – not riding big
mountains that’s made me– Cause that’s how I used to go test myself. – Okay. – And now I’m like, I
can get that same feeling of hammering myself up
45 minutes on a climb… by sitting on Zwift. And that to me is like
(Rich groans) satisfying to me. I never thought it would. I was very skeptical. – I mean I still train. I still go to the gym. I still do everything as
if I was racing normally for a normal season coming up. – But that at some point
is going to peter away. – No! – I know–
– No! – But that’s just being
realistic, it will. – I know it is. You’re right.
– That’ll be the dawning of– – You can’t race forever. I’m aware that I cannot race forever, or be at the same level
forever and things like this. I suppose that’s a bitter pill to swallow, probably for most racers out there. – It sounds like you’re
making sure you’re prepared for the big thing that’s coming. And I do that too, and I just think it’s – [Rich] I’m going to go cold turkey in racing.
– Something that’s super cool. Because that to me is
one of the focal points of being passionate about something. – [Rich] Yeah! – I’m always like, I’m thinking, Cause I like to do the longer wise, and I’m thinking, “Ah,
probably couldn’t… I probably couldn’t do 5K day,
like 5,000 meter climb a day at the moment. I know I’m probably– Cause that’s okay, I could. I’m ready. (Rich sighs)
Just in case someone says in some weird situation, we’ve taken your mom dogs hostage, we know–
– It’s taken a turn. you love Wooster very much. But this Labrador’s going to get it, unless you can climb 5,000 meters. (Rich laughs)
Do you know what I mean? Like there’s some ridiculous scenario. – I mean I never had a dog held hostage, but I think I know what you mean. – But you know what I mean, like I’m almost just
trying to prepare myself. – Yeah. No, I know what you mean.
– And I always need to be. – It is tough, because if it is something that you’ve always known
and you’ve loved doing, you become almost set in your ways. So it’s very hard to
change and alter that. Some try. – They’ll get you. – Yeah, I’m just going
to keep riding with you and blast you on the climbs. – Well next time I’ll be prepared. (Rich groans) I’ve been Zwifting. – [Rich] You asked, I know you have. – Like honestly, bring it. The power of Zwift is in me. – Trouble is, you’ll be
getting a straight on, you’ll get to a turn, and
you’ll topple over now. – And also, I don’t have power ups, do I? (Rich laughs) Actually no. You have all that quicker
wheel set or whatever. – I want to say on the record, people that use power ups on Zwift… – Oh, God no. – reserve the inner circles of hell. – What’s the point?
– I knew you were going to get going there.
– What’s the point? We’re all sitting on our rivet, absolutely, this is (screams). Like you know, really
wanted to go and absolutely hammer and tong. And they press a button to what? – I mean I don’t use a– I don’t know anything
about the power up stage. – I don’t use them. I like to sit there and just look at them and think, “Not today, Satan. Not today.” – (laughs) I feel like
if you’ve got to a stage where you Zwift enough to power up, whatever that may be, you’ve probably used it too much. – A power up is basically
any point in a race, you can press a button
which’ll give you an advantage. – [Rich] Is it like a
mushroom on Mario Kart? – Something like that, yeah. – [Rich] Cheating? – Yeah!
– [Rich] Bastards. – Yeah! That’s what I feel.
(Rich laughs) And they just zoom past me. I’m just like, “Listen, this
is a hollow…” (mumbles) – Your little arrow lines
on the roads of America. And they’re like pew! – Yeah, it’s similar to that. And it breaks my heart. – I’m glad we’re on the same page. – Yeah, cool. I mean it’s almost a bit like going for a gentle ride
with somebody and… (Rich chuckles) it’s a bit like that. (Rich laughs) (Crew member mumbles) Yeah.
(All laugh) But enough said about that. Thank you very much for coming on, Rich. – It’s been my pleasure. – It’s been great getting to know you a bit.
– I look forward to future shenanigans. – I look forward to getting you on Zwift and exacting my revenge.
– Oh, I do too. – Nice one.
– (laughs) Thanks, mate. – Thanks, guys.
– Cheers.