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Interview: Rotorua Mountain Biker, Ashley Bond

From growing up racing Motocross, traveling around the country to compete in race events, to getting introduced to mountain biking in 2015. Ashley Bond chats to us about the challenges, the triumphs, and what keeps her inspired. 

• May 28th 2020

What does the morning of an event look like for Ashley Bond?
Coffee....... :-) always coffee! And then usually a big breakfast to set me up for the day ahead!

What got you into riding bikes originally?
I grew up racing Motocross from a young age, I spent a lot of time travelling around the country with my family + friends competing in race events. Through motocross I met my partner Louis, who then introduced me to MTB in 2015. After so many years racing Moto it was refreshing to have a change and learn a new sport! I still love riding my motocross bike for fun, but keep any racing to MTB events now!



For me, the coolest thing about MTB riding is that I can always be better! There's always parts on trails I know can ride faster, or choose a more complex line. I love how I can see my progress & riding improve simply by being more confident on sections that I would have previously not ridden well. It is super motivating!

What challenges do you face when riding?
I think coming from a competitive Motocross background it was natural for me to want to do well in race events, so initially, I found it hard when I couldn't do something I could see others doing with ease. I also found it super hard racing against the clock, as with motocross you are on the track at the same time as your competitors so it is easy to learn where you need to be faster / what skills you could be better at - but learning to race when it is just you on track is a skill in itself! I am still working on improving this!

What is your proudest achievement riding/competing?
I think the proudest moment I have riding was competing in Crankworx this year! It was super special to me, as at the 2019 Crankworx I had a 10-day old baby, and any form of racing at that point felt impossible. It had been my goal since having Jayla to be back amongst the racing at the Crankworx level within a year, so even though my results weren't my best I had so much fun just being on my bike & riding with all my friends from around the globe! Racing events, training & being a Mum is hard work some days - but it is 110% worth it!



What is your favourite trail, and why?
Hot X Buns! This trail just never gets old no matter how many times you ride it. It is super fun to ride with friends socially, but awesome to race as well. It has a little bit of everything from tech, roots, flowy corners and jumps! A big bonus is that it is awesome to ride all year around!

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?

Learn to ride the technical parts of the trails before you attempt the jumps! Louis told me this when I first started riding, and it is still relevant to me now.

If I am not getting enough speed riding the technical parts of track that lead up to jumps, it will make the jumps harder / higher risk. Although jumps are awesome, and super rewarding when you get them - you can end up spending an entire practice session thinking about the jumps and forget to ride the rest of the trail where you could be gaining extra speed.

Who’s been your biggest inspiration?
I have so many incredible people in my life that I look up to as an inspiration for so many different reasons. But in terms of the MTB industry, two people that stand out are Vaea Verbeeck + Micayla Gatto. Both coming from super successful "racing" backgrounds but now they put their energy into progression and looking to become better riders rather than basing themselves off results. These two, along with many others create an epic Women's MTB scene, that no matter where you are in the world you'll always be meeting new friends and have people to ride with!



What does life beyond bikes look like for Ashley Bond?
Working & being a Mum! It is awesome & so rewarding! We have also purchased a piece of land & are building home - which will definitely keep Louis & I busy for the near future :-)