On the Mend: The Emily Batty Interview

Oct 19, 2017 at 8:15
by Brice Shirbach  





Racing mountain bikes is an inherently selfish endeavor. Think about it: the self-promotion involved, the sacrifices you need your family and friends to make, the financial commitments, there's a lot of energy that goes into every single athlete's ambition, and it quite often doesn't leave much time or resources for anything else. It goes without saying that World Cup racing, mountain biking's highest level of competition, requires more singular focus than most professional athletic careers. When your income, livelihood, and future depend on your performance, it's understood that this mentality is simply a requirement for success. Somehow, despite being one of the most prolific and high profile athletes in our sport, Emily Batty has managed to buck that trend. To be sure, she is focused, committed to her performance, and would certainly acknowledge the sacrifices by many in her life to help her achieve success. But Emily also works hard to engage with the rest of the mountain bike community in ways that many of her peers are simply unable or unwilling to do.

Emily lives in Ontario alongside Adam, her husband and training partner, and their Welsh Terrier, Buddy. She's twice an Olympian, a 7-time Canadian National Champion, has several World Cup podiums to her name and finished third at the 2016 World Championships in Nove Mesto. The Trek Factory and Red Bull athlete has accomplished quite a bit so far and is only getting stronger and faster. While her racing ambitions certainly keep her busy, she has still found time to develop a charitable organization called The Emily Batty Project, with the goal of getting more of the world's youth engaged with cycling, and it's something that she has devoted quite a bit of time and energy to helping grow.

Emily was on hand at the third round of the Wisconsin N.I.C.A series held on Trek's private stash of trails in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Pinkbike carved out some time to discuss her recent injury at the World Championships in Cairns, Australia, as well as how her personal value system affects her view on the sport of mountain biking, and how the time she spends with young women and men aboard two wheels has helped shape her expectations for the future of cycling.



Photos from the NICA event held on Trek s private trails.

Can you walk us through World Championships in Cairns?


2016 was a breakthrough year for me, and I earned a bronze medal at World Championships to end it on a high note. That kind of set my benchmark pretty high for Worlds this year, of course, but all year long I've dealt with a bit of an Olympic hangover. You hear about the Olympic hangover all of the time, but it's really a thing.

I have experienced a lot of successes this year, but I also dealt with a lot of lows as well and then, of course, World Championships in Australia. I finished second there before, so I have had good success on the track and I definitely felt that I could pull off a top five and potentially a top three.

If I am being honest with myself, I didn't think I was in contention to win it just based on where I was physically and mentally, but early in the week I took a crash on, and I mean… the last time I took a really bad crash was at the London Olympics when I broke my collarbone.
I crashed on a high-speed flow section, after the rock gardens. I was having no trouble (through the rock gardens), was super confident, and having fun on the course, but then I got to the flow section and I was kicked weird on one of the jumps and ended up hitting my head really hard.

I think I lost about 12 minutes of time, and definitely had a concussion. I went to the hospital and I had X-rays on my spine and my neck and everything was fine. I was cleared by the doctors to have physiotherapists, our Canadian physiotherapist, conduct an amazing massage therapy just to kind of get everything back on track for the weekend coming up.

Tuesday, I had a sensitivity to lights and stuff and was a little bit foggy, but come Wednesday, I was completely fine and I had no symptoms. I stayed off of the track until Friday actually. I just did easy spins on the road and then I was feeling really good considering.


Emily Batty Trek
Emily Batty signed her number plate for two of the future generation.

The race comes and I find myself in seventh position pretty quickly. We had just caught fifth place, so there were three of us; fifth, sixth, and seventh, and just judging where I was against the others, I'm pretty sure I would've come out in fifth. Unfortunately in the last rock garden, called “Jacob’s Ladder,” I took a pretty hard crash.

I found it was a really unique rock garden. It kind of affected everybody at some point in the week. It's a 14’ tall vertical descent. Your wheels stay on the ground, but they're kind of filing through rocks. You can't see your entrance either, so you come around the corner, see the ledge, and kind of just ping-pong down it with nothing to really gauge your line. You just kind of have your line at the entrance, drop in, and hope like hell you can come in on top. Up until that race, however, I had never had a problem with it.

So I went down in that rock garden. Crossed my bars on the top two. The crowd went nuts. Lots of cameras. I was pretty rattled, but I just kind of got the bike ready to go again. My shifters and all of that were all messed up, but I carried on down the hill. At this point eighth place had caught up to me, so I raced the rest of it on pure adrenaline and the desire of maintaining at least seventh place. I didn't know that I had sliced my knee open underneath my kneecap just shy of 6 inches straight across and it was right down to the bone.

I was cautious with what photo I decided to actually post to Instagram. I've got a couple where you could see the kneecap, the joint, the patella tendon, the bone, and virtually everything else inside my knee. It was really deep.

