a relative newcomer to the national racing scene, Sante-Fe Brewing
racer Macky Franklin has proven himself to be one of the more
versitle riders on the circuit. In 2012 he took podiums in
singlespeed races, stage races, cross country, and enduro.
2013 Franklin has a new team and a similarly diverse schedule. He was
gracious enough to take some time after the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo to
check in with MTBRacenews about his new team, his goals for 2013, and
what it's like to try to make it as a pro in a sport with limited
MTBRacenews.com: Can you introduce yourself to readers who maybe haven't heard
much about you? Where are you from? How'd you get into mountain
Franklin: I consider myself a TaoseŮo even though my family
didn't move to Taos, NM until I was thirteen. Shortly after that my
mom signed me up for the Field Institute of Taosís afterschool
mountain bike program and I learned to ride off-road. A few years
later I raced my first race, the 2003 Angel Fire Chile Challenge. I
got second in the Junior Beginner category and promptly moved up to
Junior Expert, barely survived my second race (Junior Experts raced
the same distance as the Pros) and fell in love with racing. I got my
Pro cross country license at the end of 2006 and have been racing
seriously ever since.
recently, I graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont in 2011 with
a degree in Computer Science and am now figuring out how to make a
living while doing what I love to do. In the last few years I have
begun to explore other disciplines of mountain bike racing like
single speed, Enduro, and stage racing, and this has kept me excited
about racing and done a lot to improve my bike handling skills.
MTBRacenews.com: You competed in a diverse array of races in 2012. Can you pick
out a highlight?
Macky Franklin: I raced so many cool
races last year that it is almost impossible to choose a single
highlight. The Downieville Classic had an awesome course and a really
cool vibe and Iím looking forward to racing there again this year.
The Whiskey Off-Road was really well run and had great media coverage
and should, in my opinion, be an example of what mountain bike races
can be. And Single Speed World Championships in South Africa was,
well, Single Speed World Championships.
if I had to pick one, it would be the Breck Epic. It was my third
time racing that race, but my first time racing it on a single speed
and there was a rainbow jersey up for grabs (the 2012 Breck Epic was
the inaugural Single Speed Stage Race World Championships). As
always, Mike McCormack and the crew put on an incredible race and I
didnít miss a single turn, a great improvement over the 2011 race
where I missed turns five of the six days due to my inability to see
large black and yellow arrows. After six hard days of racing I came
out on top and got my first (and hopefully not my last) World
Championship jersey. The trails were as incredible as ever, the
weather was great and my girlfriend and her parents were there to
MTBRacenews.com: What prompted your move to the Santa Fe Brewing - Pivot Cycles
team this year?
Franklin: I had a great time racing for Orbea - Tuff Shed last
year, but it wasnít the right fit for me so I decided to build my
own team. I got in touch with Steve Thompson and Karen Jarchow and
together we created the Santa Fe Brewing - Pivot team. Building the
team has been a great learning experience and it has given me the
opportunity to work with companies who I respect and really want to
represent. It has also given me the freedom to make my own schedule
and set my own goals for the season.
MTBRacenews.com: What are your goals for 2013?
Franklin: Win everything. Just kidding. My long-term goal is to
make the 2016 Olympic team and that has helped me set smaller goals
for the intervening years. This year my focus is domestic races and
Iím splitting my time between Cross Country and Enduro. Iím
racing most of the Pro XCT series and National Championships to get
UCI points and most of the Big Mountain Enduro series because Enduro
races are awesome. Iím also attending some of the biggest races
around the US including Sea Otter, Whiskey Off-Road, Colorado
Freeride Festival, Downieville Classic and Breck Epic.
specific goals are to win the Downieville Classic and Super D
National Championships and finish in the top 5 at Cross Country
National Championships. Towards the end of the season, Iím hoping
to get selected for the XC World Championships team and, if I have
the budget, race (and win) Single Speed World Championships in Italy.
MTBRacenews.com: As someone who does singlespeed, xc, stage races, and enduros,
what bike(s) will you be racing next season?
