Spoke writer Megan Dimozantos is a familiar name not only on our pages but on the endurance racing circuit both here and abroad. While others are sleeping, Megan is churning out the laps or churning out words about churning out laps. Look out for an account of her and John Randal’s epic Cape Epic experience in the September issue, and her Worlds 24 hour conquest in the December issue.
In the meantime, learn about the similarity between Italian penises and bread in this week’s Frankly Thursday.
You were recently overseas. Where were you and what were you up to?
I started in South Africa and smashed out a little eight-day race called the Cape Epic, then made my way up to Europe, cruised around Italy, Germany and Greece (as you do), did a few other races and then did the 24 hour Solo World Champs in Italy. Basically, I spent two and a half months tending to my map fetish and riding my bike (2180km and 47,000m of vertical climbing all up!). I also learned to speak Italian. Did you know the Italian words for penis and bread are nearly the same? Wish I knew that before I ordered my first meal in Italian!
What were the highlights for you?
Definitely coming third at 24 hour solo World Champs. Also the amazing people I met, and the incredible trails and views. They are the things that instantly spring to mind when I think back to the trip.
Where was the best singletrack you rode?
Toss up between North Lake Garda and Finale Ligure. Both stunning places with general rocky goodness.
Any places that you rate as ‘ultimate MTB places to live’?
Torbole (Lake Garda) and Finale Ligure. Both very well set up for all kinds of two-wheeled excitement.
You’re an Aussie. Why did you choose to move to New Zealand when a lot of Kiwis seem to go to Aus to live? (Surely not mountain bikers.)
I have this theory that if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve got. I had been sitting all comfy on my little perch in Sydney far too long. The opportunity came up for me to move somewhere different, so I did it. Never looked back. I love New Zealand, and the support I have received from the riding community here has been stellar! I still love Aus, but I’m not itching to get back there anytime soon.
What’s behind your move to Rotorua?
Trails and riding. Hmmm, yeah, I think that’s about it.
How did you get involved in the mountain bike scene to begin with, and how long ago was that?
About eight years ago, my best mate and I decided we wanted to do some adventure racing and went out “looking” at mountain bikes. We came home with two brand new $1500 bikes (her husband has since banned her from going shopping with me). I remember our “test ride”. The shop assistant was so concerned about my cautious wobble along the footpath that he came out with us then recommended we don’t ride off-road for at least a couple of months. A month later, we did our first 24 hour adventure race and came dead last. Oh how things change!!
What is the strangest/craziest/most shocking thing you remember in all your time as a mountain biker?
Thomas Lindup’s peanut butter farts when we shared a room at our first World Champs. I remember sleeping with my head propped up against the window so I didn’t wake up dry-retching.
How would you describe your riding style?
Long, with just a little self-preservation in mind. I think in general, endurance riders are not known for their technical prowess. I’m no technical maestro, but I carve it up okay and my confidence on technical terrain has increased tenfold since my trip.
What is right about riding for 24 hours?
What isn’t right about riding a bike and doing nothing else for 24 hours straight? In all seriousness, I love the whole game of it. There’s a lot of tactics and flexibility involved. You need to think on the go. No two races are the same. I’m still searching for that elusive “perfect race”.
What is wrong about riding for 24 hours?
The pain doesn’t stop when you stop riding.
Top five favourite bits of mountain bike kit?
1. The Ninja (My Yeti ASR5-C)
2. AyUp Lights
3. adidas Evil Eye Pro Half Rim Glasses
4. CamelBak Bodium bottles (you don’t have to stick them in your mouth when there is crap all over the nozzle)
5. Sock Guy socks. I have a real thing for awesome socks. My favourite ones have a dog chasing a rider on them.
All time favourite rider?
Who do you look up to?
Coach Sadie P and Kashi Leuchs. Both absolute legends.
Finish this sentence: “On a Saturday I like to get up and…”
Smash out a good solid eight hours or so on the bike, then convince my significant other to give me a massage and cook me dinner. (Actually, that’s not how it really happens, but you did ask what I “like” to do).