brodie road

I have a friend, well she has worked for me at The Corner Store Buller, Forrest and as a MTBSkills instructor in Qld.  
Thats sort of how she became a friend.

Her name is Brodie Chapman, she is 24 years old, a go getter with the worldly experience closer in line with a 34 year old.  Her life values are solid and once you know Brodie, she is 100% heart on her sleeve, like it or lump it.

What excites me most about sharing Brodie with you is her constant ability to evolve, try new things, persevere with adversity and come out the other end regardless of the outcome a better person.  She knows she is not perfect and that’s what gives her the courage and strength to have a go anyway and in this attitude she actually achieves some pretty good outcomes in life and in racing.

Where did you grow up Brodie?

I grew up mostly at Mt Glorious in Qld, located in the Brisbane hinterland. It’s considered sub-tropical rainforest.

I know you grew up in a bit of a ‘hippy’ culture up in the hinterland, I bet you had some good childhood adventures.

I feel like my entire childhood was an adventure!
Small community, friends of all ages,  lots of bushland exploring and playing in trees.
I will live in a treehouse someday.

Did you ride a bike as a child and just how did this introduction to the bike happen?

My parents always encouraged riding I guess, when I was 12 dad started taking us to skate parks so I could ride my 1 piece crank $20 20” bike.
I loved it.
Mum took us on a Cycling Queensland 9 day tour when I was 14 and that was the first time I rode 100km in one day.

I did it alone and I was so stoked.

One of my greatest memories is riding the bush walking trails one winter holidays on mums old rigid Trek. I remember it being insanely fun. I didn’t know mountain biking was even a thing back then. Now i look back, I can see why I liked it so much!

MY real introduction to the world of bikes and racing was from working at Ashgrove Cycles, I applied for a job on a whim because I wanted to save up for a BMX and learn more about bikes. Somehow, they hired me. Those guys feel like family when I go back into the shop now.

What did you dream of doing when you ‘grew up’?

For a long time I wanted to be an actor actually, I was pretty good at it and pursued it a bit until I realised that I really wanted to be outdoors a lot.
When I was 16 I was quite involved in a rescue  and decided then that I wanted to be a firefighter. I am in the process of applying at the moment.

brodie trainer

You have so many and varied loves as a cyclist and you remain true to you in each and every pedal stroke you take on each different bike and discipline.

Can you tell us about your time in each personality?

I am pretty much the same person all around, I love to have fun on all my bikes, and sometimes those disciplines cross over!

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I have a few inner city wall rides my road bike has hit, and my messenger bike has seen some single track...All in all I love to get out and razz around with other people who get the same feeling that I do from riding.

It all about the jokes, pushing the limits and spinning the legs and wearing good high socks.

I don’t like getting too serious about it all. The day I stop enjoying riding is the day I stop riding. But that is pretty much impossible because there are so many trails in the world and the sport of mountain biking is constantly progressing so there is always new things to learn and try, bigger gaps to attempt and longer road kms to push through.

What do you love about it?

Quite simply, I love going fast, I love getting flow.
These two factors cross over all disciplines and are the two things you can always improve on.

Brodie the courier…tell us more:

Although this job was short lived (not busy enough) I feel like i could have kept doing it for ever . The camaraderie is unrivalled in all cycling disciplines I have encountered and riding a bike around all day is pretty great. It becomes a sort of a flow.  I had plenty of mishaps in a short time and made one trip to hospital.

If I had a dollar for every time some receptionist said “gee you must be fit” - I would never have to work again.

Brodie the commuter…

Riding a bike is the only way I truly trust getting around! I know how long it will take me to get somewhere and when I want to leave I can!
Walking just feels so inefficient….and I am pretty confident taking my bike most places

brodie podium

Brodie the Roadie

Road riding was always just a thing to do when I couldn’t mountain bike or for long commutes. This year is my first year competing, and so far its been pretty great, got a few top steps!

I froth road riding so hard because I LOVE the feeling of going fast….and faster, and it’s just my legs and pain threshold driving it!

I feel like a bit of a fluke actually, because here I am against these girls with coaches, nicer bikes, more experience...I guess I just genuinely enjoy it and go by Eddy Merckx training philosophy “ride lots” - i know this won’t work forever but for now it’s getting me by. 

