Monday, June 4, 2007

Interview with a Fox

I've only known Fox a short time but it didn't take long to realize that he's the real thing. What you see (and read) is what you get. This dude knows bikes and bike racing like no other. Read on for a peek into the mind of a local legend.

What's the story behind the name Sly Fox?
Fox: Well back in about 1998 I started selling bike stuff on and they wanted a handle so I came up with that. Since I'm an honest guy and don't take advantage of anyone I thought it was ironic. So they started buying stuff from some guy named Sly. I don't disappoint.

Why don't you ride with a helmet?

Fox: I never crash, its a mind game. It builds confidence and doesn't leave you with an out. The mindset goes like this "It's ok if you crash, you have a helmet on" or "It's ok if you break your leg or need stiches cuz you got a helmet on." That's really lame.

So you better pay attention and have 100% confidence in your ability. I can't afford broken bones or cuts, if I have it on I'm still going to be cut and busted up. A helmet might not make me brain dead. That's my choice. It's a free country. You can do what you want and so can I.

You attract your situations to you, good or bad. I don't buy the "other guy running into you" at all. It's a crock. You attracted that guy to run into you. It's not anyone's fault but your own. Mind your thoughts, they are powerful. You get what you think about. So I don't crash, I don't want to get hurt and if I'm hauling ass in traffic, or down some rocky trail and die then that's my problem and you guys can say "well, if he would have had a helmet on" bla bla bla.

I do what I want, how I want.

What's the secret to riding in the big ring?

Fox: I just noticed a big power gain this year. I didn't used to do it all the time. This year something happened and I must have gotten bigger legs. It doesnt hurt to ride the big ring. It's easier, I can ride at lower heart rates. So I guess just do lots of miles and build up some power. I used to watch Tomac and Tinker ride the big ring all over and I thought it was cool so even if it is slower its cool to brag about it, just cuz I can.

Top 3 trails to shred and why?
Fox: Pretty boring but BST cuz it's close. I have it memorized and could ride it blind folded, I like the dh down into City Creek. It's fast and has flow. The switchbacks and rocks are kind of lame but that's mtn biking and it's cut at the right grade so you can just rip it. That's flow.

In the summer I like anything in Park City. Mid Mtn, Crest trail is cool cuz it's fast and the rock spine is always fun if people are walking it and I blast past them with no helmet.

Some sweet 1 track in Fruita and Moab. Same standby. Nothing exciting.

Favorite post-race recovery food?
Fox: I eat mostly at 3 of the same places all the time. One World, Barbacoa and Rubios. That's about it. After the race I dont eat right away unless I'm at a bbq and get a hambuger patty without the bread. I don't eat bread. I eat too many carbs I think. I never bonk, I just go slow from not drinking and draining the power from the big ring.

Best advice for a junior just starting to ride?
Fox: Depends on the age, junior could be 18 and under down to 6. 17/18 year olds need to ride a lot. They go hard all the time so I would have them on a slower pace sked. Also try to avoid burn out.

Younger kids just need to have fun, if they feel pressured into training they won't keep doing it much longer.

What's up with all the fast mountain bikers stuffing bottles in their jersey instead of using a Camelbak?

Fox: For me the CamelBak is hard to suck out of, it's hot and bulky. The plastic tastes bad and I don't want to get sick from having mold in the bladder. I think those are pretty good reasons. I use water bottles only a few times and then I get new ones. I'm afraid of getting some kind of funky mold growing in them. They are nasty.

Why do you ride a Scalpel?

Fox: Scalpel is the best xc bike on the planet. It has been for 5 years. It's lightweight and hauls ass. Simple design. Don't mess up a good thing. I have always paid for my bikes and I pick the best. There are no sponsors telling me what to say. If it's on my bike it's cuz it's lightweight, works good and can take a beating.

Ever get nervous riding the Spine on Wasatch Crest?

Fox: It used to be harder, so ya a few years ago like 1995 I might have been. But anything like that is a mind game. If you are scared of it you will jack yourself up. It's about confidence, you need to tell the spine what's up and then you will conquer it.

A few years ago some jackass went up there with a sledge hammer and busted up all the rocks. Now it's practically a freeway. Leave the trail alone and don't move rocks, obstacles or make it flat. If I wanted to ride a sidewalk I can do that in the city.

What's the hardest race you've ever won?

Fox: In 2003 I went to the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico as a Cat 2 and won Stage 5. It was 100 miles with a lot of mtn climbing. I felt like a super hero that day and everything was perfect. It was a golden day to race and everything clicked so I took advantage and won it solo in about 5 hrs. I have not felt that good in a race since that day.

Hardest race you haven't won but dream of winning?

Fox: I want to win every week. I wish I could figure out a way to do that. All the races are hard, it depends who shows up. Sometimes you can feel like crap and win cuz no one is there, or sometimes you feel 100% and get 4th.

Is it true you're going to start racing a 1 speed?
Fox: I'm just going to do the Solitude race on the Scalpel. I will change the gear to a 34x17 and see how it goes. If I hate it then I won't do it any more.

Do the messengers get pissed when you show up and win their alley cats?
Fox: Probably. I don't do all of them but too bad. They shouldn't be drunk, stoned or smoking if they cared that much about it. Really, I don't think they care that much or they would try harder.

What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Fox: 1/2 of a Clif Builder bar. I don't eat anything when a race is before 11am. I eat a lot the day before and late that night. Sometimes i wake up at 3am and eat some Clif bars then go back to bed.

If it's a normal day I like pizza, Twinkies or Twizzlers. Oh, and Cokes.


1 comment:

Dave Harris said...

Awesome! Great questions, great responses, interesting fox.