Photo@ The Radivist
Name: Ryan Gardner
Hometown: Marlboro, NY
Sponsors: DHaRCO, Kona Bikes, Wilderness Train Bikes, E*Thirteen, Fox
Favourite tune to listen to on the bike: Any early 2000’s or earlier Rise Against is still my go to. Too many NWD videos growing up in the shop!
Photo@ Caleb Smith, Kona
Tell us about your self, Who you are and what makes you so rad? I’ve been pretty dedicated to racing and riding on bikes for well over a decade now. I'm not so discriminate about the type either, these days it's hard to beat a solid trail bike but I’ve raced downhill, enduro, cross country, and even some gravel and CX. Meanwhile I was able to build a pretty rewarding career as a sustainability consultant and climate scientist, a role that lets me advocate for more bikes in cities throughout California. Just this year I finished building Oakland's first pump track after a 3 year process.
Contests or just riding? Why. It was competitions all the way for the last 10-11 years! These days I'm starting to get more stoked on getting into a mega ride with good friends than I am to get between the tape, but once you get racing in your head, it's hard to turn it off.
What’s your all time favourite mountain biking trip? My favourite mountain bike trip so far has got to be racing the Ainsa and Finale EWS rounds with my sister Becky two years ago. Amazing venues and awesome friends all around!
What do you love about riding? Riding has always been a way to explore the world, meet new people. Some of my best memories are ripping trail in another country with friends I met just a few days ago. It's really crazy how many different types of people you get to interact with through the shared love of bikes. In today’s world, it’s a big deal!
What you’re most proud of achieving through riding? Breaking into the top 50 at an EWS was a great feeling, but taking a podium spot at the Downieville Classic was probably my most memorable event. There are not many other races that demand such a high level of fitness and technical ability!
One tip you would give to a grom wanting to become a pro rider like yourself. Ride lots of places and terrain. Making the move from the rocks of New York to the fast burms of Southern California was a game changer for me.