Rider Profile - Ryan Delong

2007 Photo Gallery


Ryan DeLong

date of birth?
Feb.19 1979

place of birth?
Santa Cruz, CA

ht? wt?
5'11" 170lbs

Tell us about your riding background, How long, how you started.
I used to have bicycles around for as long as I can remember. First time on a bicycle was around 1982-3. Most of my early bikes didn't stay in one piece too long. I got my first good mtb at 16-17 yrs old. Santa Cruz Tazman. I've been riding moto's & mtb off and on since.My friend JT got my brother Jared into bikes and moto's.

When, where, was your first MTB race?
I believe it was 1997 Sea Otter Classic.

Were you immediately a serious racer, or was there a turning point?
Up until July 06 the last time I had gone to a serious race was around '99 at Mammoth NMBS. In expert I would finish between 20-30th. I think back then I had good enough technical skills to do well in expert but I didn't have the prep. and focus that is neccesary to do well. Not to mention the mechanicals. I can only remember one race back then that I didn't have a mechanical. The turning point for me was 2006. I decided to race Banner Elk NMBS and Mt Snow VT. In expert I got 3rd and 1st. Now I am happy where I'm at with the amount of riding I've done in the last 5 yrs.

Describe your style, your strengths on a trail.
Mostly moto style. Cornering is one of my strengths. I always ran platform pedals up until my last race. I like the benifits of being clipped in on some courses. My style used to be try to jump over stuff and ride technical sections too heavy on my bike and not use line choice and smoothness.

What cross training do you do?
moto. moslty off-road trails. I ride cross country and dirt jump a little.

Presently, what bikes are you running and why do you like or dislike them?
My race bike usually is a Giant Glory DH. I thinks its a very good bike. The suspension works well. It corners really good because the suspension settles when you weight it. The only downside would be you have to buy it as a complete and the frame is a little heavy. Santa Cruz Nomad- Great all around bike. I ride that bike 90% of the time. It really helps to get your shock "pushed" with a nomad. does everything well except chain occasionally bounces down to a harder gear when its really ruff.

Tell us about what your goals and plans were coming into the 2007 season?
Consistently get top 20 and hopefully a couple top tens so I would qualify for the national championships. Gain experience.

What was your best result this year? Favorite course this year?
3rd at the NMBS Finals Snowmass, CO Semi-Pro. It was a fun course. It seemed more like a good trail than a race course. It was fast but also had a pedal out of a creek. Not very technical or steep. But still a lot of fun. Fav. course was Angle Fire, NM 4th Semi-Pro. Long, fast, technical. A couple almost flat sections that were technical enough to suck a lot of momentum. But still the best course. I did not get over to the east coast this year due to a knee injury at Sonoma.

Talk about chasing down the overall title this year, was it easier, harder, than you anticipated? Biggest obstacles?
I did not expect to do as well as I did, especially after not doing well at Sea Otter and Fontana. Once I got my bike setup right I started doing better. The biggest problem was my fork spring was way too stiff and nowhere was there a spring available that fit my weight. So I ditched the Fox40 and got a Boxxer World Cup and that fixed most of my problems. in Semi-Pro You also see people upgrade in the middle of the season or just can't make it to a race. In pro its much more consistent and competetive.

you mentioned your injury in sonoma. can you elaborate on the circumstances, the accident, and the bearing it had on your season?

On the first day of practice at Sonoma My front tire washed out off the bench on a sidehill. It was my 3rd or 4th run. My bike went down the hill and I continued down the trail. I'm not sure if it was the bike or the ground that hurt my knee. My knee froze up for a few days. Then crutches for 2 weeks. I stayed off of it until Snowmass, except for two rides, just to make sure I could still race on it. By the time we got to Snowmass my knee was not feeling so good. After my first couple of runs it started feeling better. I was lucky the course wasn't very rough. I did as good as I could have hoped. So, my knee probably didn't make any difference in my race run. If the course had been more technical then it would have played a part.

now that you have achieved the overall what are your goals for next season?
Upgrade to pro. train harder. gain experience. Put down some top 20 NMBS runs.

How do you plan to prepare to meet these goals this offseason?
Ride X-country. Get the pump track going. Rebuild the dozed dirt jumps. Set up a shuttleable DH training course. When its really wet, Moto Off-road trails

Something or things that norba does well?
Takes money.

things norba needs to improve upon?
Who is NORBA? What do they do?

Outlook on racing at this time, what do you hope to achieve or get out of it in the coming years?
Have fun and travel to good courses and trails.

talk about some people who have helped you toward your progression over the years?
parents, brother, friends. Justin Brown from Revolution Bicycle Repair in Arcata, CA. Chris and Dave from Another Bike Shop in Santa Cruz, CA. Matt Johnson from Biowheels in Asheville, NC. Jeffery from Britt Motorsports in New Bern, NC.

advice for motivated racers aiming toward the professional ranks?
try to keep riding fun. Sometimes when your training your pedaling and not having much fun. I think riding is much better training when your having fun.