Josh Carlson has spent years traveling and riding some of the best mountain bike trails around the world.
Very little, however, compares to what he is able to ride in his own backyard.
The Wollongong born and bred rider has recently moved his training base from Whistler, Canada, back to the Illawarra and it’s a decision he hasn’t regretted.
“The trails here are steep, the scenery around the place is spectacular and there’s a lot of diverse terrain around the whole escarpment, with trails from Helensburgh through to backside of Kembla and on the escarpment in between,” Carlson said.
A professionally contracted Giant rider, Carlson competes in the Enduro World Series, a gruelling eight-leg circuit that sees riders spend up to six hours per day in the saddle across a two to three day competition.
The most challenging aspect of the competition? Once a stage begins, riders are on their own, without access to mechanics, additional food and even fluids.
To Carlson, this only adds to the fun.
“It’s nice to know it’s up to you to manage your equipment and physical expenditure. You need to prepare a bike to last the whole day. You can have a different set up, but if that’s only good for a small amount of the race, over the whole day it equates to a lot of wasted energy.
“The whole preparation side of things makes you train a lot harder so by the time Sunday afternoon rolls around, you’re still prepared for the gnarliest stages.”
Carlson will travel to Austria later this month for the next round of the Enduro World Series.