Words and Images by Stef Garlicki

It’s been a tough year with a lot of introspection, painful recovery and appreciating my health. 2020 is definitely a time for new beginnings.

I’m back at home after my trip to Germany and enjoying the warmer weather!. I am not a big fan of the cold haha! I have been back on my bike for a couple of months already and feeling stronger day by day.

I think people underestimate how long your body takes to build up again after a big injury. Even when you feel good again it is still not where it was. To get back to the same strength, balance and power can take a couple of years. So lucky me, I got the two for one special of having two big ones back to back. I am so looking forward to feeling “normal” again. As with many of us, I took health for granted but boy, have I learned that health is precious and we need to look after our bodies.

But in any case, back to bikes, I have some big news. I have signed with Scott Germany for the 2020 season! I am over the moon about this and the bikes are some of the very best out there. It has been a dream of mine to work with a big brand like Scott and I can’t wait to see what’s in store next.

I was unsure after the injury if I wanted to keep racing downhill or make a change to enduro or even something else. When this opportunity came up I knew it was right for me. The focus will be on German/European racing which is perfect for me for 2020. I needed a change and to step away from world cup racing for the time being so that I can build up my strength and confidence again. I think after the first injury I raced to get back too quickly. Even though I felt good physically I think I misjudged the mental
pressure I put on myself to perform and this took the fun out of it.

I made a decision that the only way I was going to keep racing was to take a step back and take the pressure off of myself. I also did not want to travel so much and always be living out of a suitcase. So for 2020 I will be basing myself in Munich for the season and be doing the events I want to without needing to travel all over the world. I will be doing the IXS German/European series along with some other cherry picked DH or enduro events in SA and Europe. The main thing is for me to rebuild my base and enjoy racing again. As an athlete I started riding because it was fun and, although it is a job, the enjoyment factor needs to be there or else what’s the point?

I am in SA for another few weeks then I am setting off for Germany for Christmas to spend time with my girlfriend aaaand collect the new steeds! I am so excited to get rolling on the new bikes, honestly they look incredible! No better way to add motivation than a new bike or bikes.

I know I still love riding and racing, I think things just got a little too serious for a while. Right now I feel like I have fixed a lot of things that were bothering me mentally and this is key to being happier which ultimately lets you perform better. Thanks again to everyone behind me, bring on 2020, let’s do this!

Until next time …

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