Q & A with Varsity MTB Challenge’s MC, Doug Bird
The Varsity MTB Challenge is around the corner. Our MC, Doug Bird, will keep riders and spectators entertained throughout the event.
This two-day stage race takes place between 1-2 October at the La Paris Estate in Franschhoek and participation is open to all MTB enthusiasts.
Cape Town-based Doug, who hails from Richmond in KwaZulu-Natal, is an experienced mountain bike rider. He is the brother of South African-born Australian canoeist, Steve Bird, who recently represented Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Varsity MTB Challenge got some insight into what makes Doug Bird, the Varsity MTB Challenge MC, tick:
- At what point did you decide to embark on a journey that extends into so many sectors?
It began when I joined Red Bull as their Country Sports Marketing Manager. I ended up spending just under half a decade with them. Being part of what I deem to be one of the most progressive global brands allowed me to gain valuable experience. I recently started my own business, Wild Air, which specialises, amongst other things, in Marketing Strategy, Marketing Consulting, Market Research, Digital Media, Innovation and Sponsorship. Wild Air allows me to tap into my passion for television and entertaining live crowds.
- If you had to choose to hold onto one of your many characteristics for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
To be known as a motivator. This is why I document and publish my adventures – to inspire and encourage others to keep trying and remain positive.
- A portion of the sporting community considers mountain biking the ‘new golf’ – would you agree with this statement?
The cross over between the sports is huge and I believed that MTB was growing more rapidly than golf, but to be fair, MTB is growing off a smaller base.
- Has your involvement in extreme sports brought about any memorable battle scars?
Only had a few mild crashes on my mountain bike. However, I suffered a spinal compression after landing flat off a 16m high waterfall while kayaking. I took a pretty big hit and was out of action for a few months.
- You have conquered many mountain trails, which one is your favourite, and why?
Eselfontein in Ceres, Western Cape. It is made up of six super technical, rocky and harsh terrain stages in very remote locations.
Want to see which trail Doug is referring to, find it here.
- Limitation seems to be a phrase unknown to you, what would be your ultimate mountain bike ride?
A ride that is definitely on the bucket list for me is the BC Bike Race in Canada. I plan on embarking on this within the next year.
- Which song title would describe you best?
There isn’t a song title that would describe me given my broad taste in music.
But if it had to be one, right now, it will be Panda by Designer.
This song inspires me to push myself, especially when I think I cannot make that jump.
Not familiar with the song, have a listen to it here.
“Thanks guys. I am extremely excited to be part of the inaugural Varsity MTB Challenge, it’s a fresh new take on mountain bike racing. See you there!”