The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 104 - Lachlan Morton on How to be a Happy Bike Racer and the World's Longest Climb

Feb 5, 2022
by Mike Levy  
Art by Taj Mihelich

While he may spend almost all his time on the mountain bike these days, Lachlan Morton isn't someone you'd normally see on Pinkbike's homepage. He's better known in the curly 'bar world, but I'd argue that the Australian's accomplishments on two wheels transcend whatever type of bike he's riding, and they often happen far away from the start line of a World Tour race. In this episode, Lachlan talks about what it takes to race at the highest level and how that can bring out the worst in some people, almost walking away from it all, his Thereabouts adventures in Columbia and around the world, and his recent Alt Tour that saw him beat the Tour de France peloton while riding the entire route unsupported, including transfer stages.

We do eventually talk mountain biking later in this episode, including racing Leadville, setting an FKT on the 142-mile Kokopelli Trail, and even riding in bike parks while feeling like a total rookie.

Feb 5th, 2022

Less intervals, more adventures

Featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.

Previous Pinkbike Podcasts
Episode 1 - Why Are Bikes So Expensive?
Episode 2 - Where the Hell is the Grim Donut?
Episode 3 - Pond Beaver Tech
Episode 4 - Why is Every Bike a Trail Bike?
Episode 5 - Can You Trust Bike Reviews?
Episode 6 - Over Biked Or Under Biked?
Episode 7 - Wild Project Bikes
Episode 8 - Do We Need an Even Larger Wheel Size?
Episode 9 - Why Are We Doing a Cross-Country Field Test?
Episode 10 - Getting Nerdy About Bike Setup
Episode 11 - Are We Going Racing This Year?
Episode 12 - What's the Future of Bike Shops?
Episode 13 - Are Bikes Too Regular Now?
Episode 14 - What Bikes Would Pinkbike Editors Buy?
Episode 15 - What's Holding Mountain Biking Back?
Episode 16 - Who's Your Mountain Biking Hero?
Episode 17 - XC Field Test Insider
Episode 18 - Electronics on your Mountain Bike: Good or Bad?
Episode 19 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 20 - MTB Conspiracy Theories
Episode 21 - Stuff We Were Wrong About
Episode 22 - Does Your Riding Style Match Your Personality?
Episode 23 - Grim Donut 2 is Live!
Episode 24 - Why Even Buy a DH Bike?
Episode 25 - Fall Field Test Preview
Episode 26 - The Three Most Important Mountain Bikes
Episode 27 - The World Champs Special
Episode 28 - All About Women's Bikes
Episode 29 - Freeride or Die
Episode 30 - Would You Rather?
Episode 31 - Wet Weather Riding Tips & Tricks
Episode 32 - What Needs to Change in the Bike Industry?
Episode 33 - Behind the Scenes at Pinkbike Academy
Episode 34 - Grilling Levy About Field Test Trail Bikes (and His Bonspiel)
Episode 35 - Story Time - Stranger Than Fiction
Episode 36 - Grilling Kazimer about Field Test Enduro Bikes
Episode 37 - The 2020 Privateer Season with Ben Cathro
Episode 38 - Editors Defend Their 2020 Best-Of Picks
Episode 39 - Predicting the Future of Mountain Biking
Episode 40 - The Pinkbike Awards!
Episode 41 - Racing Rumours and Team Changes
Episode 42 - Mountain Biking's Guilty Pleasures
Episode 43 - Dangerholm's Wildest Custom Mountain Bikes
Episode 44 - Mountain Bike Suspension Decoded
Episode 45 - What Makes a Good Riding Buddy
Episode 46 - The RockShox Zeb vs Fox 38 Deep Dive
Episode 47 - High Pivot Bikes: The Good, The Bad, and The Why?
Episode 48 - Rides That Went Horribly Wrong... & Why That Made Them So Good
Episode 49 - What's the Best DH Bike?
Episode 50 - Are Bikes Actually Getting Less Expensive? (Value Bike Field Test Preview)
Episode 51 - Should MTB Media Post Spy Shots?
Episode 52 - Our Most Embarrassing MTB Moments
Episode 53 - Should Climbers Still Have the Right of Way?
Episode 54 - Best and Worst MTB Product Marketing
Episode 55 - Big Dumb Rides & Staying Motivated
Episode 56 - What Were the Most Important Inventions in Mountain Biking?
Episode 57 - What Were the Best (and Worst) Trends in Mountain Biking?
Episode 58 - Debunking Mountain Biking's Biggest Myths
Episode 59 - Value Bike Field Trip Surprises & Spoilers
Episode 60 - What Kind of Mountain Biker Do You Want to Be?
Episode 61 - Athlete Pay, Lycra, Equality and More from the State of the Sport Survey
Episode 62 - Editor Preferences and Why They Matter
Episode 63 - Our Best (And Worst) Bike Buying Advice
Episode 64 - Who's On Your MTB Mount Rushmore?
Episode 65 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 66 - The Best and Worst of Repairing Bikes
Episode 67 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham
Episode 68 - Who Are Mountain Biking's Unsung Heroes?
Episode 69 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 1
Episode 70 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 2
Episode 71 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham - A Pinkbike Podcast Special, Part 2
Episode 72 - Hey Outers!
Episode 73 - The Details That Matter... and Some That Shouldn't
Episode 74 - The Best Trails We've Ridden and What Makes Them So Special
Episode 75 - Things MTB Brands Waste Money On
Episode 76 - MTB Originals and Copycats
Episode 77 - Interview with Outside CEO, Robin Thurston
Episode 78 - Modern Geometry Explained
Episode 79 - What's the Future of eMTBs?
Episode 80 - The Best Vehicles for Mountain Bikers
Episode 81 - You've Got Questions, We've (Maybe) Got Answers
Episode 82 - Behind the Scenes at Field Test
Episode 83 - Does Carbon Fiber Belong On Your Mountain Bike?
Episode 84 - Explaining RockShox's Computer Controlled Suspension
Episode 85 - Is the Red Bull Rampage Too Slopestyle?
Episode 86 - Greg Minnaar on the Honda DH Bike, World Cup Racing, and Staying Fast Forever
Episode 87 - How to Love Riding When it's Cold and Wet
Episode 88 - Mountain Biking on a Budget
Episode 89 - The Derailleur Pickle
Episode 90 - Is Supre the Future of Trouble-Free Drivetrains? (with Cedric Eveleigh of Lal Bikes)
Episode 91 - Riding Every Double Black in the Whistler Bike Park with Christina Chappetta
Episode 92 - Does Bike Weight Really Matter?
Episode 93 - Staying Motivated and Overcoming Burnout
Episode 94 - PBA Contestant Tori Wood on Her First Race and Finding the Right Mindset
Episode 95 - Field Test Down-Country Bike Debrief
Episode 96 - PBA Contestant Israel Carrillo on Riding in Mexico and Why It's Not Always About Speed
Episode 97 - Can We Predict the Future of Mountain Biking?
Episode 98 - Field Test Trail Bike Debrief
Episode 99 - New Year, New You?
Episode 100 - Q&A with the PB Editors
Episode 101 - MTB Tradeshows Explained
Episode 102 - Should MTB Media Be Going to Press Camps?
Episode 103 - Secrets from the World Cup Pits with Henry Quinney

Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

  • 109 3
 I think everyone should take this opportunity to THANK the PB crew for all the great content (except E-bikes) Stop your bitchn for five seconds and appreciate what these folks have contributed to the community for years. Take them at their word and stop unloading on them for how the corporate world operates in a free market. They are going to continue to do their best to keep it real, and as close as it can be to the PB we have come to know and love. Ok, five seconds up... :/
  • 24 32
flag rickybobby18 (Feb 5, 2022 at 9:48) (Below Threshold)
 Uh. We aren’t criticizing the OG PB crew. We are letting Outside know that we don’t want to see our beloved mountain bike site (with awesome editors) go down the shitter.
  • 70 0
 @Moonie2123 : that's really nice of you to say. Mike works uncharacteristically hard at organising and producing these, and it's great to hop on every now and then. Not only that but I think he does a f*cking great job. There is so much good stuff going on at PB this year (if I may say so myself) and I'm so excited for you all to see.

@rickybobby18: I hate to say it but I don't think the big-dogs at outside really read your comments. A lot of the "OG PB" crew do. Honestly, good or bad I don't tend to take too much stock in it, however it is annoying when 90% of discussion goes down the shitter immediately on an article you worked hard on. Thanks for having our backs - but if you just be patient, let the northern hemisphere summer roll around (it's not that long to wait) and you'll hopefully see some of the stuff we get to do I think you might just be pleasantly suprised.

