Video: Who is Max McCulloch?

Sep 20, 2015
by Pelle Gustavs  
Views: 22,450    Faves: 101    Comments: 10

Video/Photos: @pellegustavs | Riding: @max_mcculloch | Music: @kandleosborne

It was during the second transfer stage at the Hammerfest Enduro in Parksville this spring that Dean Tennant introduced me to Max. After he took the second step on the expert podium later that day, it was clear that this polite teenager has a very particular set of skills, skills that most of us would take a very long career to acquire. Here is a video shot on his local trails and a quick interview to get to know Max. - Pelle Gustavs

Max McCulloch

Name, age, hometown?
Max McCulloch, 17, Victoria BC

How/when did you get into riding? What was your first mountain bike? How long before you started racing?
I’ve been riding since I was tiny. Not mountain biking specifically, but I loved to rip around the yard and explore whenever we went camping. My first mountain bike was a yellow hardtail from Canadian Tire. It never broke down on me and it is still my favourite bike I’ve ever had to this day. I got into true mountain biking when I was 10 years old after a friend lent me his bike and took me to the closest trails. I wiped out within the first 200m of the ride, but I was hooked from then on. I did my first race a year later and it was a local Super D race.

You train with Jeff Ain? Can you talk about how that started and how he has changed your attitude toward riding/racing?
I first met National XC team coach Dan Proulx on the trails in Victoria and he eventually led me to Jeff. Both Dan and Jeff are amazing coaches and they have really opened my eyes to what racing and training at a high level is like while still having a ton of fun! I currently train with Jeff all year round as well as other athletes who are part of the same program.

You also run? Do you play any team sports? Has biking taken over, or do you still find time for other sports now?
I also run cross country with Oak Bay High School. It’s a big team and we do all sorts of fun stuff so it’s a really good time! Biking takes up a lot of my time, but I manage to get in some running once in a while to mix it up. Currently I don’t do any other team sports because it’s too hard to fit it in and honestly - I’d rather be biking!

How is riding in the summer different than the winter, how do you make school and biking go together?
In the summer I’m racing a lot and traveling so I don’t ride the local trails as much, but in the winter I normally stick close to home. School and biking fit together pretty well except when it gets dark at 4pm and I only have an hour of light after school. I do ride in the dark when I need to (with a light of course!).

What are some of the first trails you rode when you started? What trail areas have now become your favourite on the Island? Favourite trail?
I started out riding at Hartland (The Dump Trails) and it’s still my go-to place. Initially, my favourite trail was Torpedo Run because it’s fast, flowy, you can jump. I’ve probably ridden it 200 times... not joking. Out of the whole Island I would have to say Cumberland is my favourite trail area because the trails have the perfect flow to them while still being technical. But I’d have to say my favourite trail on the Island is Jughead in Parksville. The flowiest trail I have ever ridden in my life, but you don’t lose your elevation quickly either.

Max McCulloch

What was the race highlight of your 2015 season? What was your favourite non-race moment on the bike this year? Why?
I was really happy with coming 15th as a first year Junior Expert at the National Championships for Cross Country. It was my first time racing at the national level and it was quite intimidating at the start line (I was the smallest guy in my category). Also coming 2nd in Expert at the Hammerfest Enduro was a highlight for sure. My favourite non-race moment was attending the XC national team camp at Bear Mountain Resort. It was so cool to bike with riders of that caliber.

Your two main supporters are Oak Bay Bikes and Rumble. Can you talk about how you got to know them and how their support has affected your racing?
Oak Bay Bikes has supported me for a while now - it’s awesome to know you have the support of a shop if something goes wrong. OBB is an extremely varied shop with people that are experts in all disciplines. It’s great whenever I need advice! I’ve been riding for Rumble for the past year, but even before I was supported by them. I already loved their product and I drank it all the time. It was a perfect fit. I really believe in their product and they are an amazing company. I use Rumble not only as a recovery drink after rides and races, but also as fuel before my activities. It tastes good too!.

