RACE TEAM INSTRUCTOR
UCI WORLD CUP DH RACER
DUNBAR RACING TEAM
JORDIE LUNN BIKE PARK PROJECT MAGIGER
PMBILVL 1 + NCCP TRAINED
“My name is Dean Tennant and I’m a bike instructor for Nolan Riding – I instruct the RACE development program, those are kids that are looking to get into racing and develop their racing to a higher level. I’ve been with Nolan for over 2 years.”
What was your journey like to get into biking?
“When I was younger, my dad bought my older brother a mountain bike – we lived in North Vancouver – my older brother always wanted to go out biking, but my mom said he couldn’t go on his own so I had to go with him. I never actually wanted to go with him – I was super reluctant to go out. Eventually, I just started to like it… my brother actually doesn’t even like it anymore but I stuck with it. I grew up mostly riding the Hartland bike trails. We moved here when I was a kid.”
Why did you want to coach with Nolan?
“I like riding my bike – and kids are always the most stoked about bikes. You feel like a kid again when you’re riding with kids – to regain my youth, I love coaching kids mountain biking.”
What is your favourite part about coaching with Nolan?
“My favourite part of coaching is when we stop at one of the bigger features on a trail and session it. I also like when we practice cornering: we set up cones and we do stop-watching cornering on gravel corners, its a wild time. We’ll take a turn at features as coaches and the kids usually beat us – but I love giving them a run for their money.”
How did coaching go this year for you?
“The race team does their training mostly in the fall because everyone’s racing all summer! We coach all through the fall and the spring. We practice with race simulation – so we’ll do timing and whatnot so the team can get a feel for racing against the clock. We do more intense riding in the lead-up to the race season, too.”
What’s your favourite trail @ Hartland and has it changed over the years?
“I’ve gone through waves with what my favorite is. I still really like the classic trails – snakes and ladders, oh also, there’s a trail kind of off the map, called Captain Hein Grinders Road to Redemption – people called it Grinder – steep rock faces and everything.”
When you’re out on the trails after work? What is your go-to trail?
“It depends on the day – but my go-to is the Jordie Lunn Bike Park for sure. It has a little bit of everything which is great, I start with something flowy to get warmed up then go to something steeper.”
How fast can you get to the bike park from work?
What do you enjoy more – summer or winter riding on the island?
“If I had to pick, probably be summer. The days are longer! Winter has shorter days… I really like late summer, September-ish. When the season winds down a bit and you have the experience behind you.”
You were involved in the Jordie Lunn Bike Park gravity zone? Tell us more!
“I work right now for the City of Langford in their engineering department. I actually got to be very involved with the bike park, I got to be the project manager for the construction. Basically, I was in the right place at the right time. I helped put it together with some design work, as well as assisted in the commissioning to help build it. I had a big role in the Gravity Zone and got to map all the trails out. It was awesome, I love riding there now.”
Feels like a sense of community out at Jordie Lunn, would you agree?
“Yeah! There’s such a community in MTB. There were a lot of different trail builders involved and contractors, I think it’s super cool to see it grow as a place for people to meet up and hang out. If you show up by yourself, you probably won’t finish the ride by yourself, there’s always someone to meet up with. We take Nolan groups here, when I coach the RACE team our go-to trails have become Snake Hole. With the RACE development program, we stop at the step-up jump and session it, it’s so awesome. The kids try to throw down who can do the biggest whip or the coolest trick – it’s always such a fun part of the ride.”
What does training look like for you as a coach?
“I’m a PMBI level 1 certified coach, I think my coaching draws upon the time I was a racer for sure. Most of my coaching comes from what helped me learn how to race and succeed.”
Tell me more about your racing!
“I started racing when I was 12 I think.”
“I’ve raced a lot… I’ve done 12 world cups and world championships – 3 on team Canada, in Australia Quebec, and Switzerland. I was racing at a high level, I was one of the top riders in Canada at the time and I’m still racing, but now I’m racing more for fun and for myself. To stay competitive and keep my skills sharp – I love seeing my friends at the races.”
Who inspires you?
“I find inspiration from a lot of different places – of course watching the pros, but I’d say watching the kids and the other coaches push themselves is the most inspiring. Watching the kids do insanely good riding and watching them progress. It inspires me to keep progressing too – lots of things are inspiring, and even a cool song can inspire you.”
Dean played a big role in the online video/edit era of mountain biking from 2010 on. He has a large library of DH and freerides videos on Pinkbike and YouTube. Here are some links to his favourite work:
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