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The ROOST Questionnaire #7, Olly Wilkins

Olly Wilkins, aged 32, is helping to give a new meaning to the title *professional mountain biker.* He started riding bikes on family rides at age 10, got hooked and began racing soon after. While he did prove himself on the race track, it was his bike handling skills, hilarious personality, and willingness to take risks for the camera lens that got him on the cover of Dirt Magazine almost as many times as Steve Peat. And as online media has eclipsed print, he has stayed relevant by aligning himself with filmmakers, journalists, photographers, and sponsors that share his vision of holding it wide open and landing flat, slapping loamy turns, and laughing in the face of your friend if they crash. Here he opens up about basketball, brakes, Brandon, and the color black; though he is rather cagey about telling stories...

What is your second favorite sport or athletic endeavor?

I’m a big basketball fan. Bikes is my second choice. If I had it my way I’d be 6’6" and black.

What is your favorite non-mtb bicycle or vehicle?

I like my truck as it has given me years of loyal service. Motos are too noisy. I’m zen as fuck.


What is your preferred or ideal post-ride ritual?

Coffee and snus.

Which mechanical glitch, imperfection, or problem will you tolerate on a ride? Which can you not tolerate?

I’m super tolerant but do not enjoy bikes without brakes.

What bicycle maintenance procedure do you most enjoy?

All the ones where I drop my bike off and pick it up all fixed.

Would you rather: turn your bike as much as you like, but never again have your tires leave the ground; or jump as much and as high as you like, but only ever ride in a straight line for the rest of time?

I really hate both of these options. But after serious thought I think the thought of never turning would be quite limiting in terms of trail choice. Option 1.

Would you rather go for a three hour ride on: a bike with 15-year-old geometry and brand new suspension; or a bike with 15-year-old suspension and up-to-date geometry?

The second one.

What do you consider to be the greatest World Cup or World Championship race run of all time?

Peaty’s World Champs win in Canberra.

What do you consider to be the greatest injustice in mountain bike history?

4X out and that XC Eliminator thing in; that sucked. I can’t think of anything else at this point. That was weak.

What do you consider to be the greatest bicycle paint job ever?

My rusty bike on that Dirt cover I got.

If you could move one World Cup track to another World Cup venue, which would you move, and to where?

Hmmm. Schladming to that place in Argentina at the EWS [La Parva] where there is dust everywhere.

Which is your favorite World Cup race track?

I do like watching Mont Sainte Anne. Poor bikes...

What is your favorite color for a bike frame?

Black as fuck.

What is your favorite vintage downhill bike? (pre-2002 only)

Peaty's GT STS-DH.

What is your favorite story or legend in downhill history?

I cannot write that down.

What is your favorite story or legend in freeride history?

Same again.

What cycling industry job would you try that you haven't already?

Photographers and videographers kill it. They all make way more money than most of the riders. They are playboys. I’d do that.

Circa 2012.

If you could upload the skills and style of another rider to your brain and body, Matrix-style, whose skills and style would you choose?

Semenuk, so I could do millions of tricks. Well-boring answer, but a true one.

What is the biggest or best gift mountain biking has given you?

Mountain biking.

Circa 2013.

Where is the best dirt in the world?

My back garden in the Surrey hills.

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