AllMountainStyle.com: Bonjour Fred, thank you for your time. We'll start the interview as always, asking you to tell us little bit about you and your "Biking Life", and on this ocasión also about your "Moto Life" and the relation with biking
Fred Glo: A long time ago I was passioned by off road motorbikes. I spent years riding motocross, trial and enduro motorbikes. Enduro was at the end the practice I preferred, and I was racing the French enduro championship and a few rallyes like Tunisia, Morocco or Dakar rally.
I was not to bad for an amateur but not motivated and talented enough to become Pro. Then I discovered in 1987 the mountain bike. At the beginning I was just curious to discover another outdoor sport. But at the end I had almost stop to ride completely motorbikes around 1995 because I was crazy about mountain biking. It was clear I preferred Mountain bike.
AMS: Any other sport apart from biking? I think I read somewhere else you are also into Stand Up Paddling?
FG: Generally I like to practice all sports but must be outdoor sports, so yes I practice SUP , but also trail running , Ski ... In fact I’m first passioned by the nature .
AMS: Back to biking. Where is your favorite spot to ride? Any place you haven't been but would love to?
FG: I had the chance to ride a lot of nice spots. For 10 years we were traveling with a good crew of friends all around the world .This adventure is related in to a book and few (videos), the name is “The Tribe trip “.
About the best spots…huumm they ‘re many, but Cabo verde is still an amazing place to ride. But so technical and potentially dangerous, so I will go for South Chilcoltins mountain in BC. But it’s just because I want to be original and exotic. At just 2 hours drive from my house in the Val d’allos for example , there is everything a mountainbiker can expect. It’s not necessary to travel far to ride good trails, but exotism and discover new cultures and territories is definitively part of the charm and the game.
AMS: You're the owner of Tribe Sport Group, probably one of the biggest distributors in Europe and also the founder and owner of Urge. What was the spark that ignited the creation of Urge helmets?
FG: After many years promoting and doing our very best for other companies into the French territory as a distributor, the opportunity to do it for your own brands (urge bike products and brake authority) became an evidence. What I really enjoy with this adventure is to be 100% free to take the directions and the positioning you want. Your brands are part of you and they show who you’re. At the same time I work with people and a crew I really appreciate and all together we should be able to go over the mountains in this challenging business world.
AMS: How do you feel the moment of the bike market in Europe?
FG: Huge market but very competitive with many players. For 5 years now the south of Europe is under a terrible economic crisis and this really don’t help. So Europe is a key market but we must take care and consider other frontiers. Mountain bike is moving and growing every where on the planet .
AMS: Enduro is getting bigger, and is the word of the moment. As you're the godfather of the discipline and one of the fathers of the EWS: What is Enduro for you?
FG: Enduro was 25 years ago for me and still, climbing slowly on a nice trail or gravel road to reach the start of a crazy fun and technical track to go down as fast as possible. This is the essence of enduro.
Then there is the story around enduro racing. In my dream enduro racing is the kind as URGE Kenya, Nepal or Cabo verde. Or like Trans provence the first years: no practice and discover a trail, riding it as fast as possible. But to fit with high racing international level like EWS you must introduce some different rules. The challenge is to keep the spirit and essence of Enduro at this level of competition. It’s a compromise.
This what we do since 2003 in France (Tribe 10000 first enduro racing) and this is what we realized this first year of EWS. I’m happy that’s the subject is sensitive and a first priority with my EWS-EMBA partners Darren Kinraid, Enrico Guala and Chris Ball. It’s our challenge, we're passionate about it, I'm sure this crew can find the right necessary compromise ever.
AMS: How do you rate the first year of the EWS?. And I'll ask you even further: tell us the better moment of the season, and the worst
FG: 8 out of 10!. For a first year, believe me it was challenging.
Worst moment: Barel gate in Whistler
Best moment: Finale Ligure scenic and good atmosphere on the last round. The season was off and well done
AMS: During the year, and on different races, we have seen extremely different approaches to practice, lifting, lenght of timed stages, and grade of difficulty and speed. Will you keep with those diferences for 2014 or are you trying to start unifying the criteria?
FG: We will have more common rules but we want to keep the diversity of formats. This is one direction to take if we want to keep this famous enduro spirit. Enduro is not one but multiple. Enduro is the heart of mountainbike and mountainbike is big and rich of this diversity.
AMS: Thank you very much for your time Fred, and goof job.
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