"A two sided coin." That's how I would describe Byron Scott; there are two distinctly different (and sometimes polar opposite) sides to him, but what's in the middle is gold (well, some sort of metal).
'Heads' is the daytime, business-hours Byron. An experienced and schooled sales and marketing guru, turned entrepreneur and business owner. In business mode, Byron can come across as serious and intelligent, often offering me nuggets of marketing or sales advice. Having left his secure, successful job, he decided to go it alone, pulling himself from the nine to five and combining all his motivation and skills to form his own venture that fits in better with the 'Tails' side of his persona.
'Tails' is the side of Byron that many mountain bikers have experienced; a jovial, fun, 'piss-taking' and fast riding one. Bryon flat out shreds anything, and having ridden pretty much every bike in the book, he's got them all dialled, from BMX racing to World Cup downhill and even the odd XC race (which he does quite well in, despite his aversion to Lycra shorts).
'The Middle' is where the two sides of Byron overlap slightly. This is where you'll see him coaching up and coming young riders from Auckland, helping them grow to be better competitors and no doubt passing on some of his nuggets of knowledge.
Finishing his day with a frosty beverage while sitting on his back deck he's easily able to see the two sides of himself. To his left is his shed where his business runs out of and also houses his bikes, and to his right is his backyard pump track.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is Byron Scott....
How old are you? Early early thirties.
Where do you live? I guess Auckland is my home but at the moment I am working in Portugal trail building and travelling a little.
What do you like best about living where you do? That Rotorua is only three hours away. Business is on the back door.
What do you dislike about living where you do? That Rotorua is three hours away.
Who makes your riding possible? Mainly myself but friends and family have always supported me whether it be financially or motivationally.
First bike? I think it was a 1992 Diamondback Ascent I stole from my mum. I took the carrier off the back and gave it a fresh silver paint job that I wanted to look like chrome but it didn’t; it looked like silver spray paint!
How did you first pick up a MTB and get into it from there? The old man took me for a ride up a steep as shit gravel road in Palmy—“this is mountain biking son!”—I remember breathing was an issue and it hurt like hell. I gave that up. Riding across Palmy to school with occasional detours through people's lovingly cared for gardens was my only “offroading” (remember this was the mid nineties so we had to be creative). The first uphill-downhill races started springing up so entered those and was Palmy Nth Junior champion in 1996 which was the height of my mountain biking career. My first suspended bike was a KHS, I scabbed parts from all over the place to build it up. I entered my first National in Wellington in 1998 on this piece; my homemade chain guides were never going to get me down the hill in blistering time. I raced a year in open and moved to elite in 2001.
How would you describe your riding these days? Real mixture, what ever blows my hair back and dependent on seasons. I spend most of my time trail riding but enter the occasional local or national DH race, anything alternative that doesn’t involve standing around in a queue for too long. I have dabbled a little in BMX, spandex-wearing XC racing and a lot of pumping in the back yard.
What's your 'day' job? Turning my business Rainline Water Solutions into a multi-million-dollar empire and a little overseas trail building work.
What motivates you to get out of bed each day? Weet-Bix with some yoghurt and a banana then a latte from the cafe.
Best thing about digging trails on the opposite side of the world? It's heaps better than digging trails at Woodhill. The travel, doing something a little different, working closely with eight guys, riding every day and being paid for it! Worst thing about digging trails on the opposite side of the world? MSB; the level of conversation after three months with eight guys; missing Aotearoa and Shaz!
What are your plans for the New Zealand summer? A heap of trail riding, possibly race some DH Nationals, team Mokey BMX and work with the Auckland Junior squad a bit.
Who do you think was the most legendary MTB rider in the world in the last 15 years and why? God, so cliché but would have to be Steve Peat. Just his determination and drive year in year out, oh, and he is even older than me which is incredibly inspiring!
What's wrong with mountain biking? Funding, media exposure, local support, land access (DOC, ARC etc!!), community support, shin pads and full face helmets at Woodhill. I could go on.
What's right with mountain biking? The up and coming groms, junior development and parental support, 6” trail bikes, alternative events and hammers hot pants.
What websites do you hit daily? NZride.com, the book of faces, www.rainline.co.nz. Who do you look up to? Aaron Fernandez (he just needs some morale boosting).
Favourite piece of bike kit? My puncture repair kit and Animal riding shorts.
What are your vices? I stared at this question for quite some time whilst downing a G n T; shit, the answer was right in front of me...
Got any dirt / story of a pro MTBer you’d like to share? I know you do!! This one time Cameron Cole... oh wait, I can't say that. I was out drinking and Cameron Cole... oh wait, can't say that either.
Okay, a bit of word association- - Dirt jump – tight black jeans - Downhill – the has-beens and never-weres - Huck to flat – Bender and stem hump - Tricks – for kids - Style – something everyone has, good or bad - Cross-Country – torn Lycra - Groms – our future