Issue 14 Volume 3 October 2008
66 Stromlo’s World Cup
16 Upfront News, views and more.
54 Pro Bike Check Ben Cory’s Commencal
56 Random Shite Jared is excited.
58 Bryn’s 28 inches Worldwide in ‘08.
60 Grunt can stunt Back in the saddle.
62 The GudeX Files The hard facts.
104 Downtime DVD review time.
106 Tech 101 Rick Boyer gets down and dirty.
The first WC DH on these shores since ‘96.
76 The Rhythm Method Rolling with the Rhythm team in Sydney.
92 Waiting for the post... Paul Begg lets us in on the Jnr teams travels.
94 Jack and Hyde Adelaide’s latest 26inch ruler.
Giveaways 15 661 Evolution Helmet* Get your head into 661’s finest lid.
16 Fox Transition Helmet* Lightweight, street stylin and awesome.
101 Eastern Bushhog subscription* A years worth of [R]evo and a bike, yep, I’m down for that! *Only open to Australian residents, sorry NZ crew.
108 Bike Reviews Norco, Chumba and Eastern
114 New Prody A selection of sweet gear…
118 Low Proﬁle Bring on the new faces.
126 State of the nation Keep up to date with your neck of the woods.
130 Last words Gee Atherton.
COVER//Alan Hepburn has been living the dream in Whistler and hitting US and Euro slopestlye events this year. Expect to see big things from this SA ripper!//JASON HEADLY CONTENTS//Grant Alan is back sending it for the big mountain riders out there. If you ever wondered how to step up to 60+ foot gaps, Grant reveals all next issue amongst other kick arse how to’s from the pros.//DAN PETERS
012 SPOKEN Chinese Whispers
Go your own way I was 13 years old when I first heard of Mick Hannah. It was the week leading up to the NSW State titles at Lithgow and word was starting to spread around town like Chinese whispers, about some unheard of 16 year old who had driven all the way down from Cairns and evidently he was going to thrash the tracks local hero at the time, Nathan Rennie. Rumour had it the unknown had been doing 35 runs a day, all week long and that he was riding the craziest looking race bike ever with all kinds of custom gizmos and guards welded to it. The cloud of mystery grew only stronger with news that he’d been timing himself and already taken 20 seconds off Rennie’s track record. Evidently he was arriving at the track at dawn each morning, smashing out his 35runs and leaving by 9am so one would be able to see his lines.
At the start of the next season Martin Whitely launched his mighty Global Racing Team and Mick’s name appeared on the roster. Global Racing was a phenomenal team and they easily had the biggest set-up of all the teams in the pits. Mick’s signing to the team would turn out to be bitter sweet however. From the outset Mick instantly began to win races and in turn the young, relatively unheard of Aussie started to create an enormous amount of exposure. The problem was however that Mick was only ‘supposed to be’ a support rider on the team, but he was rapidly starting to overshadow the team’s star rider (and Martin Whitely’s protégée) Greg Minnaar. Although completely out of his control, Mick’s success would cause a divide in the team and ultimately his time at Global Racing would only last one season.
JWas this guy just a myth? No one had ever seen or heard of him before. He was said to be incredibly secretive and just kept to himself. With all the hype and rumours flying around the guy was starting to sound like a total freak, but I remember one thing, it sure made me excited to arrive at the race that weekend to finally see this guy for myself…
In the years that followed Mick went on to ride for some of the biggest teams on the planet. He won the Australian National Champs twice and won the National Series three time. At the beginning of the 2006 season Mick signed a multi year deal to head up a new look Cannondale Factory Team. 2007 saw Mick have another awesome year. Away from race track he married his new Wife, Hannah Hannah, and on the race scene he scored four World Cup top 10 finishes and ultimately finished the season ranked 7th overall in the World standings.
It all turned out to be bullshit. He was young and it was his first race outside of Cairns, but straight away he turned out to be one of the nicest, most approachable guys I’d ever meet. Come race day, he was the real deal though. In the final Rennie upped his game and managed to hold him off by the tiniest of margins. Those two were on a totally different level that day, there was a massive gap back to the rest of the field. And so that’s where it all started, Mick Hannah had arrived on the greater racing scene and everyone quickly began to take note. But what was with all the rumours and bullshit that people were talking about Mick leading into that race? As it turned out Mick was just a fresh face on the scene and yeah he was incredibly fast and did things slightly differently. Like the way he set his bikes up and the way he practised. And so because of this, from the word go people didn’t totally understand him. Instead most people just chose not to accept him at all. As it would turn out, this trend and bullshit would continue to follow Mick throughout his entire career. Later that year Mick was selected on the Aussie Jr Worlds Team. That year World’s were held in Spain, and it would be Mick’s first race in front of the International spotlight. At that stage word hadn’t spread about the young Aussie’s incredible speed, but when he went out and set the fastest time of the week during Thursdays timed practice session, ahead of the likes of Nico and Peaty, the entire pits at the bottom of the track instantly light up with talk about the17 year old. Mick ended up getting food poising the night before the finals. In his race run he was so weak he couldn’t hold onto his bike and ended up vomiting in his helmet on his way to a dismal second place, silver medal! And so that’s how the World first learnt about Mick Hannah.
But then during that off season without any warning, Mick quit. Virtually overnight, one of the biggest names in our sport, vanished. No one knew for sure why Mick had made the decision to leave his sponsorship deal with one of the biggest teams out there and step away from racing altogether. And so in the absence of actual facts, the all mighty rumour mill once again started up with all kinds of bullshit in the same fashion as it had done all those years previous when a young, unknown, Mick Hannah arrived at Lithgow. The truth is throughout his entire career Mick always just went about things in Mick’s own way. Unfortunately this meant that most people could never quite totally figure him out, and accept him. Which brings me to what I respect most about Mick - regardless of all the talking behind his back and bullshit that’s followed him over the years, he never once changed a single thing about himself to try to conform. And that’s awesome. Although the world no longer gets to enjoy seeing him race, rest assured Mick’s still out there, riding every day, the same way on the same quirky bike setup. Mick is certainly missed on the circuit. But who knows, maybe one day he’ll return…
& PIECES 016 BITS 2008 World Championships
“AS “ AS A PHOTOGRAPHER, YOU HAVE SOME TRICKY CHOICES TO MAKE WHEN SETTING UP FOR YOUR FINALS RACE RUN SHOT, AND AT THE WORLDS THE PRESSURE IS GREATER.” EVEN GREATER.”
Drifting fortunes at the Worlds In today’s internet age of instant gratiﬁcation, getting the news out ﬁrst seems to be more important than the actual stories making up the news. So although it’s been awhile since Sam Hill’s disastrous slide out has ﬁnally settled, here are some notes and stories from the sidelines... Arriving in Val Di Sole, required a mix of planes, trains, busses and a well timed hitch hike that eliminated another train, shuttle and taxi, but upon arrival it was obviously well worth it. This was a track worthy of a World Champs, whoever could master this track over the week, in all its varying conditions, with its physical and technical challenges would be a worthy World Champ. Although there was a test event here a few months prior that Sam breezed, it is really refreshing to have these big one off races on new unfamiliar tracks, Lugano and Champery spring to mind here, which is perhaps why after giving the track a quick look, it had Sam Hill style all over it. Coming into this race though there were no favorites, with different winners for each previous World Cup round. Sam, Gee and a fit, strong Minnaar had all taken a win with Peat on the podium within reach at every round. Then there were riders like Kovarik, who was looking, fitter, focused and calmer this year and who has had blitzing split times so far and was just looking to put one together. Rennie who has been hot and cold this year looked like he was coming on strong off a Syndicate filled podium at Ft Bill and in his new TLD kit was looking mean and ready for business in Italy. Rando, Amiel, Bryn all looked focused and ready. Mitch Delfs has come a long way over the last year, rapidly upping his game and attacking courses, determined not to be another freshman Elite rider graduating from the junior ranks that gets lost in the shuffle. Sam Hill spotted talent in Mitch early on and you could say that Mitch displays an aggressive version of Sam’s smooth style. Not many realized he had 6th fastest split in quali’s a sign of things to come perhaps, lets hope he can keep all his private parts intact along the way though. (Referring to some stitches received from a race run crash) The Aussie juniors have been out at the previous World Cup rounds as usual, doing their homework and paying their dues either as privateers or 1st year juniors on grooming factory programs. Next year they will fare better and O’ Conner who does things his own way could be a favorite for a gold, If he gets a proper seat that is. Downhill practice started off wet greasy and slippery, it didn’t matter who the rider was on those first two days everyone was down on their arse, head or face at one point in the opening days of practice. It was one of the few tracks that I was glad to be behind the tape vs. between the tape as a rider. Straight out of the start-gate riders were challenged with a wide rocky trail narrowing between two trees into a blind steep hill, strewn with roots and rocks at all angles, all taped wide offering multiple lines around and inside of trees, holes, protrusions and ledges. This first steep section exited down
an awkwardly spaced natural terrace that I saw Sam somehow double, double, double by literally tagging and pushing through the outcrops turning them into lips and landings all at the same time. Quite a sight and this was just the first 15 seconds, with brutally physical G-outs and steeps challenging fatigued riders until the very end, I don’t think there was one place where riders could ease up until the finish line. Easing up, that was something Gee didn’t do all week. While other riders eased into practice cautiously testing lines and keeping others secret, Gee was charging flat out from a second day riding each run hard like it was the race itself. His manic off-season gym work paying off allowing him to constantly beat his bike and body with every practice run ensuring there would be no race pace surprises. Sister Rachel looked just as comfortable out there, like Sam the tricky technical courses seem to favor her vs. the all out power courses where Sabrina and Mosely are more evenly matched competitors. It was good to see lone Aussie Caroline Buchanan (still a Junior) out there and rather than specialise in 4X only she is out there honing her bike handling skills that you can only develop riding true downhill courses such as this. She was also the first to step it up in 4x and jump the big double line option in the middle of the track, possibly the biggest doubles the women have faced in recent 4x racing, she went on to win the small final ending her week in 5th turning a few heads along the way. In the mens 4x, Gravesy was looking unbeatable, his technique, form and focus leading into the Olympics showing in his power and starts on his 4 crosser. Lopes who looked like he would be a challenge out of the gate, had a bad run and ended up with a even worse lane choice on a track with little passing where lane 1 and 2 meant everything. This left Graves, Rinderknecht, Rafa and Deldycke in the final. Graves got the snap, but some might say moved over too much in the first big sweeping right hander, blocking Rinderknecht successfully but leaving a gaping hole on the inside for Deldyke to aim for. Now although Deldykes, method and result were more than dubious (he came in hot, square with no way of making the turn without using Graves as a body and bike checking berm) knowing his history and style you cannot expect him not to go for a last ditch effort in a one off race on a track that offered little in the way of passing. Such is the trials and tribulations of 4 cross racing. Love it or hate it, the best man is never guaranteed the win. But it’s got to be a tough pill for Graves to swallow especially with last years Ft Bill flat while leading. With the race over I went to gather my lenses flashes and accessories strewn about the backside of the berm, after Deldycke and Graves plowed through my open (rookie mistake) camera bag exiting
As seen through the 300mm. You know the rest, bar what went through Sam’s mind. Looking ahead to 2009s Canberra Worlds, a whole different approach and set of skills will be needed to come out on top here. It will be interesting to see if riders are going to be able to work on their weaknesses this off season. If Hill will find the legs, Peat the luck and Rennie the fitness. One things certain, I’ll be there and it will be noisy!//SVEN MARTIN
the first berm on the wrong side of the tape. Lucky Rafa went from last to first for the Gold and that was that. Back to the downhill, Worlds is a one off affair, and post Worlds there has been a lot of talk about pushing the limits and riding on the edge or over the edge as some may feel Sam rode. If this was another race or another rider I may tend to agree, but since this was Sam and World Champs, this is what it is all about! After Peat had knocked Fabian off the hot seat with an impressive time all eyes were on Sam when Greg failed to unseat his teammate who had a big off the day before that looked like it unsettled him somewhat for his race. Let me quickly digress, as a photographer, you have some tricky choices to make when setting up for your finals race run shot, and at Worlds the pressure is even greater. Do you wait at the finish line, close by to capture Peat finally slaying the dragon on his shoulder, or do you position yourself somewhere where all the action is going to go down. I rolled the dice, positioned myself finish line in sight (just in case) at the bottom of the huge fade away that riders launched themselves out into the open only having to negotiate two more turns to the finish line. Switching lenses back and forth as riders came down between a zoom and fixed big 300mm. With Sam on his way I figured with a flat wide off camber fade away dry turn that Sam loves, I’ve got to shoot that tight foot out iconic “Hill Drift” with the 300mm. The split second was announced and Sam was 6 up on Peat, so I steadied up on the exit of the turn, waiting for Hill to fly out of the woods. With one eye glued the viewfinder hovering over the massive fade away I caught sight of him with my other eye literally flying through the air. I fired off a few frames and thought for a second it was all over as he came in a little nose heavy, super fast and low on the landing. He corrected and set up for the turn and began the expected drift, but at a speed I hadn’t seen anyone else try, following him tight, he looked like he would loose it for a second, but his quick foot and counter steer brought it in control again, and just as he got so close that I could feel the air turbulence passing me he inexplicably lost the front end and slid under my nose and now locked out (focus wise) big 300mm lens. This was a moment like ‘04 Les Gets, where, within sight of the finish line Peaty lay it down on a scorcher. Time seemingly stood still and I just stood there dumbfounded, not believing my eyes (or my luck, with all the action happening too close for my camera to capture). Real time snapped back and he was off again, somehow able to still hang onto Bronze after traversing the flats in his bottom gear from standstill. I hung around until Gee’s split was announced, to decide if I should be running to a soon to be celebrating Peat, but with Gee already two up on Peat I knew he would seal the deal. His practice approach would mean no race run errors, and I finished up my Worlds day squeezing off some shots of Gee shooting out of that fateful corner. Another Worlds in the bag. [Sven Martin]
661 Giveaway Yep, your chance to win an Evolution helmet.... The rise and rise of 661 in the head to toe protection game has been gaining momentum every season. Their new Evolution helmet is no exception. This lightweight, fully ventilated full face combines a brand new shell design with either a carbon fiber or layered fiberglass painted outer shell which comes in a stack of sweet graphic options. Inside is an EPS foam inner liner for maximum shock absorption and comfortable open cell foam. Aside the killer graphics, the Evolution rocks a well thought out ventilation system to keep your head cool. Thanks to the crew at Sportz Australia, the exclusive distributor of 661 gear in Australia, we’ve got one Evolution helmet to giveaway to one lucky reader. Simply answer the question below and you’ll be in the running. Q: Name one other helmet in the 661 range? Shoot your answer to email@example.com with your contact details. Make sure you put your helmet size based on the sizing guide at www.sixsixone.comThe winner will be listed next issue. Good luck yo!
& PIECES 018 BITS Put your clocks forward
Is it 2009 already? With the tradeshow season underway, there’s going to be plenty of new bikes, frames, parts and gear coming at you via the internet and magazine pages. So to keep up appearances, here’s a little taste of what’s on it’s way to our shores in the not too distant future...
MERIDA One Five O
After having fallen off the radar this past season, Advance Traders are back to business and will be firing on all cylinders this summer. We’ve just gotten back from their ’09 season launch and we can tell you Advance have a heap of wicked bikes and parts coming out. This Merida One-Five-O caught our eye in particular, with 5” of butter smooth travel at each end and a floating rear disc to keep it tracking. This sure is one trail bike we’re hanging to get our hands on for a full review next issue.
Of all the cool new bikes we’ve checked out this past few months leading into the 2009 season, the Kona Coilair featuring their ‘Magiclink’ sure does stand out in our minds as one of the best. At first it’s a little bit confusing to figure out how the linkage works just by looking at the bike, but once you have it explained and you take the thing for a pedal, god damn you’ll be singing it’s praises too! With 7.4” of rear travel that along with its geometry consistently reacts and changes to suit the trail beneath your tyres. You can be riding up hill with the rear end virtually locked out and a nice steep head angle to aid your climbing, but as soon as you start descending the rear end becomes fully active, your head angle becomes slack and your geometry transforms to become aggressive. It’s all automatic without you needing to even touch a knob, flick a switch or move your hands from the bars. Stay tuned to next issue for a full review and less vague description of how the ‘Magiclink’ works!
Charge hits Australia Charge Bikes will be hitting shops right around the country this summer distributed through the monster stables of Monza Imports. Charge is a UK based brand specialising in simple yet functional hardtail bicycles with a distinct, contemporary styling. Last time we were down in Melbs we got the full range run down from the crew at Monza and we were blown away at just how many models they have on offer. Landing in the next month or so will be the complete range of titanium and steel frames, complete bikes, as well as Charge components. Featured here is their top of the line, Blender Ti frame. Made from seamless Tange butted Ultimate Ti tubing, it features a custom machined tapered headtube and machined dropouts, ISCG mount, bullet end seatstays and chainstays.
GAMUT doubles up
Ready to HAMMER?
The P40 has been a solid contender in the chain retention stakes at world cup level for a while now. Mainly thanks to it’s virtually indestructible polycarbonate bashguard which can be used for a variety of riding disciplines. While we aren’t sure if this double taco like bash guard equipped version will make it’s way into full production, it certainly opens up the prospects of a lot of bashguard tricks. Alternatively, it looks like it’ll take on any case you can throw at it...
New to Australian soil is the Euro MTB design/ lifestyle brand Spank. Taking a combined approach to components, Spank bring their riders and designers before unleashing their manufacturing know how. These guys are rolling with some fine colour co-ordinated parts, rims and frames including the 2-Timer stem pictured which allows you to flip the stem for the rise you dig. We’ll be checking out wheels very soon. Spank is being distributed in Australia exclusively by KWT (07)3891 1044.
We tried so hard to score a set of Hammerschmidt cranks while in BC, but unfortunately it never transpired. SRAM’s new take on a crank based shifting system is pretty much set to allow frame designers a whole new set of rules. And beyond that, the massive increase in ground clearance and effortless shifting under pressure or back pedalling will mean a new way to tackle your favourite trails. Stay tuned for the official launch in the next issue after Round 1 of the Nats.
& PIECES 020 BITS Behind the screen
The making of TIA Sam Davis is a young guy who’s keen to do big things in the MTB film world. After a year of solid filming, travelling, editing and living on 2 minute noodles, Sam’s latest production TIA (This Is Australia) is finally ready to hit the shelves. TIA offers a fresh take on the standard MTB film format and so to find out more about what went into making this new production we recently tracked down Sam and shoved a microphone in front of his face. Take it away Sam…
Under the midnight sun...//DAMIAN BREACH
Okay so tell us a little about where the inspiration to make TIA came from? When I was planning the film I wanted to do something different to all the other MTB vids, and I was aware of how many great riders there are here in Australia, so I decided to do something that clearly had a focus, and showed something that people haven’t seen before. That ended up being the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff during the off-season that people never see unless they know the riders personally. I was going for reality over Hollywood. Choosing riders was easy, I just picked the fastest in the world, and a few of the younger guys who were looking like they might take it that next step and go pro. Locations were easy too, just all over the place. I filmed mainly on the trails these guys ride most often, as well as a few trails that the riders had made themselves, like Ben Cory’s monstrously steep and loose trail.
TIA is a pretty huge step up over your last film, how come you’ve decided to go massive rather than just staying with another small scale film this time around? Without wanting to sound like a corny, clichéd bastard, I want to progress as a film maker. There’s no point in doing the same thing over and over, you never grow or learn doing that. I wanted to challenge myself, learn new things and have heaps of fun at the same time. It worked out pretty well I think.
