Ryan Gilchrist – Parkitect Australia’s new brand ambassador
As one of Australia’s most highly-ranked Enduro racers, Ryan loves the feeling of being on his bike.
“Pump tracks have always been my favourite way to stay fit, gain skill and have fun.”
“I’ve been riding a bike for so long it feels like an extension of my body. I don’t even need to think about riding, it just happens. It expands what I’m able to do, the places I can see, the emotions I feel, and the things I can experience. It creates a new world I can escape to whenever I want, wherever I want. “
Ryan has recently joined Parkitect Australia as a brand ambassador.
He’s one of Australia’s most highly-ranked Enduro racers. His racing career started with BMX competitions where he competed for over 5 years, mastering new bike skills that would prepare him to qualify for state and national finals.
“At 17, I transferred to my current discipline, racing Gravity Enduro MTB. Taking the valuable skills I learned on the BMX track into the bush has given me new skills and advantages.
“But my love for BMX never died. I now race pump track events around Australia and I’m the current national champion. I’m still a massive advocate for the value of pump tracks in the development of young riders. Not just as an endless source of fun, but also as a place to develop skills that will last a lifetime.”
Competing in Gravity Enduro races dials up the fun for Ryan
Ryan’s love of competing has continued to grow over the years.
“All the raw feelings I experience on the bike get magnified the second the clock starts. I love the feeling of urgency and competition when I’m racing. It’s always nerve-wracking, but I’ve never had issues with nerves. I let them motivate me and help me rise to the occasion.”
Gravity Enduro racing began in France in the early 2000s. It’s an exciting form of downhill racing that traditionally has four or five special stages spread throughout a 30 or 40km trail loop. Participants race against the clock to reach the bottom.
Ryan is enthusiastic about Gravity Enduro racing.
“Gravity Enduro is one of the fastest-growing disciplines of cycling for good reason. It embodies the childlike playfulness of riding a bike and turns it into a fun sport. If you can ride a bike, you can ride gravity enduro.
“Huge amounts of time and money are going into making tracks and facilities for recreation and training.The more this happens, the more accessible the sport becomes.”
Ryan is looking forward to representing Australia in the 2022 Enduro World Series (EWS).
“Australia is a big country. That means it can get expensive to get around the country to compete in races. Luckily, there are lots of new clubs popping up all over the country and pretty much every town is not far from some sick trails.
Being inspired and inspiring others
Ryan is inspired by other great Aussie and overseas bike riders and likes to think he could also inspire younger people to take part in the sport.
“I come from a mixed background of cycling disciplines including XC, BMX, and Downhill. I grew up watching videos like those from Collective Films featuring the great Matt Hunter. His lifestyle has been a goal of mine where he freerides for a living. I’ve also been inspired by allrounders in racing like Jared Graves who managed to be the best in the world in almost all the disciplines I grew up with.
“I think that no matter how good you are at something, you’re inspiring someone who started in the same place you did. The further you progress into the sport, the more people you have an impact on. Because of this, I make sure that every moment I’m on the bike, in public or on social media, I’m doing my best to inspire people who are beginning their journey.”
Not only is Ryan busy riding and competing whenever he gets the chance, he also started his own company working as a freelance photographer and videographer.
“It’s difficult to try and fit everything in, but I’m always trying to make sure I’m being productive with my time. I can only train so much and races are always on the weekends.
“I’m in the lucky position where the things I like to do in my free time, like riding bikes and making videos, are the things I need to dedicate large amounts of time to. And cameras are fun! I’ve been playing with cameras for years and making it into a job is amazing.
“The bike industry is becoming heavily reliant on media, especially photography and videography. Being both an athlete and a videographer allows me to mix and match two things I love – and create amazing content. “
Ryan loves riding a pump track
“Pump tracks have always been my favourite way to stay fit, gain skill and have fun. When I was about 12, Dad built my brother and I a small dirt pump track in the backyard. We rode it every day. I still believe that our backyard pump track is one of the sole contributors to my skill on a bike, my fitness and my love for bikes in general.
“Pump tracks are the perfect fusion of a BMX track and a skate park. They combine the benefits of both, making them the ultimate way to develop skills and have amazing fun.”
“My first time riding a Parkitect Modular Pumptrack was at Mt Buller. The first thing that shocked me was how perfect it was. Every shape was flawless, every roller was the right size. Every time I went around the track I felt as though the track had me locked in place safely.”
“Another massive benefit is how easy Modular Pumptracks are to maintain. Having had a pump track in my backyard, I know how difficult it is to build and maintain a dirt pump track. Once you’ve achieved the mission of building it, rain puts massive ruts in berms, the rollers shrink and it gets super bumpy. Parkitect removes the difficulty. You never have to put a shovel in the ground from the day it’s installed.
“I’m rapt to be a brand ambassador for Parkitect Australia because they share my vision of a world where pump tracks can be accessed by anyone, anywhere, at any time.”
Read more about Parkitect Australia’s Brand Ambassadors [here]
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