Name: Rhys Verner
Home: Squamish, BC
Sponsors: Crankbrothers, Sram, Rockshox, Maxxis, 7mesh, Burgtec, Oakley
Ride: Brown Druid, Custom Synthesis team build
My name is Rhys Verner and I am a 23 year old from Squamish BC. I just graduated University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Victoria. I enjoy all different types of sports and like to think of myself as a good all around athlete. Growing up I used to race XC and DH until I was a junior (17 years old) at which point I switched to XC for the following 3 years. I always considered myself a good bike handler, and when I was 20 the opportunity arose to race the Finale Ligure in 2017. I ended up winning that race and had really competitive times in Pro (13th), so I made the switch to full time Enduro for 2018 and I haven’t looked back since!
What kind of riding do you typically do?
I do all sorts of different type of riding. I come from a diverse background so I still try and mix it up with riding the road bike, xc bike, trail bikes, DH bikes, and occasionally dirt jump bikes. Im really just happy to do any type of riding
What does your dream trail look like?
My dream trail would be a fast technical trail that is steep enough so you don't havd\e to pedal for speed, but not to steep that your just riding the brakes the whole time. The trail would have lots of natural doubles and cool line selection as well. Fortunately for me, this type of trail is abundant in BC.
What kind of music do you listen to?
rap beats all day
What does a typical day look like for you?
I try to keep my days pretty up in the air just to keep things exciting, but I will definitely do some sort of exercise every day. I probably go for a ride 5-6 times a week but I mix it up whether I ride Enduro, XC, and DH if Whistler is open. I also really enjoy running and mountaineering sort of things and try and fit in those activities whenever I can. I try and do my exercise in the mornings and then I normally hangout with friends in the afternoon. A lot of my friends aren’t bikers so we do different types of things. I try and spend pretty much my whole days outside and have a tough time with full rest days… they’re too boring.
How did you get into riding?
I kind of just grew up doing it. My dad and grandpa used to take my brothers and I riding a ton when we were kids. When I was around 10 or so my dad realized that he wasn’t able to keep up anymore or ride the trails that I wanted to ride. So he convinced a family friend to take me out riding once a week. I ended up getting pretty good and my parents supported me all the way through. When I was a U17 I raced XC and DH, and often used to do both in the same weekend. I was winning at both events but I knew once I went into Junior I would be better off picking one discipline. I ended up choosing XC based on the fact that I just loved riding my bike. I could ride XC from my house and ride as long as I want. At the time I didn’t have a driver's license so to go ride downhill I always had to convince my parents to shuttle me, or find a ride to Whistler to hit the park. After choosing XC, I made the Canadian national team for both my junior years finishing second place at nationals twice, and competed at World Championships in Norway as well as Andorra.
What are your strengths?
I would say my main strength is consistency and the ability to adapt to different scenarios. I really just enjoy riding bikes and any time I get to do it I am having a good time. I don’t think one type of riding necessarily sticks out as being a strength of mine. I might be more of a jack-of-all-trades, master of none type of guy.
What are your weaknesses?
I would say my weakness is bouncing back from a crash or a sub par result. I think I generally do a lot better if I have confidence and feel good about what I’m doing. If I screw something up and my confidence takes a hit it can sometimes take me some time to build it back up.
What are your plans for 2021?
My plans for 2021 are to race the full EWS calendar along with the rest of the Synthesis team. My goals are to get top 10 results with top 5 stage times. We also have a few film projects planned so stay tuned for that.
Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by lots of people in the industry as well as others. My favourite riders are Jacob Jewett, Steve Smith, Sam Hill, and Nino Schurter. But I find I also can get really inspired by just being outside in nature. Big ass mountains also get me going
What do you enjoy outside of biking?
I just enjoy being outside and trying lot of different sports. I have done a few ultra marathons running and I really enjoy that type of thing. I also just had an amazing winter of skiing and got really into that. Basically any action sport out there Im going to enjoy doing it.
What's your favorite motto or saying?
"you can sleep when you die"
What's your Pet Peeve?
Im pretty easy going and don't get annoyed too often. I don't really have any notable pet peeves.
What gets you stoked?
Hanging out with my friends and having a good time! Listening to music or just being outside can do it too!
Sushi hands down
Any weird routines or superstitions?
Not really a weird routine, but whenever I fly to Europe I always make sure to get on the sleep schedule immediately. Ill force myself to stay up that first day, and it always is worth it in the end.
Favorite non-bike website?
I don’t really have a go to website but I really like watching motocross and supercross. So any website I can stream the races on is probably my favourite website. I also read a lot of articles on the Economist.