What did you learn from making the first film that’s helped make TIA what it is now? Ha, a lot more than I can fit here, that’s for sure. All of the stuff that people don’t see, the organising and the business side of things, distracted me a bit last time around, whereas I knew what to do this time so I could stay focussed on making the film. I also learnt that I needed to learn a lot more to make a good film, so I put the hard yards in and learnt as much as I could about film.
Tell us about some of the locations you travelled to and shot at? It was a really good fun 3 months of constant travel, with another 3 months of less frequent travel after that. I filmed TIA in Perth, Margaret River, Adelaide, Mt. Beauty, Long Gully, Thredbo, Canberra, Awaba, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Cairns, and Southern California. There must be 20 or 30 different trails in the film.
Which was your favourite location to shoot and rider to film? Location wise, I can’t go past the night shoot at Stromlo. Having a 2 tonne generator, 2000 watt theatre lights, two 3000 watt strobes, two smoke machines, about 10 people, and what seemed like 100km of cables and wires was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. Huge credit to Jared and Amiel for managing to ride through all of that, for two nights of 5pm-4am work. Fave rider.... Probably Mitch Delfs, he worked so hard, we only had two days to film his section and we managed to film 4 tracks in that time - which is ridiculous. He was running back up the track while we (in WA Launch Helmet Cams helped me out with all the gear, which made shit way easier to do) set up the next shot to make sure we got it all done!
How much thought went into choosing the riders to film with, or did you just ask everyone and these were the guys that were keen? I like the idea of asking everyone and just filming with whoever says yes! But no, I definitely planned all of that stuff out. With the juniors I spoke to a lot of different people about who they saw as the next top riders, people like Scottie Sharples and Paul Begg etc.. It wasn’t really a hard choice which pro riders I’d film, I just tried to get all of them, which was difficult in some cases, riders get pestered constantly to film, so you have to convince them you won’t be wasting their time. Bryn is the only top Aussie I didn’t get, and that was just a timing issue in the end. Maybe next time.
This film is unique in that it doesn’t have ‘race sections’ rather it is made up entirely of rider bio sections. What this an intentional move? Oh, for sure. I did actually shoot a heap of racing for TIA but I wanted to avoid making a standard race video, try something different. If TIA had racing it would be a very different film, and probably more like everything else out there.
How long has it taken you from go from concept to TIA on shelves? Two years if you include the very first thoughts about it, but I really started to ‘go’ about 18 months before it was released.
Can we get a ball park figure of how much coin has gone into it? A shitload. The main costs were travel, equipment, and all the boring stuff like getting it classified and duplicated.
So what does the future hold for Sam Davies and TIA? For TIA, I’m hoping people enjoy watching it. VAS have picked it up overseas so it’ll be interesting to see what the Euros and North Americans think of it, although all of the riders and teams that saw it at the WC in Canberra seemed to love it, so that’s a good indicator. In terms of my own life, I dunno mate, I’m no fortune teller, I’m looking forward to finding out myself.
Finally to wrap up, is there anyone you’d like to thank or throw a shout out to? How long have you got? Films like this just don’t get made without the help of heaps of people along the way, I think I listed everyone in the special thanks at the end of the film, but to those who know they helped; thanks! My mum Amanda, my family, my close friends, all of the people involved in making the film the sponsors, and especially all of those people who buy the film, they all deserve a big thanks.
“HAVING A 2 TON GENERATOR, 2000 WATT THEATRE LIGHTS, 3000 WATT STROBES, SMOKE MACHINES, ABOUT 10 PEOPLE, AND WHAT SEEMED LIKE 100KM OF CABLES WAS A LOT OF WORK”
022 BITS & PIECES
The biggest MTB fest on earth....
NZ’s Kelly McGarry corking into the lower section of the Boneyard. Crankworx ain’t the place to get stage fright//DAN FREW
Bloody Crankworx, 9 days with something for everyone. For a regular rider that’s fine, but for a ‘working’ photographer or ‘competitor’ that’s a lot of events to try to squeeze in. Luckily it’s a good mix of fun, riding relaxing and goofing off with your mates, while still keeping your fitness and skills honed for the rest of the season. The week begins with slalom, and this year’s course was a treat, with hardly any pedaling or braking the flowy course felt like riding a skatepark brakeless which is probably why Southern California, skatepark freak and factory Intense DH rider JD Swanguen won it. Sunday it was the infamous Garbanzo DH, wet and wild as usual, and pretty similar to last year for the most part. Last years winner and this years favourite Sam Hill would become bridesmaid after a foot dab mid run would leave him shoe-less in the appropriately named muddy section ‘In Deep’ He had to dismount retrieve his shoe from a muddy hole before finishing off 2nd to Gee. Amiel and Kovarik both finished top ten in a World Cup looking field. Highlights of the week were the 10 to 20 rider trains from the top, all trying to out whip each other on the jumps and inside pimp the corners down Freight Train. By the time we hit the lower mountain we were close on 30 people deep, with freeriders like Vanderham and Mc Caul mixing it up with the World Cup nerds, mechanics, friends and whoever else could latch on. It was awesome to see the love of bikes speed and sideways whips bonding all.
Gee Atherton on the upper mountain//CARROUX
Whistler is also somewhat like a tradeshow at Vegas, new products being ‘secretly’ (read gorilla marketing) tested and displayed for the first time and the partying is just like Vegas too, a different party for every night of the week. Thank god the bars all closed at 2am, otherwise no one would do any riding.
Air Downhill (Aline) was once again won by Lopes, like Peat in Lisbon it is his thing, although Minnaar did give him a run for his money. Later that week Greg got one over Lopes in the super long Giant Slalom that snaked its way down the side of the slopestyle course that was just warming up with the free chuckers throwing down crazy combos, on the smaller yet more technical and flowy Boneyard. Spanish style master Andreu Lacondeguy “just wanted to land his mother fuckin shit!” which he did (It included a double backflip up top) and won the whole affair and $15,000 in the finals with Lance Mcdermott of the UK and Whistler’s own Brandon Semenuk, walking away with the rest of the podium cash. Other notable tricks like flip whips on the final drop by Watts and big 360 off the monster drop by Zinc were also pretty sick. Just as bodies and bikes were breaking down and being worn out from the back to back riding, partying and work for some the second week drew to a close with the culminating event the Canadian Open DH. Sam and Gee continue their seesaw season with Sam getting the nod on this one on the steep, dry, rooty and fast course. Kovarik joined them on the podium for third and Rando was a respectable 7th. Next year, no cameras, no schedules and maybe I can get a chance to laze around lost lake and take in some of the equally fun pedal accessed valley floor trails. See you next year. [Sven Martin]
& PIECES 024 BITS MiPod
Mipod Mitch Delfs Mitch Delfs has been killing it overseas this season, with top 10’s at World Cups and a truck load of coverage to boot. In only his second full season on the World stage, the 19 year old West Australian is proving his worth as one of the ‘new breed’ of young racers that are setting the world on fire and taking the sport to new levels. When Mitch is back home he’s either riding or surfing or listening to phat tunes. What flavour tunes you ask? We thought we’d find out…
& PIECES 026 BITS Our series returns... //DAN PETERS
Keen to build? Australia’s very own ‘World Trail’ have an awesome job opening up and so they’re currently looking for mountain bikers who have their machine licenses and that are skilled trail builders, to join their team. This is a pretty rare and exciting opportunity to join Glen Jacobs and his crew at World Trail as they continue to take on and create some massive bike projects around this big old country of ours. If you think this job might suit you and your skills, and you like the idea of travelling around building some amazing MTB trails, then shoot your resume through to the World Trail head office firstname.lastname@example.org
Bring on the Nationals As the dust settles from the racing in Canberra which saw the World Cup series of mountain biking return to our shores, it’s now time to turn our attention to the upcoming Australian National series that kicks off once again down in Adelaide, South Australia.
After last years entrants exceeding expectations for the DH and XC, the crew at Inside line and Adelaide mountain bike club are expecting an even bigger turn out this time around. After 5 years in the planning, Eagle Mountain bike park boasts some of the best XC trails in Adelaide. Views that you would pay excessive amounts of coin for are at every switchback in the park. With 21k’s of trail that flows through sculptured single track with very decent downhill sections, add in there some technical single track with roots and climbs to test even the likes of Chris Jongerward. The DH track has seen some fine tuning from last years first round of the national series. The local state series saw competitors shred some of the new off camber changes in the top section and from all reports, the track has got some pretty good flow going compared to last years pedal fest. This will set the scene for closer times and more risks being taken by the Elite boys if they want to get their season of to a good start. Shuttle turn around was painless last year and Inside line held events allow every rider every opportunity to get in more than their fair share of practice time. Eagle mountain bike park will see pit improvements this year with the top mezzanine level claiming a lot of attention. (think green) Next to the pit area are some sweet jumps to session, designed and built by Local Altitude seekers Allan Hepburn and Chris Soininen. Last years event was one of the best organized events I’ve attended over my years of racing, this year both Club organisers will be stepping up their game to provide all of you riders and spectators out there with the Eagle experience. Leave the road and hit the trails! See you there! [Craig Yates]
& PIECES 028 BITS Spy v’s Spy
In the blue corner, at 19 years of age, this former Jr World Champion hails from Scotland and riding for the new Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense Racing team.
And in the red corner, at just 17 years of age, hailing from sunny Brisbane in Queensland and representing the Factory Tomac Racing team.
Strangest thing you’ve ever swallowed?
Strangest thing you’ve ever swallowed?
Swallowed some mean flies when I’ve been out on my pit bike!
It’s not very strange but I swallowed a beetle on a ride once.
Your most embarrassing race moment?
Your most embarrassing race moment?
Last year at the first Scottish national there were these two lines on the first corner, one was a winner the other was a complete munter that sent you towards this tree. My mate before me took the munter line I gave him so much shit as he rode past! I set off a few minutes later, slid on this root and ended up on this line and rode straight into the tree in front of all the senior riders. Needless to say I felt like a muppet!
About 2 weeks ago in a qualifying run my pants got hooked on my seat and as I was reaching back to pull my pants up, my brake leaver hit a bunting pole which sent me over the bars. I ended up in hospital with a fractured collarbone.
First thing you would buy if you won the lottery? A Travis Pastrana style house with foam pit and everything. Your closest shave with death on the bike? As a youth I was on holiday in France, riding in the Morzine area. We were riding down this tarmac road pinned and i thought it would be clever to try and out brake this car into a hairpin turn. I ended up turning in too hard and washed out and slid over the road inches from the front bumper of the car and welted into the concrete barrier on the other side.
The most expensive thing you’ve ever broken? My knee! The reconstruction I’m getting done over the winter is costing a bomb! Last time you cried about something? Probably with laughter at one of Kovariks pranks!
2 1 1 1
Best advice you’ve ever heard? Just enjoy yourself!
I would have to say Maribor this year when I crashed hard in the rock garden. That was not fun at all! Every time I get in or on something that has a motor.
The most expensive thing you’ve ever broken?
Last time you cried about something? The thought of knowing that I have only got 1 more week in Schladming is enough to make you cry.
What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without showering for? Probably 3 days at one of the races over here. the place we were staying at literally had no showers!
Best advice you’ve ever heard?
Tell us a joke? A pair of cows were talking in the field. One says, “Have you heard about the mad cow disease that’s going around?” “Yeah,” the other cow says. “Makes me glad I’m a penguin.”
Your closest shave with death on the bike?
Probably myself. Every time I break something the doctors’ and specialists’ bills always seem to be very expensive.
What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without showering for? 35 hours, the time it took to get back from Canberra. Needless to say, I was “reekin”!
It would depend on how much I won but I’d probably say a Bugatti Veyron
Your closest shave with death off the bike?
Your closest shave with death off the bike? Nearly falling off this chalet roof in Mont Saint Anne trying to get my flip flop that Bryceland had thrown up there, and worse still I had to go back up and get his shoe as he claimed he was afraid of heights!
First thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
Probably from Bryn Atkinson this year at Worlds. He told me, “on a course like Val Di Sole, it’s not all about pinning everything,” and it made really good sense.
Tell us a joke? What does a bible and penis have in common? Always being shoved down your throat by a priest.
Ryan Hunt gapping the big line//CARDEW
& PIECES 030 BITS Get organised
Seasons Giveaway A little while back we were invited to head along and check out the premier of Seasons at the Dendy Cinema, Circular Quay It was an awesome night, watching one of the slickest MTB film productions of the decade on the big screen and sipping beers (got’a love the Dendy for that!). If you missed checking out our review for ‘Seasons’ last issue, you’ll be stoked to hear that our friends over at Backlash Productions are now giving 10 readers the chance to bag themselves a copy. To go into the running for a copy all you have to do is answer this easy question: Q: Name 2 riders featured in Seasons. Send your answer including your name and address to email@example.com and be sure to include ‘Seasons’ in the subject line. Entries close on the 14th of December, 2008. Good luck!
There ain’t much in this world as rad as watching Thomas Vanderham blast big arsed hits at 80kmh...//STERLING LORENCE THE COLLECTIVE
Get your bags packed, then come and smash rocks with Yatesy//DAN PETERS
National 4X Series Round 1
18 October Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush www.nationalseries.com.au
National 4X Series Round 2
19 October Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush www.nationalseries.com.au
National DH Series Race 1
2 November Eagle Mountain Bike Park, Adelaide www.eaglenatsa.com
National 4X Series Round 3
29 November Illinbah, Gold Coast www.gcmtb.com.au
National DH Series Round 2
30 November Illinbah, Gold Coast www.gcmtb.com.au
National DH Series Round 3
14 December You Yangs MTB Park www.gmbc.com.au
NZCT North Island Downhill Cup Round 1 January 3-4 Rotorua, New Zealand
NZCT North Island Downhill Cup Round 2 January 16-17 Venue TBC
Australian MTB Championships
22-25 January Stromlo Forest Park www.mtbnationals.com.au
NZCT North Island Downhill Cup Round 3 January 24-25 Levin
NZCT South Island Downhill Cup Round 1 January 30-31 Dunedin
National DH Series Round 4
1 February Mt Buller www.mtbuller.com.au
NZCT South Island Downhill Cup Round 2 February 13-14 Coronet Peak
NZCT South Island Downhill Cup Round 3 February 21-22 Blenheim
National 4X Series Round 4
28 February Glenorchy, Tasmania www.dirtdevilsmtb.com
National DH Series Round 5
1 March Glenorchy, Tasmania www.dirtdevilsmtb.com
New Zealand National Champs March 1 Nelson
2009 Oceania MTB Championships
20-22 March Thredbo, New South Wales www.mtba.asn.au
**Please note Although we try to ensure that all information regarding races and events listed below is as accurate as humanly possible at time of print, sometimes dates and venues get changed. We cannot stress enough how important it is to contact the organizers of the event you’re planning on attending, closer to the date to confirm the details. Use this calendar only as a guide. Plan head, pack your bike and get along to an event soon! Oh yeah, and if you’re organising a race, series or one off event and you’d like us to list it here next issue, boost the details to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
& PIECES 032 BITS Trail knowledge
“WE NEED TO WORK HARDER TOWARDS FINDING THE PERFECT BALANCE BETWEEN SUSTAINABILITY, AND THAT GNAR FACTOR”
Sustaingnarbility Mountain biking used to be a pretty basic sport. Pick up any old bike, find the nearest dirt trail and just get to it. “Backininthe theday day” there were no access restrictions, and you decided you wanted ride particular style Back there were no access restrictions, and if if you decided you wanted toto ride aa particular style ofof track trackjust you just found the nearest of and bushbuilt anditbuilt it yourself. you found the nearest bit of bit bush yourself. There There waswas no gaining no gaining of land of land owners owners permission, permission, most most of the of the trailstrails we rode we rode andand raced were illegally built, often to a pretty questionable standard. Mountain biking was barely a blip on the government radar, so riders just got on with things their way. Riders were few enough in numbers for all of this to go on without much reaction from the powers that be, land owners, managers, and government agencies. Those of us that were in the industry back then may look back on those days dreamily, or we may realise that the roller coaster ride that is mountain biking culture is heading in a pretty reasonable direction right now. Whilst we have been shut out of many areas, we also have a growing number of permanent, purpose built riding facilities. Mountain bike parks are the way of the future, but are they catering for everyone? And can they offer the same experiences as those hidden, hand built, illegal trails? Today mountain biking is big business. Mountain bike tourism is a developing niche market, and big players are throwing more and more money at the sport we all love. Purpose built mountain bike parks are springing up right across Australia, everywhere from major cities, to tiny country towns. These new riding facilities are sustainable, manufactured trails, designed especially to endure continuous mountain bike use. Despite the increasing availability of purpose built riding centres, there remains an opposing desire to ride a different style of trail. A style of trail that doesn’t necessarily fit the IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association) trail building guidelines. These riders are chasing unspoilt, raw trails, the kind of trail that just wouldn’t last sustained public use. The trails these riders crave are often steeper, and gnarlier than any Internationally recognised trail grading system has gone before. The question is, can we cater for these riders in the age of the purpose built mountain bike facility? Recently I was fortunate enough to spend six weeks travelling right through British Columbia, Canada, riding everything from Whistler Bike Park, through to little known, unofficial back country trails. We basically rode everything from the A-Line dirt jump highway through to hand carved alpine singletracks. While no one could rightfully claim Whistler Bike Park is boring, it does sometimes lack a certain character. Don’t
get me wrong, some of the best riding I have ever had has been riding this park, but some trails you ride are just something special. We were fortunate enough to be shown a variety of hidden local trails, which were often nothing short of incredible. These trails will never appear on any map, they will never have thousands of passes a day like A-Line, and they would struggle to pass most safety standards, or risk management assessments. These were some of the best trails I have ever ridden. As a professional trail builder myself, this left me a little lost. I do not support illegal trail building, it simply cannot go on if our sport is to continue to grow and prosper. Illegal trail construction is incredibly damaging to our sport’s reputation. Despite this, I left with an understanding that there is a place somewhere for this style of trail. We need to work harder towards finding the perfect balance between sustainability, and that “gnar factor”. As bike technology advances, the terrain we can actually get down becomes more and more intense. What used to be pushing it on an old beat up hard tail, is now a walk in the park for a modern 8-10” travel downhill sled. The World Cup downhill series has thrown some curve balls of late, with courses like Champery, France rewriting the rule books on the limits of a downhill race course. These style of courses have turned the IMBA trail building guidelines on their head. World Cup racers demand a course that will test their finely tuned skills, a track that serves up something a little different to the normal bike park trail. So can we cater for every style of riding, in a public mountain bike park? And can we build a truly sustainable World Cup downhill track that fits within the IMBA guidelines? Whilst I am a strong supporter of the IMBA, their guidelines are becoming outdated in the current trail building setting. Many professionals around the World follow these guidelines rather loosely, or not at all, and still ultimately produce a sustainable trail. Whilst some people will cling to the nostalgic view that we can keep building illegal trails, the reality is, here in Australia at least, we can’t. Purpose built trails, and bike parks are where we are headed, like it or not. If you want a say in how your next facility is built, put your hand up and volunteer. [Simon French]
$ISTRIBUTED BY .ETTI !TOM WWWNETTICOMAU
& PIECES 034 BITS Scene check
Industry.au Paul Kalisch
Paul’s racing roots and results in SA have been keeping him in the top echelons of BC’s DH scene.