I crossed the finish line after having sprinted for seventh. Myself and a Swiss rider, seventh and eighth. So I got across the finish line and our team physician, Felice, was like, "Emily, you need to sit down," and I was like, "Please. Can I get my hat?" She's like, "No, no. You need to sit down." She started to go white.

So we called the paramedics over and then I went to the hospital right away and ended up being operated on by a surgeon who happened to be at the race, watching with his daughter. The infection rate in Cairns, Australia is really, really high, so they treated it like it was open heart surgery. It was a strict protocol we had to follow to make sure infection was not a concern. They had a drain in it, and I had a vacuum-like suction thing to make sure it sucked the infection out if it was empty.

Emily Batty or should we say Battle Fought her way through the last 1 3 of the last lap with a nasty gash that went to the bone. Emily was taken to the hospital and we wish her well.
Emily Batty was in touch with the top five when disaster struck.

What was the surgery?


The surgery was to get in there because I had a 6-inch slice, and also a puncture wound, so they had to finish opening it up and get in there to see what damage had been done because you really could see everything exposed. They had to check and see how things looked in there.

To see if there was any real structural damage.


They checked the structure of the ligaments and tendons, so they had to put me under basically to finish opening it up and look around and inspect the whole inner kneecap, and then just scrub it clean. They showed me some of the instruments they used, things you wouldn’t want to be awake for.

What's your recovery timetable?


We're done racing now for the year, so I mean, if you're going to have an injury, it's ideal at the end of the year, except now I'm held back with off-season sports like riding moto and downhill. Those are normally the things we would do this time of year, so it just gets pushed to the back burner for now until we get home and have some time to get back on top of that. The actual injury healed pretty quickly, but every day is a new adventure because I didn't realize the lymphatic system is as bad as it was. It's improving, but then there's still some work in the days ahead.

Emily Batty has been hitting all her lines despite the changing conditions.
Despite flying down the downhill s this wasn t Emily Batty s day. The women s race proved to be full of surprises as fast riders struggled and others flourished.

I’d like to go back to when you said that given where you were with your fitness and training, and your recognition that your own ceiling may have been a third place at World Championships. Can you touch on that mentality at the highest level of mountain bike racing? As an athlete, everybody is competitive and wants to be the best right?


Well, it's hard to describe. In men's cross-country, it's a given: Nino is going to win, even on a bad day. It's such a predictable race, but with the women, nobody has the confidence to say I'm going out there to win. They're going to want to try their best, but nobody can assure themselves they're going to get the win. None of us. It's such a gamble. So when they say “focus on the process,” that is the key to success in World Cup Racing.

Focusing on the process is such an old saying, but it's the only thing that can get you closer to the win and so while I can't speak for men, I'll only speak from a female World Cup racer experience: you kind of have a tendency to know based on where your training has been, how your daily workouts have been going, and you’ve got to be honest with yourself. Whether you were dealing with sickness, or you just haven't slept the same, as well as you should be. Every athlete knows where they're at within margins, and I believe there's always that bit of the unknown, whether it's your day to race for the win or for fourth. Like sometimes you go to the starting line trying for your best, but yeah, you might not always know what your best is going to be.

When I finished third at Worlds last year, that was my win. That was the best I could give on the day and even a bit more. A Polish racer and I sprinted for third and fourth and it was ridiculously close, so I found a bit more in the tank there.

It changes from race to race.


It definitely changes race to race. It changes from day to day. One day I'll have a good workout and feel really motivated, and then other days not so much. If you look at the trend, of the women that did well in Rio, most had a very high and low season. Not all of us had a very good year. Certainly not our most successful year of World Cup. Those who found the space to dig even deeper for the Olympics seem to have a little bit more repercussion this year. It's taken a little bit longer to recover from those efforts.

Emily Batty briefly lifts her head to check the damage in front of her.

You have a proven track record for real success as an athlete, but there's this narrative shared by some in the general public that when it comes to Emily Batty, their opinions and commentary have less to do with your accomplishments, and more to do with your appearance. Is that noise at all a factor in how you prepare, and how you present yourself publicly?


Yeah, that's a good question. That's a fair question. I definitely devote every day to performance and to results. Do I take offense? No, because I think it's just how some people are. Some people can be a little bit bolder than others and some comments are just like, "Man, do they think we don't read these things?"

People will say what they will, but I don't know. I think it's hard for people to be themselves and I don't really take things so literally. I don't take them personally, I guess, but I can see how it can affect someone personally. The easy answer is that I put my focus into performance and if there's mention of looks or appearance, so be it. I just focus on being personable and reasonable.

I think it takes a lot of courage and energy to be personable, and that's truly who I am, I've always known that and I can't avoid it and I can't suppress that. I love interacting with people. Athletic performance and basic human interaction; those are the two most important things in my life.

When I was young, I had a really remarkable moment with Gunn-Rita Dahle, who I happen to race with now. I was around 14 years old going over to Mont-Sainte-Anne's World Cup, and she took the time to just sit and chat with me. I wasn’t even racing at that point. That helped to enforce the importance of just being available to talk with people.

