Getting To Know: Henry Fitzgerald, Norco Factory Racer

May 6, 2017
by AJ Barlas  
Getting to Know Henry Fitzgerald

Anyone that has spent any solid time in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park has likely seen Henry Fitzgerald blazing down one of the trails, whether they knew it at the time or not. The Vancouver born and raised rider has cut his teeth on the classic trails of The Shore and the Whistler Mountain Bike Park but until this year has remained under the radar. Now he's on a factory ride, as part of the Norco Factory Racing team and is looking forward to racing and riding new locations around the world.

Launchiing into the final section of the Rotorua IXS Downhill race. Crankworx Fraser Britton photo.
Henry launching into the final section of the Rotorua IXS Downhill race. Crankworx/Fraser Britton photo.

Who is Henry Fitzgerald?

A guy who loves being outdoors, and playing/racing on his bike.

Where are you from and where do you live now?

Born and raised in Vancouver, BC.

Who do you ride for?

Norco Factory Racing. The team sponsors include Norco Bicycles, SRAM/RockShox, Bluegrass, Novatec, Kenny, Schwalbe, Deity, HT, e*thirteen, FiveTen, Bounce, Nanuk, Ride 100%, Cane Creek, Maxima, and Rocky Mounts.

Where are you happiest?

Being on my bike hitting corners hard, riding sweet jumps or going fast on a rough bit of track.

What’s been your favourite race or contest venue?

Either Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup or Whistler Canadian Open, both are super awesome, fast and rough tracks, that even though they are so far apart feel like hometown races.

Henry Fitzgerald and the new Norco Prototype.
  Henry's eyes on the prize.

Where are your favourite trails?

Close four-way tie between Schladming, Prevost, Whistler, and Cypress. However, get the right day with the right people and anywhere can turn into an amazing spot.

What are your strengths?

Pretty easy going.

What are your weaknesses?

Definitely working on improving my organization and time management skills.

What’s been your worst crash over the years?

I’ve been pretty lucky over the years with my worst crashes only resulting in a few broken wrists and a broken collar bone, however, my second time breaking my wrist was probably my worst crash I’ve had. I was in a big train of people, riding Crack Addict, a pretty tech trail in Whistler, and there was a drop into a chute that you could either roll half way down and drop off or just drop off the top. I decided to do in between both those two and not commit to either the half drop or the full drop, which ended with me going over the bars and tomahawking a good 40 feet down the rest of chute picking up a fractured wrist on the way.

What’s been your luckiest escape?

Four years ago in the Whistler Bike Park, I was riding the big jumps on Crabapple Hits and I cased one, so the next one I pedaled in and got going way faster than I’d gone before and had a massive overshoot with a half front flip to my head. Got away pretty lucky with only a broken collar bone considering I went sixty feet to my head.

Which bike from over the years, conjures up the best memories?

Hard to say… I feel like I’ve ridden many sweet bikes. Our current DH bike is pretty cool for sure!

Prototype Norco
The new Norco DH bike that Henry is talking about. Full details are still very slim, but it's certainly unique.

What bikes are you riding right now?

Norco Race Development downhill bike, Range C.7 (650B), Range C.9 (29).

Who’s your favourite rider?

Stevie Smith, just the determination you could see in him is so inspiring. You could tell he wasn’t just supernaturally gifted, his drive was insane and if he wanted something, he’d go get it.

Who or what inspires you?

People who are just stoked on life!

What do you enjoy doing away from bikes?

I really like building trails and stacking jumps in the woods. It’s a good mix of mindless dirt moving, and essential decision making.

Henry kicking up some dirt on his Range. Thomas Gaffney photo.
  Henry kicking up dirt on his Range C.7. Thomas Gaffney photo.

What are you listening to right now?

Just house noises at the moment, but lately I’ve been really into some older Nas and Ghostface Killah.

What’s your favourite movie or TV show?

Trailer Park Boys is a great classic Canadian TV show, that’s definitely up there for me and probably Hot Rod is my favorite movie, haven’t seen it in a long time, but I just remember thinking it was the funniest.

What’s your favourite non-bike website?

Probably Netflix although it’s a real love/hate relationship because it just tries to suck me in and sometimes I have to step back and take some big breaks from it.

What’s your favourite motto or expression?

It sucks to suck.

Henry Fitzgerald about to split the crack.
Henry's been having a go at some EWS events and won a stage in the U21 cat in Derby. His time would have placed him third in elite on that stage.

What grinds your gears?

People who complain about every little thing and lights that have been left on.

What makes you happy?

Exploring, hanging out with friends, jumping in a lake, cold cider, oh, and riding bikes.

If you weren’t a pro mountain biker, what would you be doing?

Most likely riding my bike as much as possible and probably going to university.

If you were in charge of the sport, what changes would you make?

I’d make there be a few more rounds of World Cups, but have them all around the world. Such as having maybe two in Asia, then move on to one or two in Australia/ New Zealand and so on. Make it a real World Cup series.

When you hang up your racing/riding shoes, how do you want to be remembered?

Hopefully as someone who’s always stoked and genuinely loved riding bikes.

What does the future hold for Henry Fitzgerald?

Lots of bikes, racing, and riding some rad places.

Team Norco Range C7.1
Thomas Gaffney photo

MENTIONS: @henryfitzgerald / @norcobicycles / @SramMedia / @Bluegrass / @Novatec / @schwalbe / @deityusa / @ethirteen / @FiveTen / @ride100percent / @CaneCreekCyclingComponents

Author Info:
AJBarlas avatar

Member since May 8, 2011
74 articles

  • 18 4
  • 6 0
 He Has great hair also!
  • 4 0
 My new fave DH racer! Friggen love the Trailer park boys hahah keep shredden Henry!
  • 4 0
 Henry you're killing it! Keep it up!
  • 5 3
 it sucks to suck.... lmao
  • 5 3
 not what your mom said lol
  • 1 2
 Eat your porridge ,kids
  • 3 0
 Yeahhhh Henry!
  • 3 1
 The Balfa BB7 lives! Classic red too
  • 2 0
 Hell yeah Henry! but ODB is way better than Ghostface
  • 3 0
 Over da bar? Wink
  • 1 0
 Ain't no father to ODB's style, but ghost has 20+ years of solid material. He's still dropping dope albums.
  • 1 0
 I feel like I know him now
  • 1 0
 Plus one for a REAL world cup with more races on other continents !!
  • 1 0
 Sounds like a good guy. Stoked to follow him for the year.
  • 1 0
 just checkout those buns tho.
  • 4 4
 you lost me at cold ciders :l
  • 4 1
 You like ciders warm?! I'm with Henry on this one.
  • 4 3
 @anthony3vans: nah ciders in general are quite gay
  • 1 0
  • 4 1
 @LionSnoop: So you don't like your cider cold. You just want it to be happy?!
  • 1 0
 @LionSnoop: Right but i do f*ck with a fresh scrumpy now and again
  • 1 0
 Atta boy Henry!!
  • 1 3
 "People who complain about every little thing and lights that have been left on." Must be a lot of self-hatred then

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