The history of Orbea Enduro Team rider Becky Cook is one of those stories in which, by coincidence or through the whims of fate, one day you stumble upon the world of bicycles and you can no longer escape from it. Many times, the blame for this lies in that mystical satisfaction with which you return at the end of a route, even the most demanding ones that leave you so tired, but at the same time, so pleased. So exhausted on the outside, but so full of life on the inside.
Many times this whirl of sensations and emotions that two wheels without a motor awaken seems to be such that you appear to be trapped in this “bicycle world,” with the idea of once again feeling that fun or satisfaction on the next route. And the next one…and the next one.
The nuance of two wheels without a motor is important in the story of Becky Cook, because the Orbea Enduro Team rider might only have a recent past in enduro competition (specifically, dating back to 2015), but this English rider born on the small British Island of Wight has a long past in the world has a long history in the world of motors. This trajectory in motors goes beyond the job in which she is employed when not competing on the team: the family truck business.
The truth is that Becky Cook has made a real name for herself in trial competition, where she found all those emotions until she came across bicycles.5-Time world champion runner-up, 7 gold medals in the trial of Nations (a World Trial Championship race), 8-time English champion or champion at the 2012 European Motor Trial championship are just some of the awards she has earned in more than 13 years in the elite level of international trial competition. Becky got hooked on the world of bicycles barely four years ago when she began to ride as part of her preparation in the world of motorcycle competitions.
And the fun she had on her new training tool became more and more intense until the point that, once she finished her era as one of the most distinguished trial competitors in the history of England, she wanted to prolong her competitive facet through top-level enduro competition.
With all of this, and knowing that La Thuile is a competition that sparks a lot of interest in her, we decided to dig deeper into Becky’s “English character,” as Tomi Misser mentioned in one of his recent videos, to find out more about the Orbea Enduro Team rider…
– Becky, what about the top competition in trial and Enduro? What are the differences and the things that are really near or same?
Enduro feels a lot harder! Maybe it is because I am still fairly new to the sport and am still learning a lot but the sheer physical and psycological aspect of the Enduro World Series is incredible! The Trial World Championship is not easy though, to be at the top you have to work really hard and need excellent, precise bike skills and strength. This transfers a lot to the Enduro bike on technical stages. They are both really enjoyable, it’s like a day out riding with your friends and only the stages or sections counting to the overall result.
My many years of experience at top level competition in trials has definitely helped me prepare myself mentally and physically for the demands of the Enduro World Series. The actual sport is quite different but the process of preparing yourself for big competitions is much the same.
– Due to the trial career, Have you ever made some trial tricks with Rallon or any other bike? Usually do it?
My trials career has definitely taught me good bike handling skills so it helps me move the bike around easier on tight corners or jump over obstacles which can be very useful in a race.
– Have you taught any tricks to the guys of the team? Any trial trick or some technic…
Not yet but Thomas has a trial bike so we are planning a session soon!
– How is being part of the highest level of the Enduro?
It’s incredibly tough but very rewarding. The competition in the women's category is really strong, the level of the riders is incredible and everyone is pushing harder and harder to go faster. It is still a really friendly atmosphere though and everyone will always help each other out if they have a problem so I am really enjoying being part of it.
– You won the Enduro Series in England in 2016 and I suppose that you have ridden a lot of races in your country so… what are the highest differences between those races and Enduro World Series?
The biggest difference is probably the elevation and distance because we don’t have many mountains! In England the courses and stages tend to be shorter. Also technically they are less difficult so generally I have found riding the Enduro World Series is a whole new level compared to anything else but that is what I expect as its the highest level in Enduro.
– About your work as truck driver, do you like trucks or driving? How did you start in that job?
I was pretty much born into it as it’s my father’s business and now my brother and cousins also work with me so it’s become very much a family business. I do enjoy it most of the time, but obviously I’d much rather be riding my bike! 😉
– Is difficult being a professional enduro rider and truck driver? Do you carry on your truck any bike to ride?
I live on a small island so all of my driving is only short distance fortunately. It is still difficult to fit training around work though, and usually I have to train before and after work which can make for long days..
– What is your favourite race of the current EWS event calendar? Or the one you really feel that you are going to do a great race?
I really enjoyed the race in Olargues, France. The technical, physical nature of the course suited me better. I am looking forward to La Thuile also, I have never ridden here but heard great things.
– What type of terrain do you prefer? Maybe rocky trails, long singletracks, muddy hells, etc.
I prefer more rocky technical trails but I also enjoy it when it is wet and slippery, we are used to riding this a lot in the UK!
– During the competition, do you usually change the setting of the bike? Are you manic, for example, with the tires or the setting of the shocks?
Since being with Orbea Enduro Team I have been able to test different settings, tyres and products which has helped me a lot to find out what works best for me. I don’t usually change much between races except the shock. Depending on the conditions I will swap between the air and coil shock.
– You ride a 740mm handlebar, tighter or narrower than Enduro handlebars in general, what about this? Has it got any explication?
I have got quite narrow shoulders so 740mm feels comfortable for me. Even if I use wider bars I still grip them in the same position and then there is more chance of the excess hitting trees when we are racing tight narrow trails.
– What do you do in your rest time when there is no races?
Usually working! I don’t have much time for anything else but if I do I like to be at home relaxing at the beach or walking the dog.
– Can you tell us any anecdote of the Orbea Enduro Team?
They are all pretty funny guys so we’ve had some good times! A couple I can remember are team manager, Julien setting fire to the dinner and Gabi Torralba forgetting his shoes on race morning!
– To sum up, How do you describe “Becky Cook Enduro professional rider”?
Hard working and quietly determined! 😉