I'm still a woman. When I'm not on the bike, I have other concerns and priorities. I just want to be true to myself and hearing comments like that on my appearance, I don't really care.

How seriously do you take the responsibility of being a role model in mountain biking for boys, girls, men, and women, while helping potentially shape how young girls and women carry themselves?


I think you just hit the nail on the head. I feel a sense of responsibility because I have character traits within me that I can't ignore. Being personable is part of who I am, and by not taking that time or passing up a kid or parent that wants to talk, I feel like I'd be cheating myself.

I feel like if anybody wants to give me the time of day, then I owe it to them to care as well and to give them that time because it's just cycling. When it's a crappy day and you get a comment that you're such a role model for a sport, that goes a long way. It does and when you truly feel passionate about it, it goes a long way. So I do feel a sense of responsibility, and I know that’s not necessarily for all athletes.

They might not have the interest or the time or energy or whatever, but I think it's just an important matter for me. I enjoy making that time and keeping those relationships going because the sport is evolving so quickly.

I've been racing now for 17 years and when I first started, I had to ride with my brothers and their guy friends, and if I wanted to ride, I had to keep up. That was just how it was, but it was intimidating. But now the intimidation factor is going away, and more and more girls and women are riding.

I also think it's equally important for young boys to have female role models as well. While it's good that we're focused on getting more girls involved, and growing the camaraderie among females, I also believe that guys can learn a lot by riding with and receiving instruction from women. We don't want guys only looking up to other guys. We want them to be able to appreciate a woman's talent and their stake in the world.

Emily Batty Project Teams Up with Durham Shredders Youth MTB Cycling Program
Photos from the NICA event held on Trek s private trails.

What brought you to the Wisconsin N.I.C.A event? How did you end up getting involved?


Travis Ott, our sports mountain bike brand manager, had been telling me about how amazing this program is for a couple of years now. I'm in Toronto on the east coast of Canada, and he was describing a N.I.C.A event in Laguna Seca on the west coast in the US. We finally worked our schedules out, and I was able to get out there. My mind was blown. I think there were close to 1,400 high school students. 1,400 high school students all there on their own free will. We kind of learn how to rely on each other growing up playing ball and stick sports, whereas mountain biking is mostly an individual effort on race day, so seeing the level of camaraderie on display by everyone was incredible. It was such an experience.

I was able to get out to the third race of the Wisconsin League this weekend, here at the Trek private trails too, so it's twice as sentimental for me. It's just a matter of experiencing this league and getting to know people.

I helped lead some ride clinics today. We did a couple of clinics with the high schoolers, and tomorrow I get to stand at the start line and send each wave of racers off, before finishing with podium presentations in the afternoon.

Like I said earlier, I grew up with older teenage brothers and all of their teenage friends, but I didn't have the privilege that kids have nowadays with what programs are available. Girls tend to venture to areas where there are other girls but at these N.I.C.A events, it's a 50/50 split. It's amazing. It’s such a nice blend of everything: families, friends, and racing. It's a really incredible experience.

Photos from the NICA event held on Trek s private trails.
Photos from the NICA event held on Trek s private trails.

Do weekends like this help you to feel encouraged about the direction and the future of mountain biking?


Yeah, absolutely. What we've seen in the last five years, the involvement has grown so much and while I focus on performance and racing and training and traveling and recovery, I also need something else to think about and so my husband Adam and I just started the Emily Batty Project and that's to help youth cycling development initiatives.

There are so many youth programs out there right now, I never want to just choose one. I don't think we should discriminate against where you're from or what age you are, so for us, it was like, "Look at all these programs that are already in place and how do we ensure that they're sustainable."

That's what the Emily Batty Project is. We're trying to highlight free mentorship, bring awareness and funding to youth development programs that are already in place. Whether it's volunteering time to help mentor or bringing a camera crew in to make a video and showcase what their program is about so that viewers around the world can understand it.

The sport, in general—it teaches you so many life skills, like self-confidence, that we need when we're adults. We need it as kids too, and we need it in our workplace later in life. Obviously, technology is a huge part of our generation and I'm guilty of it too, spending hours on social media, on our phones, and in front of our laptops. We should never stop learning how to communicate, learning how to be sensitive, and learning how to be personable. There are just so many life skills that I definitely learned in sport. Learning how to talk to adults as a child. Perseverance is another huge one that I've gained from sport.

Nowadays we have so many opportunities, but we are so easily deterred or discouraged at the first setback. Mountain biking can help reinforce that when you get knocked down, you get back up. That's what I've learned time after time, and I’ve accomplished so many of my goals because of it. I want to see every kid have the same opportunity to learn through cycling.


