Tahnee Seagrave – Quick Questions
A few weeks ago I was internet shopping to cure my boredom and I found a great offer online for some amazing second-hand gear. When reaching out to the seller, guess who I found? To my amazement the purveyor of quality bike producsts was Tahnee Seagrave! The Junior World Champ 2013, one of the best Downhill Riders in the World and truly a kickass lady. Tahnee was my first female inspiration in mountain biking. I plucked up the courage to ask her few questions and here is what Tahnee had to say about how she got into biking, how she trains and what it’s like riding a Transition Bikes this season.
Cranky Betty: You are the youngest woman in the top 20 of the UCI rankings. What would you put your fast move into the top of Elite Mountain Biking down to?
Tahnee Seagrave: I am unbelievably competitive and have never really seen my age as a difference. I will push to be the best I can.
CB: My experience of mountain biking as a woman has been one that usually starts with a man, in my case my boyfriend, how did you get into mountain biking and what do you think could be done to encourage more girls to get involved?
TS: I got in to it from ex world champ Vanessa Quinn. Very inspirational woman and at the time she had a very pretty baby blue bike and I wanted one just like her! She had time for me as a kid, which I much appreciate. I would say it’s not as “manly” and savage as the sport looks. You can take your own time, at your own pace. It’s a sport that allows you to improve time after time, which is an incredible feeling. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone, just enjoy it!
CB: I know that Rachel Atherton has been involved in sponsoring and encouraging younger women to go further in our sport, have you had any thoughts about offering any advice or assistance to younger riders? (if so I’m ready for the call…!)
TS: Haha yes of course. I love seeing young talent and the whole point of my dads team is to bring along fresh talent and help young riders become the athletes they can (and want to) be with support and knowledge.
CB: How did the preparation for this season go? Were you focusing particularly on strength training or have you been out spinning on the trail bike to up your cardio? (or just at home eating sandwiches like me?)
TS: I do all of the above! Haha. I particularly focused on HAVING FUN. I realised that the more I was having fun on my bike, the faster I was going. So I played around a lot more with all different bikes, explored new places, went riding with friends etc.. Obviously it’s not all fun and games and you do NEED to put in the long hours in the gym- but again, I enjoyed it as I thrived off seeing myself get fitter and stronger knowing that I’d be able to ride my bike faster.
CB: Signing with transition bikes was great news this winter, how are you finding your new bike? What are the differences between the Transition and your previous Devinci and Intense bikes?
TS: I LOVE my new bike. Since I first started racing I always thought they were pretty looking (such a girl thing to say) and always wanted to try one. It’s really playful and suits any riding style. The geometry is dialled. Both my Devinci and Intense had low bottom brackets, where as the transition sits a little higher. It’s also not as slack as the Devinci was.
CB: Like every rider, you must have fallen a few times, how do you deal with the falls and the injuries? (particularly when you’re falling down in front of TV cameras!)
TS: I’m dealing with one at the minute! I was actually thinking the other day it has been AGES since I’d had an injury, so must have jinxed myself! Obviously I don’t hurt myself everything I crash, or else I’d given up by now haha. I see crashing as a positive most the time- means I’m pushing myself. And once it’s out the way I usually think “yay! I ok!” And end up riding better! But it sucks to have an injury. You just have to take the time it needs. No point in doing shortcuts it will end up worse. I know it’s frustrating but it’s part of the sport!
CB: Furthermore, how do you deal with fear? Is it a step-by-step approach to getting over a new obstacle or do you hit it and hope?
TS: There has been ALOT of hit and hope. That’s my life story 😉. But yes fear is human and I get absolutely petrified at stuff that, most the time, is easy! I have to remind myself that I know how to ride a bike and that I wouldn’t be debating the obstacle if I were 100% sure I couldn’t do it. Hit and hope!
CB: Any tips for wearing dresses in the summer with all the scratches on your shins? I know that I struggle to get the legs out on those rare summer days as it looks like I’ve been cage fighting at the weekend!
TS: Foundation is your best bet. It’s not great, but it helps!
CB: I am planning to do my first proper race this summer, it’s an enduro event so the chance of death is probably greatly reduced but nonetheless are there any tips for me and other women in the weeks leading up to a race?
TS: Five P’s! Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. You will feel a lot more relaxed at the race if you are prepared. And I know this may sound quite broad, but by preparation I mean EVERYTHING. For example picture yourself at the race. Driving there, seeing friends, at the start gate, riding well, having fun,crossing the line, smiling. Close your eyes and try to imagine those feelings. I like to picture EVERY scenario possible (even bad ones), what is there to be worried about when you already expect everything? That’s more the mental side of things which I must say is easier said than done but give it a go- it might work for you it might not. There’s other things that can help towards preparation such as having snacks/meals prepared and water ready to keep your body in place. Just remember the more prepared you are, the more relaxed you’ll be.
Cranky Betty certainly wishes Tahnee lots of luck this Leogang run and I will be cheering her on all season.
June 9, 2016