MTB Travel Review

Jimmy Christensen is a mountain biker and content creator, bringing his passion for the two-wheeled outdoors to a consumable, instructive format. With instructional videos, riding tutorials, race insight, and product reviews, he's showing the sport of Enduro Mountain Biking to the masses.

Hi Jimmy! With the restart of events in a big way here in 2021, how has the season gone so far?

So far, so good! The 2021 season has been like starting from scratch in many ways, and there is no better feeling than being back out with your friends doing what you love best. I has been a bit challenging to get back into the swing between the tape, but I am smiling ear to ear at every event no matter the outcome. Grateful.

Your style of mountain bike racing is Enduro which is one of the hottest forms of cycling over the past decade. Can you break down what Enduro is all about?

Ahh yes, Enduro racing! Enduro racing is essentially the middle ground between cross-country mountain bike racing (XC) and downhill (DH). Whether it's a local hill or a full-on lift access mountain, the general idea is that you pedal up the mountain at your pace on what are called transfer climbs, and then after a few minutes of rest you turn around, clip in, and race a timed stage back down the mountain at full pull. 

In the series that I race, the Eastern States Cup, you get one day to practice the four to six stages, and then on race day you do it all over again and put everything you have into it. You have to have the endurance of an XC racer, the downhill skillset to handle some serious chunk, and a ton of grit, but at the end of the day it's just another day out on a bike with friends and there is no better feeling!

Let's jump back a ways, how’d you get into mountain biking?

My dad has been a mountain biker longer than I can remember and is the first one to introduce me to the sport. It didn't stick the first time around in my teens, but around three or four years ago I jumped back on the saddle and have never looked back.

You’ve started MTB Travel Review coming on five years ago. How’d you hatch that idea and how’s it going?

Has it been that long?! Oh man times flies when you are having fun! When I first started riding, I always wanted to explore and try out new spots, but you could never really find an accurate trail description or visual representation of New England's infamously abundant and confusing trails. So I decided to start making my own three to five minute trail review videos that I would share on YouTube to help others who were having the same issue. I was also a chef at the time, so the original name was MTB Travel Eat. Super creative, I know. Over time it changed to MTB Travel Review as I started to incorporate product reviews and such. I am still blown away by how the platform has grown and very humble to have the opportunity to share and help others.

There’s the misconception that sports nutrition is reserved for endurance cycling but not a short spurt of intensity and certainly not for going downhill. Tell us where proper fueling fit into your race/day/life.

Remember that saying, "you are what you eat"? Well that has become my mantra the more and more I experience in sport and in life. I don't care if you are doing heavy weight lifting, flat our sprints, or riding a 100 mile day, understanding nutrition is key and I have felt the effects of poor nutrition on many occasions. I used to basically starve myself around activities because of my anxiety and once I wrapped my head around nutrition and found partners like UnTapped, everything changed for the better.

Mountain biking is an equipment-heavy sport. When you’re packing for a weekend of two wheel adventure, what’s in your go-bag? 

Oh man, this is a tough one! I do have pretty bad general anxiety, so I am constantly fighting myself not to overthink and overpack for my adventures. My general go-bag includes Bike: MTB or gravel rig, riding kit, shoes, chammy, shorts, jersey, gloves. Protection: Helmet & knee pads. Snacks: UnTapped, peanut butter, and bananas, and tons of water & reusable water bottles.