Your parents are obviously big supporters as well. What is the best part of having them on your team? How often do you get to ride with them? Did they grow up riding bikes or other sports?
My parents are probably the sickest parents in the world. They ride with me, they support me at all my races, and they are just straight up awesome. I actually got them into MTB about five years ago and I think I got them hooked! They are both big supporters and volunteers in the biking community. They run two school biking teams and organize lots of races through the School Bike League. They have also coached a ton of other sports that my sister and I have done including volleyball, basketball, baseball, hockey, and cross- country running. My parents both grew up doing a lot of sports and competed in volleyball at very high levels (national team, provincial team). I get to ride with my parents quite a bit, which is great!

Who on the World Cup circuit are you stoked on right now? Any local riders on the Island?
For DH it's really awesome to see Mark Wallace getting up there into the top ten (he's from Vancouver Island too). A cool thing about the Island is that there are so many amazing riders from all disciplines of all ages competing at a really high level.

For 2016 what race/event are you looking forward to the most? What are your goals for the season?
I am really looking forward to a ton of races but the two biggest ones are probably the Canadian Cross Country Nationals and the Enduro World Series at Whistler (if I can get a spot).

Any shout outs?
Shout out to everyone that has supported me and cheered me on, Pelle for making this video and putting this all together, my cat, and most of all my parents!


  • 28 1
 Way to go, Max! It's been cool to watch your progression to greatness... can't wait to see what success future brings for ya!
  • 19 177
flag abzillah (Sep 20, 2015 at 13:12) (Below Threshold)
 All I want to know is if this Max person is a boy or a girl. From the picture, video, and article I cannot tell honestly.
  • 49 1
 Says the Twat that has a orange peel dick in every intro to your video's.
  • 35 0

The 'He' pronoun wasn't a tipoff? (Not that I expect you to have particularly good reading comprehension, given the infantile nature of your comment)
  • 19 0
 Rides circles around you, toy. @abzillah
  • 22 1

seriously time to gfy
  • 1 4
 Hope he doesn't get caught doing anything illegal though.
  • 1 15
flag abzillah (Sep 21, 2015 at 13:47) (Below Threshold)
 I find it funny that you guys get your panties in a bunch for an honest question. It doesn't matter if he or she is a boy or a girl, I was just looking for a clarification so I can properly address him or her.
  • 8 0
 That wasn't an honest question. It was a shitty question, clearly asked to make Max feel bad. It's super obvious that Max is a guy. The fact that the article refers to him as such IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH proves that you were just trying to take him down a peg
  • 3 0
 Max is one fast (and polite) kid! I would know this because I see him at the local races on the Island where he kicks my (and many other's) asses! I have no doubt that he's on his way to the top; he's super strong and has very good bike handling skills to back that fitness up.
  • 10 0
 first i was like... "the elbows..put them out, put them out put them out. looking at those arms thinking ha...

but then, that pace that he carries, speed and flow smashing a few turns like... most of us couldn't had me impressed

after the no hander he had me... way to go!

this boy will be up the top some day, that's for sure
  • 5 0
 The interview doesn't mention it, but I wonder if he has any BMX background? The elbows-in style reminds me of watching Eric Carter ride MTB...
  • 1 0
in a MTB training Program you do get the advice to Point those elbows out
as well as your knee's when riding DH. That "issue" can come from many things,bad habbit, a diferent sport background
or as well as the XC background, i do ride XC sometimes and i learned form there that, it helps to tuck the elbows in when climbing
and some other stuff...
  • 2 0
 I would guess (but I am only guessing here) that mtb is like a great many other things (skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding) where the top riders never had a lesson. They just got it and did it. One of the things they seem to always teach in mtb classes is to primarily use your front brake. I've heard person after person tell new riders this. But everyone I know who's fast on a bike burns through their back pads multiple times before their front.
  • 3 0
 Max kills it on the BMX too, so that's definitely part of it. No wide-knee'd tables here!
  • 1 0

That's because new riders tend to fear their front brake, and us casual vets don't really need to hack up the trail (and tires) just to have a good time.
  • 1 0
 I've ridden bmx longer than mtb and it did indeed take about a year for me to switch to a mtb position on the bike (i.e. weight back, heels down,elbows and knees out). One thing I noticed is that lots of ex bmx guys tend to stick to parky riding rather than natural stuff as they seem to be a bit uncomfortable with the idea (not necessarily being true) of not fully being in control on loose and steep tracks.

