Veronique Sandler is a name you are going to hear a lot more in the coming years. The kiwi, now living in England has been steadily forging her own path in mountain biking and it hasn’t been going unnoticed. Starting off as a grom racing the NZ national series, before gracing the likes of the World Cups, she has now turned her attention to what she truly loves. Riding for the fun of it with a bunch of rad mates, and pushing the limits of the sport. Now riding for Marin, Adidas and Five-Ten to name a few, she has her very own film coming out. We thought we would catch up with Vero ahead of her new female-led film, “VISION” which is set to make waves around the joint. Enjoy
Tell us abit about yourself, how did you get into bikes?
I started riding in Auckland, NZ when I was 13.. my brother, Leo, started jibbing around with his mates and I went on a few rides with him. I became hooked pretty quickly and soon dropped my hobby of riding horses. We then went to watch a national DH race and that was it. I decided I wanted to be a downhiller there and then!
How old are you?
25 and feelin’ alive!
Where do you live?
I live in the valleys of South Wales, UK. NZ will always be my home but I’ve lived in the UK for four years now and absolutely love it!
What’s the best thing about living where you do?
Riding wise I think it’s the best place in the UK. Everywhere you look the hills are littered with steep, techy trail and we have some of the UKs best bikeparks just around the corner. The other rad thing is that we can dig at the most awesome spots and the locals are cool with it! The rent is super cheap too, so the set up couldn’t be much better for me.
What’s your day job currently?
Well, I’m currently living the absolute dream! It’s my second year as a professional rider and I’m absolutely loving it. I ride for a bunch of rad companies and create content, do events and try to inspire people to shred as much as possible!
It hasn’t opened yet, but the best trail ever is a jump line being built at Revolution bikepark in Wales for a video I’m currently filming. It’ll be open to the public soon and it’s absolutely insane!
What’s one thing you are particular about with bike setup?
I like having my bars rolled forwards loads!
What are you currently riding?
Currently I’m on the new Marin Mount Vision which is a big travel 27.5 trail bike. Definitely the best feeling trail bike I’ve ever owned so fair play to them for designing a banger! Im also super into my Alcatraz which is Marins hardtail jump bike. Having so much fun learning how to ride it and feeling the progression!
What’s your favourite stuff to ride?
Honestly, my favourite thing to do is mix it up on the regular. I love bikeparky lines, steep/techy tracks and also flat out high speed stuff, but you can’t go wrong with a flowy jump line.. that’s got to be my all time fave!
Currently England seems to have a popping riding scene at the moment. What’s it like to be in amongst the movement at the moment?
It’s amazing. Honestly it blows my mind how alive the scene is over here and the level that it’s at. The best part about it is the level of stoke I see every time I go out for a ride, whether it be someone you bump into on the trail, your crew or parents watching their kids ride. Honestly gets me so hyped!
How does it help having a solid crew to ride / dig with?
My crew is everything! Its just the best feeling when you go out to dig/ride with like minded people who are just as stoked to see everyone else progress as they are themselves. It keeps the vibes good and the progression flowing for sure. We’ve been digging a lot over this winter and it’s been so cool seeing visions come to life and working while chatting and having a laugh. A good crew is the secret for sure!
Aside from riding bikes what else are you in to?
I have a few other things I dabble in.. activity wise I love going off roading in my truck and there are so many rad places to get amongst it where I live! I also love going for long rides on my little yam ttr125.. you can ride for hours round mine and not hit the same hill twice!Whenever I have time I like to draw too.. just little black and white mountain illustration typed stuff.. still got a lot to learn on that front but I love it!
What’s your favourite aspect of riding bikes?
As I said above, riding with a group of mates who get hyped to see each other progress and push you to learn new things is the absolute best. There’s nothing that quite compares to it! Always a bonus that you’re outdoors enjoying nature too. Bikes are just too good!
What projects or goals have you got for the coming year?
I’m currently working on a movie called Vision which is definitely the biggest, most exciting thing I’ve ever worked on. We are about half way through and stuff have some insanely rad stuff to film. I’m lucky enough to have some people I’ve looked up to since I started riding involved with it. So excited to show the finished product soon! Aside from that, I’d just like to keep progressing in my riding, have a good laugh and hopefully inspire some people to shred bikes along the way
Anyone you’d like to thank?
S/o to G-Up crew, my awesome sponsors and my parents for supporting me when I started riding back in NZ. Big love to everyone!