Franklin: This year Iíll be racing the Pivot Les and the Pivot
Mach 5.7 Carbon. The Pivot Les is a carbon hardtail 29er that Iíll
be racing for the Pro XCT series and Single Speed World
Championships. Fully built it weighs 23 pounds and is one of the
stiffest bikes Iíve ever ridden. It also has a switchable dropout
(called the Swinger System) so converting it to single speed will be
nice and easy.
Mach 5.7 Carbon is a full suspension 26er with 145mm (5.7 inches) of
rear suspension and a 150mm (5.9-inch) front fork. It uses a DW-link
suspension design that is the most efficient suspension Iíve ever
ridden and it climbs like a hardtail. Iíve got it built up with an
X-Fusion Hilo adjustable seatpost, 710mm bars and the Shimano Shadow
Plus rear derailleur so it descends even better than it climbs.
bikes are built up with Shimano brakes, wheels and drivetrains (XTR
on the Les and XT on the Mach 5.7), X-Fusion suspension, Loaded
Precision Components bars and stems, Xpedo pedals, Ergon saddles and
grips, and Geax tires.
MTBRacenews.com: What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of being a pro
mountain bike racer?
Franklin: Traveling all the time, training and racing are all
hard, but the hardest part is making ends meet. One of the things I
love about mountain bike racing is that there isnít a lot of money
in the sport. It keeps the sport clean and ensures that people are
racing for the right reason, specifically, because they love it. The
downside is that very few Pro racers are able to do it as their only
job. Most have at least one other source of income from hairdressing
to carbon repair to web design. Racing is frequently more of an
expensive hobby than a paying job. But, itís what I love to do and
Iím willing to sacrifice the stability of a steady income to pursue
a career as a Pro racer.
MTBRacenews.com: What about singlespeed riding do you like so much? Do you make
the choice to ride and race singlespeed based more on the terrain
you'll be riding or your mood?
Franklin: I decided to try single speed for the first time last
year because I wanted to try something new and I wanted to go to
Single Speed World Championships. I liked the simplicity of one gear
and wanted to see how it differed from riding with gears. At the
moment, I havenít been riding single speed because my Les is built up with gears for the upcoming Pro XCTs. Iím not sure when Iíll
swap it over, but I am looking forward to doing some single speeding
MTBRacenews.com: How do you see mountain bike racing evolving in the next 10
Franklin: Weíre already seeing it, but I think Enduro will see
the biggest growth in the coming years. As bikes continue to get
lighter, more efficient and better at descending, more and more
people will be buying 5-6 inch travel bikes. And Enduro caters
perfectly to that type of bike. It also mimics the way people ride
with their friends (spin to the top, race to the bottom) so I think
it attracts a lot of people who otherwise might not be interested in
MTBRacenews.com: You work a little bit as a web developer as well right? How do
you balance that work with bike racing?
Franklin: Bike racing isnít paying the bills yet, so I have
been supplementing with freelance web design. Itís a good fit for
my lifestyle because all I need is my computer and an Internet
connection. And now that I finally got a "smartĒ phone, I can use
it as a wireless hotspot and work from almost anywhere. From a
training perspective it works well too because I can finish a ride
and get some work done while I recover. That being said, Iím hoping
to transition more and more towards focusing solely on training and
racing and being able to spend more time creating promotional
material for my sponsors.
MTBRacenews.com: You put in a fair number of miles getting to races. What's on
your iPod these days?
Franklin: My secret to long drives by myself is listening to
podcasts. Iíve recently been listening to the NPR TED Talks, where
NPR brings TED speakers onto the air to discuss their TED
presentations. My favorites are the talks about technology, food and
education. Iíve also been listening to the Mountain Bike Radio
podcasts and definitely recommend them.
Iím traveling with my girlfriend, Syd, we take turns reading out
loud. Favorite titles include Bonk, The Happiness Project, Road Fever, Stiff, and the entire Hunger Games series. Most recently we have been reading Scott Jurekís Eat and
Run. Jurekís story is fascinating and he includes some
great-sounding plant-based recipes. The only downside is that it
always makes me hungryÖ