Usually we focus on those working in the Australian industry, but there’s some that choose to make take their riding passion into the industry overseas. One such rider is Adelaide born and bred Paul Kalisch, now living and working in Vancouver, BC for the mighty Sombrio Cartel. First things first, how did you end up working in BC for Sombrio, it’s a long way from the quiet hills of Adelaide? On the way to The Nationals in 2001, Flanders talked me into doing a trip to BC to go racing and I met my fiancé Lindsay on that trip. After some back and forth we ended up living in North Van. I had known Dave Watson since he was in Adelaide for the gap on Kranked and once I had my visa’s sorted out, Dave gave me a job. For those living in a box, whats Sombrio all about? Sombrio was founded by three professional riders looking to extend their enthusiasm to riders all over the world: David Watson, Andrew Shandro and Gabe Fox. The goal has always been to have Sombrio be some of the most technically advanced and stylish gear available on the market, clothing designed to withstand the test of terrain, talent and taste. I know it’s complicated, but what’s your job description? Domestic Sales Manager. Which for us also includes the USA… And what does your daily gig entail? I look after everything sales for our local markets, from working with the 10 or so reps in North America and supplying them with the tools they need to keep the brand growing. To Customer service, order entry, credit management, online sales etc. Throw in some warehouse management and you are left with just enough time for a quick game of foosball… Who else is a part of the Cartel? In the Office is Dave Watson(Owner/Founder), Kevin Faw (International Sales) Vicki Chan (Production) and Andrea Kraft (Marketing).
Now, beyond riding, how did you get qualified for your position? Study? Work experience?
OK, sorting out your work visa, what was the process for all the kids here stinging to get over there?
All the years of riding and racing back in Australia and here in Vancouver have definitely helped with keeping us motivated to produce the best product we possibly can. I also worked for Yalumba Wines and their distribution company in Australia for about 10 years and over that time I bounced around in various positions and did pretty much everything that I am now responsible for here at Sombrio. The time I spent there gave me an overview of many things involved in running a wholesale business and has been a great reference point for a lot of the systems that we have implemented here at Sombrio. I did a bachelor of Education in Australia as well.
The holiday work visa is really easy to get as long as you are under 30 and you have kept out of trouble. I think you can get a two year work visa now as well. The Canadian consulate used to have all of the forms online. Becoming a resident is a little more involved, taking quite a lot of paperwork and some time to be approved. Eventually I convinced them it was a good idea to let me stay.
Being such a tight knit group, do you get to give much feedback on the products as they’re developed? One of the best things about working for Sombrio is the fact that you are able to share your ideas and often are able to see them through to their final application, in the end sharing in the success (or failure) of your ideas. The initial product development involves all five of us and we all bring our own perspective and ideas to the table. Testing out prototypes is always fun because you get to shape the designs to suit your riding style or personal taste. Being part of rider run company is a dream many have got, is it all it’s cracked up to be? There are plenty of great things about working for Sombrio but it is still a job!
Was it a hard decision to move away from friends and family? Definitely, I am really close with my family so it was hard for me to move away from them. Adelaide is a great place to live as well and I have a lot of friends there so it took me a while to decide if I was ready to move to Canada with Lindsay. I guess the riding scene there helped with the homesickness somewhat? I still rate the riding in Adelaide among some of the best I have come across (access issues are the major draw back for Adelaide) and the ride/race scene in Adelaide was (& still is) great fun. But the riding here is great as well and it does keep me busy. Whats your local trail? A couple of laps on Mt Fromme that I ride a lot on the Chromag. For DH, Sex Girl at Cypress is nice right now. So with a few years under your belt there, any regrets? Only that Australia is so far away. And whats the future hold? Plenty of riding!
& PIECES 036 BITS 2009 Saint review
Saint reborn Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to hit my fair share of product launches and industry gigs. You rock up to some exotic location, hang out with other publication heads, team riders and corporate types and then ride some bikes that were prepared earlier. Good times. So when Greg from Shimano here in Aus sent me the invite to hit up the 09 Saint launch and started asking what frame, front axle and preference for double or single front chainring I had, I started to wonder what the hell was going on...
Upon arrival in Whistler, it all came together. I rocked up with my frame, forks, bars, tyres etc and walked into a convention room full of bike stands and tools, said the obligatory G’day and then got busy building. Yep, a full groupset of 2009 Saint sat there patiently awaiting to be bolted onto my ride. Shimano US, Canada and Japan heads were there to help out and walk me through the new range. But beyond the marketing pitch, there’s nothing better to get your head around new gear than to bolt it onto your ride and get it dialed in. Although it seemed more than a few of the assembled media peoples had no idea how to put a bike together and I’d say the Shimano crew were over building by the end of the week long media camp... One of the highlights of the build was to be able to talk the talk with Saint’s designer, Hideki Ikemoto. It ain’t often you’re face to face with the man responsible for the development of the only dedicated gravity groupset. Interestingly enough as a part of his position as Saint designer, Shimano sent him to live in North Vancouver for a year to ‘research’ the core market. So working in a bike shop, riding the shore and dealing with the real end user daily, he started forming the basis for the 2009 groupset. To me that is dedication to MTB, from both Hideki and the big (blue) S.
Anyway he did his best to explain the reasons behind every bolt, cnc machined part and choice of material and explained the ethos of the complete group set. Components designed to work with each other in unison. It got a little ‘Like a finger pointing to a moon, dont look at the finger or your will miss all the heavenly glory...’. And don’t for a second think that Hideki can’t hold his own on the trail, or the sake table... So from the Westin Hotel ballroom-come-workshop, it was into the minimal, early season lift lines to get to grips with the black and gold goodness dripping from my now Saint pimped ride... Starting from the top, lets talk shifting. Well, there’s no big surprises here; the Saint rear mech works extremely well. It’s all inboard and Shadow tech now, yet it’s way tougher than it’s XT/R bro’s, and in a lot of ways it’s gotta be the coolest looking rear mech, period. Now it gets a little technical behind the glamour exterior. For optimum shifting on both close ratio cogsets and on wider ratios up to 34 teeth, the Saint system incorporates what Shimano calls a ‘Mode Converter.’ This is a small gold spacer that bolts into place with a pair of 2mm Allen head bolts, they be tiny, so don’t lose em! If you are using a cassette of 28 teeth or less you can yank it. The changer comes in long and short cage versions and the shorty will work fine on up to 34 teeth unless you plan on rolling with a front derailleur. A Saint front changer is available for those who want a granny on their big bike and it’s designed with a two ring, 22-36 set up in mind. Now the shifter itself brings a much stiffer action thanks to feedback from pros and people like us alike. This is to help stop unwanted shifting when hitting the rough stuff hard. In true old school Shimano fashion, you can dump down the block fast or shift up in chunks, both great when you are more focussed on upcoming terrain than what gear you need to be in for it. The shifters offer massive adjustment in terms of positioning, meaning pretty much anywhere you want, inboard or outboard of your brake lever, whatever brand it is. Crank time.. Well, the already kickarse cranks were totally redesigned for 09 and now benefit from Dura ace materials, are super stiff and should be able to take anything you’ve got. Even the dreaded drop to flat after over shooting one of the many doubles at Whistler. Ankle clearance is good and the graphics are sweet (although it does come off), what else do you need in a crank? I guess a couple of options for dual and single ring wouldnt be bad, and chuck in a bashguard right. On the rolling front, the new front hub looks a lot like the previous 20mm version but it now uses angular contact bearings to better handle the intense loads generated by the new generation of riding. Shimano continues to avoid cartridge bearings so you’ll want to strip these down occasionally (like you don’t do it on your coffe table while watching Seasons anyways), but thanks to new seals they should keep on rolling smooth long enough. The Centerlock is now the same on the front and back which alleviates the need for another specific tool in your toolbox. A nice touch up the back is the almost silent freewheel. Mainly cause theres nothing worse than having someone riding slow in front of you tweak out and cut across the trail cause they hear a noisy as hell freehub coming behind them at speed. Stealth is good. Now, if theres one specific part on a bike that inpsires me to ride above and beyond, then it’s brakes. and if theres one component of the saint package that shines above all, it’s definitely the brakes. For 2009 Saint has returned to a design reminiscent of Shimano’s first discs, the epic four piston XT calipers. Theres a few tricks to the bleed on the 09 saint levers, one of them being the trick, homemade needle like piece of wire to extract all but the last bubbles out of your system, but the end result is some seriously good feeling brakes... The new lever and resevoir design wont be to everyone’s aesthic likings, but in a nitshell it’s a solid package and features aluminum reach adjustment knob as well as an free stroke (adjustable pad contact point) screw. Overall the brake system worked near flawlessly outside of some squealing of the front brake (especially as I nose wheelied into the lift line at speed out of the Boneyard). The calipers come with metallic pads and these are typically louder than organic pads so some noise was expected. I reckon the old trick from the original XT discs of one metallic, one organic pad may be the answer... Between simple reach adjust, amazing feeling lever and new servo wave 4 piston calipers, these brakes could easily be the best I’ve used. 10 minute runs will help you come to these big decisions! So 3 months down the track, I’m still psyched on the Saint group. All I can really report on the downside is a broken rear mech cable and due to me liking super touchy brakes, I get my fair share of rubbing on the rear disc as soon as it’s wet and muddy. Admittedly, I could run a smaller rear disc, but honestly, having that much braking power at your disposal at any given time on any trail is something I don’t think I can ever live without now. So, thats the lowdown on the worlds only dedicated gravity groupset. And after 3 months, nothing much has changed. A busted rear mech cable and me wishing I was running a smaller rear disc the only dramas so far. Basically, this stuff will still be working when you have kids... Special thanks to Shimano for their warm hospitality in Whistler and Mick at Monza for the extended payment terms on my Intenese SS. Two trips to BC in 2 months will make your credit card scream... [Holmes]
Trying hard to emulate Thomas Vanderhams scrubbing antics, riding behind that guy is tough... As for the ‘Saint’ rims, no they ain’t available. As far as I can guess, theyre DT Swiss, mainly cause getting a pair of Maxxis 3C Minions on or off is ridiculously hard.//STERLING LORENCE
& PIECES 038 BITS The highlife?
Road to recovery So here we are again and this time round, as promised I have handpicked the cream of the crop in downhill talent from the tropical far north of downtown Cairns, to the chilly inclines of the Blue Mountains to ﬁnd out the most horriﬁc details of their all time maddest crashes and just how they managed to comeback to be on top. [R]evo welcomes Intense Cycles Chris Kovarik and Orange Bikes Rick Boyer to share their experiences, to keep things interesting and to give Chris and Rick a bit of scope with their replies I have used a Q and A format which I e-mailed to the guys. So with out further delay let’s get a snapshot of how these pros deal with stacking and recuperating. For those not in the know Rick is a seasoned competitor in the Australian National downhill scene. A man who has had his fair share of off the bike adventures. Chris is to downhill what Schumacher is too F1, and his trials and tribulations are well documented.
Can you recall your first stack, how old were you, whereabouts did it happen and what were you riding”? Chris OK, I was about 9 years old and there was an empty housing lot across the road from our house that the kids in the street used to play in. There was a big hole in the middle of the paddock that us kids used to ride into and out the other side. This one day my mate and I thought it would be cool if we jumped the hole which was around 2 meters across. So we built a lip at one end and my friend, being a little older and taller hit it up first and landed perfectly. So I then took a run up hit the lip and didn’t quite lift enough, put my front wheel into the backside of the hole and face planted the dirt on the other side. I woke up a little dizzy and confused and my buddy walked me home across the street. Mum was a little worried and told me to lie down. Man I was still so confused at what happened. I didn’t remember crashing but it had me stumped for days and feeling sore! Rick Here’s one my Dad filled me in on that I can’t quite recall. I think I was around 4 years old and riding down the road at the local park. I was on a red and white 16 inch BMX that my Grandparents had bought me that I still remember now. I was hitting the speed humps faster and faster and kept on going. Apparently I hit a speed hump, got out of control and hit the ground. I came up crying but by the time I had gotten back up and Dad checked if I was alright, I had picked up my bike and was riding off again still crying.
Having competed at the International level, you have no doubt witnessed some pretty gnarly scenes. From your best recollection recall a time when you have seen someone eat shit and you thought to yourself, ‘Man that guys dead’? Chris Yeah I’ve seen that quite often, but just recently at the Bromont World Cup rings a bell. The finish jump was quite a challenge for even us guys as it was quite long for the speed you had. Hipping slightly to the left with it coinciding with the finish jump of the 4x so if you didn’t make the hip and land tranny you would land kinda harsh on top of the flat. During practice that day ruts started to form on the landing as people cased the jump. The landing became quite unpredictable at one stage and people were flying off everywhere riding the noses of their bikes left right and center, it was a battle field. This one kid came down as I was going up the lift he held good speed off the take off but landed crossed up in the ruts, rode the nose for an eternity and rag dolled into the mud for awhile. He was alive but didn’t move for quite some time. He was meters from his bike and that’s one time I thought someone was seriously snapped and off in the ambo! Rick Not long back from another Revo article, I watched Dave “Wacka” McLaughlin try a back flip off a moto kicker over a 12 m gap. We were all standing around and could tell he was going to try something big. Our mouths gaped open when he left the ramp. It was only a split second later that he slowed in his rotation and was falling out of the sky head first from up in the clouds. Dave lost a shoe on impact and was giving us his best impression of the sound a seal would make giving birth to twins. I was surprised that he got up and stumbled away from that, guess it’s a testament to how tough the little blighter is.
In the same theme as the previous question, let’s take a look at your own crash diary and describe to us your most memorable crash, the one that put the most fear and resulted in the biggest amount of time off the bike. Run us through the lead in and the aftermath? Chris I broke my ankle and leg riding my moto. Although I never crashed, it’s the most memorable one that put me out for a full season. I didn’t really want to ride this night but gave into the peer pressure of mates which was a big mistake. So I was out on the track that I hadn’t ridden in over a year plus there were some new jumps. There was this one short but tricky double out of a corner I was eyeing up, so I was determined to hit it next lap around. I came into the berm with good speed but didn’t really commit on exit to hit the take off so I basically landed on upside of the backside of the landing. The bike fully bottomed out and the frame bottomed on the dirt and my ankles had nowhere to go but hit the ground also. As I rode off I felt a strong pins and needles pain in my right ankle so I stopped on the side of the track, put my bike down to take my boot off. My ankle definitely wasn’t straight anymore at that point. I had some
friends carry me off and call an ambulance and off to the hospital I go. On the 4th day in hospital they take me to surgery when the swelling had gone down. I come out with this massive cage around my leg and the doctors saying I probably wont race again, let alone walk properly. I spent 4 and a half months with the cage around my leg and every day I had to clean the 15 points where the pins entered my leg to hold the broken bones in place, what a nightmare! I spent another 6 to 7 weeks on crutches after the cage came off. 6 to 7 weeks slowly weeding myself off the painkillers because you basically get addicted after that long taking them. 6 weeks of physical therapy, every week in the gym trying to put back the 15 kilos I lost and I struggled to ride my XC bike on flat ground I was so weak. Rick Well there was one incident that loyal Revo Readers will be familiar with from a previous issue and a story I told about getting run over by a car and busting my leg up seriously. The most current bike related story happened a couple of years back at a Thredbo National round. I had a mechanical issue and it ejected me over the bars at about 40kph and straight onto my head. I pulled my glove off my right hand and my thumb was hanging a little lower than it should have been and was swollen real bad. The local doctor tried putting my thumb back in place because he thought it was just dislocated. After a lot of squirming and me nearly passing out, he realized it was busted. Needless to say I was seeing stars for a few hours and was heavily concussed to go along with the delicious gravel rash on my hip and gaping gash on my shoulder. I ended up needing surgery on my thumb the following week and had 3 pins put in my thumb and a temporary rod poking out through my thumb bone and into my forefinger bone to keep the joint stable. After the surgery it was time out for a few months and then once the cast was off time taking it easy again on the bike. Plenty of physio and a little patience got it all running good again. I found out there is very little separating man from apes and without an opposable thumb life sure sucks pretending to be an ape.
The journey back from injury can be tougher than trying to qualify top ten at an event. What are some of the hurdles both mental and physical that you need to over come to get back in the saddle? Chris Definitely I had some mental issues through and after the injury and I owe a big thanks to my family who supported me throughout. The doctors said I wouldn’t race again so that was going through my head. I lost sponsorship that year, money, all those things and it worried me a lot so it was hard some days. But deep down I knew I would ride again it was just a matter of time. Rick I have been fortunate that I haven’t had to overcome injury to get my pay cheque back. For me riding has just been fun and a way of life. There has never been a point where I thought I would give up riding. It was the thought of riding again that spurred on
my recovery and gave me the motivation to get better. Like Kris said it gets hard some days to keep sight of the bigger picture but having a good support base around you of family and friends can help a lot. The biggest hurdle I would have to say is the down time where you want to be riding your bike and the frustration that comes with not being able to, or even just not being able to do the normal everyday things.
Please offer your top 5 tips for riders in dealing with a huge stack and the resulting injury. Chris I’m not sure if I have 5, but I can definitely give you a few tips; 1. Learn from your mistakes. 2. Trust your instincts in the future. 3. Have patience with the healing, definitely get physio to speed recovery and movement. 4. Maybe get a 2nd opinion to be safe. 5. Try to stay positive. Rick 1. Don’t panic! Nearly all injuries will heal over time. 2. If you have a Doctor who says he can’t fix it, find one who can 3. Buy a Playstation 3 and a few games to kill the hours. 4. Physio, physio, physio. 5. Just like Chris said, try and stay positive…
Having been on the recuperation trail many a time I’d like to give you both a chance to acknowledge anyone that has been crucial in your come back from injury and also offer thanks from [R]evo readers for your expert insight into this previously dark area of the professional racer? Chris My family for sure. I was in good hands. Scott Sharples made sure I had good doctors and physio. Intense cycles, my close friends who helped with recovery and training. Revolution and the fans for their support ! Rick Mum and Dad certainly have a few more grey hairs now and I’d love to thank them and my friends have helped me out a lot! Rob Standen at Penrith Physiotherapy Sports Centre. I have just moved to Newcastle and if I hurt myself again I’ll be making the 4hr round trip to see him! All of my long term sponsors who keep looking after me time and time again and keep me coming back for more. So there you have it, a look at the not so glamorous side of being a professional racer. Both Kris and Rick have demonstrated a tremendous will power and bloody mindedness to crawl back from injury and again be at the top of their game. To have watched these two riders develop and grow from the early days till today, I am constantly in awe of the mental toughness and tenacity with which they attack a sport which is both brutal and graceful. By the time the print dries on this article we will be looking back at the Nissan UCI round of the World Cup in Canberra. Beijing Olympics will be run and won with the BMX medals taking pride of place on the mantle pieces of the lucky Champions and my mind wonders just how long it will before we hear the words ‘Olympic Mountain Bike Downhill Champion’? [Kingy]
Chris Kovarik, back on the podium//HILLENBRAND
& PIECES 042 BITS Lets take a look at Norco’s latest...
