Dirt: (Best Cilla Black voice) What’s your name and where do you come from?
JE: I’m a 16 year old downhill racer from North Scotland. I live in a little village called Nethy Bridge in the Cairngorms National Park.
When did bikes, and more importantly, downhill start for you?
My first experience of downhill racing was watching the world champs in Fort William in 2007. I began riding xc at fort William which were my local trails at the time with my dad and then joined a local bike club and got into racing around that time as well. I got my first proper bike when I was about 7, it was a tiny Kona hardtail, it had 80mm forks, 20” wheels and cable disc brakes and at the time I thought it was the sickest bike ever haha.
My first downhill race was a mini downhill at Innerleithen in 2011 it was a really cool race series and I definitely learnt a lot from them, I finished 4th in that race 32 seconds back. From there I carried on racing mini downhills until I was old enough to start doing SDA’s.
How did you get on the the FMD/ Transition team?
Coming out of Juvenile I was riding for Sick Skills/ Fox and I’d had a really good season wining the BDS overall. I got talking with the FMD/Transition team at the last race of the year and that started discussion about plans for the next year and from there I signed to them in December 2015.
This year will be my second year riding for FMD/ Transition which I’m really excited about. The team’s got a really good atmosphere being professional when it matters but also relaxed enough to keep it fun. I feel really good on the transition tr500 and I’ve got it setup how I like it after riding it last season.
What have been your highlights on the team so far?
Either be wining the national at Rhyd-y-fellin as a first year youth or getting 3rd at Crankworx in Les Gets
What’s the goals for your last year in Youth?
I’m aiming for the clean sweep in the BDS this year as its my last year in youth before I move up to Junior and also try and get some good times compared with this years Juniors to get me as ready as possible for World Cups next year.
Where do you love riding?
I would probably say Costal Gravity Park in Canada because everything is just so well built and theres almost no braking bumps to be seen and the jumps are big and floaty. Favourite race track would have to be Rhyd-y-Fellin in Wales just because its got a bit of everything in a three and a half minute track; jumps, roots, loose corners, tight sections and flat out turns and I like tracks with a good mixture to keep it interesting and I’ve always done well there so its got some good memories.
Who or what motivates you?
The idea of being able to make a living out of riding bikes definitely motivates me and the thought of there being someone else who’s doing more/ training harder than you pushes me to do the most I can in the off-season.
The 50:1 boys and the Vanzacs’ videos always get me stoked make me want to go get sideways on my bike.
How are you feeling coming in to the season?
I’m always really nervous coming into the start of the season because you never really know apart from the occasional Instagram photo what people have been doing over the off-season and how fast everyone is. I’m still at school so that takes up most of the day but I train most evenings through the winter in the gym or on my xc bike. Besides from riding I ski a lot through the winter at Cairngorm but I ride some sort of bikes majority of the time.
My early results have definitely given me a confidence boost knowing that the speed is there and that I just need to keep pushing it. Looking into the rest of the season the goal will be to keep the results coming and try and keep on the top steps.