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If you were to say that the ideal enduro racer would have the lungs of a XC whippet and the skills of DH ripper, then Niall Davis has had a fair old go at getting both of those things. 

DIRT ISSUES 133 - MARCH 2013

Words by Victor Lucas. Photos by Victor Lucas

I can remember a few trips with Niall from more than 10 years ago, heading back and forth on the Ferry to the Welsh Dragon races and Fort William NPS. He was super keen for DH and never seemed to stop riding his bike, if there was a chance to get to a race, he was up for it. I guess the highlights for him would have been getting on the Irish DH Words Team at least once or twice. Then he went completely mental and headed off to race World Cup Cross Country for few years, even managed to race Worlds in that game too. Not many people have raced both disciplines at that level. Thankfully now he has come back to his senses and is fully focused on enduro racing, as a rider, organiser, coach, guide...I honestly don’t know where he gets the energy.

Who is Niall Davis?

I’m 28 years old, grew up on a farm and spent my time riding (bikes) and digging jumps. I did a lot of DH and XC racing, did Engineering in college but never really used that as it turned out.

Where do you live?

Ballinastoe, Wicklow Mountains.

What’s your job title?

Hard worker at Biking.ie.

What do you do?

We run mountain bike events, tours, bike rental, and lessons.

How long have you been involved with the Irish Enduro race series?

Well decided to run the series for the first time last year and it’s gone down a storm.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Clearing ragweed from a field. The owner didn’t want us to spray weed killer, so we had to inject poison into each one using a syringe! It was crazy, we spent a week doing one small corner of the field and said f–k this! Sprayed the poison and got out of there. Life is too short.

Where’s your favourite place?

A small village called Ronzo, above Lake Garda.

Where’s your favourite place to ride?

Sauze d’Oulx.

When are you happiest?

Riding a bike.

What makes you angry?

Time wasting, unless it’s my fault and running out of tea.

What makes you happy?

Funny people and good jokes.

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

‘Do whatever you like Niall, you always do anyway.’

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

‘Don’t forget to buy tea bags.’

What are your extravagances?

Fancy bikes and I drive way too much.

Who do you admire?

People who are really good at what they do. I love seeing someone who is so good at what they do.

What’s the most important thing in your life?

My girlfriend.

What would you never throw away?

My girlfriend?

What’s your greatest fear?

I don’t have a great big fear of anything really. I don’t really like spiders.

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

Kiss my girlfriend and put on the kettle for a hot sup of tae (tea in a Wicklow accent).

What’s the last thing you do at night?

Stretch.

What would be your dream meal?

A nice fillet steak.

What things do you always carry with you?

Wallet, phone, keys and a surprise.

Do you have any regrets?

Spraying that poison.

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

Rory Gallagher, John Tomac and Lance Armstrong. I’d tell Lance to piss off as soon as he showed up, myself and John would eat steak and listen to Rory play.

Who is your favourite rider?

Mike Aitken.

What’s your favourite bike product of all time?

RockShox Reverb.

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

Those all in one bar and stem combo’s, nasty.

What’s your favourite motto or saying?

‘Fair play to you!’

What bike are you riding at the moment?

Trek Remedy, carbon, Sram XX1, Fox 34, she’s a beast.

What was the last magazine you read?

Outsider, an Irish outdoors mag.

What are you listening to at the moment?

The Redneck Manifesto.

What one thing would you change about yourself?

I need to lose some muscle mass, I’m just too dam buff!

What are your weaknesses?

I’m a bit of an OCD head, so I fuss a lot on something which is probably irrelevant.

What does the future hold for you?

Good times on the bike, lots of work and maybe moving house.

What does the future hold for mountain biking?

I’m excited to see how the enduro side of things develop. It’s all about the riding, not your gear, your bike or your discipline. Holy shit we’ve had a blast over the past year in Ireland, enduro has brought the whole bike community together and it’s such a good vibe, an amazing time to be biking. Here’s to more of that.

How would you like to be remembered?

As a good skin.

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