After getting a firsthand taste last year of just how tough it is for the average joe to make it in the pro ranks, Adam Price, aka The Privateer, is at it again, this time with more experience, fitness and skills. 2019 is the make-or-break season for the 28-year-old enduro racer from southwest England who now calls Canada home.

Stan’s NoTubes: What’s different from last year to this year?

Adam Price: The goal was to have fun last year, and I put in a lot of work training-wise and got myself to a certain level so that I could actually start training with heavier weights. Throughout this winter, I went to the gym five or six days a week. So I started this year in a much better place, meaning I could train more and better.

SNT: What are you riding and racing this season and how do you like it?

AP: I’m on a Pivot Firebird 29 with Stan’s Flow EX3 wheels. I love my bike and my wheels. In fact, I used to run Stan’s wheels before I was the Privateer. I always liked having a wheel with the traditional J-spoke in standard lengths because you can more easily find replacement ones in a pinch. My Pivot frame is stiff, and my Stan’s wheels complement it because they’re not incredibly stiff carbon wheels. They have a bit of flex, and I like that feeling because then my bike’s also not too stiff overall. Given the EX3’s innovative rim design, I don’t run tire inserts any more. I feel like I can occasionally bottom out a rim and not damage it.

SNT: With many pros now riding mullet bikes, are you planning to mix up the wheel sizes any time soon?

AP: No. Just selecting which tires to use each weekend is hard enough! I don’t want to have to decide what size of wheels to race, too.

SNT: Practically speaking, what does being a “privateer” mean for you?

AP: For me, it means I have better support than I ever did before. I have more resources, better training and a better bike than I did. Technically, I’m still doing my job at the moment with Pinkbike, which means I’m juggling a lot - just like most privateers do.

SNT: How do you balance the work that you are still doing with pro-level racing?

AP: What’s great is that I now have more skills and more fitness. The final piece for me is the headspace side of things. My work happens in an office and is not physical, but it’s still mentally fatiguing because I have to concentrate all day.

SNT: Anything we can look forward to coverage-wise the rest of this season?

AP: We’ll do a day-in-the-life feature. Hopefully that will show some of the days I’ve had. Of course, there are loads of people who juggle way more than I do. I’ve started to get up earlier to do my workouts. That’s proved better for me because I’m fresh and I can concentrate. It’s easier than trying to do them at the end of the day when my brain is foggy.  On a typical day, I work out from 7:00 am until half eight, do breakfast and go to work roughly from nine to five. Now, when the evenings are long, I often come home, have dinner and go out for another hour’s ride.

SNT: What’s it like with your work being so closely related to what you do riding-wise?

AP: It’s intense to be working every day with the people who are supporting the Privateer series. There is huge overlap between my personal ambitions to get better at mountain biking, its fitness and skills and what I’m doing at work. The media is always talking about perfect days and how everything in your life as a pro is amazing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s cool, but the reality is - like with coverage of anyone’s life - you’re only seeing the highlights.

Riding photos by Jason Lucas