Norco ‘09 It seems like only a few months ago that Norco launched their 2008 range of bikes in Whistler. Come July 2008, it was all on again. Now while I locked myself in to be at the launch this year, I made a massive cluster fuck of my planning and ended up missing the launch by a day or so... Luckily, through a few odd contacts in Whistler, I scored a look at a couple of the new bikes and got the lowdown on their development, albeit a little less formally. Think lift lines, trails and pubs... Norco’s evolution from essentially a Canadian (and especially the infamous Shore area) targeted brand to a serious player on the world stage has been a calculated road. Their R&D and testing revolves closely around their massive staff and a crew of team riders that crosses all elements of the MTB experience. With this behind them, the 2009 range is more about refinement than reinventing the wheel. That said, there’s a few new additions to the already impressive ‘hard-riding’ line up. The Team DH and all it’s underlings in the 2009 DH/Park series; the Aline Park and the straight up Aline, share basically the same flowing heart and soul. Namely a frame packing 8” to 9” of Horst link rear travel, massive standover, adjustable bottom bracket and head tube angles thanks to two different forward shock mounting positions, a forged OnePointFive head tube fitted with an internal 1 1/8” headset, 150mm x 12mm thru axle rear dropouts, and new forged rear linkage. The frame itself has undergone a big transformation, taking it’s design cues from the success of the current Shore and Six lines, with a lot more hydroforming in the flowing tubeset and the seat mast assembly area. The DH Team has dropped a chunk of weight over last years model mainly thanks to the Rock Shox fork and Marzocchi rear air shock. Marginal head and seat tube angle changes over last year will appeal to the racer set, as will the slick as all hell colour spec on this pure race machine. The Aline and Aline Park share the same front end as the DH, although in keeping with being tough enough for one of the coolest trails in the world, the rear drop out (plus chain and seatstay tubing) is built to take a lot more abuse. But in keeping with it’s cool as hell trail namesake, the Aline bikes do carry a chunk more weight on their tough as bones in the form of tougher components. But hey, there’s two lifts to the top of Aline...
Now, while the Team DH will come in at a solid $6499, there is a more budget priced alternative for the DH racer; the Atomik. It’s basically the same frame as the current DH Team, except with a down spec’d component spec for half the price of it’s top end bro. To say that it looks good is an understatement... The Shore has been both one of Norco’s strongest sellers and strongest performers over the years. Why? Cause it’s tough, dependable and fun. For 09 they get cleaner lines, smicko sublimated graphics, a OnePointFive head tube, a 150mm x 12mm Maxle rear axle, a new rear dropout with added gusseting and 7” of rear wheel travel to keep you glued to the trail and smiling. The seven inch rear is matched up with seven on the front, all in the form of single crown forks. Whoohoo. SRAM’s Hammerschmidt system will be running on the Shore One, which I’m calling will mean a change to many a Norco’s frame design next year... In a nutshell, it’s a lighter, more nimble bike than the Aline, but quite happily hangs in the same terrain. The Six is designed as mid weight freeride whip, what ever you can make of that. But built tough from the ground up, these six inch travel machines fall between the full-on freeride tendencies of the Shore and the all-mountain characteristics of the Fluid LT series. They’ll get you up a hill, but more importantly, be in one piece after a weekend of shuttles... A smart addition to the Six line is the Stryk, basically a tough, cheap, park ready bike. It loses the forged head tube and runs much cheaper component spec, but it looks like a great option for a rider needing a tough bike to trash on the weekends. The Fluid has evolved nicely within the Norco range over the last couple of seasons into an awesome all round ride. Which is a good thing as this all mountain segment of MTB is probably the biggest. Ryan Leech was rocking his Fluid on anything and
Darcy Turenne cranking on the new Vixa in the beautiful BC mountains//IAN MILLER
everything at Whistler when I was there to many peoples amazement, especially when he railed past bikes with twice the beef and travel. Gears, travel, good weight, what else do you need? Well maybe Industry Nine wheels on the Fluid 1... And as for custom graphics on forks, it’s about time! So, the new bikes? Well for one there’s the Vixa, Norco’s new women’s specificfreeride bike. Rocking an even lower standover, a lighter tubeset, lighter parts, an extra small size frame with adjustments to the geometry to make it the perfect bike for the ladies or smaller guys out there. Now the bike that had me stoked on getting my hands on was of course the Empire Five. Pretty much Ben Boyko’s signature ride, it’s a completely new frame with a super short rear end, lots of space up front both in length and standover with well twitchy handling. Pretty much an all round dirt jump to slopestyle weapon. And in a place like Whistler, it’s perfect unless you’re trying to keep up with 10-inch bikes through blown out corners full of braking bumps at warp speed... Now in a range of bikes made to tackle individual applications, I’m pretty sure this is the ultimate cross over beast. Although unless you grew up on small hardtails or a BMX you may find it a little cramped. Speaking of hardtails, the 09 range is split between 4130 and aluminium. They all speak the right language in looks and set up, Norco are definitely going all out on graphics and colour! Nice to see an integrated seat clamp and plastic pedals on the little steel Ryde. It’s this ear to the ground mentality that’s keeping them current where some manufacturers are a season behind... All up, Norco have upped the ante for 2009 with a solid range of tough, dependable and real world designed and tested bikes that should be able to suit your needs and budget, whatever they are. [Holmes]
& PIECES 044 BITS Arrrrgh!
Super dipped three in signature Pokoj style//
Back in business After a bad injury in the middle of the year, Darren Pokoj dominated the international Nissan Dirt Jump comp during the last day of the Eurobike tradeshow. taking 2,000 Euro’s in cash for his efforts. The dirt jump set up at the World’s biggest cycling exhibition consisted of two big doubles as well as a step up to step down box. The finals on Sunday featured the top ten riders from over 80 that had to qualify on Saturday. Among the large field of riders were top riders like Martin Söderström, Trond Hansen, Lance McDermott, Marius Hoppensack, to name a few. The finalists had three runs with the best two counting. Darren showed that he had ridden a lot during his trip to California a couple of weeks ago. His unique style was spiced up with several new tricks. First run: tuck no hander and back flip on the first two doubles followed by a 360 off the box. Second run: superman seatgrab indian air, nosedive 360, tuck no hander onto the box and a 360 off the drop. Third run: nosedive 360, cannonball, barspin onto and 360 off the box. It was his clean riding and the diversity of his tricks that secured his win.
Fox Transition helmet giveaway Fox have added to their range of killer head protection in the form of their new BMX inﬂuenced Transition helmet. And thanks to the crew at Monza, we’ve got one to giveaway... Unlike traditional bmx/skate influenced helmets which use heavy polycarbonate outer shells, the Transition utilizes ‘in mould technology’, similar to the more racer styled Flux helmet, meaning this is one super light helmet. The outer shell is injection moulded onto the EPS foam protecting it from minor hits whilst adding structural integrity that is fully standards approved here on these shores unlike many skate type helmets. 12 big vents allow some air flow if you have a head like a crash test dummy and it is available in four colours, all which do the helmet justice. For those that like to stand out, there is the cool White/Grey camo and the stealthy Black camo versions and for the more neutral look there’s the Black/charcoal and the plain Charcoal versions. All have the 2 size options of S/M and L/XL with a stack of padding inside to fit your head just right. For your chance to win Fox’s latest helmet, simply answer the question below. Q: Name the two other Fox MTB helmets available Email your answer to email@example.com to go in the draw. Entries close 1st of December 2008. Please check the Fox website for sizing details and include your approx size...
& PIECES 046 BITS Taking trials to the mountains
Alex Markwart up to front wheel//SIMON BETTERIDGE
It’s now a yearly pilgrimage for a close bunch of mates. This year it took place over the Easter long weekend to avoid the ﬂies and frosty starts. Here’s how it went down…. DAY 1: So we pile into the cars after a week or so of twiddling our thumbs at work. A quick stop at Goulburn Maccas after Marullan Hungry Jacks loses out in our deadly feud of ‘which fast food’. Our fitness conscious fill of Quarter Pounders and flat coke really hits the spot. Back onto the Hume Hwy and the stretch along Lake George seems to go on forever. Finally we hit Canberra, I mention to Chris (out from the UK) that we’re in the Nation’s capital. He replies “Nice!” and we keep driving. The winding approach round the lake and into Jindabyne is always exhilarating because there’s the promise of some quality skiing/boarding/riding/partying in store at the end of it. After disembarking there’s some catching up with friends and some jibbing on some nearby rocks. DAY 2: After discovering an amazing spot on the final day of the previous year’s trip it’s the main focus for this trip. An early start and some musical car shuffling and we’re off. We park on the hill adjacent and after a scramble down the hill there’s a bucket brigade to get the bikes and video equipment across the stepping stones in the muddy creek. Walking over I tread extra carefully after a very close encounter with a 2 metre long
brown snake last year. Upon arrival we’re met with the awesome sight of a huge mountain of trials worthy terrain. The egg shaped rocks jutting out are a way better present than the chocolate variety we’re missing out on back home. Joel sets up his beloved video camera crane close to shore after having lugged the massive contraption from the car.
out for fakie nose manual supremacy. While AK and Peace blast down the driveway and wallride the garden retaining wall, and land with just enough space to finish up in the garage. The local kids on the street pull up on their Kmart cruisers and peer down below to catch a glimpse of what’s going on. The light disappears and it’s time to hit the town.
Alex starts things off with a gap up to front wheel, rolling off into the sand. Joel quickly swings the camera on him and a few more goes are required to get that perfect shot. But it’s all over when Alex eats a mouthful of sand after pitching over the bars. It’s then Peace’s turn after he finds a small rock to kicker up onto another rock with a hefty drop on the other side. Meanwhile the mysterious Adam Kelly disappears over the back of the rocks for some smooth soulful gaps across the chasms below. After some of the tough lines are exhausted like all of us we set our sights on a cool looking stepped rock and a line up forms. One by one we hop on, hop off until we’re over it and ready for some tucker.
DAY 3: After a pleasant sleep we descend on the local bakery and pretty well clean it out. Fuel for a day of sessioning around town. First spot sees some big roll ups and roll downs happening and the favorite warmup rock gets a workout. Alex eyes up a side hop from a log and a few try... But Peace gets it first. Chris finds a big front wheel gap and Peace gets it. So Peace manages to destroy most of the lines others had eyed up as their own... He finishes the day with a ridiculously long run in to bunnyhop onto this spike of a rock and then leaps across to an electrical box. Not bad for the boy who rides the least out of all of us.
We wind down the day with some more sessioning on the property we’re staying on. Nick and Chris battle it
DAY 4: Will we ride?? Nup we’re too beat! We have a civilized breakfast and start the long journey home… [Simon Betteridge]
& PIECES 048 BITS Letters and winners...
Email, write, or paint your thoughts to us. It’s simple, address it to: [R] Mail bag PO Box 498, Newtown, NSW 2042 or send your digital communications to firstname.lastname@example.org
My sis’s camera... I’ve been a reader of the mag since day one. It’s a shame you can’t produce more issues each year, weekly would be good! Anyways as you probably know the last round of the QLD DH Sunshine Series was held on Sunday at Brookfield. It was a great day and the track was awesome fun. Due to mechanical errors I wasn’t able to race in the end, so I grabbed my sister’s camera and took some photos instead. It isn’t the greatest camera, it’s only a 7.5mp Canon, but I managed to get a shot of Ben Powers on his race run drifting his way to 1st place in U17’s category. I really like the shot and thought I might send it in to you guys to check… Cheers lads.
Tom O’Connell Must’ve had your fingers crossed! We’re suckers for berm blasting...
Hey guys, congratulations on the mag. I bought [R]evolution today and it was so refreshing to have a good quality Australian magazine for the gravity riders. It is nice to be able to buy a good quality MTB mag at a good price with relevant information for us Aussie riders for once, in stead of forking out an arm and a leg for mags from America and the UK which often leave me unsatisfied, after all what is the point of knowing details about events that took place on the other side of the world! Keep up the good work.
Hey, just dropping a line, was going through old photos the other day and pulled this one from the 1996 world champs in Cairns. As every dirt mag you read at the moment are running old school photos and I thought this would be a good one as the world cup is in Canberra next month. Also have one of napalm Ill dig it up. Keep the good mag.
Callum Dempsey P.S. I attached a pic that i took at a recent Perth MTB Club DH round of Miikael Kinnunen from a local shop, HiWays Cycles, here in Perth if you want to check it out and maybe include it in the mag.
Mark Seal Ahh ‘96, proper DH tracks and the Palm!
The power of one I never really contemplated myself being magazine material but after the response I got from the last state Downhill round in Nowra I thought I would follow through with their suggestions and see what you guys think. I’m a downhill/freeride unicyclist currently living in Wollongong, so you can imagine how stoked I was when the organisers of the Nowra downhill state round allowed me to ride the track let alone keep the timing clocks going for me. Although I was a good 9 mins slower than the fastest riders I was very satisfied with my time and enjoy pushing the boundaries of perception when it comes to riding unicycles fast on steep off road downhills. Anyway, I was thinking of maybe contributing a rider profile kind of article with a few photos. I have attached a few for you to look at but if I was to make an appearance in your magazine i would really like to take the opportunity to take some better quality shots with a digital SLR and of some bigger drops/ more artistic shots. Scott We reckon Scott should bring on more shots and bomb more DH runs.
Creative//Matt Holmes Editor//Jonathon Taylor Taking care of biz//Mike Daly Feature design//Phil Townsley Head Photo guru//Tony Nolan Contributors//Jared Rando, Stephen Hillenbrand, Tim Bardsley-Smith, Niki Gudex, Paul Begg, Glen Jacobs, Damian Breach, Paul King, Jeff Hughes, Simon French, Matt O’Connor, Phil Townsley, Grant Alan, Simon Betterridge, Christina Taime, Tim Pierce, Bryn Atkinson, Rick Boyer, Chris Benny, Sven Martin, Paul Kalisch, Craig Yates, Ben Benny, Dan Peters, Dave Musgrove and a stack more souls dedicated to the riding experience.
Photos//Tony Nolan, Stephen Hillenbrand, Chris Benny, Damian Breach, Dan Peters, Tim Bardsley Smith, Flipper, Sven Martin, Ian Miller, Jason Headley, Tristan Cardew, Jeff Hughes, Ian Hylands, Stirling Lorence, Tim Pierce.
find out how to submit words, ideas, photos or fill our ipod with good tunes then contact us... And yes, we pay for all submissions used in these pages. For more info, hit up the website! www.revolutionmtb.com.au
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Accounts email@example.com Editorial and photographic contributions are welcome, but [R]evolution cannot accept responsibility for the loss or damage of material. Send a stamped self-addressed envelope if requiring return pronto. That said, we do look after your stuff like our own! [R]evolution is published four times a year by [R]evolution MTB Pty Ltd. RRP AUS$8.95* NZ$10* Every issue [R]evolution, will grow and evolve into what you the rider/reader wants. To ensure this, we need your help, your input, your tales, your photos. If you want to
Proudly Printed in Australia by Quality Images. All material copyright ©2008 [R]evolution MTB Pty Ltd. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the publishers, but possibly that of the author who wrote it. If you’ve got beef, you’ll probably get colon problems. Let it go. Respect yourself and others, when riding and in life. You get back what you put in, nothing more, nothing less. *$8.95 Recommended and maximum retail price in Australia, $11 in New Zealand. Contact [R]evolution PO Box 498 Newtown NSW 2042, or firstname.lastname@example.org
& PIECES 050 BITS We are now a car mag...
In this issue let’s compare our culture to other cultures and look at where are we in relation to mainstream sports. How are we affected by the inclusion or in many cases, the lack of inclusion of our activity into the community?
What make are you? Crusty old olympics & city ofﬁcials. So the Olympics have just come and gone and as I have said for many years, “If the Olympics do not change they will disappear with the crusty old spectators who will grow old and die with them!” Within a few decades or so, all X-Games / Gravity styled games and Olympics will need to morph together, out of pure survival for the Olympic games. The same goes for many elected councillors or city planners sitting behind a desk looking for how they can help their community. If they have grown up with tennis, golf, football or other yawning activities, they will push for more football fields and parks. Look at the size of a standard community football field, just imagine the costs of the maintenance, the water used to keep it green, the crew of staff to clean, mow and maintain the stands and the car park area. If you break down the actual football oval into sweet flowing strips of sustainably designed single-track and insert them into a community environment close to a city, you would end up with about 20 kilometres of some of the best fun a bunch of people can have on a bike. Even a lot less for downhill or dirt jumps. How can a councillor or ranger understand or initiate successful outcomes for funky outdoor activities if they have never experienced them as a youth? There is a massive growth and surge about to come their way. A surge in the activity of outdoor adventure recreations, like mountain biking, is on the move and it is unstoppable. It’s a part of life for many of us. But before I go on to expand on the sporting side of our culture, let’s talk about our sport. Or more to the point, what and who we think we are. Let’s pull out the microscope and compare exactly who we are in some relative perspective…
What is a mountain biker? Apart from designing and building tracks everywhere, I am constantly talking at seminars and summits around the globe about riding. But the most unique talks are with land managers and government departments who are not sure what to think of a mountain bike. So I ask the question, “How do you see mountain bikes? What are they to you? What is a mountain biker in your eyes? Who are you aiming for when you plan a reactive situation? What culture level are you trying to attract, deter or cater for?” Most people think that a mountain biker is just a mountain biker. That frustrates me because we are not just ‘mountain bikers’ we are all very, very different with most of us bundled into sub cultures of mountain biking, with a chosen few who cross pollinate between our sub-cultures. I sometimes hear on some local news that an old lady was robbed, “The suspect was last seen riding off on a mountain bike” So is the robber a mountain biker, friends of Sam Hill or Nathan Rennie? There are different groups held within one generic name.
What ‘car’ are you? People like to belong, some people are comfortable to look a certain way and gravitate towards a certain style or group. To make my point, I know everyone of you will know exactly what I am going to talk about - the ‘car’ subcultures that ‘generally’ exist as a ‘majority’. How can I say a car driver is just a car driver? There are 6 solid sub cultures within vehicles that I could safely say, you would easily recognize.
‘4x4 redneck’ Mud splattered, Micky Thompson tyred 4 wheel drive with spotties and a gun rack. An ‘I shoot and I vote sticker’ on the bulbar and a ‘fuck off we’re full’ sticker on the rear window along with an assortment of ‘rum pig’ and ‘southern cross’ stickers slapped on. Western suburbs, shaved head or mullet, a pregnant girlfriend called
Mandy and a dog called Jack. Guns and roses pumping out of the speakers. Generally embarrassed when using a mobile phone. Hates any bike that hasn’t got a motor. Hates any shirt that is not chequered. Hates immigrants, city folk, emo’s, gays, coffee, and Muslims. Any form of change is bad and instead they support, ‘ignorance with attitude’.
‘Toorak tractor soccer mum’ A fully optioned black hybrid SUV 4x4 multi accessorized wagon with ski racks on the roof. 2 hybrid bikes in the back, him and hers, or him and him. Listening to Andrea Boccoli, Pinback, Justin Timberlake or the Hannah Montana soundtrack on a ‘bright flashing button thing on the dash’, talking on the new ‘fruit phone’ on the way to tennis lessons with Sergio or a pedicure, haircut, massage or coffee with a swarm of Trust Fund Barbies on Lygon Street. One uping designer glasses, shoes, toilet paper, botox doctors, dresses and caesar salad and more bling-rocks on the fingers than Uluru.
‘Moto jump trails’ A dropped doof doof lo-lux, vito or van with pioneer stickers and massive 26’s, some dirt jumpers and bmx thrown on top of each others in the back. Flat brims and lip rings, more road miles than dirt miles, more ink than Officeworks, more 12ml tubes than a chainring. Spray-on black jeans, skateboards, pizza crusts and macca wrappers on the floor. DC, unit, red bull, ipod playing rise against, bullet for my valentine, avenged sevenfold.