Style wise you can pick out the bmx guys immediately, think for example of Nico Vink.
  • 14 1
 Thought: wow this kid is fast, then saw he is 17 already
  • 5 0
 Racing the Hartland Enduro stop a few years ago and just after passing the rider in front of me and feeling pretty quick I hear a polite "Rider up" and this kid high sides the trail and flies past me before I could even react. Super fast! Glad to see he is still doing well and all the best!
  • 5 0
 Sweet vid Max and Pelle. I got to know Max through racing on the Island and I say for sure that he's the real deal. Very unassuming and low key, but completely kills it as soon as the wheels start moving.
  • 8 0
 Yeah MaxGrom
  • 5 1
 Do you guys enjoy riding your bike, or do you do it just because you are better at it than someone else? I don't understand the negative feedback on these vids. They are having fun riding! Get a grip.
  • 4 0
 Nice vid- lovely drone work over stunning scenery. The sudden stop on the pan at 1:00 played with my mind but I kinda liked it.
  • 5 0
 Yeeeoo 1:31 got me stoked!!!!
  • 1 0
 Great video kid
When I seen you do the trail and the camera zoomed into that piece of blowing bark... The only tree I could think of was an Arbutas!
Which tells me this was filmed in or around Vancouver Island!?
Am I right or wrong?
  • 3 0
 Righto! A lot of Victoria trails are in there.
  • 5 0
 Sweet suicide
  • 2 0
 sick riding ... but honestly, that mega big wheels make him llok like an umpa lumpa, would be much better to see him on an 26 inch bike
  • 2 0
 I have raced against Max in some of the island Enduro's and he is insanely fast and a super nice polite kid.He has a very bright future ahead of him.
  • 4 0
 You guys killed it!
  • 5 2
 Oh no someone shredding in lycra... how will pinkbike handle it
  • 3 0
 Sick video. Kid rips and will only get better
  • 3 0
 Kid shreds and the edit was killer!
  • 3 0
 Man you make those trails look fast!
  • 3 0
 Killing it Max, way to go buddy!
  • 4 5
 Aside from the no hander, that seemed like fairly average level trail riding. I don't think that showcased his skill set very well. But that no hander made me think that there must be a lot more in store for him that wasn't being shown.
  • 3 0
 Nice work boys! Max is going places... and fast
  • 2 0
 Hey MM. Really strong riding and a great edit.
Keep at it and best of luck.
When does your cyclocross video come out?
  • 1 0
 Way to go! Saw Max riding XC this year at the races, but I didn't know he was a multi-discipline destroyer! Keep on shredding!
  • 3 0
 Skinny guy Max!!!
  • 1 0
 Way to go Max. Respectful young man with a smile as wide as his bars no matter how gnarly the trail.
  • 1 0
 So nice to see an no-hander thrown into a xc trail ride. Great riding Max, looks like your having fun on your bike.
  • 1 0
 One of the BEST videos I've see on here in quite a while! Good quality trail shredding!
  • 2 0
 Future champion of whatever damn thing he chooses.
  • 6 5
 did I miss the trick or two?
  • 2 0
 Perfect video
  • 2 1
 sic edit..i bet some smaller tires would do this kid justice! no joke
  • 1 0
 That trail looks sweet. Keeping shredding man
  • 2 0
 That nose bonk thooooooo
  • 1 0
 sweet riding ,man that song is just so freaking annoying tho.Unmuting now
  • 1 0
 Thanks for creating positive bike culture Max and Pelle!
  • 1 0
 Nice,keep it up .....
  • 3 0
 There are definitely some crazy-talented young shredders out there these days, really good to see!
  • 1 0
 Not sure why the neg props but that kid def has some talent as well.
  • 1 0
 Way to go Max Smile
  • 1 1
 you need to go faster. but way to go rip shit up bro
  • 1 0
 Cut yer bars!
  • 1 0
 Good one...
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