177 – Living To Ride with Clarence Ballantine

177 – Living To Ride with Clarence Ballantine

Today’s Guest:

Clarence Ballantine: Riding, racing, van life and making the most of good times with friends.

On episode #177 we are chatting with Clarence Ballantine about how mountain biking came to play such a large part in his life, growing up and sharing college rooms with Kelan Grant and why he has decided to live a van life on the weekends, plus much much more.

I have been following Clarence on socials for quite some time, but with me living in Malta for the last couple of years I never had the pleasure of meeting him. I had been following his van build for quite some time and was stoked to see how much of a positive effect it had on his passion for riding, hitting the open road and checking out new riding spots.  So it was awesome to run into him at the top of Stream Trail at Davagh Trail Centre a number of weeks ago.

Now I have to admit that if I had passed Clarence on the trail I probably would not have known him, but I did know his van which I had seen when arriving in the car park, so I had a fair idea he was ripping about the trails somewhere.

I knew Clarence was a great rider, I had seen his race results on Roots And Rain and the cool stuff he was doing on his socials, so after we chatted for a bit on the trails and afterwards on socials I knew he would be a great guest to get on the podcast. So I reached out and we set it up.

Join us as we chat racing, riding, new bikes, sponsorship, van life and future plans for 2021.

Enjoy the show!

Find Out:

  • How Clarence got into mountain biking
  • What those early days were like riding Gortin
  • How the scene has changed since then
  • Why Clarence got into racing
  • What it was like sharing a house at uni with Kelan
  • How work and life got in the way of riding for a while
  • What he thinks of the new Gortin trail network
  • What Clarence thinks of mountain biking in Ireland in general
  • How he got involved in the promo video for the new Gortin trails
  • What bike Clarence is riding and why he needs an upgrade
  • How he thinks bike technology has changed for the better
  • What bike he would buy if money was no option
  • Why Clarence decided to do a van conversion
  • What he loves so much about van life
  • His racing plans for 2021
  • How to get in contact and find out more

Clarence has done his fair share of travelling to hit news trails and expand his riding experiences and he is totally blown away with what Ireland has to offer. He has seen the scene change a load over the years and has seen riders get younger and faster over that time.

Now Clarence is still a young man, but he comes from the days of riding natural trails that you had to build yourself, get out the shovels, put the work in, and make a day of it and that is just how it was back in those days. You had a bunch of mates who just wanted to ride bikes, meet up every possible chance, build some trails, add in a few jumps and spend the day in the forest breaking their bikes (the good old days).

Things have changed (in the most part) since those days, trail centres have been built and things seem to have become more commercial, but Clarence is all for it. He loves the popularity of mountain biking and thinks the new trail centres are great for the sport, bringing new blood into the scene and helping the young riders develop their riding skills and speed, faster and safer.

Now there always will be a place for the natural trail networks, and those are hard to beat, but the purpose built trail centres make mountain biking more accessible to greater numbers and make trail riding doable all year round. Clarence thinks this is a good thing for the sport overall and I tend to agree. I certainly don’t think we would be seeing the level of young talent we are now if it was not for trail centres and the number of awesome riding venues we have across the country. It’s a win for us as riders and it’s a win for the mountain bike industry in general.

So join Clarence and myself as we chat about bikes, trails, training, the Irish scene and lots more.

Thanks for tuning in and for your support!

To Connect with Clarence:

Instagram: claryonsafari

Facebook: clarence.ballantine

Clarence’s Sponsors:



To Share Your Thoughts or Get In Contact:

  • Share this show on, Instagram or Facebook
  • Leave a note in the ‘Contact Us’ section on the website

To Help Out The Show:

Thanks so much to Clarence for coming on the podcast and sharing his story.

And thank you once again for tuning in!

Join me next week for another MTB TRIBE Podcast show!