Alex McAndrew is a local shredder currently racing DH in the pro category on the Gravity East, Pro GRT, and MTB Grand Prix series. When he’s not racing or riding, the recent Clarkson University grad with a Mechanical Engineering degree can be found wrenching on bikes at Chuck’s Bikes in Morrisville. Mountain Bike Vermont caught up with him to get the low-down on what makes him go so darn fast, and also learn a thing or two about the VT native. To see what he’s been up to on his bike, checkout his blog.
Discipline(s): Downhill, Enduro, A touch of slalom
Hometown: East Hardwick, VT
How long have been riding?: Riding mtn bikes since I was 9 or 10, and racing since I was 19
Sponsors: Transition Bike Co., Clarkson University, Chuck’s Bikes, Kore Components, Maxxis Tires, Muscle Milk
Mountain Bike Vermont: What’s your favorite thing about mountain biking, what keeps you going and coming back for more fun in the dirt?
Alex: The adrenaline, smiles, high-fives, and friends. The desire to learn something new, and go even faster!
MTBVT: Your favorite VT trail or trail system?
A: NO BRAKES. ‘Nough said.
MTBVT: Who inspires you to shred/pedal/monitor your heart rate?
A: Steve Peat. And: Do it because you can, there are people out there who can’t.
MTBVT: 26er, 650b, or wagon wheels?
A: I like corners, A LOT. 26 inch.
MTBVT: Machine built or classic rake ‘n ride?
A: RAW! DAWG! Machine built is fun but roosting loam is where it’s at.
MTBVT: How do you like it, rough or nice and smooth? (Trails!)
A: Rough with flow (TRAILS!). The kind of trail that gets smooth and flowy when you hold the throttle open.
MTBVT: Spandex, baggies, blue jeans, commando?
A: Whatever you’ve got when the call comes to ride!
MTBVT: Mud or dust?
At MTBVT we often substitute pizza and Pabst in place of powerbars and water. What do you put in your pie hole when on trail?
A: At the elite level of racing, regardless of discipline your body needs the best fuel it can get. During race season it’s full science diet. As the season winds down….well there’s nothing quite like a cold brew after an awesome ride!
MTBVT: What do you usually have between your legs? (Type of bike!)
A: She’s loud and rowdy all day every day…Transition Covert for most of my riding/training. Transition TR450 for the gravity fueled racing, and the Transition Bank for all the slalom and DJ fun!
MTBVT: Got any bike tattoos in risky spots? Would you like an MTBVT logo tat?
A: I’ve got more tats than I can count, and they’ve all got stories. True MTB tattoos. SCARS on SCARS on SCARS. Hmmmmm ….nope…sorry Thibault.
MTBVT: Do you keep your chamois on for a while after you ride, or ditch the squishy thing immediately?
Get that thing offffff!!! PRONTO!
MTBVT: Define: “Sniggle” & “Diggle”
A: The names you would use for your two little dropkick rat-dogs if you were a mountain biker and lived in Boston. I prefer to not use these words in the description of trails.
MTBVT: Who’s the gooniest or goofiest riding buddy you’ve got?
A: Jack Oliver. Full name needed. The dude will make you have fun on your bike. Period.
MTBVT: Do you have a favorite race or event of the year?
A: CRANKWORX WHISTLER…The Canadian open course pushed my limits beyond anything I’ve ever ridden before, and I liked it!
MTBVT: What’s the wildest thing that’s happened to you while riding?
A: 65 ft jump into the finish area….and I pulled an “Alex move” – Check it out below 29 seconds in
MTBVT: Proudest moment of your MTB racing career so far?
A: Calling home to tell my parents after winning Collegiate Nationals in 2011… Not only winning Division II by almost 30 seconds but also beating out Joey Schusler of Yeti for the Division 1 win as well …by 12 seconds!
MTBVT: Anybody who deserves a shout-out or special thanks for helping you out so far?
A: Absolutely! First my Parents Mark and Hope McAndrew, and my little brother Angus. Hank Glowiak of Chuck’s Bikes got me on my feet and taught me how to wrench and ride. And my sponsors.
MTBVT: What has growing up in Vermont and riding here done for your racing?
A: I take pride in being a Vermonter; I’ve traveled across the US riding and racing and I’m always stoked to come home and ride. Our terrain and trails therein are second to none. The riding community here in Vermont is extremely welcoming; from age 12 I’ve had riders older than I inviting me to come on rides and trips. This community and the incredible quality of trail here have cranked out some incredible riders. If you can charge on the East Coast you can keep up just about anywhere!
MTBVT: What’s Next?
A: If all goes as planned I’ll be headed to New Zealand for the winter to train and work with Fox Racing Shox. I’ll be coming home in April with the goal of qualifying and racing at least one World Cup next summer!
MTBVT: Sounds like a blast Alex! Make sure to report back to us if the toilets really do flush backwards down under!