Brett Tippie – The Isolation Interview
by Jerry Tatton
by Jerry Tatton
During the early days of the Covid-19 global crises, freeride legend Brett Tippie returned home from a biking trip and placed himself in isolation to protect his family. At the same time, our editor Jerry Tatton was also in isolation, as his wife had contracted symptoms of Covid-19.
Brett used his isolation period to help keep the biking world smiling, posting hilarious episodes of his isolation antics. We contacted Brett and our two isoated bikers produced the following interview. Stay safe everyone and we will get through this together. People like Brett will keep us all smiling 😉
In the Maydena Bike Park, Tasmania 2.5 weeks ago. Image by @rfphotographics
So tell us about yourself, what made you choose this sport? What inspires you?
I am a 51 year old, Hall of Fame professional MTB freerider and ex-pro Canadian National Team World Cup snowboarder turned powder addict. I chose mtn biking in 1983 because I had dirtbiked as a kid and owned a BMX and 10 speed road bike growing up in and the MTB seemed to incorporate all of them. It fascinated me to be able to ride my bicycle up and down the mountains. I am inspired by doing 1st descents down something most people would think impossible to ride, tacky soil on new (to me) trails I’ve never seen before, working with talented cameramen getting the shot of riding beautiful terrain and landscape with golden light or foggy eerieness to hopefully inspire and stoke others, jamming with my friends and riding with my family.
These are definitely weird times for everyone Brett. There’s a whole lot of chaos and panic flying around around. What are you doing to keep safe?
I just returned from riding the Maydena Bike Park in Tasmania and have been in self isolation for 12 days now. It breaks my heart to not hug my kids and kiss my wife but the Corona virus takes 5-14 days to incubate I hear so I’m keeping them safe and anyone they might contact, if in fact I’m infected. I travelled 16 hours each way on a plane full of strangers and who knows. I religiously wiped down my seatbelt, arm rests, tv screen with Lysol wipes and since I’ve been home I haven’t left and have been living in our basement suite that has it’s own kitchen, bathroom and entrance. That being said I feel fine, but just want to be smart and play by the rules.
Image by @andrewlawrenceimages
Do you agree, that more than anything, these are times to concentrate on our minds. What’s keeping you sane at the moment.
I totally agree. I am currently keeping sane by cleaning my basement, learning what I can about the situation, a few jailhouse rock workouts and reading.
Let’s not get all political, but do you think enough is being done at the moment? UK went into lockdown last night, but our good old leader has said we can still cycle and bike shops should stay open!! Awesome news for the MTB community.
I think this is a crazy time and I know I’ve never seen anything like this in my 1/2 century on this planet. It is not easy for people to know how to react or lead people on how to react but I think our leaders are trying their best and hopefully enough people comply quickly enough to social distancing and shut down borders etc. that we can get a vaccine for this pandemic soon before we lose any more lives of loved ones and get the world back to somewhat normal.
Riding Tasmania. Image by @rfphotographics
So what are you doing to keep yourself entertained? Are you still heading out on the bike. Are you riding less aggressively to stay safer? I’ve been out a couple of times, but riding technical stuff for me is a NO NO!! I’m shite on a bike!!
I’m entertaining myself with some old school mtb movies, catching up on emails and projects and loose ends, surfing the net, doing pushups and crunches, juggling, and even started to draw again a bit! I have slipped out for a couple short solo pedals in the local woods on walking trails at 1am with no one around. I’m totally respecting the idea of mellowing out to not risk getting hurt and potentially burdening the hospitals and health workers right now.
Once this all blows over, what are your plans, have you any big projects coming up?
I usually have a full season of events to announce, videos to host, photoshoots to ride in, guests to guide, and campers to coach but I don’t know when any of that will happen again. I will be struggling financially, like many, and will scramble to do whatever I can do to make money and feed and house my family. I had many big projects lined up but life is unpredictable and you have to roll with the punches. When things get back to normal I want to work and play on my bike as much as possible of course and if I’m trapped in BC for a while then that’s not too bad of a place to be!!
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