‘Greenpeace recycled’ A blue green Subaru wagon with a kayak, rock climbing and adventure bike on the roof, with a stinky double frapamacaamchiatochino breath. Some mountain designs gear, goatee, save the whale, running recyclable E10 and a dream catcher hanging in the window while wearing crocs, short shorts. Gps, environmental sustainable mp3 player, playing Xavier Rudd, Jack Johnson, Nickleback or Pinback. If they were born 20 years earlier, a Combi van would be parked under the treehouse playing Bob Marley or the Eagles, smelling like incense and potpourri made by the shoeless ‘natural growth unshaved freedom child’ girlfriend.
‘Barry bonghead bogan’ Generic Commodore, with ‘low socio economic accessories’ bolted to the dash, rear dash, seats and mirrors. Single CD player blasting crusty home stereo boxed speakers with Old Tool, Disturbed, Creed or System of the Down. Flame shirts, V, woody cans, rats tail, summer-nats sticker, mall sluts, burnout comps, crusty demons or metal mulisha accessories. Winies cigs in the sleeve covering the southern cross tattoo whilst using short simplistic phrases to describe the reason footy is so good.
‘The fast and the foodcourt’ A dropped Skyline, drifting supra or defect noticed WRX rice burner with blinging digital gamers inside, glued to the fast and furious DVD screen in the seat backs. Running wire frame sunnies while expelling ‘bellowing, mating sounds’ out of the chrome tipped 2 and a half inch exhausts specially designed to attract the Thursday night car parked macca barbi doll slut ho, daughter of Barry Bongehead Bogan (see above). Got the sickest 4 channel amplifier pumping the latest club anthem techno hits through their 6x9 speakers mounted on neon glow sticks while running hot laps through the local strip out front of the cinemas. Usually paid for by over ripened money hugging parents.
Sub cultures of a certain activity are completely different, so how can downhillers or dirt jumpers all be slotted into the same mountain bike shop, magazine or federation? All fat tyres are the same? I think not. Initially for many years there was a complete split between cross country and downhill, some people don’t like to face this, saying “we are all mountain bikers, xc or dh, its all the same, we are mountain bikers” This is not true, we are not all mountain bikers, if we were, there would be just one magazine available “popular mountain biker”. So just like the difference between skiers and snowboarders, skaters and inline skates, wake boarders and water skiers, sailboarders or kite surfers, base jumpers and wing-suits, rugby and afl, motocross or enduro, petrol or diesel or finally poker or solitaire, all the same genre, but all so different. So when you look at the sub cultures of this thing grouped as ‘mountain biking’, there are so many. Dirt jumpers, core dirt, cross country riders, IMBA activist, trials rider, wilderness riders, mountain cross riders, adventure riders, urban riders, down-hillers, all-mountain riders, free-riders and sunday morning hybrid lake riding ‘blanders’.
‘Core dirt’ riders, bikes and tracks. I would say the closest sport we could align ourselves with would be surfing. A completely individual activity, an individual experience, within a natural environment. Free of constraints and unbelievably euphoric in the outcome. Downhilling and dirt jumping are done out of sheer pleasure, that perfect window to ride. Just when the terrain is perfect, just after that light shower of rain, and a dusting of sunlight on the soil. Heading out with some of your best mates, riding for that rush, riding to get that hit, riding to feel good about yourself or to release some urban stress. The positive endorphins that surge throughout us when we are generating adrenalin, energy and perfecting that knife edge skill are what separate us from the other relaxed sports. From the ‘core dirt’ side of mountain biking, it’s only just started. Finally you can walk into a bike shop that is ‘owned’ by either a dirt jumper or down hiller, with core understanding of your purist lifestyle. Not a store owned by old roadies, tri-athletes or “ma & pa” family bike stores. The tracks and bikes are now changing and are designed specifically for ‘core dirt riders’. Once an XC was just that; a cross-country trail on an old logging road. Now these trails are designed for down hillers, 4x riders who want to ride trails on the new ‘core dirt’ bikes and tracks which envelop all the style and skill factors of down hilling and dirt jumping. We now have coaches, organizers, reps, mechanics, team managers, filmmakers, musicians, salesman, commentators, trail builders and Importers who come from the pure “core dirt” heritage. We belong to a breed of riders who are ready to take the sport further than just the name, or what is generally expected of the sport. So the next level of evolution looks like it’s on it’s way, whatever that may be. [Glen Jacobs]
Get more runs done safe in the knowledge your copy of [R]evo is chilling at your local bike shop... If they don’t stock it, let em know whats up! [R]evolution is available before the newsagents from those that chose to support the dark side of MTB in Australia. Bike Addiction The Bike Shed Mortdale Kidsons Cycles Lifecycles Ventoux Cycles The Broken Spoke Ultimate Ride Ashgrove Cycles 99 Bikes Ipswich cycles Certified Action Sports Edge Cycles For the riders For the riders Kenmore Cycles Pump N Pedals Tuckers Avanti Plus Mitcham Cycles Beretta’s Bike Hub Brunswick St Greensborough Cycles Trailhead Bike Co KD Cycles Crank N Cycles
380 Pittwater Road, Nth. Manly Cnr Morts Rd & Macquarie Pl, Mortdale 107 Fitzmaurice Street, Wagga Wagga 2/20 Riley Street, Penrith 27 Park Beach Road, Coffs Harbour 10 Gap Road, Alice Springs Shop 2, 2 Ghan Road, Alice Springs 498 Waterworks Road , Ashgrove 2930 Logan Rd, Underwood 233B Brisbane Street, Ipswich 2 / 47 Shields Street, Cairns 69b. Mc Leod Street, Cairns 2/652 Ipswitch Road, Annerley 2/2 Central Court, Browns Plains 2045 Moggill Road, Kenmore 113-117 Sheridon Street, Cairns 83 High Street, Rockhampton 63/119 Belair Road, Torrens Park 188 Latrobe Tce, Geelong 433 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy 167 Para Road, Greensborough 67 Great Ocean Road, Anglesea 9 Kent Street, Rockingham 35-37 Steere Street, Collie
Kelly McGarry letting it fly on Whistlers dirt jump park.//DAN FREW
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& PIECES 052 BITS BC take 2
Process Black When you get a cryptic email asking if you can get yourself to Vancouver the following week, itâ€™s kinda good to be skeptical. Although after spending a week or so riding and neat whiskey drinking with the sender of that email, you have to go with your gut instincts.
Jamie Goldman and Brandon Semenuck blazing through the Deep Cove forest.//HOLMES
So without even a tiny bit of info on what the hell I was doing beyond ‘bring your camera gear and bike’ I was sitting on a direct Air Canada flight to Vancouver. Upon arrival it all started coming together, Tyler Morland picked my tired arse up in a huge matte black Blackbox labs truck and let me in on the deal. I was part of an inter magazine competition hosted by SRAM. Dirt versus Decline versus Bike mag. Each team had two riders, 48 hours and a tour guide to create the best editorial spread possible. While Dirt and Bike had a photobro and a journo, it seemed I was back to my old tricks, a one man band, shooting, writing and laying it all out for Decline? What about [R]evo? Well, it seemed the US came first so [R]evo got bumped... To say I was sweating it a little up against the likes of Victor Lucas from Dirt was an understatement. Luckily for me I scored Brandon Semenuck and Jamie Goldman, two of todays most progressive and motivated riders, so that was one thing less to worry about. In a nutshell, our crew which consisted of Tyler playing chauffeur and tour guide, Brandon and Jamie on the ripping front, plus CJ from Seasons fame documenting it all. So with 48 hours to live, we hit up as many spots as possible in the North Vancouver area. Now while I have at times thought the Shore area to be over hyped, these couple of days proved to me why it has been so highly publicized. The place is one of the greatest
places on earth to ride a bike. Be it amazing dirt jumps, blazing DH runs on soil that you can only dream of back here to freeride zones that have littered magazines and DVD’s over the last years. It’s all there in the mountains of Grousse, Seymour and Cypress. At times I felt like I was walking through a history of the freeride era, with almost dinosaur like bones or 10 year old (unrideable) skinnies and big drops covered in moss, looking as ancient as the giant trees surrounding them. But while I was getting all emotional, Brandon and Jamie proceeded to shut down every spot we hit. The skills these two possess is beyond words, lets just say they rock up to a spot, call out whats going down and get it done. No mess, no crashes, no fuss. To say these guys are the future of MTB as we know it is spot on. All up it was an amazing time in one hell of an amazing place that I’ll definitely be heading back to. While it seems the intermag comp may have been dropped through the seemingly impossible co-ordination of three of the worlds biggest mags, SRAM have let out that there will be a limited edition book with all the action and after hours mayhem documented within it’s pages. Stay tuned, you’ll hear it here first! Till then heres a taste of just some of the riding that went down... [Holmes] To see more of this trip, CJ and the crew from Seasons were filming, so hit up www.vimeo.com/1770947
& PIECES 054 BITS Pro Bike Check
Luckily for Ben, his bike speaks the international language of speed//DAMIAN BREACH
Pro bike check Ben Corys Commencal Ben Cory rocked up to the Stromlo World Cup on a blinged out new ride, so it was only right to get the lowdown on his new French DH weapon... By Emanuel Rodrigues Rumour has it that you got a new bike just before the Canberra World Cup? Yep, I just got it all built up a week or so ago and so far have ridden it only twice. In a nutshell, whats the deal with this new ride? It’s the brand spanking new 2009 Commencal Supreme DH VIP, the first one in Australia. I’m very, very happy with it. Hold on, I’m a little confused. Didn’t you grace the cover of [R]evolution years ago on a Commencal but changed bikes not long after that? Yeah, I did. I was on a Commencal back in ‘04 and ‘05 and I loved it so I’m very happy to be back on another Commencal. This one is quite a bit different from my old one though. It’s got more travel at the back end and the suspension is a different design. I was very happy with the old one and already I can tell that this one is going to be a lot better. How did you find your way back on to Commencal? I was lucky I guess. My name was thrown around through Mal Adjusted bikes who are the Commencal dealers for Canberra. They were talking to the new Commencal importers, CPI, who got in touch with me and it all happened. CPI have been great to work with and I’m very happy and lucky with the whole deal. So what’s it like being teammates with Cedric and the Athertons? Ha ha ha ...I don’t know. I haven’t had too much to do with those folks yet. (Ed note. This was a joke, Ben is not team mates with them.) Do you think the Commencal is the right bike for you and the way you ride? Yeah I do. It’s pretty much the perfect bike for Australian downhill courses. Some of the other bikes I’ve had have been a bit of overkill with too much travel and the 8” on the Commencal is all I really need. We know that you’re meticulous with bike set-up, tell us a little about how you set this one up. I’m tall so I like to run my seat high. I like to run the slackest head angle I can and the Commencal has an adjustable head angle so it lets me adjust it just like I want. I also try and get the lowest bottom bracket height as possible, I use tubless tires, and have 30 inch wide bars. Everything else I have is pretty much run-of-the-mill. You have only had two rides on the bike but can you tell us what differences in the bike and/or riding style you’ve noticed already. This bike rides a lot lighter and likes to stay on top of things. It floats over rather than plow through. It’s easier to jump and move around which is great for tighter tracks. One thing that stands out though is that it pedals incredibly well and I’m very pleased with just how efficiently it pedals. You were out getting used to the new bike yesterday weren’t you? What happened? You seem to be covered with cuts and grazes? The bike rides so well and I got a bit excited a bit too early on and had a little too much confidence and the bike bucked me off and “told me” to settle down. We (Ben and the Commencal) had a little talk about it and I’ll take it easy and spend a little more time getting used to the new bike from now on. How was that ‘talk’ to the bike? A bit hard as it speaks french and I can’t...
Build Spec Bike 2009 Commencal Supreme DH VIP
Cranks 2009 Shimano Saint cranks
Fork 7” Manitou Intrinsic Travis
Travel 8” on the back and 7” up front
Chain Device E13 LG1
Bars Funn, 1½” rise
Rear Mech 2009 Shimano Saint
Pedals Shimano DX clipless
Headset Chris King
Wheels Shmano XTR front hub, Shimano
Stem Thopmson, no rise
Saint rear on Mavic 721 rims
Tyres Intense Edge (2.35) on the rear and Intense DH (2.35) on the front
Brakes Brand new 2009 Shimano Saint 4 pots with XTR rotors Seat Funn
Pressure 27 PSI front and 29 PSI rear Custom mods? Ti springs... Got to run Ti!
SHITE 056 RANDOM From the one and only Jared Rando
“I FEEL LIKE BIG KEV BECAUSE I’M EXCITED”
Coming home It’s Sunday the 24th of August. In 4 days, downhill practice will start for the first major international mountain bike race in Australia since the Cairns World Championships in 1996. It’s in my home town of Canberra and I’m in New York! “Try calling our customer care number, they might be able to help you.” “I guess so, what is it?” “Oh, it’s 1800WECARE2.”
Well, my flight’s about to board, so I think I’ll finish this off after the race. Time to get on board the germ tube. I’ll write the other part of this issues column next week after the big race. Wish me luck.!
I can see where this is going. I was supposed to fly out of New York on Saturday the 23rd, right after the first Jeep 48 Straight dual slalom race. I missed my flight due to the race going a little longer than anticipated and 1800WECARE2 couldn’t care less. That is, unless I forked over $800. So, I got to spend another night in New York and here I am at the airport, once again.
It’s September 15th. Time has just flown by. The race at Stromlo was amazing. The track wasn’t the greatest and the weather sucked but the amount of people cheering was just insane.
About 8 hours from now, I’ll be arriving in Orange County (probably without my bags), and 9 hours after that, I’ll be hopping on one of those Qantas 747s I saw on the news recently, heading home to Canberra for World Cup number five. I feel like Big Kev because I’m excited. I get to race a World Cup in my back yard. All my family and friends will be there watching and after the race, I can go have a beer with my friends at the local. And then a few more at The Moose and then maybe to the Casino and then I’ll be hungry and I’ll have to find some food. That’s cool though, they have food at the Casino. I’m pretty nervous about it. My season hasn’t been all that great so far and I’d really like to get some points to boost me up in the World Cup rankings. My goal at the start of the season was top fifteen overall and at least one top ten result. At the moment I’m 26th and my best result was 15th in Bromont. Top ten in Canberra would help a lot! It’s going to be cold, windy, possibly snowing and the hill is a little less than what I’ve become accustomed to over the season but I’m far more excited about this race than any other. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been so pumped on a race. I hate flying, I figure I’ve probably spent (literally) about a week sitting on air planes this year, but I’m looking forward to the next 23 hours of flying, because I get to race a World Cup in my own back yard. That’s pretty cool.
Saturday’s practice session was surreal. Every practice run felt like a race run. Drunk people everywhere, crazy fans lining the track, more kids than I’ve ever seen at a race and just a really cool vibe made for one of the best days I’ve had on my bike in a long time. Without a doubt, it was everyone who came out to watch who made the race. Sunday was even cooler. I was shitting myself at the start and I really wanted to have a good race and not let anyone down. I finished 8th and equaled my best ever World Cup finish so I was stoked. I don’t remember much, but I do remember coming across the finish line in the lead and not realizing that I had the fastest time. By the time I realized and made my way to the hot seat, Kovarik was just about down and knocked me out but it was awesome. I then went from racer to spectator for the last ten guys and it was so cool to watch. Minnar had a near perfect run and seeing Rennie get second was so good. The crowd was nuts and all the riders who came from all parts of the globe were amazed by how keen the Aussie fans are. So now, once again it’s of to the next race. Time flies when you’re having fun and the week I spent at home in Canberra was over in a blink. I had a great time, got a good result and will be leaving with a huge smile on m face. A huge thanks goes out to everyone who came out to watch and cheer all the riders on. You guys made the event. I can’t wait for the Worlds… [Jared Rando]
INCHES 058 28 Bryn Atkinson world wide in 08!
Around the world Okay so I’m sitting here tapping this out just minutes before I have to jump in the car and head off to Canberra for the first UCI Mountain Bike World Cup to hit our Aussie shores since the Cairns World Champs, back in ‘96. How exciting, we have a World Cup in Australia. I know Stromlo isn’t the most ideal mountain bike destination, but we just gotta run with it. It means a lot to me, as a pro racing outside Australia, to get to come home and show everyone what we do every weekend all over the World. I think this weekend is gonna be great, every Aussie racer will have their family there watching, so it should be fun. I am actually recovering from a rib injury back in Bromont, Canada. I hit a tree, after swapping out in a mud section, and tore the cartilage between my ribs. It was super painful when I did it, and it is still pretty bad, nearly 4 weeks after. Just going to wrap up tight and see what happens. I was in Beijing three days ago for the Olympics, watching Jill compete in the BMX. What a wild experience. Beijing in itself is quite a sight, so many people. It’s really over whelming and with the Olympics being there I think it made it all the better. I have never been to an Olympics before, I’ve just never had a reason to go, but with Jill there, I wasn’t going to miss it. We had all the sweet hookups. There were all these different ‘safe’ houses around the city, Nike, USA, Budweiser, Bank of America, Oakley, to name a few, where athletes and their families could go to chill, eat some nice food, use the internet, and just kinda catch their breath in a relaxed ‘western’ style setting. The Oakley House was rad. On the last day of the games they had a BBQ on the roof of this building. It was called the Beach Bar and it was really cool, there was even sand on the ground. The racing was crazy. It’s really hard to be in the stands watching each heat, time trial, semi, and final, I was on edge for the whole time. Jill came away with a Bronze medal at the ‘Freekin’ Olympic Games. So not only is my girl an Olympian, she’s a medalist, yeah Jilly Baby!!
I got a little stalled out on writing this diary. I’m now running super late and really do have to get on the road to Canberra to meet up with my team and mechanic. So I’m going to write the rest of this next week after the race. Back again... Damn what a weekend! The crowds that showed up in Canberra would rival the Scotland World Cup crowd for their enthusiasm towards Mountain biking. I have honestly never experienced anything like the crowd during Saturday practice. They were so freakin rad, so loud! It felt like a race run with everyone cheering, and we weren’t even racing yet! Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! The World Champs here next year are going to be off the hook! Surprise surprise, it rained on race day. It’s so funny, no matter where we go on planet Earth, whenever there is a World Cup, there is rain. It had not rained in Canberra in like 5 months, so weird. The rain didn’t really have any negative effects on the track because it was so dry and dusty before hand, but the grueling 30 second flat sprint to the finish, was pretty sloppy and boggy, so it made it all the more brutal. I put in a pretty chilled run for qualifying, coming 10th, but had trouble breathing at the end with my chest all wrapped up, so decided to unwrap for the final. I had a pinned run going, but kinda just ran out of puff on the last straight. I finished 9th. I’m really happy, ‘cause it has been a long old while plus, I was only 1 second off podium. This year has been crazy and it was nice to be able to put on a show in front of a home crowd. Cool well I’ll catch you all again next issue... later! [Bryn Atkinson]
CAN STUNT 060 GRUNT All your big gap needs in one place
New ride, new vibe, time to step things up.//DAN PETERS
“IT’S TIME FOR REAL BIG MOUNTAIN STYLE RIDING TO BE PUT BACK INTO THE SPOTLIGHT.”
