The ten types of people you meet in an uplift van
From the Newcomer to the One Who's Been to Whistler
Uplift vans are wonderful places. Crammed together with 10-15 other riders, coated in mud, stinking of sweat, steam rising from your wet shoes – you can’t help but get to know each other fairly quickly.
Mountain biking is made up of all sorts of people from all walks of life, but we reckon we’ve identified the ten types of people you’re likely to encounter on an uplift.
“Ummm, guys…" the dreaded words of The Disorganised. Half way up the hill expect them to announce they’ve forgotten something important like water, gloves or a helmet. (We once uplifted with a guy that forgot his bike, how did he manage that!?)
Most likely to say: “Has anyone seen my shoe?"
The One who’s been to Whistler
… and won’t shut up about it. A two-week holiday to Canada and they think they’re God’s gift to mountain biking. They went to Crankworx, they rode with some pros, they hit Crabapple Hits and they now refuse to believe any riding ever can be as good.
Most likely to say: “Riding in the UK just isn’t the same after you’ve been to Whistler"
They’ve never been to the park before and are feeling a bit nervous about hitting it blind. They’ll ask for a detailed description of each track and take a quick walk down the first 50 metres before they hit it.
Most likely to say: “Is it rollable?"
The kid pinner
Now this just isn’t fair. How can someone so young be so damn fast! Their bike barely fits in the uplift trailer but they’ll be at the bottom of the trail looking fresh as a daisy by the time you roll down red faced and covered in sweat.
What’s more they’ll bang out 15-20 runs without a break fuelled solely on Red Bull and stoke.
Most likely to say: “Please can we do one more?"
The social media addict
Don’t expect much conversation out of this one. The bus ride is about bangers, not banter for this guy. When they’re not checking out filters or having a cheeky swipe on Tinder, they’ll be scrolling through Instagram for the latest off-season rumours. Just pray that the internet doesn’t cut out.
Most likely to say: “……"
The gear geek
They’ll spend the whole journey looking out of the back window commenting on your set up. Expect them to critique your tyres, saddle, drivetrain… well, anything really. If you want to chat about anything other than bikes then don’t sit next to this guy. They’ve read all the mags and websites and are ready to pass on that knowledge to you.
Having said that, they’re the most likely to be able to fix your bike when you fuck it up, so keep them on side.
Most likely to say: "So, how come you decided to fit a 2.25 today?"
The stylish one
It's the wettest day all year and the trails are boggier than Shreks' swamp, but their kit is gleaming, immaculate and matching. They’ll sport the freshest Troy Lee threads that complement their frame to a tee.
Most likely to say: “Oh damn, I got grease on my shorts"
This is the kind of person that's a regular at the bike park and claims to have hit every trail blindfolded. They also know about the “pro lines" that only they and Brendan Fairclough have conquered.
In our experience it’s all mouth and no trousers with these guys. They may intimidate you as they talk about warming up on the black run but it feels great when you pass them later in the day. They won’t be speaking so loudly on the uplift after that.
Most likely to say: “Just got a Strava KOM on that run and I wasn’t even pedalling"
The wounded warrior
This guy has paid £30 for the privilege of being on the uplift and he’s not going to let something as silly as an injury get in the way. They’ll keep shredding until the last run of the day and then worry about going to the hospital. Plus, it’s a great story to tell each time.
Most likely to say: “I just got a gnarly gash on my leg, want to see?"
We hope so anyway!