TLW: NOW THAT YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL MOUNTAIN BIKER, WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE BIGGEST CHANGES TO YOUR RIDING, MENTALITY AND DEALING WITH SPONSORS? YOU ARE NOT JUST GETTING T-SHIRTS AND STICKERS ANYMORE.
RW: Balancing stress has been the biggest change for me since turning professional. Since my main gig is filming videos, I take care of all areas of production. This includes not only making sure my riding is on par, but building, logistics, budgeting, hiring a filmmaker, contracts, hotels, flights, music licensing, distribution…the list goes on. This can be overwhelming at times when my focus should be for my riding to look good on film. I am learning to delegate some of the responsibility with the help of my brother Liam, but I am particular with how my videos are made and how I am portrayed. Not easy to give up control, haha.
I am fortunate my sponsors trust in my vision and let me run with pretty much any video idea or project I want.
TLW: SPEAKING OF SPONSORS, YOU HAVE GOT SOME NEW ONES THIS YEAR, ONE BEING LEATT. WE ARE BIG FANS OF THEIR PROTECTIVE ITEMS ON BOTH OUR DIRT BIKES AND MOUNTAIN BIKES. WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE NEW PIECES OF GEAR FROM THEM? ANYTHING YOU DID NOT REALIZE YOU WERE MISSING BUT IS NOW PART OF YOUR DAILY KIT?
RW: I have been wearing some pretty budget protection for the last five years, so it was a big shock to me upgrading to Leatt. The DBX 4.0 full face helmet is much lighter and more breathable than my last one. It was one of those things I was OK with wearing my old gear, but only out of ignorance—I did not realize how much lighter and safer helmet have become. This confidence is big for me as brain protection is my #1 priority given what has happened to a couple riders over the last few years. It is also a HUGE bonus to finally have proper riding pants. I have had to make my own with iron on logos over the years, so I am stoked to finally have a slim fit stretchy pair with the MTB 4.0 pant.