The Downtime Podcast has become a must-listen for fans of downhill and enduro racing, so we met up with main man Chris Hall to find out more about it for an article in the mag – and to record an episode of our own.
Our tech specialists Rob and Seb covered all sorts of topics, including how we go about testing all the bikes and bits of kit that come through our doors. So if you’ve ever wondered what exactly we do here at MBUK, give it a listen below!
You can read the full story behind the Downtime Podcast in MBUK 371, out now. But, given how many legends of the mountain bike world Chris has interviewed, we wanted to hear what moments have really stood out for him – aside from our episode, of course! Here’s his top five so far…
1 UK legend Josh Bryceland
“For me, personally, turning up at Josh Bryceland’s canal boat, sitting down and having a cup of tea and a chat like I’d known him for 20 years was just unreal. But he’s so humble and so nice, he just totally disarmed the situation.”
2 EWS racer Yoann Barelli
“The other one that I was excited to do but didn’t know what to expect was Yoann Barelli. I just love his energy, and I wondered where he got that from and how real it is. Because you see people that are ‘up’, but you don’t see the behind-the-scenes struggles and stuff. He’s really cool and the way he looks at stuff is interesting. When I asked him how he manages to be so happy all the time, he said he just appreciates the beauty in the simple things, like the way the light falls through the trees on a certain day. He’s not looking for big things, he just takes time to understand and see the beauty in everything. I often think, ‘I need to channel my inner Yoann Barelli’.”
3 Scottish enduro star Katy Winton
“Katy Winton is just a bundle of joy and energy. I remember we did the interview on Skype, the first time, and I asked one question and she chatted for about 20 minutes, and I was like, ‘Mint!’. For me, that’s a good podcast – when they just open up. And she talked about some of the challenges she’d had with overtraining and the food side of stuff when she was in her younger years doing cross-country. She’d never really told that story before, not to anyone outside of family or friends, so that was pretty special.”
4 Sports psychologist Rob Copeland
“Rob Copeland was really interesting and, again, totally off-piste. It came up with Josh that he’d worked with Rob, from a psychology point of view, looking to unlock his potential. I’d never sat with a psychologist before, and that whole idea of focusing on the process rather than the outcome seems to come up quite a lot on the podcast. It’s good to have goals, but focusing on them means you’re going to be disappointed. Instead you need to have that process of, ‘if I do this, then this, then this, and I do everything to my best ability, then the result is the result’.”
5 Downhillers Eliot Jackson and Neko Mulally (who do the Downtime post-race shows)
“Eliot and Neko – those boys are amazing! They’re both super-analytical compared to some riders, in what they do. But they’re super-open and chilled too. They’re just amazing and super-nice guys, and they’ve treated me really well. Neko’s been a big supporter from the start.”
Our tech writer Seb (centre) and tech-ed-in-chief Rob (right) showed Chris (left) around some of our favourite trails in the Forest of Dean before retiring to the Pedalabikeaway cafe to start recording. Pic: Steve Behr