20 years/20 questions - Manon Carpenter - Dirt

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20 years/20 questions – Manon Carpenter

TO CELEBRATE THE TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF DIRT WE’RE SPEAKING TO THE BRANDS AND RIDERS THAT HAVE SUPPORTED US THROUGHOUT THE YEARS. WE’LL BE ASKING 20 QUESTIONS ON THE PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE OF MOUNTAIN BIKING TO THOSE WHO ARE TRULY IN THE KNOW. CHECK OUT OUR 20TH ANNIVERSARY BOOK THAT’S AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER HERE.

Manon’s been a friend of Dirt since she was knee high to a dust mite and we’ve loved watching her take on the world from behind the handlebars. From taking on her dad’s Dragon Downhill races to stepping onto World Cup podiums she’s been on an amazing journey.


We caught up with her for a chat about mountain biking past, present and future.

Manon Carpenter  – 20 Questions

What achievement are you most proud of?
“2014 World Champion and World Cup Champion”

Give us a story from your wildest moment in mountain biking?
“I guess the big crashes! Surprising what you can get away with sometimes.”

What has been your favourite moment of Dirt’s history?
“Dirt TV at World Cups, I’d watch everything after getting home from a World Cup weekend.”

DirtTV:Hafjell World Cup Finals a Mountain Biking video by dirt

How were you first introduced to Dirt?
“The numerous magazines piled up on the coffee table!”

What would be the first question you would ask Dirt?
“Where are the tea and biscuits?”

When did you first start mountain biking?
“Probably riding to primary school when I was younger. Amazing what used to terrify me and is now the smallest slope ever.”

What bike were you on then?
“No idea!”

What rider or person has most influenced your career?
“My Dad.”

What has been your favourite or most memorable race?
“Hafjell 2014, for obvious reasons!”

Who would you loved to have raced against or ridden with?
“I think it would have been cool to race against Tracy some more. She had moved over to Enduro by the time I moved into Elite.”

What’s your opinion on E-Bikes?
“Great for getting extra miles in, less eco friendly and not so good for your waist size!”

What’s your favourite wheel size?
“All shapes and sizes, which ever is the best tool for the job at the time.”

What life lessons has Mountain biking taught you?
“To enjoy the ride.”

Who doesn’t get the credit they deserve in the industry?
“I don’t feel like we hear much about the people behind the bike brands, who actually put in all the work to make what we enjoy. There are a lot of people who make the industry go round in general, whereas riders are the ones who get most of the spotlight.”

What’s been the most questionable thing to come out of mountain biking?
“Man made rock gardens?”

What’s been the best track you’ve ridden?
“Ride Don’t Slide years ago, when it was fresh and undiscovered!”

How would you change World Cup downhill?
“Consistent standards for the World Wup tracks.” 

What do you still want to achieve in mountain biking?
“More wins, more fun.” 

What do you want to see more of from the Dirt website?
“Maybe an easy to find review section of all the different bike parks around? There are lots of bike parks all over the place but sometimes there are hidden gems that you only hear about by words of mouth. Which also probably helps them to stay so good.”

What do you hope the next 20 years brings for mountain biking?
“More locally accepted tracks and wider access to established routes, harmonious with walkers so no one gets upset and many more people get to enjoy what’s on our doorstep.”

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