Back in the saddle.. So, I would like to announce that I am officially back. But was I ever gone? I haven’t been doing lots of riding over the last 18 months or more, compared to what I used to do I suppose. There are a few reasons for this really. My interest in riding really started to die off I think because of the fact that so many good riding spots that I always rode at got shut down. Then I and all my mates got really into dirt jumping as that seemed to be the new direction for the sport. So that was all we really did for ages as that was the only way we could ride somewhere without getting into trouble with authorities. Riding the same dirt jumps over and over gets pretty tiring and I got really bored of it. People that were meant to be helping me with bikes and gears sponsorship wise did lots of talking and put not much of the talking into action. I also discovered how much fun moto x bikes are too! In the end I was pretty bored of riding my MTB so I did something unthinkable. I did a deal with a mate of mine to swap my only remaining MTB to get hold of a very trick KTM 250 SXF moto. This left me as the owner of zero MTB’s. The first time I had not had an MTB in who knows how long. It was a very weird feeling. Technically speaking, I really wasn’t an MTB rider. How can you call yourself an MTB rider if you don’t own a bike! At first I didn’t really think that much about it as all I could think about was the KTM and how much fun it was to ride. But then one evening a mate of mine had given me a copy of a really cool moto DVD to check out. I was at home feeding my little baby boy on the couch, remote in hand ready to check this DVD out. Then up on the screen Caineville, Utah appears with all of the sick moto guys just ruling the place. This got me thinking about the time that I had spent out there and how rad the place is and just how much fun I had riding my MTB there and other places. I was just looking at all the terrain in the DVD and thinking of how much fun it would be to have a sweet big mountain style set up and to be out there ruling the place. I got thinking and I saw a few things that inspired me to get back onto a bike. Then everything just seemed to all come together and the pieces all just fell into place. I was thinking about what type of bike I would like to get hold of and I had a few ideas in my head along with some requirements. I wanted a long travel bike that I could use for both ripping big mountain lines with style and a bike to use for some racing even. I talked to a few companies to see if I could get some form of help to get me onto a new bike that I would be happy to ride. I really sought a bike that I wanted to ride and not one that was a compromise or something I wasn’t really into. That’s where the guys at GT stepped in. They were only too pleased to
help me get onto the GT program which is fantastic. I now have a GT DHI Team bike in the stable and it is unreal. It’s a bike I want to ride. It’s the first time I have had a big DH style bike in ages and I am having so much fun with it. The bike is great, so smooth and just soaks up everything in its path. It is the perfect tool for me to rip some real big mountain lines on. Right now I have all of these fantastic ideas in my head of amazing places to ride and different lines to build. I have a clear vision of what MTB means to me and with the help of some fantastic images I want to document these ideas as they become reality. Right now and in recent times I feel that the freeride MTB scene has become way too dirt jump orientated. It’s time for real big mountain style riding to be put back into the spotlight. There is nothing wrong with dirt-jumping, I love it. However in saying that, I will be very interested to see how some of the big names of the freeride MTB scene, or should I say dirt jumpers, handle the Red Bull Rampage this year when it comes back to life. Let’s see how they’re little emo jeans, skate helmets and hard tails handle a REAL mountain bike course. There is more to riding than just dirt jumping… The thing that really has got me inspired to get back onto my bike is just the idea of ripping lines down unchartered territory. Finding that ultimate flowing line and combining all elements of the sport together to create that perfect moment in time. I think the thrill of seeking out new terrain and riding something new and challenging for the first time is another thing that gives me the biggest buzz. Going to a new location and finding that special corner or gap you’ve just been dreaming of finding is so fulfilling. I’ve just been out to some old familiar territory shooting images for this issue of the magazine and my enthusiasm is at an all time high. All I want to do is hit big gnarly tech lines and ride my MTB the way that MTB’s are meant to be ridden and it’s happening. The all too familiar feeling of sitting at the top of a run in to a big gap with that nervous yet excited feeling running through my veins as the wind blows is back and I am loving it. I’ve been out on some mad scoping sessions with my little 5 month old boy Jack, in his Trek Jogger helping me to spot the mad shit and we have some mad lines scoped out that are ready to lay waste to. Look out because I am back and ready to put my stamp on the freeride scene again. All you little kids in your tight emo’ jeans take note because I’m out to show you how to really ride a mountain bike. [Grant Alan]
GUDEX FILES 062 THE Niki Gudex on life, riding and more...
The hard facts Every 15 minutes. That’s how often mountain bikers require medical assistance in Whistler, Canada... Not to start this page off on a negative but it is a part of the sport, even if it is something I have always tried to ignore. I first heard this statistic while on the chair lift in Whistler. My riding companions and I had just witnessed a horrible crash from our birds eye view. Moments later we watched someone else go down hard as the trail again passed beneath us.
capabilities and limits. At the camp, excitement was high amongst the students and their desire to improve fast was obvious.
Those statistics are definitely alarming but the Canadians take it in their stride. Once a rider goes down, the bike stays with them. The hospital keeps the bike locked up out front awaiting the patients discharge. Whistler is Canada’s biggest and most recognized mountain bike resort. Its year round lifestyle features in footage, shoots and magazine pages all around the World. The appeal is hard to miss. An opportunity to ride well built trails until the last chair lift at 8pm is pretty intoxicating.
I have had enough crashes in my own life to know that it is important to trust my gut feeling. The only problem is that sometimes this doesn’t time with race days and if you aren’t feeling it, over thinking can make it more dangerous than it could have been.
My first few days in Whistler always result in some pretty impressive hand callouses. It definitely takes some energy and determination to stay on the bike and get back on the next day. But there is always a trail to enjoy or a run to improve on, tight winding ladder bridges or bigger gaps to hit, a faster line or more intimidating drops. It can feel like Disneyland but it is no self contained roller coaster ride. Ultimately you are in charge of yourself and whether you land in a tree or on two wheels is really only within your control. So when I was invited to guest coach at a summer mountain camp in Whistler I got to see a new side of the mountain. Being with the kids all day I witnessed some disturbing injuries first hand. A group of fifteen fresh faced and aspiring mountain bikers eagerly began the week long camp. By the last day, we were down to four. There were broken collarbones, dislocated shoulders, slashed achilles, scraped faces, sore necks, minor scrapes and major aches. As for the bikes, they took a solid beating as well. This is no reflection on the camp or its structure. In fact it was incredibly well organized, with highly skilled, smart and caring coaches. It came down to the individuals and the game we were playing. Usually I am riding with all my friends who are professional riders or damn good enough to be, so the speed is fast and the skill level is high, each rider knows their
“WE CAN ALWAYS “ COME BACK TOMORROW AND TRY IT IF IT DOESN’T TODAY FEEL RIGHT TODAY” To get your taste of Whistler, look no firther than the last scenes in Seasons. A-Line trains are killer!//STERLING LORENCE THE COLLECTIVE
But I am not used to seeing kids trying stuff beyond their comfort zone and I found myself saying “we can always come back tomorrow and try it if it doesn’t feel right today”. I am a strong believer in this.
One way to reduce the risk of injury at Whistler is by practising at the foam pit, where the foam provides a perfectly cushioned landing... there is really no risk, as long as you land in the pit and keep a hold on your bike. Nonetheless, when we arrived at the foam pit a few days into the camp I had already had time to get to know everyone and so I was actually nervous to watch some of these kids, who haven’t ridden all that much, launch into attempted back flips into the pit. But as they emerged out of the foam and had huge grins, it reminded me how much excitement and happiness can come from trying something that scares you and knowing you’ve stretched your skills that little bit further. So we have to risk it. Whistler has taken parts of me, my skin, even a tooth which I carelessly threw away. My initial reaction after a crash was to immediately throw the ‘pebble’ which had somehow got in my mouth!? Mid air I realized what I’d done, but in a pile of shale rock high on the mountain there was no way to retrieve it. I still go back, it is one of the best places to ride, even away from the mountain, there are awesome single tracks stashed away everywhere, with hours of technical and flowing trails. It is a summer dream, despite the winters I’ve never seen, but heard so much about. Even when I was a snow boarder I dreamt of Whistler. In fact it was one of the first things I ever worked really hard towards. In a strange twist of events, the money I had set aside to go there snowboarding went into buying my first mountain bike. A decision that changed my life. [Niki]
I WAS EXPECTING A FLAT, DUSTY, ROAD… BUT TO BE HONEST THE TRACK IS PRETTY DECENT. THE TOPS REALLY GOOD. FOR AT LEAST 60-70% OF THE COURSE ITS DECENT. IT’S JUST THAT BOTTOM PEDAL TO THE FINISH LINE THAT’S TERRIBLE. BESIDES THAT I THINK THEY HAVE DONE A GOOD JOB MAKING A DOWNHILL OUT OF THIS HILL.
Minnaar bigtime on the bigscreen, with the best esky in the universe...//HOLMES
One of the coolest things about having a World Cup round in our country and making everyone travel to the other side of the planet to get here is that most of the riders choose to make the trip over, a little earlier to holiday and acclimatise. Which if you think about it meant there were a couple of dozen of the sports top super stars spread across the country, so there was a bloody good chance you and I might have ‘bumped’ into a World Champion or two whilst out riding our local spots. Well, maybe if you were lucky anyway... You could imagine the surprise that was had when Fabien Barel rocked up completely unannounced at a tiny club race being held on the Central Coast of NSW, paid his $25 rego, slapped on a number plate and hopped in the transport line the same as the rest of the punters did that day. Sure, Fabien won the race by about a year but what a buzz for all those riders and spectators that just happened to be there. And judging by the amount of text messages and emails we received that week, there were all kinds of similar ‘rider spottings’ being reported and flaunted across town. Imagine how mental things are going to get leading up to the World Champs next year now that everyone’s come out here, gotten a taste of the place and fallen in love with it. Should be sick! So now we move onto the main event, the Stromlo WC. It was the first time the World Cup circuit had stopped off in Australia since the pre-Olympic XC ‘tester’ back in ’99. The question most people have been asking is, ‘why hold the race at Stromlo?’ Australia has built a reputation for producing the fastest riders and likewise we’ve got some of the sickest race tracks and mountains to ride, so why embarrass us holding the race on a flat hill that doesn’t reflect the rest of the country’s riding? Well the answer is quiet simple, politics and infrastructure. A few years back when those devastating bush fires ripped through Canberra, in addition to destroying hundreds of homes the fires also wiped out the entire Stromlo State Forest. In the aftermath the ACT Government wanted to make a positive out of the negative and so they decided to dedicate the large area of land where the trees of the forest once stood, to the riding community. In turn they provided millions and millions of dollars in funding to build dedicated bike riding facilities at the site. Such as a crit track in the shape of a giant ‘cock and balls’ for the road riders. But probably the most significant part of the development process out there was that the Government hired Glen Jacobs and his team from World Trail giving them a brief to create a World class MTB park. Unfortunately this was to be much easier said than done. Jacobs and his team weren’t given a mountain to work with. Instead they were given a hill and so it took all the creativity in the world (and quiet a few dollars) to come up with the DH race track that they managed to create on the site. Job well done! So, once the Government had poured all those millions in they decided it’d be nice to try and host a big race to justify their expenditure and show it off to the World. To cut a long story short, a few calls to the UCI were made and then BAM, Canberra was awarded the site of the 2009 World Championships. This year’s World Cup round was awarded purely as a ‘test race’ for the Worlds. In a lot of the top riders minds it was a ‘dress rehearsal’ for next year’s big race, and so they were eager to familiarize themselves with the tracks and what not.
TTTTTTTTTTTTQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ There were more than a few reasons for the fans and spectators alike to make the pilgrimage to Canberra. After a season long battle having already taken place up in the northern hemisphere, the overall points battle was well and truly coming down to the wire for the top riders heading into Stromlo. Sam Hill and Greg Minnaar had been in a constant tug-of-war, back and forth all season for the leader’s jersey. The 2 riders were swapping win for win each race and leading into Stromlo, the second last race of the year, only a hand full of points separated the 2 riders from the overall crown. Would the South African, be strong enough to hold on and cause a major upset to Sam’s hopes of back-to-back series’ overalls? The fans were certainly in for a treat. And that’s not to mention the fact that the biggest super star of the moment, Jared Graves, was rumoured to be racing, just 9 days after the entire population of the country
stopped to watch him race the Olympic BMX final and then simultaneously skipped a heart beat as we saw him crashed out in the second last corner. After all the highs, build up and mass hysteria of the Olympics, was it really likely that Jared would bother to show up just days later and race Canberra? We all had to wait until Saturday night’s 4X racing to find out. Stromlo was a triple header on the UCI World Cup calendar, meaning that there was an XC round in addition to the 4X and DH. As is often the best plan of attack in life, you should get the boring shit over and done with early, and so the weekends racing got started with the XC events first up on Saturday. The real racing action got underway later that day on the 4X track. Sure Jacobs can cut a sweet single track, but god damn has he shown over the years that he creates some amazing 4X tracks. Stromlo was no different. In total 300,000 cubic metres of dirt was trucked in to
build the track. It took months to sculpt and design and it has had nearly 2 whole years to settle and bed in. So when race time came around it was ready, and it sure as hell didn’t fail to set a wicked backdrop for the racing to unfold on.
With The Resin Dogs playing live on the main stage setting the tone and amping the crowd for the racing that started under lights at 8pm sharp. Well 8.30 actually, by the time they figured out how to get the commentators’ microphones working. When the gates did eventually begin to drop, the estimated 9 thousand spectators that lined the track got exactly what they came for, some killa’ racing from the Aussies in the field. Jared Graves did turn up! And every time he took to the track to practise a section, or a gate start, or to race a heat, the crowds went nuts. Jared was the main event and he had the weight of our Nation on his (scrawny) shoulders. Not that it
COMING TO STROMLO, I FELT THE PRESSURE WAS OFF WITH THE OLYMPICS BEING DONE, SO I REALLY JUST WANTED TO HAVE A GOOD FUN RACE. EVERYONE WAS GOING NUTS DURING PRACTICE WHICH MADE ME FEEL REAL GOOD. CAN’T BEAT THE HOME CROWD SUPPORT AND I CAN ONLY IMAGINE WHAT WORLD CHAMPS WILL BE LIKE NEXT YEAR. THE ALL AUSSIE FINAL WAS SUPER COOL TOO, ALL THE AUSSIE GUYS PROVED THEY ARE TOP WORLD CLASS RIDERS. I THINK AUSTRALIA COULD EASILY HAVE THE SAME REPUTATION IN 4X AS THEY DO IN DH,
QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ Under lights in pouring rain, Jared Graves proved his 4X skills once again.//HILLENBRAND
seemed to faze him in the slightest though. He was so far out in front all night long that he could have had the entire cast from the biggest looser on his shoulders and he’d still have won.
The ladies were the first to battle it out on the flood lit course. Queensland hopeful Sarsha Huntington’s night ended and sure didn’t go to plan. After getting the snap out of the gate in her Semi final, she somehow crashed on her own in the tricky rhythm section whilst way out in front… Sarsha was carted off in an ambulance and had to be stitched back together. The hopes of the Aussie crowd were then left to one rider, 17 year old Caroline Buchanan. After qualifying 3rd Caroline was in a good position to give the overseas veterans a run for their money, and once the gate dropped in her semi final she did just that. Caroline got the snap, led in the first corner and ripped down the course to take the win. At only her 3rd ever World Cup
too, amazing. It was then finals time and the young Aussie would have to battle from a bad gate position way out in lane 3 and right next to the current series leader, Factory Intense rider Anneke Beerten. The gate dropped and it was Caroline who got the snap. 9 thousand screaming fans totally lost it as the 17 year old laid down the race of her life, leading a field of the World’s best all the way to the finish line. Caroline Buchanan won her first ever World Cup, in front of her home crowd and it was fucking sick!
The men’s field was stacked too, with Euro’s far out numbering the Aussie contenders. It was a different story by the time the riders had been whittled down round after round until eventually only 4 riders were left for the final. For the first time in the history of the sport there was an all Aussie final. Tomas Hubert lined up in lane 4, Luke Madill was next to him in 3, Jared’s prodgie Sam Willoughby was in lane 2 and
Jared himself just so happened to be right by his side in lane 1. The gate dropped and an almighty drag race was on down the first straight. Graves got the snap and was leading by the length of a football pitch into the first turn. You couldn’t have thrown a Fantails wrapper between the other 3 riders, they were fighting it out that close together. And that’s pretty much how it stayed for the rest of the race. Jared, way out in front kept it on 2 wheels to take the win in front of the home crowd. Amazingly in only his 1st MTB race ever, Sam Willoughby held off Madill for 2nd place and Hubert rounded them out by claiming 4th. Watching Jared standing on the top step of the podium, spraying Champaign with the World Cup winners medal around his neck, after the bitter disappointment of the Olympics the week before, was an epic sight. There weren’t that many spectators walking down off the hill that night that still had their voices intact, that’s for sure.
IT JUST FEELS GREAT TO DO WELL HERE AT STROMLO. THE HOME CROWD AND EVERYONE WAS CHEERING FOR SO LONG. I HAD A PRETTY GOOD RUN AND THAT’S ALL I COULD’VE DONE, THEN PEDALLING THROUGH THE MUD, THE FLAT PEDALS WERE JUST TORTURE. I BARELY GOT OVER THE LAST JUMP SO SECOND PLACE IS GOOD. IT’S GREAT! I’M PRETTY HAPPY. IT’S MY BEST RESULT THIS YEAR. Bringing the power back to DH racing. Rennie stomping Stromlo into submission, on flats no less//HILLENBRAND
TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT Sunday was DH race day. Ultimately it would turn out to be gears and power that played the biggest part in the final results here at Stromlo. Being such a short track by International standards, and with all the cool rocks, jumps, action and excitement littered throughout the first half of the course, the top 20 or so riders all posted near identical split times at the mid way check point. But the riders were then faced with a dead flat, pointless 40 second straight pedal to the finish line and it was on this stretch of track that the entire race was won or shattered. In hindsight it was a stupid idea on the UCI’s behalf to put the finish where they insisted it must go, (purely so the 4X and the DH shared the same finish line!?). Jacob’s and his team had designed the course to finish where the slope of the hill ended (common sense) and likewise where all the interesting parts of the track then finished. But no, the UCI had their own narrow minded plans. In the minds and memories of the riders the decision to stretch the finish straight out to the ridiculous length that it was stretched to, put a huge dampener on an otherwise very cool track. Still, the racing must go on and at the end of the day everyone had to race the same track and so the disadvantage was equal.
Ben Cory on home turf. This shooter had dollars on him for the win. Don’t be surprised if BC is back at the top very soon//HOLMES
A lot of riders commented over the weekend about how the tracks surface was unique to anything they had raced on before. Quite hard packed and scatty, making it a real challenge to pin even the easiest of sections. But this all changed on Saturday night as the heavens opened up and rain came down. By the time the riders arrived at the track for the Sunday morning practise session, the dry hard pack surface they’d been riding all week had transformed into a soggy, energy sapping nightmare. Seeding runs came around at 10am and there were no real drama’s to report on. All the usual faces qualified well, with the Santa Cruz Syndicate claiming a clean sweep of the top 3 men’s positions. Minnaar fastest, followed by Peaty and then Rennie. It was Sam Hill’s 8th position, over 5 seconds off the leader that had most people talking under their breaths. Sam has been vocal in the past about not liking the Stromlo track and being such a pedally track it was never really going to suit his style anyways. But no one really expected him to be that far back. It was all going to come down to the finals, and Minnaar knew it.
I wasn’t even going to race the DH here in Australia because my wrist was so fucked, but after arriving early in the week and walking the track, I really wanted to race. Commencal managed to get me a bike from a dealer here in Canberra, so I’m racing that. It’s not even a DH bike, it’s a freeride bike and it’s going sweet. The bottom section sucks, but the top and middle is so much fun with all the jumps and gaps.
