Catching Up with Nathan Engel
Winner of the First TLW Giveaway Bike
Photos by Chili-Dog
Over a month ago we shipped out our first Loam Wolf Edition giveaway bike to a lucky winner down in Southern California. Given that part of the pack wasn’t too far from Nathan, we thought it was only right to meet up with him to go for a shred. When we pulled up to the trailhead, we were able to immediately recognize Nathan, smiling with the joy of a kid who just opened their dream gift from Santa. He stood in the middle of the street, stopped by two passersby who were admiring his fine steed. He gleamed as he showed off every detail, pointing to the graphics and custom touches. When we walked up to introduce ourselves, we were immediately struck by Nathan’s humility and warm personality. Aside from his bike and helmet, he had no gear.
After we started pedaling up the road, I asked Nathan more about his situation. It turns out that in order to fund a bike business venture of his own, Nathan had sold his bike, motorcycle and all his gear. His helmet was all that remained. Prior to our ride, he hadn’t thrown a leg over a bike in some six months, not knowing when he’d have the funds to be able to purchase one again. “This is the nicest bike I’ve ever owned,” remarked Nathan with a tone of disbelief in his voice. Though he’s had the bike for a few weeks now, it seems the reality of the situation has still yet to sink in. “It’s become a bit of a community bike” he went on, “All of my friends are constantly asking to borrow the bike. I love it!”
To those wondering if the bike went to the right person, the answer is a resounding yes. Just a few short hours with Nathan were more than enough to solidify that fate worked out perfectly. To make the story even better, Nathan first discovered he had won the bike as he helped a stranded motorist in 100 degree heat. Read on, as we check in with Nathan Engel to see how the new bike has been treating him and get a little more info on our beloved bike’s new home.
Name. Age. Hometown.
Nathan Engel. 35. Murrieta, CA.
How did you hear about The Loam Wolf?
My business partner and I met Drew at the Celebrate Cycling event back in 2013 for a quick photo shoot at Decline with what was to be our first bicycle frame ready for production. From then on, I continued following the infamous @ElxGuapo on his journey through Instagram, which led me to @theloamwolf.
How long have you been mountain biking?
My first real mountain bike was a GT Pantera, bought used right around 1998. If I do that math that comes out to 19-ish years, on and off.
Where were you when you found out you won the bike? And how did you find out?
I was driving home from a new job, settling into the daily I-15 traffic jam. I was still wiping the sweat off my forehead after helping a random driver who was broken down on the side of the freeway in the hundred-degree heat. I pulled up my email and saw “Congratulations Nate!” in the subject line. Once I read it I casually put my phone down and was like, “For real? Nah.” I kept reading the email over until I accepted it. I can’t remember ever winning anything. I think I drove for almost an hour before I started getting excited.
Where’s the first place you rode your new bike?
I actually just rode it for the first time Friday the 13th camping at Vail Lake here in Temecula. I’m pretty ashamed to say I hadn’t made time to get it together until then, but I’ve been busy with multiple jobs and life stuff. I gotta say the plus setup is pretty sick! I wasn’t planning on really breaking her in, but my buddy brought his bike and wanted to show me the enduro trails he’d been playing on so I couldn’t pass it up.
What do you do for fun when you’re not mountain biking?
I enjoy taking my pitbull jogging or on the trails when I have a bike. I also used to ride all the local motocross tracks fairly regularly until I had to sell my motorbike and mountain bike a few months ago to level some debt. My wife, dog and I do road trips to camp out of the back of our jeep and try to see cool stuff off the roadways when we find a free weekend.
What do you like best about The Loam Wolf website?
I think the layout is sweet, with a perfect mix of nomadic lifestyle, great writing (and riding) from people on all corners of the globe. The reviews are honest too. It’s just a really down to earth site.
What would you like to see more of on The Loam Wolf?
People commenting, good or bad on the write-ups. It’d be great to see more community interaction. As an amateur enthusiast I can’t think of anything that I would want to add content wise.
What is your favorite kind of donut?
I love an “old fashioned” chocolate donut (Insert Homer Simpson drooling picture here).
What is your favorite kind of pizza?
What is one random thing you’d like the Wolf Pack to know about you?
My grandma used to chase me with her dentures when I was a kid. Shit messed me up.
Once again we’d like to congratulate and thank Nate and everyone else for participating in our first ever Loam Wolf Edition bike giveaway! We’re happy to learn the bike went to a good home and will see some happy miles in the SoCal dust.