195 – From Road To MTB with Gary Donaldson
Vitus First Tracks Race Division Rider, Gortin Glen Local and A Super Fast Ripper on Two Wheels – Gary Donaldson
On Episode #195 we are chatting with Gary Donaldson about why he made the move from road to mountain biking, how he landed a spot on the Vitus First Tracks Race Division, why he loves racing so much, what it’s like following Glyn O’Brien and what his goals are for the 2021 race season. Plus lots more interesting info!
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Enjoy the show!
- How Gary got into mountain biking at a young age
- What it was like growing up in Omagh with Kelan Grant and other great talent at that time
- Why Gary decided to give up on mountain biking and move to road cycling
- How he got on at road and how he was pretty successful
- Why Gary decided it was time to move back to the MTB scene
- If Gary still wore his lyrica when getting back on the MTB
- How he quickly got back to top speed on his local trails
- How Gary landed a position on the Vitus First Track Race Division
- Why he believes this has helped his riding move up to the next level
- What being part of a family team environment means to Gary
- What he thinks of his Vitus Sommet
- Why Gary runs his Sommet as a mullet
- How he felt after his first race on the Vitus First Track Team walking away with the win
- How Gary got the gig to film the Gortin Glen promo video
- What working as a trail ranger was like
- What goals Gary has set for his 2021 race season
- How to find out more and get in contact with Gary
Gary was racing downhill from an early age, but when he moved to road cycling (you will have to listen to the podcast to find out why) he got his start in the road race scene with Caldwell Cycles. Even though Gary was successful in the road racing scene something was pulling him back to the mountains, so when he went into his long-time sponsor at Caldwell Cycles and said he was giving up road racing and needed a mountain bike they never blinked an eye. They simply sat Gary down, pulled up their website and asked him what kind of thing he needed! You don’t get service like that much these days.
As soon as Gary hit the trails he knew this was where he belonged, he quickly got up to speed and got his MTB racing head on. As Gary says himself, you get quick fast trying to follow the likes of Kelan Grant down the mountain. It wasn’t long until Gary was back in the race scene and it would only be a year until he would be standing on the top of the podium at the 2020 Glencullen Adventure Park (The Gap) race. The crazy thing was this was Gary’s first race wearing his Vitus First Tracks Race Division jersey. What a way to make an entrance to your new race team! Obviously the race events slowed down due to covid, but his good results continued with a 4th, 2nd and 8th at the following Vitus First Tracks Enduro Cups. And all this from somebody who was called a wildcard.
Gary is loving his new Vitus Sommet, and I know why, these things want to go fast and will encourage you over, down or through anything and everything. He is running it as a mullet and loves how this has changed the feel of the bike for his style of riding. He also thinks that this setup suits his size better (6ft) which is very interesting, but he does admit that it is a very personal thing.
So tune in, put your feet up for an hour and find out about Gary’s road to the mountain bike scene, what he thinks about his local trails, why he is in love with racing and when he stopped wearing lyrica!
Thanks for being here. Enjoy the show!
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Thanks so much to Gary for coming on the podcast and sharing his story.
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Join me next week for another MTB TRIBE Podcast show!