Austin local and 2012 Austin Rattler MTB champ Tristan Uhl returned to Rocky Hill Ranch to defend his turf.
Give us a local’s perspective on the Austin mountain bike scene.
I’ve lived in Austin for the last four years. The mountain bike scene here is pretty sweet. We’ve got a wide range of trails to pick from. Lots of technical stuff. It’s very rocky here but you can find some fast and smooth if that’s what you’re into. The Texas series TMBRA rocks — we have a XC race almost every weekend throughout the spring on all different kinds of trails.
Rocky Hill Ranch must sort of be your playground. Ride there much? Where else do you train in the area?
I was born and raised five miles from RHR, so I’ve put in some time on those trails. For the last few years I have been spending most of my time riding the Barton Creek Greenbelt with some road stuff sprinkled in to keep things fresh.
You didn’t quite come out of the womb mountain biking, but pretty close. Your first ride was when you were around a year old, on the back of your mom’s bike? How did your parents’ enthusiasm for and involvement in the sport shape your bike-riding desire and lead to a life of riding?
My parents are great. They started a youth MTB series in Texas so I would have kids to race against, and when I was older they funded my trips around the country to race national events. I had so much fun when I was young going to races and camping with friends and family that I decided I never wanted to stop. My parents have always supported me doing what I love even if I’m not making much money doing it.
What are your goals for the 2013 season?
Cross Country Nationals and the Downieville Classic are the two big goals this year.
What about longer-term mountain biking hopes and dreams — say, a 5-year-ish plan?
In general I would like to see the sport expand and be enjoyed by more people. For me personally, I want to continue to improve and get a top five at Cross Country Nationals and a win at Downieville in the next five years.
You’re in for the LT100 in August. Will you ride it this year?
I have never raced LT100. I won’t be there this year because of its close proximity to the Downieville race, but I’m thinking about including it next year.