94 Comments

  • + 98
 Badass, lots of riders (men and women) would DNF after a bail like that...
  • + 12
 Jesus I know I would. Then again I don't have the balls to enter XC races, I'll stick to racing DH haha.
  • + 5
 I saw her at the Cairns airport... I was too star struck to ask what she had done to her leg... as I missed the XC racing and watched the DH... daaaang
  • + 36
 For all you who don't think XC is hardcore enough...
  • + 4
 Mountain Bike in general is badass imo, not matter what discipline is involved. For the XC, you can't deny it when you see the tech parts they are riding combined with the extreme physical effort.
  • - 15
flag BenPea (Oct 24, 2017 at 23:31) (Below Threshold)
 Would have been less hardcore with a dropper. But she saved a few grams, which is the main thing.
  • - 3
 @BenPea: Not to mention some knee pads. I realize why they wear literally as little as possible, but XC is definitely not marathon racing and the courses are technical and steep in places. I wear my 661 Recons on virtually every ride and they are comfy enough to pedal all day in.
  • + 1
 @headshot: Agreed. Even just thin neoprene would have likely prevented or at least reduced the severity of that injury. When you look at some of these courses and rock garden sections, they look just as gnarly as stuff you'd see in DH just a few years ago...

And props to Emily for being who she is. Staying true to ones self is not easy to do.

If you are reading this,Emily, be grateful they put you under to scrub your knee. I had a get off on a motorcycle years ago and they scrubbed my knee. I was awake while they did it. It wasn't pleasant!
  • + 0
 Errr... Less hardcore = less dangerous in this context. If you can't go down a rock garden comfortably, a dropper's a simple solution to make it less sketchy. Pads are great and that, but you're going to lose time on the flats and climbs and are going to gain none on the downs. I don't understand the downvotes. XC fundamentalist revolt?
  • + 3
 You guys don't get it -- she decided she don't need your stinkin' knee pads and dropper posts, and see this big gash in my knee? F it. I'm getting the job DONE. That's hardcore.
  • + 1
 @BenPea:

Dropper post: more weight vs. more control over your bike through more effective body control, especially at WC XC speeds. Now which will help more in order make the podium?

If looking 'more hardcore' is your focus, then you're not really into racing to begin with.
  • + 2
 @BenPea: Its not just about the weight of a dropper. Its another part that can go wrong. Droppers aren't the most reliable of things. Dropper fail equals race ruined.
  • + 1
 @CaptainSnappy:

On your first point, I can't help thinking that it's either a barely rational obsession with weight or a fear of reliability issues. She compromised a reasonably large proportion of her off-season with that injury, not to mention the concussion she got from falling off her bike for no good reason on a flowy bit of track with jumps. I know there are fine margins in XC, but what are the real drawbacks in making your position on the bike less precarious? A psychological disadvantage from knowing that there are potentially unnecessary ounces weighing your bike down? I don't know. It's probably a calculation they make. If you have the skills to descend steep sections with the seat up, fair play. If not, then shit can happen.

On your second point, I'm pretty sure we both understand English pretty well so I'm not sure how you got the wrong end of the stick quite so spectacularly.
  • + 2
 @jiminthestix: ha! you made that point as I was typing the very same at the top of my essay. Fair enough I guesss...
  • + 28
 Emily Batty is awesome as are all pro MTBers but I call bullshit on this line from the opening "requires more singular focus than most professional athletic careers" To be a pro athlete in any sport requires a crazy amount of focus and dedication. I'm also sure there is far more competition in more mainstream sports for those few "pro" spots.
  • + 0
 Much yes.
  • + 9
 I politely disagree, and it essentially stems from requiring the same amount of effort and energy, without much of the resources many mainstream athletes have. Plus, there's the obvious level of risk involved in mountain biking, whether its DH, Enduro, or XC, that you simply do not face in most ball and stick sports.
  • + 14
 Emily is a very good looking lady. I have met her several times and she has the personality to match. Yes, we have the Pinkbike Emily Batty cliche but cliches aside, most on this forum agree that this girl can ride and is a credit to the sport. We respect you Emily-heal up and see you nest year!
  • - 8
flag polarproton (Oct 24, 2017 at 15:19) (Below Threshold)
 Had she been consistently at the back of the leaderbord, the cliché wouldn't have developed at all. Then, most people on the forum have never interacted with her, let alone knowing her, therefore they only have two things to comment on, her results and how she looks on pictures (body and//or attitude).
Anyway, it's a very good thing there is such a charismatic person in the XC community!

On a side note, I prefer video interviewa to written ones as the way someone talks speaks volumes about who s.he is. It's impossible to notice that in a text-translated speech.
  • + 29
 Why is there a need to make comments about Emily's looks? As the first thing in the comment? It's like her looks is her main achievement. How does her looks relate to her as an athlete? Why should we care if you like her looks or not?
  • + 1
 @wbftw: Because to some people it does matter - hence I use the word cliche! In fact it has almost become a Pinkbike cliche - but who cares? Everyone is entitled to their own view. However, normal people respect her for her riding and thats is my point.!!!

We are in agreement my friend.
  • + 0
 @Prof: I wouldn't call it "cliche", but sexism. Which isn't harmless at all.

