Two times 24-Hour Mountain Bike World Champion, Jason English, is a Port Macquarie local and Pedal Ambassador for Pedal Against Poverty. He’ll be riding at Wayne Richards Park on October 15 …
How long have you lived in the Port Macquarie area?
I have been in Port Macquarie for 7 years now.
Where did your passion for cycling start – and why endurance mountain bike riding, and not another cycling discipline?
My dad has always been a keen cyclist, and I recall doing the 25 km ride to school with him even as a primary school student. He got me my first mountain bike when I was in Year 7, and I started racing in Year 10.
I started with the shorter, faster cross country races before trying out 100 km (marathon), 8hr and 24hr racing. I didn’t really specialise in any distance, but just raced whatever I could.
I enjoy the endurance (4hr+) events, as the intensity is lower and it becomes far more social. Mountain bike racing is normally lap based, and in the long races involves racing either as a solo or part of teams of up to 8 or 10. This means there are lots of people just out at the venue having fun and enjoying the social atmosphere.
What kind of results have you been getting – and what’s been the standout achievement of your career so far?
I’ve surprised myself with some good results over the past few years, including winning Mountain to Beach and Red Centre Stage races, multiple high profile marathon distances, including the Australian Marathon Nationals; but the achievements that most people are aware of is through my 24-hour racing, which has included 4 National Titles and being the World Champ since 2009.
What’s your riding schedule been like so far in 2011?
My events calendar has been very full this year. I had a bit of a break from racing around July, but my son Archie, now 10 weeks old, has been encouraging me to keep racing.
The highlight of the year was winning the Marathon National Champs, then winning the Solo 24-Hour Championships the next weekend!
You’ve achieved the title of 24-Hour Mountain Bike World Champion not once, but twice … what kind of discipline/training schedule does it take to remain competitive at this level?
It’s really about adding some extra volume into my training routine. The school that I work at (Heritage Christian School) has been very supportive in allowing me to do racing and have structured my timetable to maximise morning training sessions, that allow me to get 3 – 4 hours in most mornings before work. This means after work I can just think about planning for the next day and hangout with the family.
How did you find out about Pedal Against Poverty – and why did you become involved?
The organiser of Pedal Against Poverty invited me to join him down in Sydney for a 24-hour event that seemed to have a really good cause. After checking it out a little and seeing what it was all about, I was convinced that we could do a similar event in Port Macquarie and have far more people involved. So that’s the challenge this year.
You’re Pedal Ambassador at this year’s Pedal Against Poverty 8-hour mountain bike event, which will be held on October 15 at Wayne Richards Park. What’s involved with this role?
I’m simply assisting a team of people who are keen for both mountain biking and caring for the needs of others.
What outcome are you hoping for from the October 15 event?
We are hoping for a big event, where we can raise the awareness of the needs of others around the world. Pedal Against Poverty in Port Macquarie is splitting the money raised between projects in Cambodia, India, and Tanzania.
How can the general public get behind you and the event?
Either by sponsoring a rider, making a donation at the event, or by riding. We need to get as many people as possible to sign up and collect money before the event. The cost is low to encourage this, at only $5 for juniors and $15 for adults.