  • 10 0
 @rickybobby18: I don’t want to see it change either, but the awesome editors have agency and free will… they are still here because they want the benefits of working for a place that offers more pay and benefits. If it starts to suck, the market will take care of it… PB OG crew will branch out and start something new…. Or someone else will.
  • 6 0
 @henryquinney: we appreciate all the hard work all of you do, even if you only do it every now and then
  • 7 0
Thanks for all the hard work you guys put in.
Hope every change with PB goes on to benefit you guy all personally, and the content you develop for us.
  • 1 4
 @rickybobby18: yup, it’s not about the staff, they’re just working stiffs, it’s about what Outside has changed …
  • 2 18
flag like2pedal (Feb 6, 2022 at 7:13) (Below Threshold)
 Let’s all just put the kool-aide down for a second, step back, and change perspective. Pink Bike did NOT have to sell out to Outside, they chose to. So it’s completely legitimate to voice displeasure about Pink Bike’s choice. Sell outs. You dont have to keep using Pink Bike, that’s your choice. I’m pissed about it because I think the changes suck, therefor I check this site about 10-15% as much as I did a year ago. Other sites get more of my time.
Deleting trailforks didn’t affect my life at all. Losing pink bike won’t affect my life at all.
  • 5 0
 @rickybobby18: But you sound like a Karen yelling at the waitress because the restaurant chain changed the menu.
  • 2 0
 @henryquinney: Dude I WANT to subscribe and support every bit of content the team is working on, but it has got to be raised that anyone outside USA and Canada can not justify the cost, we literally get none of the benefits used to sell it.

Please find a way that everyone else can either benefit from all the features, or else reduce the cost for us people. I WANT to pay to access the shop and view the members only tv shows, annual gear guides.
  • 27 5
 First comment! Glad I can be the first to bring up the paywall on this article! Mike and all the PB staff, you're doing an awesome job. I can't see a paywall right now and if one comes it obviously isn't your fault, it's not like your the CEOs is it! Keep doing your awesome work and I'll keep clicking. Less time moaning and more time riding!
  • 11 0
 One of my favorite riders and seems like an absolute gem of a human. This film of him doing the GDuro (self-supported race from Land's End to John o' Groats) is a good intro:
  • 11 0
 Great to see Lachlan on here. Dude is an absolute beast. Super inspiring to see him out riding on the local Boulder trails
  • 10 0
 You hold out on us for weeks and then, BAM! Three podcasts in three days! I guess that’s the right amount of stupid?
  • 10 0
 Lachlan Morton is hands down the coolest pro rider.
  • 4 0
 I see Lachlan’s rides on Strava on routes near where I live and he is an absolute beast. 80 mile rides with 10k of climbing on routes with road, gravel, and double black mtb mixed together. He rides in a single day what a typical rider does in 3 or 4 separate rides. Not to mention he did the CO trail “for fun” and came within a few hours of the record the same summer he held the Everesting record.
  • 7 1
 This podcast must have been pre-recorded. @mikelevy is coaching the Olympic Curling Tem
  • 3 0
 Question for the podcast: I'm relatively new to the Pinkbike pod and am going through the back catalogue. A few standouts so far, the Three Most Important Bikes, the Q&As, one getting into the detail on suspension, and most recently Henry in the pits. Do the team have any favourite episodes? Any revelations, surprises, or just things you've really enjoyed? Any reactions good or bad to something in an episode? Even if this doesn't get on an episode, great work, sounds like everyone's really enjoying it.

Also, are you going to be getting any more of the Pinkbike Academy Season 2 contestants on? Would love to hear from Kyra, that girl has so much heart. And Laura too. And Bradley. And Cameron. And... well, all of them bar one. And if you do all of them and get Mr fluffy pillows on, can you quote Blackadder's Lord Flashheart at him, "Hey wet pants, this isn't the Women's Auxiliary Balloon Corps, you're in the Pinkbike Academy now."
  • 7 0
 tbh I don't think we ever really listen back to our podcasts after they're published. To the point where we accidentally did two episodes called "the hardtail episode" lol.

I will say I enjoyed listening to the episode where everyone tried to build a bike with a budget, and Levy ran out of money after just the frame because he's smart like that. We should probably do another one of those sometime.

And yep, probably good to get a few PBA S2 folks on at some point!
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Bet it was a baller frame, though. Also when Levy is vehemently disagreeing with Kazimer and in doing so makes Kazimer's point for him, in every episode. But then he does a great job with the podcast. Levy is a Monster powered paradox.

Can't wait to get to the next hardtail episode!
  • 2 0
 Often my favourite episodes is when someone go off on a rant or a tangent and then the whole flow just leads from there. It's one of the leasdt structured podcasts I listen to in the best way. Lots of hidden gems so I would recommend going from start to finish. However, the one with the story of Henry's mushroom adventure is total gold
  • 3 0
 Hi just wanted to say thanks for the podcasts and especially liked the recent one with Henry. A real eye opener.

Not sure if this is a good idea but a podcast on mtb frame colours and paint jobs would be interesting to me. I’ve had some out there frame colours over the years (e.g 2016 giant reign advanced 1) and it seems like it’s the easiest ‘free’ option available to bike manufacturers to make their bike look awesome and increase sales. Also why paint durability varies so much between manufacturers as some friends have not been lucky in that regard.