Apologies for misinterpreting your comment!
  • + 13
 @wbftw: I agree with you, some what. A professional athlete should look good, and I don't mean genetically good. Think about races that you have been at where some of the pro riders are walking pig pens. When you see pictures of Emily she is always wearing a clean race kit, has wiped the snot of off her face and seems to respect the fact that she is a walking billboard for her sponsors. A lot of men could learn a lesson from her.
  • + 18
 Look......everybody has a crush on Emily.....deal with it
  • + 1
 She is pretty. But have you ever thought to consider her perceived personality from what she does. It Makes her more so and is generally doing good for others too. I say it this way as I don't know her. Only through what she does and videos. Great rider too. But that is obvious to race at her level. Her weekly training would kill most of us off!
  • + 2
 @wbftw:Ask PB's art director; most of her photos (in all the articles up to know) promoting exactly this. Look at the Robbie Burdon's story a couple of days ago, you almost do not know how this guy looks like in the video.
  • + 7
 @wbftw: well... so all comments on athletes looks are sexist? No they aren’t, there is a spectrum: 1. she’s pretty, 2. I came here for pictures of Emily Batty, 3. she’s hot, 4. oh I’d love to yhm yhm - I think I arrived at half of the scale of what can be sexist. Now we can try to figure out where do we draw the line and social norm about it does exist (look how PB commenters self policed comments on Abis Yoga tips) but saying everything is sexist? You also have a responsibility to manage your own shame or embarrassment, before you point fingers. I guess that’s a sensible way of looking at the case of human nature.

I saw a dozen of comments like: she gets attention only because of her looks. How’s that, for turning it against her. From PC stand point it Sounds milder isn’t it? Well I bet it isn’t for any girl.

She is exceptionally pretty by most standards, it is a fact. It cannot be missed. I personally hate the winning at genetic lottery argument, because she also won athletic predispositions at the genetic lottery, just like she won environmental lottery where her family and people she met, created conditions under which she could develop so exceptionally well. Just like some bloggers (like Amanda Batty) won capacity for writing skills. Yes there is truth to the saying, that looks are given and performance is a result of work but as we learn more and more about psychology, biology, the limits of humans free will become more and more apparent. Thus...
  • + 1
 Both looks as well as athletic performance/skill are both a result of genetics, training/nutrition and mindset. The first two are obvious for everyone I guess. Though I think most realize nowadays that athletic performance also thrives on the right mindset, attitude etc. The same goes for looks I think. I like smiles. I like enthusiasm and happy faces. Especially when people are doing something they should be happy about. Emily has a good smile.
  • - 7
flag BenPea (Oct 25, 2017 at 2:33) (Below Threshold)
 We respect you Emily, but we give very few f*cks about anything but your looks. Am I on the right line here?

This needs to be balanced out by some good old-fashioned man crushes. Antoine Bizet: would you?
  • + 0
 @vinay: I believe that it is not that obvious. What is definitely less obvious is how we can get played into certain belief systems by our own complexes and sense of shame. Then even deeper, how do we get pushed into saying something by sexual drive, where we play game of appearances, becoming a thug or a white knight and everything in between. It’s simple: everything is complex, but we can get to the bottom of it. People are so concerned about how their organs work, muscles in particular, but not so much about how their mind works

@benpea - if she was just pretty I wouldn’t care much. Also most of girls in XC are pretty. I’d rather friend a girl who rides bikes exceptionally well, than one that is exceptionally pretty. Here you have two in one and she seems rather fun to be around. I’m married, she’s married, we live 5000km from each other, I honestly don’t think too much into this... Katy Winton for instance is exceptionally cute and seems very funny. Maja Wloszczowska is pretty and shreds hard, but she doesn’t seem like a party monster
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: And you wouldn't manage to pronounce Wloszczowska correctly when you meet her parents, so it might be embarassing.

Ans yeah, finding a girl who rides hard is quite a challenge on his own (I personnally am a fan of Casey Brown and Isabeau Courdurier).
  • + 7
 @Whipperman: @WAKIdesigns is Polish actually... So, yeah... He would...
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Would you comment on someone's looks if they were average-looking (I doubt it)? I'll repeat my earlier question then -- how does athlete's appearance add to their athletic achievements, which is what we are presumably interested in? Have you ever saw a comment about a male athlete that starts with "He is handsome" (I haven't)?

Emily is a top athlete -- this is a place to celebrate her achievements, let's stop male-gazing.
  • + 1
 @wbftw: "Have you ever saw a comment about a male athlete that starts with "He is handsome" (I haven't)?" Tried something along those lines above. Didn't really get off the ground for some reason. Maybe we're no better than football (soccer) fans.
  • + 2
 @wbftw - athletes get to where theyare because they get sponsored. That gives them ability to focus on athletic performance. Looks as well as general appearance, talking, smiling, makes them more attractive brand ambassadeurs. Among guys, it's about being flashy and funny. For instance Hill and Gwin miss on that. Then if you have a dirty mouth, oh yea. Wyn Masters, Ratboy hmmm... it's about added value. Those attributes are there, you can ignore them, it's your choice. Then, since most sports are male dominated in terms of audience and promotion (men pull the strings) then I'd argue that if you by some magic took away "sexist gene", you could argue women as a whole would get even less coverage.

