Patrick Durkin Cummins: UFC Fighter and Ninerd

Patrick Durkin Cummins is more than just a UFC fighter. He’s a committed mountain biker, artist and adventurer. He’s been riding Niner Bikes since 2009. He recently added the AIR 9 RDO to his quiver. While he was in Denver, CO, we were able to sit down with him for a bit to catch up.

Q: Describe a UFC match in a six-word sentence. A mountain bike ride?

A: A fight for me is…ALWAYS BLOODY BRUISED AND SORE. Mountain Biking is…CLEAR HEAD, HARD PUSH, ADRENALINE BOMBS.

Q: It’s been well documented that UFC fighters can take a punch or at the very least, handle some pain. Do you think this helps with mountain biking? Or rather, are you not afraid of taking risks on the bike because you’re not super concerned about getting hurt?

A: I’m always willing to deal with the consequences of pushing it when I’m in a fight, but on the bike, it’s a little different. That’s the urge, to just get it and go all out, but I have to control that urge especially when a fight is coming up. The last thing I want is to get injured doing the one thing that keeps me sane during a training camp. I can always tell when I need to pull it back…close calls and that hard heart pound are so addicting though.

Q: What would you say your style of riding is or just your style in general when it comes to mountain biking?

A: I’d say my style is a little strange, but it’s a constantly changing thing for me. I always need to push the envelope. Full rigid single speeding is my happy place, especially on super technical stuff. When you get into the flow on your clunker rig there’s no feeling like it. You and your bike become one. That type of bike is wildly responsive on the climbs so you can push the gear ratio and the work intervals. The descents may not be as fast, but picking through a super technical downhill takes an iron will and mindless flow state. What’s not to love?! I also really enjoy being the guy in a beat up pearl snap and some cutoff jorts smoking joe racer guy in his super spandex kit and 10k state of the art bike while blasting obnoxiously upbeat music!

Q: You’re clearly a hardtail advocate. Would you ever consider owning a full suspension bike? Why or why not?

A: I won’t say that I’ll never own a full suspension bike because I plan on riding when I’m in my 80’s. However, I definitely think that the super squish takes a lot out of what I love in mountain biking. I don’t want to just point my bike and mow everything down. There’s no flow in that. Finding that perfect line and squeezing your bike perfectly though technical downhill sections are what it’s all about for me. Having a full suspension bike is like playing solitaire and winning every single hand. It takes all the joy out of the win. If there’s a climb I can get once in ten attempts, every time I prepare for that climb, I get myself fired up for it and go. It’s a mini competition. If you don’t get it, you immediately know why and if you do, you’ve just secured yourself a damn good day and notch on your FannyPack belt. For me, it’s about the challenge and the reward of figuring out the puzzle or learning a little bit more that will help you solve it next time.

Q: You’re a fairly multi-faceted person. With that being said, aside from riding and training for a match, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

A: I’m a maker of things. I have a studio fine art degree in ceramics/sculpture. I may not always have the studio space or the setup for certain types of building, but I always end up creating something. I love to cook for this reason alone. It’s an edible sculpture! I used to do my training camps in Florida while living in California so my creative time and ability was always pretty minimal. I somehow got hooked on folding dollar bill origami animals. By the end of the training camp, I spent hundreds of crisp dollars on my art form and my place was covered in mice, snakes, goats, and butterflies. Still can’t master the frog! Someday.

Q: Where is your favorite trail or are you still searching for it?

A: My favorite trail is an impossible question. Kinda like your favorite song or movie. You just can’t have one. But I’ll try to narrow it down. I grew up in Pennsylvania and have my favorite local trails there, but the one that always stands out to me is the Rattling Creek Trail System. It’s about 25 miles of singletrack heaven. Perfect for a long day of singlespeeding.

I spent a long time in California too. Certain trails stand out to me even though I’m a fan of a lot of them. In SoCal, San Juan Trail is awesome (Shuttling it is cheating) Strawberry Peak, close to LA is amazing. My favorite NorCal trail system is run by the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewards in Graeagle, CA it’s just downright insanity. Beautiful countryside, beautifully designed and maintained trails. I could spend the entire summer up there. I’m pretty new to the Denver area. I love Buffalo Creek, that much I know, but I need to hit a few more destinations.

Q: What are the appropriate length for cycling socks and cycling shorts/jorts?

A:  Cycling socks must be high while cycling shorts must be short. Pretty simple.

Q: What bottle cap do you plan on using for your stem cap?

A: I wouldn’t say I’m a beer connoisseur in the slightest so the cap is purely aesthetic. It needs to clash perfectly with the bikes color scheme while including a goat or any type of animal I can fold from a dollar bill!

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