Brodie the mountain biker…

I feel like mountain biking is my soul, my core. At the moment it’s not so present in my life, but it’s what I really f*#king like (can edit haha!!) .
I feel like no matter what happens in life and riding, as long as i can rail a good berm and get my wheels off the ground life will be sweet.

from rails 1

Photo Credit: Andrew Railton

Brodie the Downhill / Enduro rider .... 

Downhill racing was actually my introduction to mountain biking.
I went to a race to watch, and was totally inspired by the girls that were racing.
Suddenly I thought, next time it’s going to be me racing.  
The next race, I borrowed a bike, bought some gear and lined up at the start gate.

I remember looking down the track and thinking “people ride down this?!”

 I survived, had a good time and raced the rest of the season on borrowed bikes.

I will never forget the blissful ritual “Sunday Run-day” which was bunches of mates piled in utes/troopies driving up and going down all day.
Not long after that, 4-cross appeared on the scene, and so I bought a Giant STP to race 4-cross, and to this day it remains my favourite discipline! RIP 4-cross, you were a blast. Since I only had that one bike I raced the next season of local 4-cross and DH on the same bike, just swapped tyres. It was also a frequent at the local dirt jumps. Since then I kind of steered away from DH, but have raced a few national rounds when i was in the area. Always such fun!
I have meddled in some cross country, but since the introduction of Enduro I find it’s a nice medium between the two!
Can’t wait for it to really take off in Australia, because the SRAM-ROCKSHOX Enduro series this year was a highlight of the year for sure.

Brodie the CX rider…

I did a few CX races recently on my ex-messenger single speed bike that became a CX weapon with the simple addition of appropriate tyres. It slays. I won the few that I raced so someday it would be cool to actually give it a real go against some faster girls and with an actual CX bike.

brodie pump

Brodie the PUMP track queen…

How good are pump tracks?! Addictive actually. I wish I had a backyard that wasn’t a pile of concrete. Pump tracks are awesome for every type of cycling.

If you could ride each and every day of your life and be paid to do it, what would you do? What would this dream life look like?

I would do it for sure - sounds unfeasible but it would probably look like me living near some massive mountains that I could roll out my door onto trail, do some road climbs and racing to mix it up and work as a courier to get my city fix a few days a week!
Thats getting paid to ride!
I would for sure also have a pump track in my backyard.

I think someday I will really knuckle down and put all my energy into one discipline to see how far I can go, but for now travel and experience are high on the priority list.

In your varied experiences on the bike and travel and life in general (and you’ve done a lot!)…what advice would you give your fellow femmes on doing what they love…or maybe it’s nothing to do about the bike, just some life experience advice you wish someone had told you?

If you like it, do it.
I spent way too long waiting to be ‘good enough’ to race or whatever, but now I wish I had done it sooner because in the end no one is thinking about you as much as you!

If you like to wear makeup when you ride (I always have mascara on), cool if you dont give a rats about what you look like when riding, good for you also.

I don’t change myself to fit in with a particular crowd, (just adjust my behaviours and language a bit )
What I have found is that there is no “typical female rider” and we don’t have to fit into a mould.
I genuinely feel like I am a mountain biker/cyclist first, and that transcends all other labels and expectations!

brodie fun

Brodie, you’re a bit of a hipster and do a great job of staying true to you. 
Tell us some more about your life ethics.  
Do you have any parting words from the mouth of a GenY on how the world could be a better place?

Haha, well I was Vegan before the hipsters were!
When I was 17 I decided that I no longer wanted to be a part (as much as I feasibly could) of such a unfathomably cruel industry of animal exploitation and waste. I am so much healthier for it and there is absolutely no doubt that the environmental impacts of animal agriculture are detrimental.

I would also say, ride bikes everywhere because burn fat not oil!

I have also been through some stuff, like everyone, struggled with mental health and had some incredibly dark and destructive times.

I just tell myself, I am a human, this is the nature of humans. Appreciate that you get to experience it all. This too shall pass.

We don’t have to be happy and positive all the time, and when I realised that, it was a huge relief. I want to do everything everywhere all the time and experience every corner of the earth, ride every trail and meet every interesting person. It overwhelms me the immensity of it all, the immensity of myself!

But i try to think, right here, right now is where I am, be here.