@BenPea: Oh well, Jared Graves looks like James Deen, I often wondered... nevermind. Remy Metallier and Gee are smoking hot dudes, I believe that Barelli has a similar bum mass to rest of body ratio as I do. If I met him in Whistler I'd totally ask him if we can do sexy pics, he seems to like it. Curtis Keene, sweet piece of beef, and there's something to Bulldog, he has this brute charm, like he could pick up any girl while other dudes wonder how to approach her. He actually looks like that dude that could steal your girlfriend. Top bikers are obviously fit as hell so they can shag well, they have lots of testosterone so they last long. If I was a girl I'd totally date one.

BTW I'm waiting for accusations that Belomoina is doping.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: That's better.
  • + 0
 A couple of years ago I worked for a half year as a teacher on a school for teen girls. I know, I didn't know it still existed before that (and they actually recently closed) but it was my first job as a teacher so it was at least something to start with. It was, interesting in a way. All that's being said about guys reacting to pretty women I experienced the other way around. Difference probably being that nearly all men in western society kind of are aware of where the limits are (and how far they're exceeding it, indeed) whereas with these girls it seemed completely absent. I know, hormones and all that and I don't blame them for anything. Though I can imagine if it were the other way around (a female teacher with a class full of teen dudes acting like that) there'd've been issues. It didn't bother me too much though I was kind of surprised and didn't quite have response to that. Obviously as it only happened there for those few months it was easier for me to shrug off than for women to whom it constantly happens.

Not saying that people shouldn't be bothered. Everyone is different. Some are bothered, others shrug it off. I do agree with Wacek that there is a spectrum though. I don't think saying someone is pretty should necessarily be considered disrespectful but I do think that if it still bothers someone then you should adapt your language. This is obviously the case if an athlete is commented more about looks than about their performance they're working so hard for. But really, even in mountainbiking it happens both ways. Greg Minnaar probably receives most comments about his skills, speed and ability to destroy bicycle components when he needs them most. But comments on his looks and hair in particular aren't far off. Even Ratboy can't match that, however hard he tries.
  • + 1
 @vinay: @vinay: My teacher friend in England has had a similar experience. It's the only reason he's still in the job :-)
  • + 1
 @BenPea: Seriously? I thought it was really really awkward. I was happy to move to a more regular school after that half year with a more balanced demographic. Of course they too are still developing themselves but at least they have each other. Much healthier.
  • + 1
 @vinay: Well ok, not the only reason... but it helps his ego. It's not a all-girl school, so they're probably less rabid than your lot were... I'm all for them re-appropriating all that stuff, it's been the other way around for so long, but they need to steer that shit carefully in a world that is literally full of brainless dicks.
  • + 1
 @BenPea: is it full of brainless dicks or is it the regular case of 10% that ruin it for everybody? I spoke with girls that I ride with about it and they say that on group rides it's just a few dicks, but unfortunately it ruins the ride for them. Some dudes let them go first, some hurry up to be ahead of them, since they are girls which must equal they are slower (which in case of these girls isn't true, they are fast-ish) but there are morons who need to let them know verbally that they are slower. "do you mind if I go first, cuz ammm eeeehmmm I think I am faster?", or guys who let them ride first and then they keep hissing behind them. "oooh why don't ou go faster ymmmmm...". They also said that there are types who give them advice without being asked to. So those girls want to create group rides just for girls, because they are tired of this bullsht.

I personally love riding with them, because it changes chemistry during a ride. Guys just stay more composed and everyone is more relaxed. And well, since those girls are not slow at all, we don't need to wait for them for more than a few seconds. Which I cannot say about many males in the area... I'll give an example, there is a dude here that everyone knows, he is kind of popular, a super cool guy off the bike, but I hate to ride with him. He gets intimidated easily, and despite riding for many many years, he has no fricking idea about his own stamina levels. He just sprints for the first 30 minutes trying to show how tough he is, he even admits that he tries to wear people out mentally, as if sunday ride was a race. Well, after 1,5h he is worn out and starts to be grumpy as hell. Try to overtake him, and laugh by doing it, oh he'll hate you. He's 45 and he's a pathetic example of "old dudes rock" culture (he has at least 3 T-shirts with a writing like that). Once I asked him if it took him so long because he needed to pee and his prostate is giving him trouble - he didn't spoke to me for the rest of the ride and few months after... But! if the girls are riding... he's misplaced comptetiveness is gone! He's the coolest dude to ride with!
  • + 19
 Pure Class.
  • + 11
 Hi Emily, x-rays only show swelling in the brain. swelling can be life threatening and so this is what Doctors look for. They cannot diagnose concussion.

