ENDURO Magazine caught up with the talented rider Hannah Barnes (Team MTBcut) and had a quick talk on perfect days, seriousness in Enduro and the importance of racing in her life.
ENDURO: Hi Hannah, can you give us a small intro to your person? Who is Hannah Barnes?
Hannah: Hi! My name is Hannah Barnes. I’m from Fort William in Scotland, I travel the world riding bikes, racing Enduro and having as much fun as possible! I’m also a Staff Nurse when I can fit it in, I love working in A&E and having something else other than bikes is a good balance and makes me really appreciate the freedom travel and riding brings. I love music and playing my fiddle, I’m pretty obsessed with trad Scottish/Irish music and playing a good set of tunes with friends is awesome! I also love yoga, tea, skiing…
ENDURO: What made you ride your bike? And what drives you now to ride & race?
Hannah: I started riding because of my younger Brother Joe… and it all went pretty quickly from there. Before then I raced sailing dinghy’s and that was my passion before I started riding. I’ve always loved racing and all elements of competition. It started with sailing, then climbing, then XC mtb and Off-Road Triathlon, and now Enduro. Our parents have competed and had it as a big part of their lives too (hill running, xc skiing and sailing), so I guess we’ve grown up surrounded by competition and it’s only felt natural to be fully into it in some way too. Right now, I am really loving just riding my bike more than ever. I think the rapidly growing Enduro scene is awesome, so many great events in beautiful places, incredible riding, and new friends… it’s a pretty awesome scene that I’m really happy to be part of!
ENDURO: You come from DH (right?) What made you change to enduro?
Hannah: I actually came from XC, that’s why I go over the bars a lot and get mega sketchy!! Haha. I also raced xc marathons and off-road triathlon. For one year I just focussed on one specific Triathlon, I have the female record now so it was worth it! :) Moving towards Enduro wasn’t really a conscious decision as such, I did a few and really loved them then just did more and more. Enduro racing is a perfect mix of fitness and skill, and trail bikes are the most fun bike to ride up and down pretty much anything!
ENDURO: How do you see the girls scene in enduro? Growing?
Hannah: The girls scene is awesome! It is definitely growing, and the level is so high it’s amazing! The girls are all so lovely and great fun too, it’s great to get to know them all. It’s also really inspiring to be riding with these girls who are such great riders, it’s definitely very encouraging!
ENDURO: Whats your perfect day?
Hannah: Hmm… one perfect way to spend my day would be with my family and good friends on my parents sailing boat by an exotic island, exploring new riding trails, eating exotic local food, snorkelling, cricket on the beach (we used to live on a sailing boat, so a day like that again would be cool!!) … Or just a lovely day at home with the crew, there’s no place like home! There’s a million ‘perfect’ ways to spend a day, luckily we get lot’s of days to make the most of!
Video: Hannah Barnes – Home
ENDURO: Some people say enduro is getting too serious due to racing. Do you think in the same way?
Hannah: I don’t think Enduro is getting too serious at all, I think it’s awesome how it’s totally stepped up a level and become a World Series this year. Enduro had to become ‘serious’ and at World level for it to be taken seriously and then get more coverage, recognition, sponsorship, funding, etc. This in turn helps the sport to keep on growing and growing, which is awesome. The fact that it is becoming a serious business shows just how high the level is and just how tight the racing is. It’s great that it’s so professional now. It’s really cool and very inspiring to be able to ride, race and just chill with these great racers and lovely people! Everyone is so friendly and so much fun, although the actual racing time is serious, everyone has lots of fun and it feels pretty chilled most of the time.
ENDURO: How important is racing for you?
Hannah: For me racing is definitely important, I’ve always loved racing! I always will love racing, but I also really love just riding my bike, exploring new places to ride and being with nice and fun people. Racing is just a part of riding bikes! I do train and focus on racing, and it definitely is the focus of my year. However, if I don’t get an ideal result, I get a mechanical or crash, then I don’t dwell on it. Life goes on, there’s plenty more races out there, more trails to ride and it’s all race experience to be learned from. You can only try your best!
ENDURO: Thanks for the interview!
Interview: Robin Schmitt Castelbuono Photo: Salvatore Longo