Ryan de La Rue – The Coming of a Champion
I was delighted to see that yesterday Pinkbike featured the below video of Ryan De La Rue (aka Muffin) and Wyn Masters on their main page video feed.
I know Ryan from back in the day racing Gravity Enduro in Victoria and have seen him around since at events like the Cairns World Cup. He was often away working for World Trails, but whenever we catch up, I’m always struck by his calm and relaxed personality and have thoroughly enjoyed his company.
I am spoilt by having exceptionally top quality men to socialise and race with – and Ryan is firmly in that group. He is honest, smart and genuine. I really appreciate that he doesn’t get sucked into the trash talk or ego/bike driven comparisons that many riders can get swept up into at race meets. This is all aside from the fact that he is wicked nimble on a bike and regularly has the Elite Men’s field crapping their pants.
So I could not be more pleased that he is getting more exposure and acknowledgement that he so rightly deserves. To me, Ryan has always been a champion rider. I’ve always appreciated that Ryan is accepting of all types of people and his ability to hold a meaningful and interesting conversation that is not about bikes for longer than 10 minutes – a rare skill at a mountain biking event indeed! I like how he is always himself and is just well…normal!
As an older female rider, I am very grateful for the presence of such strong and reliable men – not just at bikes races, but also within the wider community. In such a male-dominated sport, these men are wonderful advocates for the sport. Thier participation is invaluable as positive role models for other/younger riders and as ambassadors for inclusionary, quality, fun and skilled riding for all.
You know those guys…
Many of us who have been around the Downhill and MTB racing scene for a while have seen the various ways that all manner of men navigate their way into and around the racing circuit. You are probably familiar with the full range of shit-hot rider characteristics being displayed at various times; bravardo, cocky, arrogant, composed, competitive, conviction, serene, smug and over confident.
I understand race-day jitters and the need to stay focused, but after the event is over – that is when the authentic champions really shine. I’m talking about the riders who go the extra mile like make an effort to chat to new people, stick around to cheer other riders on, takes the time to thank organisers and volunteers. These are the few classy riders who can think outside of themselves and who positively contribute to events and the biking community instead of just taking. In my eyes, these are the real champions.
What makes a true ‘champion rider’?
I agree that riders need a certain element of self-belief in order to ride hard and at their limit – so there is certainly a place for thinking positive and being assertive about your riding. However, there is a definite line between being confident on the bike, and being a wanker about being confident on the bike or just being a wanker who can ride a bike. As I have written about elsewhere, I maintain that the substance of a rider off the bike is just as important (if not more) as his ability to ride fast.
Thankfully, there are riders like Muffin and a handful of others like Jared Graves, Dan McMunn, Troy Brosnan, Kaine Cannon and Chris Pannozo who are truly ‘champion riders’ as they consistently prove through their words and deeds, that they are men of substance – as well as being bloody quick and stylish on a bike.
Best of luck Ryan!
So, for these reasons and more, I am thrilled to see Ryan gaining more national and international exposure for all the time, hard work and passion that he puts into his trial building work and his riding.
If you have the good fortune of meeting or riding with Ryan – have a chat with him and see if I’m at all mistaken …. that’s if you can catch him! I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
I expect we will be hearing a lot more about Ryan’s successful exploits in the near future.
Best of luck Ryan! Rip their legs off mate!
Follow Muffin on his adventures
Facebook: Ryan De La Rue