Let us introduce you to Becci Skelton. With an impressive array of nicknames, Bec/Skel/Skelly/Skeldog is riding in 2019 for the Rocky Mountain Enduro team, who we'll be supporting alongside the fine fellows of Peaty's Products. We'll also be supporting another awesome MTB team which we'll be announcing in March. Anyway, back to Bec. She's been involved with the Steve Peat Syndicate since 2016, and competed in Elite & World Cup level downhill racers We caught up with her for an Off The Drop interview, ahead of another year of madness....
Age. Old enough to know better
Ice Breaker! Describe yourself in 3 words. Bitodd (that’s one word), Northern, determined
What’s your secret hobby/passion away from the bike? Love a bit of DIY, not a secret but recently converted my VW Crafter on me todd . Absolute challenge, as I had no idea what I was doing but learnt on the job and it’s turned out sweet. That...and jigsaws 💁🏼♀️
How did you get into riding?
I’ve always been able to ride a bike, but started doing trail centre rides with the boys from home about 6 years ago. They were more of a piss up than anything. I bought myself a Cube Acid (snapped the forks on first ride) and wore an amazing collection of neon clothing from Chain Reaction's bargain bin, elbow pads, no knees, van slip ons. Very, very cool.
Being a Personal Trainer, you spend a lot time in the gym. Are there any off-the-bike ‘easy wins' that you would recommend for the weekend warrior looking for a bit of extra speed?
I’d say any big compound movements that incorporate hips/glutes; my faves are heavy kettlebell swings, barbell thrusters, dumbbell snatch and high single leg step ups.
What is your earliest cycling memory?
I remember having a white BMX with pink and black checkered padding on it, wearing a Michael Jackson T-shirt, riding down our street and my bro was throwing apples through the spokes so they’d smash up: all well and good until he swapped out apples for a stick. The stick didn’t break and the concrete hurt.
If you could ride 1 trail for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Jesus, that’s hard...probably full moto at Black Mountain Cycle Centre. Scares me but it’s so sick!
First bike & favourite bike?
First bike (excluding the above BMX was a Raleigh Lizard. Hell of a bike. Favourite (and I’m not just saying this cos they sponsor me) is my Rocky Mountain Slayer. That bike can do anything. Love it.
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 it's 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?
Yeah, even in the relatively short time I’ve been racing, so many people have sacked it off to become social media riders; which is sick actually. Doesn’t really help the race series, they seem pretty quiet nowadays but it’s so cool to see what these guys get up to and churn out some sick edits. Racing’s grand and I’ll probably do it for as long as I can, but it can all just get a bit too serious for my liking.
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?
The amount of women and young lasses that are getting into the bike scene now is immense. It’s wicked to see so many girls of all standards at races and bike parks. I love it that girls just get stuck in now, and it seems to be reflected in better sponsorship choices by brands; the bike industry went through a stage of giving everything to the girl that looked prettiest in the tightest shorts stood next to her bike but (fingers crossed) that seems to have turned a corner now and brands are focusing more on some sick up and coming girls that can shred hard!!
If you could have anyone’s riding style, who's would it be?
My dog can scrub like no mans business but gotta say the queen of Steeze, Vero Sandler is the coolest cat on the block.
Which events are you most excited about racing or attending this year?
I’m so stoked for the Megavalanche. I’ve not done it before, but it looks wild and hard. I’m all up for that! Pretty excited to be doing a few enduros as well, only did Ard Rock last year so keen to get a few more under my belt. Hopefully gonna hit a few World Cups as well; I did some a few years back and just failed miserably, so it’ll be good to go back after a few more years experience of racing and see what I can do.
We always like to end with a good crash story – what’s your worst and how much stuff did you break?!
Im pretty good at crashing and lucky not to have broke that many things in my time. My first break was my wrist (the scaphoid has apparently snapped in half and kinda bent back on its self...carried on riding all day with it-was trying to impress a boy). I think my most dramatic was just doing some wee dirt jumps last year, over-shot one and somehow snapped my seat off and the metal prong went into my groin/thigh, leaving quite a hole...and ruining my new Levi’s. Little bit too close to my femoral artery for my liking. Had to have internal and external stitches to seal that boy!