Fresh off some strong finishes at both local and national Enduro races, we sat down with USE rider Oli Carter to find out more- everything from baking cakes in a ski chalet to balancing the demands of racing and his young family.
Ice Breaker! Describe yourself in 3 words
Positively, happily, different
What’s your secret hobby/passion away from the bike?
Man I love baking cakes.... When I was 19 I was a chalet boy for a winter in the alps, baked 2 cakes a day for 5 months! It had to taste good and be baked quick so we wanted to go shred the snow!
How did you get into riding?
After the ski season I just mentioned I got invited out to the mountains in the summer, and that was that... I had ridden a bit of Dirt Jumps in my teenage years but nothing serious... the real love for Downhill started when I was 20.
What is your earliest cycling memory?
I must have been about 8.... me and my friend were seeing how fast we could ride head on into each other... after having a good head on crash I realised my hand was covered in blood, a stray cable end had ripped my finger nail off!
If you could ride 1 trail for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Wow that's tough.... If you rode and never stopped between trails, linking all together to create one giant trail, does that count? Location wise, a trail in Cervinia that had never ending corners was a dream!
First bike & favourite bike?
I think my first bike was made by Peugeot! Favourite bike... my Scott Octane Ds hardtail
So many riders these days are turning their backs on racing and finding new and exciting ways to express themselves and their sponsors on the bike via social media. Racing has changed so much in the last few years, the way its run, the training, and the people at the start gates. How has your perception on riding and racing changed, if at all, as the years have gone by?
Good question, so I was talking about this with some mates at a race this weekend.... For me, racing is where it started and is the reason why I always train harder and want to go faster... BUT a result doesn't really mean much these days... The way I look at it is that all the right folk are at the races and its all about who you know, right?
I will always go racing, now i just use it as another story to make some cool content about to hopefully inspire others to try racing their bike down hills as fast as they can!
What are your thoughts on the progression/current situation of women’s riding and racing? What key things do you think we could all be doing to improve it?
I think they need to have a younger age cat so my girls can start racing... They are 3 and 20months old... haha...
My sister used to be a Pro road racer on a UCI team but had stop because it just wasn't financially possible. The equivalent mens team riders were on a half decent salaries so why weren't the women! It is a shame as I saw how much effort my sister put into the team, training 5-6 hours a day to get next to nothing back from it. Yes there was prize money but it was just a bit of pocket money at the end of the day. Hopefully something can change to make it equal in the future.
If you could have anyone’s riding style, who's would it be?
Again my Daughters, shes rad on a Balance bike... I Always think that you should try and do your own thing, take things from others but never totally copy one person... If you put Mitch Ropolato, Florian Nicolai and Sam Hill in a blender that would be a pretty Rad shake....
Which events are you most excited about racing or attending this year? It has to be the Trans Maderia, i was like a kid in a sweet shop when a last minute entry came through for this... Its a dream oppertunity and i cant thank HUNT, USE and Fenwicks enough for helping me get to the race.
We always like to end with a good crash story – what’s your worst and how much stuff did you break?!
Worst crash... never had any really bad (touch wood), done collar bones, shoulder's, one knee and one ankle... more ligaments than bones though, which half the time is worse...
Being a dad and an elite Racer must be tough how do you balance your riding and home life?
For starters I have the most AWESOME wife! i ride to work off road on some DH tracks I have built and get out when I'm filming/ content making for USE each week. Very lucky to be able to ride so much with a young family.
What are your big plans for this yeah have you got any exciting projects you are working on that you want to tell us about?
I'm working on quite a few video/media projects for USE (cant say to much), racing some awesome events and most importantly HAVING FUN!!!