Ps Norcos British racing green frames are the best looking in my opinion
  • 3 1
 question for @mikelevey
Why don't we use smaller front chain rings and smaller cassettes? It seems like a win win to have a 22 tooth front chainring and a 11-42 rear cassette instead of a 30 front and a 11-52 rear. It should cost less, weigh less and if we use a steel front chainring be as durable (if not more) than a larger aluminum chainring. Extra pluses are the chain is shorter and all the parts (rear derailleur, front chainring, chain) are better protected by being closer to the frame.
  • 2 0
 1. Range: you lose the top end if you have a tiny front chainring. That might not matter for some folks on some trails, it is vital. If you go to a bike park, you wouldn't be able to pedal into a jump at high speed, etc. I do run a 24-42 ratio on my fatbike because I need zero top end, and I also need to crawl at a snails pace up slippy snow.

2. A smaller chainring is less efficient than a larger one, so you lose some watts. You also have increased wear on a smaller cog, as the load isn't spread out as much. A smaller steel chainring won't be a lot more durable than a larger aluminum one.
  • 1 0
 I would love to see an episode about all your favorite trails in the PNW and where you ride daily. You guys have so much knowledge about specific spots all over WA and BC that I think a lot of people would love to hear about. It could help anyone that plans on making there way over there to know which spots they don’t want to miss. It could also include other travel tips and good places to eat. We hear about your bike knowledge every episode, but I for one want to hear some of your expertise about the region you’re so passionate about.
  • 5 0
 Hey @mikelevy, just wanted to say I really enjoyed that; keep it up.
  • 1 0
 Lots of praise to all involved. This week has been like Christmas, every day a new podcast! This one is as Payson as I guess pb-podcast will ever be! I'm HQs biggest fan so really really liked that one, and I'm so glad Henry survived his hippie night out.
  • 1 0
 Why does Morton bother to race world tour road bikes and why would a team pay him? I get trying to be a more balanced person but the very goal of a world tour bicycle racer is to be singularly focused on winning world tour races. Balance is what you get working a regular job and racing/riding on the weekends. There are not that many spots available on world tour teams, it seems like they should be for people completely focused on racing road bikes. Tours and "edits" are for influencers and privateers trying to finance a lifestyle.
  • 1 0
 Because the sponsors see $ value in Lachlan's alternative tour activities and the audience that he connects with.
  • 1 0
 Never heard of the man but loved the cast anyway & as usual, I hang on every word of the cast (even when Levy goes googly-eyed about aliens but whatever). In fact for me this whole thing kinda revolves around 1st Favorite Mike...just something about that irreverant miscreant attitude, laugh, and lack of proper decision making skills that's just fun as hell and has me in stiches constantly.

Great stuff PB, easily my fave podcast (of seven) and damn - 3 episodes in one week EASILY makes up for the lack of 'em killing us a the beginning of the year...that was a crappy start to 2022 for me but glad y'all got some time off.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy people would probably lose their minds over the collaboration, but you guys should think about a podcast with Henry and Dave Rome on tools and wrenching. Or at least something by focused on tools and wrenching. Thanks for all you guys do. Really enjoy the podcast.
  • 1 0
 What is probably going over almost everyone's head is just how important mental health is to being truly happy. What an eye opening interview with someone who was lucky enough to figure this out and find his true happiness. Congrats to him and thank you to PB for bringing us this episode and all the others.
  • 4 0
 Settle down, I haven't got thru the other 2 podcasts for the week yet
  • 1 0
 Thanks so much for stretching your legs a bit on this one Mike. Lachlan has to be just one of the coolest guys on the face of the earth and it was wonderful to listen to you pick his brain. Great work.
  • 2 0
 Really enjoyed this one, be great to get Lachlan back on later in the year.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark Are you taking down old episodes from Spotify? Recently introduced a friend to the podcast and the oldest episode we could find on Spotify was episode 5
  • 1 0
 This was a great podcast again. Thanks @mikelevy and PB team.

Here's a fantastic podcast on UFOs and Aliens (seriously).
  • 1 0
 Great podcast! A departure from traditional PB content but definitely relevant and interesting.
  • 1 0
 An absolute pleasure to have ridden with Lachlan for a very tiny part of his Alt Tour last year.
  • 1 0
 Did anyone else hear a creepy heartbeat and then weird harmonica like sounds on the podcast?
  • 1 0
 A collab a really wasn't expecting to see here, Great chemistry between Mike and Lachy! Keep the podcast coming !
  • 1 0
 Great episode and really loving 3 in one week. We love pinkbike!
  • 2 0
 What an absolute legend!
  • 1 0
 Zen lotus position. You have to know yourself.
  • 1 0
 A real pinkbiker
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