Robbie Pfunder makes a living riding his bike. Pretty cool, huh? That’s what can happen when you are dedicated to something you love.
Robbie is a full-time pro rider, and he’s ranked 4th in all of North America. He currently lives in Boulder, Colorado where there are lots of mountain bike trails. He’ll be in Bentonville in August, at the Benton County Fair, where he’ll be performing Mountain Bike Stunt Shows, signing autographs and meeting kids like you!
Official Kids Mag had a chance to talk to Robbie and get some pro tips on mountain biking.
When did you start mountain biking?
I first started when I was 12 years old. I was actually on a BMX bike and my buddies and I were riding on homemade dirt track courses in our backyards. Then in high school I got a proper mountain bike and was lucky that my school had a mountain bike team. That’s when I started racing interscholastically. The rest is history. I’ve been mountain biking for 24 years now.
Tell us about being a champion. What is the championship race like?
I’ve won the Mountain States Pro Title 4 times in the category of Mountain Bike Trials. The Championship is held in a location with challenging terrain. Riders have to maneuver over super tough obstacles, through a timed course, without putting their feet on the ground. The rider who makes the least number of mistakes wins the event.
Have you ridden the Bentonville bike trails?
Believe it or not I’ve never had the pleasure of riding in Bentonville but have heard about it for a few years now. I’ve watched videos on YouTube and heard from my riding buddies about how amazing the trail system is! I’m super excited to check it out and test my Rocky Mountain skills.
What’s the secret of your success?
I stay pretty focused on my riding and improving my show but I also try not to take myself too seriously, otherwise life gets too serious. Riding bikes is about having fun and I believe that that’s very important.
What advice would you give to kids just starting out in mountain biking or cycling?
The advice I would give would be to practice skills in the grass! I learned the hard way growing up that pavement hurts a lot. If you’re going to practice skills or tricks, then you might as well have a soft landing. The other piece of advice would be to practice, practice, practice. There is no substitution for getting out there and riding lots to improve. And lastly, have fun. Riding is all about fun.
What do you like about the sport?
I like the sense of being connected to the bike as one, being in touch with nature, and of course, the adrenaline of high speed or pulling off a rad line. Riding has always been a way for me to get exercise and have a sense of mastery over something when everything else in life can get chaotic.
Do you like performing?
Performing on my mountain bike is one of my favorite things to do! Most people can relate to the simple joy of riding a bike, but have never seen trial riding in person before. I really enjoy seeing people’s reactions who are seeing my show for the first time.
How often do you ride?
I usually ride an average of 2-4 times a week, at least. In the winter I ride less but train in the gym to stay fit. In the summer I ride more often.
Where can kids and their parents find more information about cycling?
There are a ton of YouTube channels that have videos on mountain bike skills, maintenance, and anything else. It’s also fun to watch videos of pros to get stoked on what’s possible out there!
What will you be doing at the Benton County Fair?
I’ll be performing Mountain Bike Trials Stunt Shows at the Fair. The shows go for about 30 minutes, followed by a meet ‘n greet session where you can say hi and grab an autographed poster! It’s gonna be a super fun time and I look forward to meeting everyone!
Robbie Pfunder puts on a thrilling 2-wheel stunt show on his mountain bike! The action-packed show is for audiences of all ages and features gravity-defying stunts, jokes and more, set to family-friendly music.