Hey Holla: Q&A with Sam & Lauren

This month we chatted to two local moms who have become so passionate about their riding that there is rarely a morning where you don’t see their faces at the trail head. Read our Q&A with Sam Wacher and Lauren Talbot…

Where do you live? Sam: Born and bred on the Dolphin Coast, currently in Salt Rock and a previous pupil at So-High and Umhlali Prep. Absolutely love living here!
Lauren: Local but lived in CT for 8 years. Been back for 5 now.

How long have you been riding for and how did you guys start riding together? Sam: I only started riding in January 2021 – it’s been my favourite exercise adventure to date! Lauren and I were both a part of Sugar Babes and met through Gill Von B. I love riding with Lauren because she’s so much better than me (i.e. she pushes me) and she is a natural coach – full of good tips and tricks.
Lauren: Started riding regularly from July 2020 with a friend’s husband, he got fitter faster than me and started riding with my husband 🙈 Sam and I joined the Sugar Babes shortly after Gill started it and we’ve been riding together ever since. 

How often do you ride? Sam: First prize 3 times a week, but mostly twice.
Lauren: The Sugar Babes  ride on Mondays and Wednesdays.

When do you ride and how do you balance that with being busy mums of 2 and 3 kids? Sam: We ride as early as possible, straight after school drop off, have a bike wash, coffee and shower at Holla and head straight to work from there. It’s my treat to myself (and much needed sanity space away from the loud, drama-filled lovable chaos of three girls) and I work everything else around my rides 🙂
Lauren: We meet in the mornings after school drop off. On Friday’s I practice Enduro at Giba Gorge MTB park. I find I am more patient and have more tolerance for my busy kids when I have been riding. On days when I can’t ride at Holla (due to rain etc) I like to squeeze in a session at the gym. My kids understand how important it is to do exercise and I believe we’re setting a good example for them. 

What is your favourite route? Sam: Oooh we do a mash up of green, red and pink quite often that I looooove. (I bet Lauren says PINK😂)
Lauren: Pink/Red and I used to love Maroon.

What is your most memorable ride? And why? Sam: Most memorable was Purple – my longest ride, but also one of the most exciting – loved the single track and doing something different. It’s too long for us to fit in during the week so it’s a ’special occasion ride’. I rode with Sal and Ryan – both so much faster than me so also a great challenge!
Lauren: The first time I rode the Pink route, it was an opener as to how much fun mountain biking can be. 

What do you love most about Holla Trails? Sam: The most exquisite trails, being outdoors, the coffee (black Americano please!) and the social aspect – you’re bound to bump into friendly faces you know. There’s no better place to get your vitality goals whilst ENJOYING it.
Lauren: My hubby and I do “date-rides” instead of date-nights. I love riding with him because he pushes my limits and it allows us to connect on a new level. He’s great at the climbs and motivates me all the way up, while I love the fast flowing downhill and try to get him to keep up with me. (Just kidding babe).

Any advice for other mums wanting to try riding and how they can get started? Sam: COMMIT. You deserve it! Once the bug has bitten you will be just like me and work everything around those rides. What’s a late night working when you get to hit the trails in the morning?!
Lauren: I would recommend getting in touch with either Sam or I. Come join the Sugar Babes. From January we will divide the group up between beginners and intermediates. This will allow moms to join without feeling pressured to be fit and good on a bike from the start. We know how it feels to be a beginner and encourage moms to commit to a few months with us. We will help moms grow fitter and be more confident on their bikes.