If you've ever been to a MTBNZ Downhill National series round, you've probably seen or possibly heard the pocket rocket that is Amy Laird tearing down the hill. What Amy lack's in stature she makes up for with her outgoing (loud?) personality and signature laugh which has echoed the hills surrounding many NZ and overseas downhill venues alike.

Amy has been a mainstay on the Elite Womens DH podium in NZ for the last few years, and after dabbling with some good success in Cross Country racing last year, she's sold her soul and gone full-time XC racer for 2010. Her first major outing was the first round of the MTBNZ South Island XC Cup in CHCH where she was once again on the podium, just looking slightly less intimidating with no moto gear or full face helmet anywhere to be seen.

We caught up with Amy over the magic of the interweb for her Frankly Thursday....

How old are you? Just had my birthday so I’m 28 years old now.

Where do you live? Christchurch.

Who makes it possible? My coach Hamish Ferguson, RaceFace, Lezyne, R&R Sport, Moa Lite Wheels and my long suffering mechanic Kris Olsen.

First bike? When I was 4 years old I had a sic red and white bike with Panda Bears on it and trainer wheels.

Best thing about traveling around the world riding your bike? All the amazing places you and get to visit and ride at and the great people you meet on your travels.

Best spot in the world to ride? There are so many but I love Rotorua trails, Cragieburn trail ride in Canterbury and Val di sole in Italy.

What can't you travel without? Jandals, phone, bike and something to read when I’m bored.

What can you not live without? My partner Cam Cole, Tony my sausage dog and my new Giant XTC carbon hardtail (I love shiny new bikes).

Whats you day job? Lawyer at Duncan Cotterill

What motivates you to get out of bed and go to work each day? Exciting matters that I’m working on for clients and the money (so I can do all the biking and travelling when I’m not working). Why the switch from DH to XC? I guess I’ve had 11 broken bones but really I just wasn’t enjoying dh as much as I used to – I still intend to race some dh but not overseas anymore.

What is it about XC that attract you? Seeing how much you can put yourself in the hurt box when your racing and how good it feels when you finish the race. And there is still awesome fun downhill bits on xc tracks.

Goals for this MTB season? I didn’t know how I would go racing my first year in elite xc so this year I just wanted to learn as much as I could and progress my racing. Things are going well so far. Where to after the NZ Nationals are finished? Not 100% that’s still in the planning stages – watch this space……

Whats wrong with mountain biking? Nothing it’s awesome!

Whats right with mountain biking? Everything, best sport ever invented.

Who do you look up to? Lance Armstrong, Justin Leov who has taught Cam and I so much about racing and Mum and Dad What do you like best about living in Christchurch? All the great places to ride road, cross country and downhill.

What do you dislike about living in Christchurch? The winter – so its lucky I get to miss most of it.

Favorite piece of bike kit? My new yellow polka dot xc race kit. What are your vices? Nothing I’m perfect….haha….nah actually I’ve got heaps including my addiction to potatoes and biting my nails.

Got any dirt / story of a pro MTBer you'd like to share? James Rennie is addicted to reading the Twilight series vampire books.