Have you ever browsed the pictures of a MTB magazine, website, or seen in person a girl that rides her bike like a boy? Well quite possibly that’s Gabby Molloy. Gabby has been riding since long before I met her about 10 years ago, and while she has been more attracted to the downhill side of things, she slays trails on her ‘little’ bike too.
Six years ago Gabby and partner James Dodds formed ‘MTB Skills Clinics’, a company that can teach everyone—from absolute beginner to advanced rider—how to “Ride Better, Go Faster”. You may well have been on one of Gabby’s MTB Skills Clinics and experienced her bubbly positive persona, or possibly heard her cracking jokes and giving the grommies a hard time on the shuttle bus in Rotorua while she coaches them to be better riders.
Recently Gabby broke her ankle in a motocross crash, keeping her off her bikes for the last few months. We caught up with her to find out what makes her tick….
How old are you? 31
Where do you live? Rotovegas
What do you like best about living where you do? That Rotorua is probably the most rugged city in New Zealand; you can always see someone walking home with a swappa under one arm at 10 am.
What do you dislike about living where you do? Not much but it rains a bunch. I think that applies to New Zealand fullstop though.
Who makes your riding possible? My boyfriend Dodzy. He taught me how to ride, built most of the tracks I ride and sorted out a mint job so I can ride.
First bike? A three speed “wanna-be” Raleigh 20 that you could fold in half (actually) except it stayed folded in half one day or the headset seized so you couldn’t ride it, something like that. It was such a piece of $#*%, I was gutted that I got the folding bike and my little brother got a mean 20 inch.
How did you first pick up a MTB and get into it? My next door neighbour when I was a kid was into it and he let me tag along at races. I was totally out of my depth, it was pretty hilarious. He went to Junior Worlds in Germany in ’97 or ’98 which I was pretty impressed by. I guess I always wanted to be good enough to go to Worlds too.
How would you describe your riding these days? Well I broke my ankle at motocross two months ago so my riding these days has been consisting of taking my dog for a walk and testing out my new titanium hardware. Apparently it’s stronger now than ever. Should be mint for next time, huh?
What’s your ‘day’ job? Coaching people how to not break their ankles on a MTB. LOL. Motocross lessons aren’t a bad idea I’m thinking.
What motivates you to get out of bed each day to do your job? I love coaching. It’s a total buzz to see people’s faces when they get it and they are fizzing at the bung when it all fits together. I love the problem solving and satisfaction at the end of the day knowing I made a huge impact in someone else’s enjoyment of what I love doing.
What are your plans for the New Zealand summer? Hmmm, not quite sure. I don’t think my ankle is up to racing downhill and I think I need a break (temporarily) so I might do some motocross and trail riding, enjoy the sun.
Who do you think was the most legendary MTB rider in the world in the last 15 years and why? Boy that is hard, can I say a male and female? Female is definitely Anne-Caro without a doubt. She is phenomenal and still going hard, annihilating a very classy field at the Mega this year, BMX Olympic Champ, is it ten time World MTB Champ or more? No one could touch her at Crankworx and she doesn’t even race DH anymore. Male is Peaty, no explanation of results and longevity required. All round nice dude and inspiration to juniors the world over.
What’s wrong with mountain biking? SPARC’s view that downhill mountain biking in New Zealand is unimportant because it isn’t an Olympic sport yet we’re awesome at it.
What’s right with mountain biking? It’s the perfect sport for Kiwis: exciting, skill based, rugged, you can use number 8 wire to fix your bike if you really want, and you can do it in the most beautiful places in New Zealand.
What websites (if any) do you hit daily? quietchaos.co.nz to see what mean threads you’ve been cooking up.
Who do you look up to? Anyone who can partake in a conversation without bleating.
Favourite piece of bike kit? My Giro “coy” sunglasses, best sunglasses ever. Big enough to hide behind in airports.
Favourite spot to ride? I’ve only ridden there once but it is extremely mint. The Wairoa Valley in Nelson.
What are your vices? Coffee and painkillers at the moment (that sounds way worse than it is).
Got any dirt / story of a fellow (maybe pro) MTBer you’d like to share? Umm not really but manlove at after parties fascinates me. More girls need to do downhill…
Okay, a bit of word association-
– Dirt jump – loft
– Downhill – flatout sick
– Huck to flat – hilarious
– Tricks – dice
– Style – Brendan Fairclough
– Cross Country – pain
– Groms – destruction