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ball3 final

Where to start with Chris Ball? Ex World Cup downhill racer, ex UCI technical delegate and gravity sports coordinator, Scottish Downhill Academy coach and founder, author… the list is almost endless. But I still can’t forget the time he came down the hill in his underpants at the Calgary World Cup in 2004! But now of course he is deservedly respected throughout the world for being the driving force (officially the Managing Director) for the Enduro World Series. He is a man with a lot going on…

FROM DIRT ISSUE 148 - JUNE 2014 

Words by Mike Rose. Photo by Steve Jones

Who is Chris Ball?

Husband, bike rider and bird watcher.

Where do you live?

Glentress, Tweed Valley, Scotland.

What’s your job title?

Managing director of EMBA and the Enduro World Series.

What do you do?

Organise the Enduro World Series by working with each local organiser and the riders, teams and corporate supporters.

How long have you been working for the EWS?

We started in October 2012.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Being made to hand cut sack loads of potatoes into chips as a 14 year old kitchen porter.

Where’s your favourite place?

Home.

Where’s your favourite place to ride?

Finale Ligure, Italy, with the beach and great old town is hard to beat, but I’ve had some great weeks riding and camping in Lake Garda with friends too. Or the whole Whistler/Pemberton/Squamish area. But then a few blasts around home can be amazing too.

When are you happiest?

When I’m on top of my work and I can go for a ride with a clear head.

What makes you angry?

Travelling riders who turn up to a new venue and treat it like shit or insult the trails. Not thinking that for some people it’s their local spot.

What makes you happy?

Being in the great outdoors.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Pick your battles.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given?

Pick your battles.

What are your extravagances?

Ski and climbing trips.

Who do you admire?

My wife Kate, my partners in EMBA; Darren, Fred and Enrico, and anyone who makes the most of every week of the year.

What’s the most important thing in your life?

Adventure.

What would you never throw away?

My photos of past trips.

What’s your greatest fear?

Being too arthritic to ride, run, ski, climb, disco.

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

Grind beans, make coffee.

What’s the last thing you do at night?

Write a to–do list for the following day, so that I can sleep with a clear head.

What would be your dream meal?

Steak from a BBQ.

What things do you always carry with you?

My phone, laptop and wallet. So I can pretend to be in the office wherever I am.

Do you have any regrets?

Not taking a few years out in my twenties.

What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learnt?

That time off is as important as time on.

If you could have dinner with three famous people (dead or alive) who would they be?

John Muir, Ansel Adams and Hunter S. Thompson.

Who is your favourite rider?

Don’t want to sound too favouritist but any of the riders who cross disciplines and still stay at the top.

What’s your favourite bike product of all time?

The RockShox Reverb seatpost.

What’s your least favourite bike product of all time?

Crank Bros pedals.

What’s your favourite motto or saying?

F–k knows.

What saying do you use too much?

F–k knows.

What bike are you riding at the moment?

Santa Cruz Bronson.

What was the last magazine you read?

The last issue of Dirt.

What are you listening to at the moment?

Lots of Rolling Stones for some reason.

What one thing would you change about yourself?

Be less busy, have more down time.

What are your weaknesses?

I never say no – always too busy.

What does the future hold for you?

More travel, more adventure hopefully.

What does the future hold for mountain biking?

More adventure, more consolidation of all the growth that’s happening around the world. More respect for local scenes and less sustainable trails.

How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who tried to make people work together.

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