Manon Carpenter - Ups and Downs
Catching up with one of Wales' finest
Manon Carpenter has only been out of the racing game for less than a year but she's quickly found her feet as an ambassador for Radon, Monster, Adidas and more. We caught up with her to find out the Ups and Downs of life after racing.
How would you describe what you do now?
I'm doing a mix of lots of different things to find what my place is and what I want to do. I'm an ambassador for Radon and I'm still working with Monster, they're my main sponsors.
I've also been doing filming projects, I've always loved filming, it makes you push yourself in a different way, it's always a good time.
I've done a couple of women's days which was really cool and something I've always enjoyed doing. Getting a few girls together to ride is always really good.
What do you like about filming?
You're not pushing yourself against the clock and you can get more loose. I like when you're trying to ride a section as fast as possible and you're just going super fast and seeing what happens. I guess the idea is to get loose but in racing you can't do that, or you might get loose but you have to find the right balance for your run.
With filming, you might get loose and scare yourself, but you get a mint clip. It's quite hard to make yourself do it again but finding that is really fun
I quite like the process of filming something and then you can have a look back and critique. It's a good way to learn I think, you can see whatever it is you're doing and do it better.
What are the other differences in your life?
I'm a lot more relaxed but in other ways just as busy... I seem to find lots of things to do!
I started revisiting a lot of places I used to ride, or spend more time riding places that I wouldn't have had much time in the summer before.Coming up to the dirt jumps on a night when I'm home is cool as is riding all the different trails around in South Wales.
Just to go out into the hills and not having a training plan for that ride is nice. You normally have a set plan for a week and it is good having a plan, each ride is scheduled in and you have a goal for that ride. If I'd gone to an uplift centre before I'd have done timed, full runs and aim to get a better time, that's what you would do for a training day vs just riding in trains.
Do you feel like you ride a different way now?
Well yeah, I've put my flats on which has been good fun!
I've been inspired by Vero (Sandler) to play around on the bike more. I always used to enjoy getting on different bikes and trying things out at the end of the season. When I was racing I wouldn't want to try tricks incase I hurt myself and I couldn’t race - I would feel pretty stupid! I've been enjoying just kidding around with different things on the bike... but with flats on so I can take my feet off.
I think I'm just going with the flow still. I'm doing a cool filming trip coming up now and then I'm going out to Canada for eight months. Beyond that I'm not sure, I just know I'm taking some bikes out there. I'm just finding cool things, taking opportunities as they come and making sure I enjoy it still.