14 questions with Dirt Norco enduro rider Greg Callaghan

He likes Kilmeaden Cheddar and almond slices and is fast on a bike…it’s Greg Callaghan!

Greg Callaghan. Photo: Dermott Sweeney

Name? Greg Callaghan.

Age? 21 years young.

Favourite cheese? Kilmeaden Cheddar.

Tell me a joke? The Irish economy.

What’s your secret talent? I can ride a bike with only one eye, although I don’t really have a choice in that as only one works. Sure the other one is only a spare anyway.

Tea or coffee? Coffee in the mornings and flat out on the tea for the rest of the day.

Ah, sunshine, I remember that! Photo: Gee Milner

When was the last time you scared yourself shitless? I had a pretty wild moment recently on the road bike travelling at a fair old click, overshot a fast corner and had to initiate the “steer with the rear” technique to slide to safety. Was nearly the end of me.

Why race enduro? For me enduro is just more enjoyable. I got a bit fed up of travelling half way around the world for a downhill race, messing up one turn or missing a pedal and going home disappointed after missing out on a good result by a tiny margin. With enduro no matter how bad the day can go, trust me, I’ve been there; it’s still a great day on your bike with your mates. I also love riding a smaller travel bike to the point where it just wants to throw you off.

What motivates you? Being the fastest person at whatever race I’m at…and haters, everyone wants to shut them up!

Aside from time and money, which we could all do with more of, what holds you back? My love for almond slices…they’re too delicious to say no. I’m cutting back though, some big sacrifices being made for 2013.

See, Greg can go fast even without the almond slices. Photo: Dermott Sweeney.

Why did you go to your first race?
It was a local track to me, and there was a hardtail category so I thought I’d get smoked a bit less in there and I actually did ok… kind of.

Tell me a funny story? Last year at the Enduro Des Nations in France, there were about five vans in our convoy, we were all parked nicely on a road beside the pits until the night before the race the organisers came over and told us to move. Unfortunately because it was the night before the race, the car park was full. So, we found a spot underneath the gondola and decided it’d be the perfect job. We moved all the vans in and then realised that my van was pretty damn close to the bottom of the gondola. Niall Davis and myself climbed into the gondola station and measured the length of the gondola, I then climbed onto the roof of the van, stood on a chair and tried to measure the length from the cable to the van roof, but the tape measure wouldn’t reach and kept falling down…we were very precise in our calculations and after about half an hour of laughing too hard to actually measure anything we figured it’d be fine and went to bed. I was awoken the next morning by the van shaking and the sound of Alex Stock laughing his head off! I went outside to find the gondola passing over the roof of the van with about a 2-inch gap.

The gondola driver man came out going mad at us and said they can’t start the race until I moved the van. I replied to him in a lovely French accent and thought “that’s grand, I won’t be late for the race then” and proceeded to eat my breakfast as the lift queue grew. The gondola man wasn’t happy but we moved it eventually and all was peaceful again.

Where is the best place you have ever been?
Yo mamma! and Sauze D’Oulx in Italy…really love that place!

What are you most looking forward to this year?
Getting going with the new bikes, team and whole set up. This time last year I was training for a downhill season so it’s really cool to be coming into a season with new goals and plans. Last year was a learning curve for me and it went pretty well, so I’m hoping this year will have some good times in store too.

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