Adam Snyder is no stranger to the American race scene, having crisscrossed the country for years with Team Jamis, competing in XC, Marathon, and Super D races. 2013 brought big changes for the Vermont native though. He moved back to the east coast from Durango, CO, started a new team, and refocused his racing on New England's growing enduro scene.
He was nice enough to talk with us recently about the impetus behind the move, why development teams for young riders are so important for the sport, and how he hopes his new Adigga Racing Team will become a part of that framework.
MTBRacenews.com: First of all, can you introduce yourself to folks out there who don't know you? Where are you from? How did you get into mountain biking?
Adam Snyder: Hi, my name is Adam Snyder and I am a bikeaholic.
I grew up in Mass and later went to high school in VT for skiing at Stratton Mountain School. So I like to think of myself as a well rounded New Englander.
I don't exactly know how I got into mountain biking. I can't exactly remember when or how I got into it. In my mind I just started riding with my BFF Nate in the woods and then it just progressed from there into hitting up the local races.
MTBRacenews.com: You rode for Team Jamis and lived in Durango, CO for quite a few years. What happened with Jamis and why the move back to the east coast last season?
Adam Snyder: Yeah I lived in Durango for 10 years and now I am back again, I couldn't shake the place. I loved racing for Team Jamis, it was a great opportunity, and I had a lot of fun racing with them. I made some great friends on the team. In the end it turned out the team was doing a different program and I wanted to move on and try and do my own thing. I have always wanted to have my own little team. So it was just good timing.
I made the move back to the right coast for three reasons. The first and second being for sponsors and getting the team going. The third was that I had always wanted to move back to my roots (pun intended) and try racing a season based back on the east again. There is such an awesome racing community in New England. There are incredible people back there keeping our sport alive. If it weren't for dedicated people like the Logans who put on the Root 66 race series there wouldn't be a legit sanctioned XC race series. Then there are the people in the Gravity East and Eastern States Cup series that put on sweet DH races all over New England. The Eastern states crew helped put together the POC Enduro Series. So I really wanted to try all those races out again instead of just doing one or two a season like in previous years.
MTBRacenews.com: Can you tell us a little about Adigga Racing? Where did the idea come from? How did last season go for the team?
Adam Snyder: Adigga Racing is a team trying to keep it fun and help out some people on the way. We are slowly trying to build up a program that will help U-25 boys and girls with aspirations of becoming a Pro succeed in their goals.
The idea really came from all the years I was on Team Devo. I really loved what John Kemp did for our sport. At some point I would like to repay our sport for the opportunities and support I had. So I decided to try and put together a team with my friend and fellow New England racer Tom Sampson with the hope of growing it into a legit development team.
The team did well we had some great results. Our youngest rider Mike (first year U23) had some great podium finishes in his first year as a Pro. Tom had some great XC and enduro finishes. He was on the podium at some enduros and even snagged his first Pro XC win. So I am psyched with how it worked out last season.
MTBRacenews.com: Where does the name Adigga come from?
Adam Snyder: Adigga? Well it is just a joke of a nick name from highschool in VT. My friends and I were the next great white hope rap crew. The name just stuck through college and sounded better for a team name then my new nick name of Snoodles. Snoodles Racing doesn't sound as cool.
MTBRacenews.com: What's new for Addiga Racing this year?
Adam Snyder: Well we are trying to grow the team. We are going to try and pick up a junior for this season. If we can raise enough funds we would like to get a couple of juniors. That being said we had such incredible sponsors like POC, Geax, Niner, Enve, Latham Pools, Pro Gold and Oakley that helped support us. So we are just trying to get a few more sponsors/donations so we can try and help support as many people as we can.
MTBRacenews.com: Can you talk a little more about the importance of junior development programs in general? What role did DEVO and other teams play in your development as a rider?
Adam Snyder: Man if it weren't for jr development teams like Devo I wouldn't even be racing, and amazing riders like Adam Craig, Ross Schnell, Brent Bookwalter, Troy Wells and Leah Davison probably wouldn't be out there dominating our sport like they do. Although they are all really talented so I can't say anything for them personally.
I think the development programs are the backbone of the sport. There are great programs like Durango Devo, Whole Athlete and the Little Bellas to just name a few. These programs introduce our sport to so many young kids that will grow into MTB trail advocates, life long riders and maybe even the next Todd Wells' and Leah Davison's.
I almost forgot to mention NICA and all the college programs. They are also introducing the sport to more kids. What they are doing is awesome! They are extremely important for our sport and I wish there was a high school league when I was younger
I owe a lot to Devo and I am proud to have been a part of it's legacy.
MTBRacenews.com: Why the switch to enduro last season after racing predominantly cross country races for so long?
Adam Snyder: Like I said before I was looking for a change and I had been heading in that direction for a couple of years. It just worked out perfectly that this year there was a solid North American series and a B.A East coast series. I love XC racing; I am still an XC racer at heart. I just found that while my fitness for XC had been lagging the past few years I was still strong enough to dig deep and do well in Super D's and races like Downieville. So it only seemed like the most logical progression for my racing. Oh and I don't have to go hard on climbs anymore.
MTBRacenews.com: It seems like the enduro scene really exploded in New England this year. Can you pick a favorite event?
Adam Snyder: Yeah thanks to the POC series and all the ski areas back east the series was pretty darn successful. It was cool they had two different series back there. The first one was the POC series and the second was the Triple Crown series. My favorite? Well that's kinda tough they all had some awesome unique aspects to them but I would have to say Burke. They are doing some cool things there, each stage was completely different.
MTBRacenews.com: How do you see mountain bike racing evolving over the next 5-10 years?
Adam Snyder: Ohh man I have no idea. What I would like to see is the sport reaching more people and becoming more of a sport kids get into and choose over other activities like video games or Cosplay. Luckily there are the High School programs that allow kids to race and ride. So I would love to see the High School leagues keep growing.
Mainly it would be awesome to just see the sport keep growing and to see racing of any kind get back to being a huge draw for the general public.
MTBRacenews.com: What's one component on your bike you couldn't live without, regardless of sponsorships?
Adam Snyder: Dropper post.
MTBRacenews.com: Okay last one, favorite new album/band of 2013 that you can't get enough of?
Adam Snyder: What Does The Fox Say? Haha no I absolutely hate that song how. Well I always love me some Jay Z so I would say Mr. Jay Z's new album this year. Wasn't his best but it was good.
Just wanted to give one last shout out to my Mom. Thanks Mom!