Supported rider Mat Wright is set to take on the Enduro World Series
Mat Wright makes bespoke hand-made kitchens by day but on evenings and weekends he can be found ripping up the trails and getting into shape for this years’ MTB Enduro races. Dad to 18-month-old Harvey and married to Sally Wright, who we featured a couple of weeks ago, Mat is also one of Big Bear Bikes’ supported riders. We caught up with Mat to find out how he got into top level racing and to hear some of his best biking memories.
How is your training going?
It’s actually quite hard to train as hard as I want to because I just don’t have the spare time now we have Harvey. It’s quite difficult trying to balance everything. Now there’s a chance of racing going ahead this year I feel I need to be out training more and riding different trails but obviously lockdown is still on and we can only stay local, meaning I can’t practice on the trails I would like to.
Normally I’d be up at Danny Hart’s Descend bike park in Hamsterley Forest but it’s closed at the moment. It’s really well set up, good for getting your eye in and getting used to going fast again.
What got you into Enduro racing?
I just love being on a bike! Ever since I could walk I have always had a bike of some description. I used to ride BMX and motocross, and I’ve always had a MTB in the garage. I wanted to race MTBs but there wasn’t really the opportunity when I was younger. A few years ago I decided to try Enduro racing and won my first race. I think for the first two seasons I was never lower than third place unless I had a mechanical and that got me hooked.
Can you explain a bit about Enduro, for those who don’t know about it?
Enduro racing can be up to a 25 mile lap and include five to seven timed stages, and you only get to practice them once. You have to be physically fit and fast to do well.
I’ve done some national events and done quite well at them. The PMBA series is all levels and you actually get some pros turning up, especially for the EWS (Enduro World Series qualifiers). If you do well at those events, you score points to gain priority entry to race with the best riders in the world.
How did you get to this level?
I’m at the older end of the age group now. The top lads in my class are always coming in the top five per cent and we are a bit wiser. Young lads can go balls out and they might crash but we have experience and we know when to push and when to take it easy.
I watch what I eat and drink. I’ve always liked to keep fit. I used to like to party but it doesn’t go hand in hand with racing. I have a friend who has a gym called True Personal Training and he has drawn up a programme that I use for winter training.
What are your best biking memories?
Winning the first race I ever entered.
I got Sally into biking so I have some great memories of watching her develop. There was our first trip to the Alps together, riding the trails where people go skiing in winter. Our honeymoon was in New Zealand and we went heli-biking from Queenstown. The views were amazing. Just everything was awesome. There have been so many good trips in England and abroad.
What’s your ambition for 2021?
I managed to get an entry for the Enduro World Series which has been a target of mine for a couple of years. We have a couple of races in Scotland and I’d like to do well there. It’ll be a great experience and it will be interesting to see how much slower I am than Sam Hill.
What’s your current ride?
Orange Stage 6 (Factory Spec) with Fox 38 Forks, Fox X2 Shock, Shimano Saint brakes and some added Hope Bling. I also run Cushcore inserts in both wheels, the best upgrade I have made to my bike.
How did you get involved with Big Bear Bikes?
It was through talking to Adam Proctor that I became that Big Bear Bikes were looking to sponsor a MTB rider and he suggested that Orange and Big Bear together could support me. David has been amazing, he has been really good to me and his support has allowed Sally and I to continue doing what we love to do together.
Mat is one of Big Bear Bikes supported riders. A great ambassador for us and we wish him every success in the season ahead especially in his Enduro World Series event later this year! If like Mat you want to ride one of the awesome range of Orange mountain bikes, you can check out the range in our Pickering shop and even test ride your preferred machine. Orange bikes are hand built in Yorkshire and built to take on the toughest of terrain. For more information email our friendly team on firstname.lastname@example.org
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