The sick and broked Cedric Gracia boosting bigger than anyone on a stock standeard, straight off the Mal Adjusted showroom floor Commencal. The class act of MTB in 2008!//HILLENBRAND
TOP 5’S BEFORE THE RACE, WE HIT UP A SELECT CREW FOR THEIR TOTE CARD...
TTTTTTTTTTTTQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ GEE ATHERTON
Animal/Commencal 1 Gee Atherton, haha 2 Greg Minnaar 3 Sam Hill 4 Steve Peat 5 Chris Kovarik
MICHAEL RONNING NIGEL PAGE
Ex Intense World team 1 Chris Kovarik 2 Steve Peat 3 Greg Minnaar 4 Gee Atherton 5 Nathan Rennie
Intense Team Manager 1 Chris Kovarik 2 Greg Minnaar 3 Steve Peat 4 Gee Atherton 5 Nathan Rennie
National 4X team 1 Greg Minnaar 2 Steve Peat 3 Sam Hill 4 Nathan Rennie 5 Josh Button
Factory Vito Racing 1 Greg Minnaar 2 Steve Peat 3 Fabien Barel 4 Sam Hill 5 Mitch Delfs
Mongoose Australia 1 Steve Peat 2 Greg Minnaar 3 Sam Hill 4 Nathan Rennie 5 Chris Kovarik
Going reverse order from their seeding runs, slowest to fastest, riders left the start gate and started their sub 3 minute voyage to the finish line. With 24 Aussies in the men’s competition the crowd sure were kept on their feet. The sound of Cow Bells and Air Horns echoed the whole way down the track. It was pretty awesome to lean back from the bunting for a second and remember that these were the World’s best riders, racing a World Cup right here in our country. The hot seat was being shuffled faster than Muhammad Ali’s left hand, as rider after rider crossed the line setting a new fastest time. All eyes were on Sam Hill with just 7 other riders remaining after him. Could he find the legs down the bottom of the track to get on the podium and keep his overall series chances very, very alive? No, it just wasn’t to be Sam’s day. He was back at the split and even further back by the finish line. He had to settle for 11th and you could tell he was not happy from a mile away. Due to a rib cage injury Bryn had only been back on his bike for 1 hour in total leading into Stromlo. Due to the pain and discomfort he’d sat most of practise out too, and instead just walked the track a bunch of times. But it paid off in the finals. The GT rider rode like a man possessed, claming 9th. Our homeboy Jared Rando one upped him to take 8th. After qualifying the general consensus was that it was going to be a 2 horse race between Minnaar and Peaty for the top spot. But Peaty’s hopes of a podium spot were smashed apart when his foot unclipped in the mud on the flat, shit pedally section, leaving
him dabbing and without enough speed to hit the final jump. Peat had to settle for 7th. Factory Mongoose’s Andrew Neethling rode with a fractured pinky finger and managed to hang on for 6th. Kovarik continued his killa’ form this season to take the first step of the podium with 5th whilst Fabien Barel and Gee Atherton finished in 4th and 3rd respectively. Rennie crossed the line in a time of 2:46.02 which gave him the hot seat and the lead with just 2 riders remaining. It all turned to shit for Peaty, as I just mentioned and so all that stood between Nathan and the top step of the podium was his team mate and overall series leader, Greg Minnaar. The crowds went from screaming berserk to dead silent as everyone hushed trying to hear the commentator reading out the times over the loudspeaker as Greg Minnaar crossed the finish line… “Greg Minnar in a time of 2:41.34, takes the win!” Rennie was so close, yet so far. Still it was his best result all season, so a bloody good job well done never the less. And so that was that. The week was wrapped up. As the Champaign corks popped on podium, the sounds of awnings and banners being pulled filled the pits as the teams packed and started their preparations for the final World Cup of the year in a fortnights time over in Austria. Stromlo had proved its worth to the riders that came out to compete and to the World wide MTB audience. And so now the clock starts ticking down to September 1, for the 2009 World MTB Championships.
QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ RICK BOYER
Orange/Fox/Pinstripe 1 Sam Hill 2 Steve Peat 3 Chris Kovarik 4 Fabien Barel 5 Rick Boyer
Commencal Team 1 Greg Minnaar 2 Steve Peat 3 Gee Atherton 4 Sam Hill 5 Cedric Gracia
ANDREW NEETHLING SCOTT SHARPLES GLEN JACBOS
Mongoose Factory Team 1 Greg Minnaar 2 Steve Peat 3 Fabien Barel 4 Gee Atherton 5 Andrew Neethling
Australian Coach 1 Nathan Rennie 2 Sam Hill 3 Steve Peat 4 Greg Minnaar 5 Chris Kovarik
Builds stuff! 1 Chris Kovarik 2 Mitch Delfs 3 Steve Peat 4 Gee Atherton 5 Nathan Rennie
Aussie Jr. Coach 1 Greg Minnaar 2 Sam Hill 3 Steve Peat 4 Gee Atherton 5 Chris Kovarik
Kenda Tomac Team 1 Nathan Rennie 2 Greg Minnaar 3 Steve Peat 4 Justin Leov 5 Sam Hill
Greg Minnaar hit this section faster and harder than anyone, seemingly having something extra above and beyond anyone else. Namely style, smoothness, humbleness and power wrapped up into the one package...With the splits almost identical, the 5 second margin was here.//HOLMES
Rollin' with the Rhythm
Words by JT and Ben Benny All photo
s Chris Benny In a side of this sport of ours often viewed strictly as an individual pursuit, this group of riders is changing that perception and paving the way for more companies to build teams, by proving that the kill is much greater if hunted by a pack. So when Ben Benny , the man behind Rhythm Imports and who heads up the team, recently flew all the boys into town for a week of riding, hanging out, boozing and general shenanigans, we knew we had to tag along...
Resident [R]evo camera guru Chris spent most of this shoot behind the lens and swearing at faulty remote flashes, but as usual he comes up with the bomb shots! What a lot of people don’t know is that this guy can seriously ride! Every now and then Chris gets out from behind the lenses and jumps on his bright yellow sub and put simply, shreds! Whether it’s park, street or dirt Chris can perform. Smooth style and massive strength is clear to see when on his bike. I would be happy to bet a pineapple that this kid can bunny hop higher than any other street rider out there! Name Chris Benny Age 21 Years Riding 7 Bike 24” Suburban Hometown Sydney Local shred spot Manly 24 or 26” wheels Either... I run 24s at the moment Favourite trick Flatty Blondes or Brunettes Blonds Worst stack Had a big crash when a shitty old frame snapped in two. Ruptured speen. Not too much fun. Funniest story Watching Ben fall into a big puddl e at redhill. Heh.. Have you ever been arrested Nope.
Last time you spewed About a month ago in Thailand. Legs, bum or boobs Legs with a bum and boobs ! Awesome!!! Hah. So what is your local riding scene like Pretty awesome. 10 minutes away from the local trails and about 15 from Manly Skate Park. Loads of people to ride with. How often do you get out on your bike Not enough... only about once every 2 weeks due to work. How do you think the photo shoot went Once we finally got shooting it was awesome. Weather was crap! We all blame Jason for bringing it with him from Melbourne. 3 things you love Riding, snowboarding and photography! 3 things you hate Pocket wizards!!! (Photograph y radio slave) They’re not all that they are cracked up to be! Bad weather and not being able to ride enough. What trick are you working on but struggling with at the moment Tailwhip... I still can’t stick them. Just need to man up. What’s your advice on rider progression, how do you get so good I wouldn’t say I’m ‘good’... not compared to the rest of the team! Just ride as much as you can and enjoy yourself.
What got you into riding to begin with My brother... He started and I followed. Describe your (on bike) style in 3 words Sloppy, funny and slow! Describe your (off bike) style in 3 words Sloppy, funny and slow! Haha Where do you see the hardtail scene here in Austra lia going within the next few years It has definitely become more popular. So hopefully the trend will continue and we will see more skate parks and trails being built. How often do you get groms asking if you are sponsored What’s your general response Hah, every now and then. My response is usuall y ‘By my parents’. What’s been your most memorable MTB experience to date Ever in the whole wide World? A Guinness World record attempt for TV... and I chocked! Any custom mods to your bike Hand painted nipples! Everyone loves hand painted nipples. Oh, and some bling Ti bolts. If you could have one signature part what would it be A damn comfy seat! And so what would you call that part ’Chris Benny Supa Extra Comfy Saddle’ What does a ‘normal day’ in the life of Chris consis t of Senseless mumbling and ranting, daydreaming and a bit of photography.
Always a fun guy to ride with, Alex is so laid back and easy going, and that goes for his riding style too. Alex brings his own unique style to the table and it’s so enjoyable to watch. He’s not one of those guys that goes massive, but he is probably one of the most technically skilled riders out there and you have to be when riding brakeless. With his butter smooth style Alex shreds over any transition and throws in reverse manual 360’s, cab fives and all sorts or wack free-coaster brakeless madness! Half the time it just doesn’t even look real! Name Alex Quirk Age 21 Years Riding 5ish Bike NS Capital. No brakes and a freecoaster Hometown Manly Local shred spot Manly Bowl 24 or 26” wheels Twenty Foe’s Favorite trick At the moment it would have to be reverse manuals Blondes or Brunettes Brunettes Worst stack Nose case to shoulder snap at these jumps in Sea forth. It wasn’t the grove though. Funniest story When I was like 12, I was down at the snow and one day I decided I was way too cool to wear suspenders so I just let them hang down. Later on that day I was dismounting a lift but my suspenders were still connected. It was quite funny. I was dragged for about 10 feet so I was just off the ground. The lifty helped me down but everyone was looking at me. Have you ever been arrested Nope. Last time you spewed Last weekend. Legs bum or boobs Nice big ghetto booty and some D’s. So what is your local riding scene like
It’s pretty good. There is always somewhere to ride and someone to ride with. How often do you get out on your bike At least 3 times a week. I ride to work most days too. How was the weather It was shit the first day. We got rained out and drove half way around Sydne y then played X Box for a couple ‘a hours. Then Saturday was a bit suss weather wise around here. But we drove so far west it didn’t matter. 3 things you love Space food sticks, Bronte, Avocado. 3 things you hate Haters, jazz funk, Ravens. What trick are you working on but struggling with at the moment Cab five’s. Footjam whips. What’s your advice on rider progression, how do you get so good Practice and know your limits, that’s really all you need. Everything else is up to you. What got you into riding to begin with Well I started when I was about 3 and where most people get over it, I just kept going. It went from jumping gutters to where it is now. Describe your (bike) style in 3 words So so def! Describe your (off bike) style in 3 words Lazy, loose and ballin’ Where do you see the hardtail scene here in Austra lia going within the next few years Going crazy. More street and park! How often do you get groms asking if you are sponsored Not that much because I always ride the same spots. But when it does I just say no because my sponsors don’t support me enoug h for that shit. Haha. What’s been your most memorable MTB experience to date Probably the times we go filming or shooting because everyone turns the heat up and gets all G’d up. When we were shooting this sculpture in Melbourne, me and Dave were hitting it non-stop for about 10
minutes waiting for security to come and give us a beat down. That was pretty fun. Any custom mods to your bike Nothing too custom. I cut my bars down a bit. I took all the brake mounts and tabs off. If you could have one signature part what would it be Some crazy colored rims!! In Crack White, Gloch Gun Metal Grey, Purple Drink, maybe Chicken Wing Brown. And so what would you call that part The Quark is taken with the NS stem so Quirk is out, and there is already Alex rims. So probably Q Rings, Big Boss Dogs or Ballers. What does a ‘normal day’ in the life of Alex consist of 8 00 My alarm will go off. Usually snooze till 8 15 8 15 Get in the shower. 8 30 Breakfast Time. 8 55 Ride to Manly Cycles by 9, or about 5 past. 9 05 Start work. Play with some bikes. Not usuall y the good type though. 11 00 Look at the clock for a bit. 1 00 Lunch time 1 30 Back to work 4 00 Snack time!! Wooo 5 30 Sweep for a bit. 6 00 AKA beer-o-clock 6 30 If I’m lucky ill go for a ride at the park. Get the generators going when it’s dark. 10 00 Go home. Watch TV or play on the computer till I fall asleep. 12 00 Wake up on the couch. 12 30 Bed time
Jason Ferron Jason is one of those riders who just kills a skate park and makes everyone just want to stop riding and watch. He is just smooth with loads of style! One of those guys that just arrives at a new and unknown park and is busting perfect flips and whips over half the transitions and linking it all up together like a seasoned pro. The last time I rode with Jason was over a year ago, and at the time this guy was just shredding everything at his local park with a huge bag of tricks. Riding with him now is even more impressive, he has refined his style and improved with pretty insane moves. Name Jason Ferron Age 18 Years Riding 3-4 Bike Malvern Star... Who would ride a heavy NS Suburban Hometown Melbourne Local shred spot Camberwell skate park 24 or 26” wheels 22’s on my car bro and 3 inches on the scooter and 24” on my ‘mountainy. Favorite trick probably tail whips. But spinnin’ and backies are always good. Blondes or Brunettes Ranga’s. Worst stack I tried a crappy condition dirt jump when I was tired and broke my wrist Funniest story Once I decided to hit a can of black spray paint with a screwdriver and it exploded all over my face and my mates Lincol n and Ricky’s bikes, shoes and garage walls. Haha, But then I cleaned my face with turps which wasn’t the smartest thing either... it started burning our faces!!
Have you ever been arrested Is it ‘cos I is black Last time you spewed 2 months ago from some kind of liquid intoxication! Legs, bum or boobs Um, all of the above please . So what is your local riding scene like Pretty chilled out. You can talk to anyone. BMXers get along with us. How often do you get out on your bike Weekends ‘cos not enough time to ride after work How do you think the photo shoot went It sucked that it rained on Friday but we made the most of the day by riding some undercover areas (carpark) and that was good fun... I landed my first hop whip out of a bank. Pretty stoked on that. 3 things you love Riding, girls, cars. 3 things you hate Broken bikes, annoying girls, problems with cars. What trick are you working on but struggling with at the moment Front flips into foam, 360 whips , 720 and double whips fly out. What’s your advice on rider progression, how do you get so good Only do things you know you have a good chance of landing! stacking will cause you to lose confidence and it is a lot harde r to gain it than lose it. Think a lot about the tricks
and jumps you are trying, think about what u have to do with your body to control your bike.. Ask what got you into riding to begin with Friends and just watching people do it Describe your (off bike) style in 3 words Smoo th, stylish, big... Where do you see the hardtail scene here in Australia going within the next few years Hopefully there will be more comps... But yeah probably will keep growing and more people will be getting into the sport. How often do you get groms asking if you are sponsored, what’s your general response Don’t get asked too often, but when they do I just tell ’em yes and I can ‘backie! What’s been your most memorable MTB experience to date Coming 2nd in a BMX park comp, first time landed whip and first time landed backflip Any custom mods to your bike Just a few custom bolts to keep my seat on, and I got my forks lowered and an air pressure valve thingo attached. If you could have one signature part what would it be 4 inch rise bars And so what would you call that part Super high district… I dunno… haha What does a ‘normal day’ in the life of Jason consist of Work, Xbox, meeting people/girls, txting, youtube...
Unfortunately Dave was too sick to make the street/park sessions on the weekend we shot (some say he is allergic to concrete) but we were lucky enough to hit up Red Hill another day. Dave jumped on his bike (still all sniffles) and busted out some of the smoothest jumping I have ever seen! Huge stylized taybos and tuck no hande rs. Dave is one of those riders you can learn a lot off just by watching. He just makes everything look way too easy. His smooth style and ability to judge every jump perfectly just makes DJ look way too easyâ€Ś. Until you hit the same trails and eat shit because itâ€™s so much harder than he makes it look!
Name Dave Musgrove Age 24 Years Riding 21 Bike Violet NS Suburban 26” with NS componentry and 100mm Fox 36’s Hometown Seaforth, NSW Local shred spot The Grove R.I.P. 24 or 26” wheels I used to ride xc trails on my 80’s BMX but graduated from kid’s bikes and got a 26” wheel Gemini Echo Beach when I was about 13. Since then it’s been TwoSix for life baby! Favorite trick Taybos and kick-outs Blondes or brunettes What about rangas If I had to choose I’d say brunettes. Worst stack Nose case to head plant to overnight hospitalization with lots of memory loss and a weeklong headache. Funniest story Well I still don’t remember this so it’s all alleged. After my ‘worst stack’, my mate Alex pretty much carried me out of The Grove and back home where we waited for the Ambulance. Now this was 2003 when lots of people where dying their hair emo-black and Alex, being hip with the times, had followed suit. The Ambo’s arrived and gave me one of those pen things, like sucking on a permanent marke r, then neck braced and stabilized me. The next thing was to get me into the ambo and as the medics were taking me out the front door I said, “Wait!”. They realized something was wrong and stopped as I gave my family and friends yet another thing to worry about... I looked back inside to Alex and exposed the awful truth, “I only just realized how gay you looked with your black hair.” What a great way to show my appreciation. Have you ever been arrested Not yet. Last time you spewed I’d eaten some suboptimal food and I wasn’t only spewing. Legs, bum or boobs My legs and bum are going alright but I’m definitely lacking on the boob front. Raddest thing you ever did Rode the 2007 Red Bull Elevation trails in Whistler. So what is your local riding scene like I mainly ride dirt. Since The Grove was dozed I’ve been riding at the ‘hill lots. They have a really solid crew now that keeps growing, BMX and MTB. There is a pretty strict trails code, which is cool if you want to ride, have a dig as well. It results in some of the smoothest, neatest, most progressive trails in Australia. Props to Dale for all his work on the trails. How often do you get out on your bike In summer every day, but when you finish work and it’s dark it sucks, so only a few times a week in Winter. I ride a bunch of XC as well and a bit of DH when I can. How do you think the photo shoot went I was just ill’in in my bed. It’s average when your mates from Interstate are shredding and you’re sick as a dog. I did get better for a quick late arvo shred with Shorty and my mates Neal and Phil. That was a rad ride, the trails were wet but after a quick dig and psyche up, we were able to ride a few lines until Chris’ flashes were blinding us in the dark. Shorty is nuts, he scrubs, boosts and tricks at another level. 3 things you love Everyone, riding bikes, Jesus ‘cos he loves you too. 3 things you hate Finding out your trails just got dozed, wind while jumping, being sick or injured .
