paul01 Frankly Thursday with Paul Larkin

How old are you? 26

Where do you live? Rotorua

Who makes it possible? All the people around who don't chase what makes them happy, or who pretend it's something bigger than that. Without the motivation that comes from seeing where that leaves you, I reckon I'd only ride half as much. Every time I get out, I'm reminded why I need it.

Paul getting back to his roots on Deliverance, Wellington. Photo Caleb Smith

First bike? After trying to ride my brother's HMX500 (badly) I got a tip bike. Repainted blue by my Dad, I'm pretty sure it was a girl's bike.

What can you not live without? Trails close enough to ride to. Irrational goals and schemes. A few close friends who are just far enough away.

When you’re not riding bikes you are? Lawyering, mostly, or managing teams and athletes, or being out-witted by my nephews.

What are your favourite five albums? right now... Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain Bloc Party - Silent Alarm The Beatles - Revolver Fugazi - 13 songs LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver

Pushing is lycra pants to the limit on Tree Trunk Gorge, Turangi. Photo Caleb Smith

What are your favourite five video parts? 1. The point in "24 Solo" where the Trek team manager's "American Pie / Veni Vidi Vici" parade goes bad as an insane Craig Gordon feeds one to the favourite with his big dog. 2. Just about all of Gracia's riding in last year's Commençal video. 3. Merckx, in "A Sunday in Hell". 4. Gee Atherton vs. the Renault Clio 5. Shandro in SEASONS.

What’s wrong with mountain biking? Excessive manicuring of tracks. Surprises are good. Roots are good.

What’s right with mountain biking? Self-sufficiency. The ability to rock up to a set of trails anywhere on the planet and have good time, and the fact there's always another line to try. Big rides on heinous days, alone.

Who do you look up to? 1. People like Adrian Armstrong and Susy Pryde, who each in their own way manage to provide invaluable support to our best, despite having bills to pay and their own bikes to ride. 2. The athletes who've managed to turn raw talent in to professional careers - JK, Kashi, Julian Dean. 3. Killers - the bike riders that just know to win - Nico Vouilloz, Anne-Caro, Absalon, Nys, Merckx. 4. And the trail pixies, the volunteer pixies and the club pixies. Always the pixies.

Ever worn baggies? Yes, but not for a while now.

What are your vices (asides from the Lycra)? Saying "yeah, sure, let's give it a go", even when the alarm bells are ringing. Cuban coffee and Cuban rum. Implementing the irrational schemes.