Next time you head-but the ground take some time out. The real danger is falling and banging the head in the same place. Search the Mtb forums (and other extreme sport forums). There are many posts about life changing injuries due to concussion.

Please be safe and educate others!
  • + 11
 Concussions can be diagnosed
  • + 13
 @tblore: Certain types oc concussion can be diagnosed. Checkout the 2015 film concussion about NFL players. or check out some of the concussion stories on Pinkbike. Its a medical fact that not all concussions can be diagnosed.

I just want riders to remain safe!
  • + 13
 @Prof: I agree and think its crazy she was cleared to ride 4 days later, especially when she lost 12minutes of memory too. We definitely need someway of having a better concussion protocol, maybe helmet impact sensors could be the best way to see how bad the impact was, and therefore have a doctor pull someone from a race.
  • + 4
 Every concussion is different but, like Wynmasters said, if she was lights out for any period of time she shouldn't have ridden the race. Concussions are long term but what you do in the short term has a great impact (no pun intended) on how it the brain heals.
  • + 4
 It is pretty nuts that I learned more about concussions from articles on Pinkbike (thank you Pinkbike, Danielle Baker, Kali etc) than I ever learned from a doctor. I got hit by a car by the age of nine which probably triggered my ADHD. I must have had several concussions afterwards (though probably only one through mountainbiking where I did wear a helmet) though it always seemed like it was just some wild guess by a doctor. If I had knocked myself out, I likely have suffered a concussion. Take "some" rest and I'll be good. It was only through that article by Danielle Baker a few years ago that I realized that the patient inherently isn't able to assess his/her own condition so the advice doesn't make sense. They said they weren't able to see whether I had recovered or not or what damage had been done. My study (aerospace engineering) took much, much longer than it should have quite simply because I couldn't stay concentrated during those three hour written tests. Actually people were impressed an ADHD guy like me could even finish a study like that. So when I realize this was most likely due to those concussions, it kind of pisses me off to see they're still not taken seriously enough. Ride out this race and destroy your future. Or simply call it a day and be back strong for all your future races. We need to accept that at some point the (adult) athlete simply isn't in the position to make that call.
  • - 3
 @wynmasters: how many minutes of memory do you lose on the average Saturday night?
  • - 1
 @BenPea: But that nice lady, who you can't remember her name, was nice enough to take you home.
  • + 10
 Emily is an incredible rider and so so friendly she took the time to chat with my daughters after a race at Bear mountain and they were so stoked. Heal up soon Emily you are truly a credit to the sport and role model to aspire to.
  • + 11
 I saw the actual wound and it was absolutely gross. It's crazy that she finished the race on it. Worse than anything I've ever sustained.
  • + 7
 And that's why I wear knee pads - even for short rides. She's a boss and I got nothing but props for her continuing to race. What a champ.
  • + 4
 Yes, Emily Batty is an attractive woman.
But more importantly, she is a Great ambassador for Canadian Mnt. Biking, period; mens or womens, period!
She has, and Is doing Great things for the sport. Emilly, imo, IS a successful Olympian!
The fact that she completed the event, despite this serious injury, shows that she Also has fortitude!
A real, tough as nails, Canadian Mnt. Biker, period!
Keep up the great work Emily!
  • + 3
 I had a chance to meet and shake hands with Emily earlier this month at Blue Mountain and have to say it was a great pleasure. She was extremely friendly and sincere and I couldn't have been more impressed by such an amazing athlete and person. Get well Emily and I look forward to cheering for you next season ...
  • + 7
 Emily is pure class and apparently tough as f$&@! Big respect.
  • + 3
 I've got a ton of respect for Emily, for what she's doing on and off the race course.

But its also super frustrating to hear/read/see her not.... really talk about the decision to race post-concussion. We're starting to talk about it, but not enough, IMO. CTE isn't just an issue for football players.

Emily is a huge role model to younger athletes (male and female), and statements like "..I was feeling really good considering." would seem to imply that perhaps there were still some symptoms (which would be completely unsurprising, given it was a couple of days after a serious bell-ringing), and perhaps racing wasn't the best call with respect to her health. But, the show must go on?

At any rate. I'd be curious to hear more thoughts on that aspect. Its interesting to me how the knee injury was treated (at least from what it sounds like here, no idea in real life) possibly MORE seriously than the head injury. Bones, skin, and tendons heal. Your brain.... well.
  • + 2
 The effort and accomplishments of this elite Canadian cycling athlete- in the same category as accomplished riders like Catharine Pendrel, Marie-Hélène Prémont and Allison Sydor- show how there us an inspired legacy in Canadian women's XC mountain biking. Kudos to Emily for carrying this torch!
  • + 5
 damn. that looked like the fairclough cut. you always comes across as genuine & good people. best to you, emily.
  • + 1
 Back in the day when I first started racing Ontario Cups (OCups) the beginner class used to go out before her age group. I am NOT ashamed to say almost without fail on the first lap, Emily would come by and pass (even though they had a 2 minute gap between groups!).

