Dubbed as “The Next Jorden Wakeley” by this publication, Ross Gibbs is leading the way for a group of NCCS youngsters. Along with the Backus Boys, Hailey Fogo and the incomparable Trever Kingsbury, the next wave of talented Michigan mountain bikers is here, and they come from perilously close to the Bridge.
1. First off, who are you? That’s asked in a philosophical sense, sure, but where are you from, what do you do, who do you care about and what do you enjoy?
I was born right here in Northern Michigan and have lived here my entire life. I live just outside of Boyne City living in the same house for all 15 years of my existence. I’m currently a Sophomore at Boyne City High school. I started mountain biking about 3 years ago and have since grown to love the sport. I used to play Basketball and Football for Boyne, but stopped both last year, so that I could focus more on Cycling. I try to ride pretty hard for about 8 months out of the year and take some time to rest in the winter. I currently only race Mountain and Cyclocross but would love to try some Road racing in the seasons to come. I ride for the North Country Cycle Sport team and work at the shop part time. I joined the team 2 years ago and couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to ride with. All the older guys like John Cowan, Bo Mayfield, and Chad Wells have really taken me under their wing and helped me improve my skills, and have helped show what a great sport Mountain Biking really is.
2. What got you into biking? What got you into racing? What is your proudest two-wheeled achievement?
Ever since I was little I loved being outside, I would spend all summer as a kid riding my little Trek Mountain Cub 16 inch bike all over my yard, and it just progressed from there. About 3 years ago I really got into riding trails, and me and my cousin Trever Kingsbury used to ride the Avalanche Preserve trail in Boyne every morning for about 3 months. Then the following year I got hooked up with the North Country Cycle Sport Scholastic Club, and that’s when my riding really took off. I had always been a very competitive kid growing up, so once I started riding and getting good, I decided to start racing. The guys at NCCS hooked me up with a Team Jersey and a loner bike for me to use, until I could afford one of my own, being that my mongoose just wasn’t going to cut it. And ever since then I have been wear the NCCS Kit and racing all around Michigan. My proudest two wheel achievement for me, had to be the 2012 IceMan Cometh, I went into with hopes of a top 15 finish and came out one spot off the Scholarship Money in 6th place, but I was extremely happy. I honestly didn’t expect to be that close to the top 5 riders, and it definitely makes me want to plant myself on the Podium next year!
3. What kind of bike(s) are you riding? Do they have names?
I just bought myself a new Yeti BigTop 29er hard tail for the 2013 XC season, she’s all blacked out and looking sexy. Her names Beatrice and there’s nothing she loves more then just ripping down so tight and twisty single track.
I also was the lucky winner of the raffle drawing at the end of the 2012 Cross the Bay CX series so I won a new Focus Mares, she’s orange and red, and has recently been named Tangerine, due to her sour attitude, she doesn’t play well with others.
4. What is your favorite place to ride in the world? In Michigan?
My favorite place to ride in Michigan, has to be Boyne Mountain’s race loop, I ride there about once a week in the summer and can’t get enough of it. The single track is rough and technical and often overwhelmingly sandy but it’s where I love to ride. Everyone complains about the climbs, because it seems as though you’re constantly climbing another hill, and then there’s the Grinder. The longest climb of the trail that takes you all the way to the top of the ski hill. But all in all I like climbing, it’s not the most fun part of riding but after a good climb there’s always a good decent. Picking my favorite place in the world to ride was tough, I have been so many different places (sarcasm). I have never ridden anywhere else in the world or the country for that matter, besides Michigan. So therefore, by default, Michigan wins as my favorite place to ride. Although I’d love to make it out west to ride in the mountains, I have never been to anywhere west of the Mississippi, and biking in Colorado would be a dream. That said if anyone wants to pay for my trip I would deeply appreciate it.
5. If you had to compare yourself to a pro, who would you pick?
JHK, he loves biking and skiing backcountry… Must I say more?
6. Who is your favorite person to ride with?
John Cowan, he is always riding slightly faster than I want to and it helps push me, plus he’s fun to pick on.
7. If you could design a bike race in Michigan, where would the finish line be? Who would you have as podium girls? (Celebrities are in play)
The finish would be an intense downhill on the face of Boyne mountain, with a crowd of thousands at the bottom waiting for a couple hundred foot flat out sprint finish line. Podium girls would consist of no other than the one and only Emily Batty, and the actor from transformers 3 Rosie Huntington Whiteley. (Google her if you don’t know)
8. Thank somebody:
Thanks to my mom and dad, for supporting me in my cycling, and taking me all around the state to race, along with taking me to all the group rides so I could ride with the team!
9. Any last words?
Thanks to everyone at NCCS for everything you have done for me. And Thanks Cody for being a huge part of the Michigan cycling community, and just being an all around awesome guy.