A chat with Lou Ferguson

A chat with Lou Ferguson

After her epic ride at Redbull Hardline in Tasmania, Lou Ferguson made sure her name went down in history as the second ever woman to complete a full run at Redbull Hardline finals. 

Now that the literal and metaphorical dust has settled, we have a chat with Lou and see how things have been since that historic run in Tasmania. 


It might feel like a while ago already, but how are you feeling now a little bit of time has passed since Redbull Hardline?

I'm still buzzing from the whole experience at Hardline. It was an epic week, I learned a lot about the event and about myself.

It was inspiring to watch both yourself and Gracey Hemstreet get into your finals run. Was it made more intense being second rider down the course?

I did have more time to wait before my run but no, it was incredible to watch Gracey put her full run down. I think my nerves were from trying to process everything. Thinking I wasn’t going to complete a full run to getting to race in less than 30 minutes was a pretty hectic turn around. Looking back, it makes sense I wanted to race it but also just wanted to cruise a complete run. So i think i did a mix.

With the weather making practice difficult, how close was it to get every feature ticked off before finals?

For me, figuring out all the features was rewarding and crazy at times. The weather did add some extra stress. The wind used a lot of mental energy to get psyched up for the last couple of features multiple times without actually being able to safely hit them. In the end it all worked out but I think my run reflected the chaotic week I had, but I wouldn't change a thing. I'll just carry forward a couple of learning.

Were you aware of how big a deal it would be to get a finals run in? Did you think this was a realistic goal before the event?

No, haha. We all wanted to do our best and I'm proud of all of us for ticking off so many features and bringing a mint vibe. I was going to Hardline with an open mind but no expectations. The new track was a complete unknown and I definitely ride based on how I feel. Having such a good group of women made feel encouraged and keen to ride. I think the track builders/organisers did a great job building a challenging but not impossible track.

Were you sore after your crashes once the adrenaline had drained?

Yeah I was pretty stiff for a week, especially my neck. When I got home I slept for about 14 hours! I'm lucky to walk away with zero injuries though

What changes did you make to your suspension setup for the Hardline course?

We made my suspension a lot stiffer but tried to keep the front and back balanced.

How did it perform?  

Great. We ended up making it slightly softer mid way through the week. After riding a lot of the features, I started to link sections and realised that the stiffness worked for features but it was a bit harsh for full runs. It's all just learning for me. Getting my bike set up for such a different event was always going to come from bike time at hardline. It's all new for me but I'm stoked on the outcome.

What, in your opinion, is the best feeling you can have on a bike?

Can't really beat that feeling of floating down a technical trail, with your bike moving beneath you and it feels effortless.

What are your goals for the 2024 season?

I'd love to complete Hardline Wales, I'm heading there with the same approach. An open mind and a good attitude

With World Cups, I want more consistent results in finals and to beat my current best result of 4th.  

Has your performance at Hardline changed anything for you?

I feel more resilient, and determined to keep pushing my riding. Our riding community is epic and I felt that more than ever at Hardline.

Big thanks to Lou for taking the time out to chat to us. We'll be keeping in touch with the Intense Factory Racing team as the season progresses. 

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