My favorite part about that, was not that she was so blistering fast even at that age ... but rather every time without fail she would ask so politely " can I pass on the right please" it was so polite and without any ego or privilege. She is a pure class act and a fantastic role model for all young kids today
  • + 0
 I’m sorry, but why are these interviews entitled, ‘The So and So Interview’? Is it the only, definitive interview? Sounds like a new line of necklaces from Jared’s. What happens when the next interview happens? Is the first one then obsolete? I’m genuinely asking and don’t get it.
  • + 5
 You're overthinking it. The next interview will be "Mended: The Emily Batty Interview"
  • + 2
 "We don't want guys only looking up to other guys. We want them to be able to appreciate a woman's talent and their stake in the world."

+1
  • + 4
 Great interview! Need more of these.
  • + 1
 > Myself and a Swiss rider, seventh and eighth.

> A Polish racer and I sprinted for third and fourth and it was ridiculously close.

Why aren't these riders named? Surely she knows who they are.
  • + 0
 @dougfs Doug, If you did a local race series would you all the names of those participating in your group? No, so why should she? Are you under the impression that the same riders show up for every WC race? To be a pro does not automatically mean you are able to make every WC race.
  • + 2
 @CaptainSnappy: I disagree absolutely. At her level not only would she know everyone's name in the top 20% of the field, she would know how fast they are compared to her up a hill, through technical sections, and how they go in the rain or the heat. She knows the name of everyone she alluded to, no question.

And yeah, I know almost everyone competing in my group, and their strengths and weaknesses.
  • + 1
 Man. It's got to be awesome to be a professional MTB couple. BUT... I can't imagine that's a set of careers to retire comfortably on. Hope they got their plans for >40!
  • + 9
 Id happily take it over my above average paying job. Im sure they didn't choose this career path based on how much money they'd earn. Im sure they've racked up more airmiles than most people will in a lifetime. I think those memories are more important than being a successful earner.
  • + 2
 @bj007: while I agree, memories don't pay doctor bills or put food in ones' belly. That said, seems like a lot of retired racers have a shoe in to work for the companies that sponsored them later in life, as well as non competitive jobs at races, PR, announcers, etc.
  • + 2
 I don't get why you're downvoted, It is actually a very interesting question : how much is their base salary and how much they're able to save.
But for Emily and the rest of the very top pro field I wouldn't worry : they continue working in the industry by coaching teams, developing bikes or representing brands. A few example are T-MO, ACC, Barel, Vouilloz...
  • + 2
 @Whipperman: But we've also seen MTBers who were at the very top have to resort to... non-conventional means to earn a living.
  • + 0
 @iamamodel: @iamamodel: I think it comes down to personality and integrity. EB obviously holds herself to a high standard. I don't expect this to change when she is out of racing. She'll do just fine in 'the real world.' Like others have said, either working in industry with a bike company or running her foundation, etc.
  • + 1
 @Poulsbojohnny: Oh, I'm sure SHE will do fine. My point was that just because someone is a top pro, doesn't mean they'll be fine financially.
  • + 2
 @iamamodel: "resort to... non-conventional means to earn a living"

you referring to Missy Giove getting busted for dealing dope?
  • + 1
 @taprider: I think he meant CG hookin. Lol
  • + 2
 Pinkbike forum needs to educate riders about concussion. Thats quite clear to me - Do the right thing!!!
  • + 3
 Dropper posts for XC in 2017, knee pads 2018? Gnarly!
  • + 2
 Emily sure seems like a great ambassador to our sport. Get well fast!
  • + 1
 Classy lady in every respect, great interview PB!
  • + 1
 Thank god she didn't knock her teeth out. I swear that would make me cry
  • + 1
 She is a tough mother fu*ker,I think she really enjoys riding bikes.
  • + 1
 Pretty sure 2016 xco worlds was at Nove Mesto
  • + 2
 Great interview.
  • + 1
 I love my 7idp knee pads.
  • + 4
 I ride XC (or whatever you want to call it) with IXS Dagger pads. Pads have become more and more comfortable over the years. It is about time XC and road racers start to pad up too. I don't believe it would hold them back, though injury obviously does. If the current (lower profile) pads still are too bulky then it is time to develop something even more low profile. Maybe even go down to a simple aramid sleeve. Riders getting their knees cut up like that shouldn't be possible anymore.
  • + 2
 Batty Smile
  • + 1
 Have so much respect for you. Keep up the good works and heal up soon.
  • - 1
 If that is true, that on the men's side, it is a given Nino will win, then they have already lost.
  • - 1
 "Cameras everywhere" yet now photos of the crash.
If it was a dude, there would be photos.
  • + 1
 there is a video irrc
  • - 2
 +1
flag otto99 (0 mins ago)

"Cameras everywhere" yet no photos of the crash.
If it was a dude, there would be photos.
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