It’s time for another instalment of Corona Coaster from Nico Turner, who this week has been hanging out with EWS racer Elliott Heap.
In this week’s episode of Live To Ride we head to the North West of England to an area known for their love of pies, and one man who loves a good pie is EWS racer, Elliott Heap. In this episode, we follow Elliott as he manuals his way down Farmer Johns Bike Park, rides some of his enduro trails with views over the sea and hangs out with team manager Nigel Page at his home compound.
If anyone lives in the North West you’ll know in the Rugby and Football Wigan fans are known as pie eaters.. “Who ate all the pies??” And I’m like I did, it was me! We’re renowned for our loving of pies, around here you get a pie on a barm cake, basically a pie in a bread roll..” – Elliott Heap
In the North West of England there is a small bike park called Farmer Johns, runs last between 1 – 2 minutes and they’re action packed from top to bottom. As soon as we unloaded the car, Elliott was out, playing around jumping and manualing everything in the car park, straight away I knew we were in for a treat.
FJ’s is the first place Elliott raced on a Nukeproof Bike, he was 14 at the time and it’s clear he knows his way around the park, suggesting wild moves on every feature. Some stand out moments were when he manualled the entire first straight, landed a suicide no hander into a stoppie and the sheer speed he hit the steep tech in the woods.
If you live in the North West, everyone knows about it, everyone’s raced here, Ratboy, Craig Evans, Peaty. You get that feeling like how mountain biking used to be. It’s a tiny farm, a tiny hill but there’s so much variation. The top section is flat out with jumps, trail centre stuff then the bottom is steep as anything gnarly root sections..” – Elliot Heap
A big part of this series is looking at how riders have dealt with the summer without racing and it was clear that it had hit Elliott pretty hard.
“Coming into the season I felt absolutely fantastic, I put a lot of effort in because last season didn’t go how I wanted. I was training up in the Lakes with Adam Brayton and Fit For Racing twice a week. I felt strong and was ready to give it the beans and get stuck in. Then for it not to happen it was like my World just got turned upside down..”
“When we first went into lockdown I didn’t ride my bike for like two weeks, it was hard not to ride with people and I just rode with my little brother. Then I fell out of love with it a bit and started spending a lot of money on my car and other toys. Towards the end of lock down I started going out with Ant Hale and Nigel Page, it was really nice to get back out and riding bikes again. Because I’ve not been training throughout the whole thing I just want to get back into the gym now and get as fit as I possible before the season.” – Elliott Heap
Elliot said he’d spent most of his time on his Nukeproof Reactor, a bike he uses for Crankworx and four cross.
For training, Elliott’s favourite is a large hill called Rivington with views all the way to the sea on the west coast past Liverpool. It starts wide open at the top, where Elliot chose to send a big huck, before going into classically tight locals trails hidden in the woods.
Not too far from Elliott is CRC Nukeproof Team Manager Nigel Page, he has one of the most amazing back garden set ups I’ve ever seen and we had a fun evening riding Motos.
You can go out with Nigel and he’s not like a boss, he’s like your mate and we go and ride TTR’s, do you know any other team managers where the riders do that with them? Because I don’t.. – Elliott Heap
Pagey has an array of old and classic bikes and one that Elliott was particularly stoked to ride was Nigel’s son’s custom Nukeproof Mega, built for a 9 year old he had a challenge getting it set up right.
Elliott offers mountain bike coaching and seeing how he controls a bike it’s clear why he’s very busy with it, if you want lessons with Elliot you can contact him on Instagram.
Thanks for watching and reading, Elliot was great fun to shoot with and please subscribe for more. Next week we’re catching up with downhill legend Danny Hart.