Dylan Conte is a Stowe, VT native who can be found tinkering with bikes at AJ’s Ski & Sport or cruising around town on his moped or motorcycle, and of course wearing a nice classy tank-top. His in-season pursuits include racing with Team Voncooper on the Eastern States Cup at the pro level. The former shop grom at iRide is now one of the faster DH dudes around, and may just give you a run for your money on a climb, while pedaling duck-footed on flat pedals with his seat too low. Mountain Bike Vermont caught up with our good friend to learn a little more about him and his pro racing career. You can keep up with his latest antics on Team Voncooper’s Facebook page.
Discipline(s) and Race series you compete in: Downhill, Eastern States Cup
Hometown: Stowe, VT
How long have you been riding?: I’ve been jumping and crashing bikes since I learned to pedal but I discovered mountain biking about 5 years ago.
Sponsors: Team Voncooper, Yeti Bikes, Deity, Sugarbush, Nema, Wicked Wash, Xpro Moto
Mountain Bike Vermont: What’s your favorite thing about mountain biking, what keeps you going and coming back for more fun in the dirt?
Dylan: Obviously going off the ground and scaring yourself sh*tless is really really fun and that’s what got me into bikes well before I ever touched a downhill bike and will stay with me forever. But, what I have really come to enjoy is generating speed without pedaling. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to turn a rough section of trail into a pumptrack and use each roller, rock, root, and turn to go faster and faster.
MTBVT: What’s your favorite race/event of the year?
D: The ones I win…what? It’s true! The national races are usually the most fun! Not only do they draw a bigger crowd and the tracks are sweet; but they draw together a bunch of friends from across the country that don’t normally get to ride together and after the race the freeriding gets rowdy!
MTBVT: Favorite VT trail or trail system?
D: Oooh that is tough. There are so many good spots in VT but in terms of most smiles per mile Waterbury [Perry Hill] probably wins for trail riding and Sugarbush for lift service.
MTBVT: Who inspires you to shred/pedal/monitor your heart rate?
D: If one person comes to mind first it has to be Matt Hoffman. With out a doubt one of the most baddass people to walk the earth. Just watching him gets me so pumped to go out and do whatever it is im doing at 110%.
MTBVT: Machine built, bench cut, or classic rake ‘n ride?
D: Just Fun. I really don’t have too much of a preference, I love mixing it up and feel like there is no definite recipe for making the perfect trail.
MTBVT: Do you like it rough or nice and smooth? (Trails!)
D: I like it rough and scary but where you can still find your flow and smooth it out. Mindlessly rough the whole time isn’t fun for anyone!
MTBVT: Spandex, baggies, blue jeans, commando?
D: I’ve tried ‘em all! (yes jumping commando is just as good as it sounds) Baggies are my go to for sure when I’m not racing. For racing I run moto gear, which really just looks like bright pajama suits.
At MTBVT we often munch on pizza and Pabst in place of Powerbars and water. What do you chow down on during a ride?
D: I am a human garbage disposal and cheap by nature so I aim for cheap and easy. The first year I worked at iRide I got paid in bike parts and was too broke from racing to afford lunch on the daily. I ended the year with an energy snack lunch tab that was over $200 (and that was at wholesale!)
MTBVT: What do you usually have between your legs? (Type of bike!)
D: Not a week goes by when I’m not riding on 8 inches (of travel!). But a good week for me is one where I can ride my trail bike, dh bike and dirt jumper an equal amount. I really love them all and have no preference.
MTBVT: Do you agree that the only time it’s cool to “whip it out” in front of your friends is while jumping your bike?
D: Not in the least! At team voncooper each weekend is a mini vacation or “boys weekend.” This applies to both on and off the bike, “when in doubt whip it out!”
MTBVT: Any tattoos in risky spots? Would you like an MTBVT logo tat?
D: Not yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s in my future. And If you paid I would get the pig or the cow logo tatoo’d on me. I choose the location. (I’m torn between ass cheek and upper inner thigh).
MTBVT: We just might take you up on that Dylan, you could be our first permanently sponsored rider!
MTBVT: Do you keep your chamois on for a while after you ride, or ditch the squishy thing immediately?
D: Keep it on for sure! After a long sweaty ride it’s like having a water cooled crotch.
MTBVT: Who’s the gooniest or goofiest riding buddy you’ve got, why?
D: Hmm I think when you get any group of my riding buddies together something is bound to happen that has you crying laughing. But for one person I’d say Jay Knecht takes the cake, we always end up doing something ridiculous on rides, and I have never seen someone ride sitting down so much.
MTBVT: Poutine – Yum or yuck?
D: The problem isn’t whether or not it tastes good; we all know the answer. The problem is that it isn’t american and therefore can never truly be great.
MTBVT: Gotta disagree with you here buddy, Poutine is a great gift from our neighbors to the north!
MTBVT: How do you stay busy in the offseason?
D: I end up in the gym a lot to keep things balanced. But really the offseason this year is actually going to be pretty fun. Between weekly indoor skate park bike sessions, gym time, “beer league” hockey, snowboarding, and a motorcycle project, I am going to stay very very busy.
MTBVT: What goals do you have for your racing or competing this year or next?
D: I am actually pretty pumped to say I accomplished my two big goals for my first year as a pro; compete in a world cup and podium a race. For next year my goals are to finish the year with a series overall top five podium and compete and qualify in multiple world cups.
MTBVT: Can you do any cool bike tricks?
D: I can sit on my handlebars and ride backwards forever!
MTBVT: Is bacon one of the greatest gifts to humanity? If not, what is?
D: I know this may be alarming but while bacon is amazing it in no way can compare to the amazingness of Nutella!
MTBVT: Highlight of your racing career so far?
D: The highlight of my career was without a doubt being able to race for the USA in the stars and stripes jersey at the Windham, NY World Cup this year.