What trick are you working on but struggling with at the moment I don’t do many tricks, mainly because they scare me I guess! When I do tricks I try to do them smoothly and make them look good and at the moment I’m not satisfied with my 1-foot tables, they need work. What’s your advice on rider progression, how do you get so good My fear holds me back more than my skill level. When I can conquer my fear I progress rapidly but it’s hard for me. Lots of time on the bike and having fun riding, getting in that ‘zone’ where things just flow and work and you don’t need to think too much, that’s when my style and smoothness improves and that is progression for me. What got you into riding to begin with I did anything my brother did. He rode bikes so I did. He started getting into XC so I followed on my hand-me-down BMX. We both went through the trials scene (where Benny was the king!) and then got into jumping and the more ‘extreme’ side of mountain biking. Describe your (on bike) style in 3 words Smooth, gnarr, shredding Describe your (off bike) style in 3 words Dave Rad Musgrove Where do you see the hardtail scene here in Australia going within the next few years I hope to see Slopestyle comps starting up which cater for hardtails and duallies. We are lagging behind North America and Europe with Slopestyle. Mountain bikes are capable of going bigger and over rougher terrain than BMX bikes and I think that well designed Slopestyle courses are a great way to progress and display that potential. How often do you get groms asking if you are sponsored Quite often. A kid in Whistler “sponsored” me a US$1 to do a 360, good hustle hey! When I’m asked, I normally just say, “yeah a bit”, then over the next jump drop a legitimate bar-hump and show them where it’s at. What’s been your most memorable MTB experience to date After a season in BC Canada it’s hard to pick just one experience. It’s either riding the Red Bull Elevation trails or tight trains with my close mates down Dirt Merchant in Whistler Bike Park. Any custom mods to your bike I like wide bars, but I also love the NS District bar because it’s steel and has a great shape. So I run bar extensions, which make them 730mm wide. If you could have one signature part what would it be Forks like Fox 36’s ‘cos they’re damn expensive. And so what would you call that part The Legitzicon Rad Fork, maybe that’s why I’m still paying for forks. What does a ‘normal day’ in the life of Dave consist of Summer Saturdays are rad Wake up whenever. no alarm. Check emails, facebook, BOM to see if it’s going to rain. Find a bike vid on youtube (check Martin Soderstrom) or a rad DVD and watch it while I eat my 8 Weet-Bix with fruit, honey and yoghurt. Try to find a job in the Herald, feel bad because no one wants a graduate materials engineer. Grab my bike, head to the trails. Feel good. Have a dig (yeah write that down kids), ride trails with mates till I crash from hunger and get a late lunch. Meet up with my lovely girlfriend and head to the beach for a swim. Have some tasty dinner and maybe drop some DFDTTM (dance floor domination to the max) with friends till the early hours.
Louis is one of those riders who sits quietly watching the others ride. Then he just steps up to the plate and shreds! Whether riding street or park, Louis has got the skills. Definitely a technically proficient rider, he has a huge bag of tech moves up his sleeve. This was very apparent on our first rained out day of riding. All we had was an undercover carpark with a few curbs and concrete gutters. Out of nowhere Louis is busting clean 360’s 180 bar spins that most would struggle with on proper transitions let alone 10cm speed humps. Once we got him at a skate park things got hectic. He was just linking up so many tricks you’d think someone hit the ‘fast forward’ and ‘play all’ on their DVD remote.
Name Louis Maddiford Age 21 Years Riding 6 years Bike NS Suburban 24” Hometown Adelaide Local shred spot City Skate and some local street spots 24 or 26” wheels 24” of course Favorite trick Bar spin! Blondes or Brunettes I’m not picky. Worst stack Over the bars at the skate park, broke my shoulder and collarbone. Funniest story Wish I had one Have you ever been arrested I’m a good boy. Last time you spewed My mates 21st a couple ‘a weeks back. Legs, bum or boobs Defiantly bum, but boobs aren’t too bad either. How often do you get out on your bike Whenever I’m free I’ll go for a pedal. So as much as possible, easy.
How do you think the photo shoot went It was a lot of fun and got to see some nice moves. It was a pity about the rain on the first day, but we had a sweet car park ‘sesh. 3 things you love Bikes, Xbox and Chocolate 3 things you hate Flat tyres, team sports and work What trick are you working on but struggling with at the moment Tail whip to manual. What’s your advice on rider progression, how do you get so good Have a mate or some mates to ride with. It always helps you push that bit harder on a trick if your mate lands it first. What got you into riding to begin with I can’t do proper team sports! Describe your (on bike) style in 3 words Smooth, I hope... Where do you see the hardtail scene here in Austra lia going within the next few years I think I’ll be seeing a lot more MTB hardtails hitting the parks and streets in the coming years.
Name Shayne Gilyeat aka ‘SHORTY’ Age 23 Years Riding MTB for 1 year and 9 months now. Bike NS suburban 26” frame with fox float 36 shocks and double track rims, laced onto NS hubs, profile cranks , NS district bars and an NS Quark stem to top it off. Hometown Campbelltown NSW Local shred spot C’town park, and it aint exactly local but I’m at Red Hill more than anywhere else. 24 or 26” wheels 26”all the way, love big wheels . Favorite trick It’s hard to describe, but it’s like a backflip but more a flat 360. So I think it would be a flat spin, but I haven’t got them to dirt yet. Still trying to perfect it in the foam pit. Blondes or Brunettes Well my beautiful girlfriend Tiffany, “whom I love dearly” is still blonde, so ill have to go with blonde. Worst stack Late last year I came up short trying to transfer a dirt set, but came up short, snapped my crank arm off and twisted my ankle to the point of dislocation. Yep, my foot fell off. Funniest story I had a dog named Zak and I was pitching the ball out to him to go fetch it and bring it back, so I quickly ran inside and closed the glass door. I got down on my knees waiting for him so he came belting towards me then “CRASH” he bounces off doing the best 360 flip I’ve ever seen and full on lands back on his feet. That ain’t animal cruelty, just a funny idea... Have you ever been arrested Yeah once. My mate got pinned for urinating in public and I didn’t realize that so I got a little agro and just annoyed the crap out of the cops till they threatened me with arrest if I didn’t walk away. So I did. But after a stumb le
Shorty is definitely the biggest character on the team. Once we got him out at some of his local parks it was definitely ‘show-time’. There were some good BMXers there already that were boosting pretty big and knew their shit. Then Shorty steps up and gets at least 4 foot higher on every transition. I swear it looks like he approaches each transition slower than anyone and someh ow gets so much pop it looks like one of those Chinese Kung Fu movies with wires! When he hit up Red Hill for a bit of dirt, it was just ridiculous – same story, massive boost and insane moves!
around the block and without noticing that I had walked in a circle and ‘cos I was so drunk all I saw was flashing lights so I headed over to go check it out... Kids don’t mess up or get too drunk! Last time you spewed At my mate ‘Fats’ house all over his wall and toilet floor. The funny thing is I was aiming straight at the bowl. Sorry Mrs MAC! Legs, bum or boobs Can’t I just have all Definitely the bum. There is so much more to play with! So what is your local riding scene like I’m pretty much the only MTB rider that gets down to the park on a regular basis. But riding with the BMX guys is cool because they’re all learning pretty fast and I get to feed off them. How often do you get out on your bike I try to ride as often as I can, so I’m usually at the park most nights of the week. I’m pretty lucky to have a local park which has lights till 11pm every night. How do you think the photo shoot went I was super stoked to get to ride with the other riders and see where they’re at. They’re all such damn good riders who push the level up all the time. 3 things you love My bike, riding and messy nights with my good friends. 3 things you hate Flat tyres, broken bike parts and when the beer runs out at messy parties with my good friends. What trick are you working on but struggling with at the moment Super Cans. I just can’t do it right. What’s your advice on rider progression, how do you get so good Think about what it is you want to do and try to picture it in your head, how to pull it, then go for it. Never give up on your dreams. What got you into riding to begin with I bought myself a hardtail in January ‘07 after going up to Thredb o
with a friend (Terry Scarr) to watch him race. After having a bit of a roll on his 4X bike I just got a little bug in my head. Describe your (on bike) style in 3 words Boost, fast, awesomeness! haha Describe your (off bike) style in 3 words Chilled, lazy, messy Where do you see the hardtail scene here in Austra lia going within the next few years I would love to see some comps or demos with a crowd so the scene here can become more recognized. How often do you get groms asking if you are sponsored Nearly every time I ride park. I just tell them they should buy an NSbike from the Pushbike Factory in Campbelltown! What’s been your most memorable MTB experience to date Newton’s playground comp in Bathurst earlier in the year. Definitely memorable because I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared in my life. Those jumps were so big. Any custom mods to your bike Not really, just a longer brake cable and shorter spindle spacer in my cranks to get them tighter and stop them spinning when off the bike in flight. If you could have one signature part what would it be Probably a stem. So what would you call that part ‘The Shorty’s’ What does a ‘normal day’ in the life of Shorty consis t of Wake up, have a 1/2 shower, drive to work. Fabricate whatever needs making, eat lunch, work a little more till 3 30pm then jet home. I usually watch some Simpson’s. Then jet to the skate park 5 minutes down the road when the sun goes down and stay there till 9pm before back home to have a beer, go to bed to sleep before I do it all over again.
The one man Rhythm show, Ben spends most of his time slaving away trying to build his business importing the best quality bikes, frames and components for Aussie riders. Every now and then he gets on his bike and rides too! Spending more time organizing this event rather than riding it, Ben can still pull a trick or two out of the bag, throwing down some clean 360 tail taps and taybos over the hips and other trannies.
Ben B Name Ronald Benny (but I go by Ben Benny) Age Twenty sumfin Years Riding 10 years Bike NS Suburban 24” blinged out, Koxx XTP trials bike, Trek Remedy 9 Hometown Sydney Local shred spot Manly Bowl 24 or 26” wheels 24 – so much more pop! Favorite trick Whatever I can land on the day! Blondes or Brunettes Brunettes Worst stack On my trials bike, was hoping across some hand rails in the wet, lost traction and landed on my ribs. When I woke up it turned out I fractur ed a couple of ribs! Funniest story I was out in Broken Hill shooting an ad for Nissan. They were doing ‘tracking’ shots from a helicopter. They asked if I wanted to come for the chopper ride and I was mad keen, but I had another scene to do. So I watched from the ground as the chopper chased the car and got caught in power lines! It was hectic! We all thought these guys were dead. As we ran to the scene, the Japanese producer climbs out of the carnage, pulls his sunnies out of his leather pants, puts them on his head and lights up a cigarette! Have you ever been arrested Nope, but my mate did the other day for urinating in public! Last time you spewed 2 weeks ago at a fancy dress party. I must have been allergic to my Afro!
Legs bum or boobs Legs and bums, but I’m converting to boobs! So what is your local riding scene like It’s a pretty cool scene down here, there is always someone to ride with and so much different riding in the area. How often do you get out on your bike I’ve been really bad this year. I had about 3-4 months of no riding. Lately I’ve been getting out twice a week. How do you think the photo shoot went Shoot was fun, but a little stressful trying to organi ze everything. I was shitting myself that it wouldn’t happen after flying the boys up and having the heaviest rain all day Friday. The next day was awesome. We hit some of the best parks in Sydne y and it was so good to see all the guys shred. 3 things you love Bikes, girls and have just fallen for snowboarding. 3 things you hate Holden, Ford, football What trick are you working on but struggling with at the moment I really wanna do 360 brakeless nosew heel pivots, but I keep landing on my face… What’s your advice on rider progression, how do you get so good Don’t be a chump… you won’t be able to pull 360 whips straight up. Start small and perfec t your style. What got you into riding to begin with I started out doing XC in school. Figured out it was pretty boring and couldn’t bring myself to wearing spandex. Started riding trials – I know its not considered much
more fashionable than spandex, but I love it! Then started riding street to gain a little cred! Describe your (on bike) style in 3 words Trials – Smooth, Street Bouncy, MTB hustling! Describe your (off bike) style in 3 words Straight up ‘wack! Where do you see the hardtail scene here in Austra lia going within the next few years I see a hybrid between BMX and MTBing. Both scenes have so much to offer and think that some of the 24” setups we are seeing today really represent the best technology and riding styles from both worlds. How often do you get groms asking if you are sponsored? What’s your general response Sometimes, I just tell them “I sponsor myself because no one else would!” What’s been your most memorable MTB experience to date Competing in the World Trial Championships in Japan would have to be the highlight. The riding was awesome, the atmosphere was incredible and Japan is an awesome place. Any custom mods to your bike My cranks are a prototype 3pc cromoly set that could be the lightes t on the market, I’ve also got a few titanium bolts to bling things up! If you could have one signature part what would it be Some descent quality street tyres. Ones that are super light, but with some descent casing And so what would you call that part Tyres. Keep it simple for the punters What does a ‘normal day’ in the life of Ben consist of Well today I got up pretty early, went for a ride with a mate at Oxford Falls, did a bit of XC and a few DH runs. Came back to the home office,worked on the new website. Lunch then pack and send orders and try to get out for a sneaky ride at around 4 30 - 5pm. Do my shopping, cook up some gourmet meal for dinner. Then either head over to some friends place or do more website...
. t s o p e h t r o f g in it a W
in a tight space next to someone you ordinarily Sitting wouldn’t choose to sit next to can only mean one of 4 things; A) This toilet is weird. B) It was a dumb idea picking that hitchhiker up. I’m flying on a plane with a bunch of downhillers C) to the mountain bike World Champs. D) All of the above. let d on. AndmanynowWorl bangy how you’reexactl ‘D’ sure if you answered Now I’tom not explainI’vwhy… me tell you Iyoucan thought but theAndyears, over e beenaround Champs just whenanother one. For heaps! it’thes somewhere you’rgloe be,offIon thought last, the was your st onejourney layears’ d do across by keeping a diary and I’taking this little different a snaps. something s a few random stories and accounts happy downHere’ some on the Junior National Team’s World what went tour, of 2008. Championships
airport: Sydney I quickly discover that Tom Patton has become a little
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Angeles, 17 hours later or something. Los Catch shuttle bus to Almo car hire and get freaked by
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that hour: Later After a quick pasting over of the hire car with CB
to visit Troy Lee. east toandCarona we are heading stickers a quickis G’onedayplaand just everything pre ordered vee outta We’ ce on If there Wrong. Right? there.time r that sucks we’ t for thisd plhelace.pingAndus ifoutit Iwasn’woul it’sWorl earth take d away. girlpill inso the prettiest the life wasting my t notice dn’over Ihaswoul ofeveryone sort some and phase the indecisive ly afterthings are lookinggotup to Make Final 5/10 just in theus committed, Reddingtheforsimplsorting Thanksgoodagainat to5pmMike time. of nick e, just to make re lookingdrive to 5/10 when We’ out. something goes wrong. the30 roads down miles wrong… in very much the wrong direction. About Damn!
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guysgo feet the bait and theparkcutea Aussie take They ever. draws iar lolooking familnot deepe inarean leindustrial FinallyPeopl aclx. oser. rel are open and the aving anddoorthings usgood. Surprisingly the front pushes out, knowing comecoming the shoes begin. I rell abex assorted fittings weeks. Aof the for everybodyto wilLaura that supporter a We’ being 0 for at 5/1 thankyou big in the reished. Renoir. and Sam just racersbackbeyond Aussie Mission andaccompl Santaout Monica. tocheck heading car Monica grab some morningI’veweorganised a laSanta Next te checkout, to delay the pain breakfast. car. the of restuffing
that night. LA airport: 6pm Tom decides to look for his passport when he needs it
Monica. bedthein Santa it’s underhelphis in andtryfigures atNicecheck hotelesstoandfind fultoat Mr toful getquicklMry turns one.us. We Help Dickhead as Tom grabs Usel Mr Mr itlaterforto stupid to try a cab passport his grab the hotel back tobefore Get airport impossibltoe. the the leaves.lastWewe’l planes the the return and that’woman behind the ifafro wondering to Tom good bye wave laorge a rather Picture of. He’him.s just see Wrong. nowhere. to Hamil w trip thelatersl and boarded wheel s aunty ton’taking Lewis situation ins the athe expl Tom in chain. check the todragging all kcontinue lenge. Wee. Tal up time chal takes about as possibl much somehow asAnyway, Tom returned with a passport and we all progress to the next phase.
Barcelona 13 hours later:
It’s early. Too early. Two in the morning early and the onl y way to get to our apartment is by rip off. We get two of them to make sure it really hurts and we’re on our way. Next morning and we’re off on a sight seeing excursion. is my first time here and I’m keen to get amongstThis breakfast. A bit of when “we’re indamn Spain let’s it.doFirst as theup, Americans do and go to McDonalds”, it. Try convincing someone the age of 18 that… I wont even bother finishing thatunder sentence. We wal k on history and go to church. There’s lots of them and thisintois the in town. I pray for help and we’re out of thereoldestwithonenothing broken. Thank God. Next up, a cool l o l y shop before I have a great idea. Hire bikes. Spin the legs, training, and all that. lWe ater. Tom has folded a wheel and Tam is rolling20 onminutes are on our way back to the hire shop. Obviouslay flat. there a problem with the wheel, tyre thing. It went flyou’ at andwasstuff. Play dumb like you don’t even know what r e doing. Somehow works and we leave with new bikes. I felt sorry forit them bikes were coming back it bits.knowing full well that these What a great day. When you roll you get to see so much. There was my compulsory architectural appreciation tour to La Sagrada Familia, the most famous of all the Gaudi buil d ings. This one is of such scale and vision that it is still being buil t . The boys girls out the front and luckily Tom’s command ofmeetthesome Spanish nguage quickly has them chatting up a storm. After some laphotos and some heart-break we l e ave to do the tour of the buil ding. I get total l y immersed in the hundreds of stonemasons crafting this mind blowing vision. When I eventually within Ithe find a city bike cuttie track being ridden in, just surface, road in a beautiful park. Yes through the garden across down to the bus stop. God help me. No sign of the lbed aw and it does look good. After a couple more laps and some odd looks we move on. We spend the day riding around Barcelona checking out the sights. Somehow only just as the sun goes down we limp the bikes back to our hotel where we spend an hour or so wheel straightening panel beating just to get them back into some sort ofandcondition to get our deposits back. I place my rel a tivel y ‘ i n good nick’ bike on top of the stack to hide the nightmares beneath. They do check, but in this dim light I reckon we might just get away with it. We do. Just. Tom, the Spanish speaker reckons No joke, I cracked my frame Tom.they weren’t too happy.
The next day late morning
Transfer from hell. No cabs and so we carry everything 2km to the bus shuttle to Andorra. Lifting awkward dead weights there with picking dog turds upacross withoutcities a plisasticrightbag.upOnce again Tom has some probl e ms with his bike arriving late from it turns up just when we l e ave. The scheming dodge LAairliand ne shonks some probl e m so they don’ t have to pay a courier it to Andorra. So here we are again and Tom is toin aget cab to the airport 40mins before we leave to get his bike. he gets back a nano second before the bus lgoing eaves. Somehow How does do it. Tom is a magnet for things wrong but hesomehow through luck everything works out. Trust him to be a lucky guy.
Later that arvo:
We get to Andorra. It’s wet and cold. I see a van and by chance is for hire. We hire it to take us the final 15km to the ithotel s late afternoon and we chill. Tomorrow everything wil. l It’change.
The next morning:
Open curtain and notice a fresh dump of snow on the mountains. Open window and notice the sting of cold air on warm cheeks. pants on and close window. I learn that it has pretty Put rained non-stop for the past month. We alinspection. l walk down andmuchregister on a course This is the firstbefore look atheading a Worloffd Cup track and this is when you real i se how far away from home are. Steep, l o ng, rocky, wet, sl i ppery and rooty. Not veryyou Australian. Out of the gate, the first section is a fast off camber a very loose set of switchbacks. This then drops into aslwithseries of berms that then drops away and traverses the o p and into the first of the wooded sections. The ground isdeepsaturated and by finals the roots and ruts here will be and rough. The challenges continue until the riders pop onto an awkward finishing section. A combination of hard to get to l i nes and super than spectacular finish. soft double jumps make for a less
Couple of days later:
Lots of practise sessions later, the weather has pretty much stayed dry allowing the track to dry up somewhat. s wet it’s really wet and these areas won’t turn toWhere dust it’until much later in summer.
a Friday night: Of After training some of us go check out the 4X. Sloppy
carpet. savedtrackby issome straight here too. First conditions to a getting andit.theThere stopped ythattheyouraincanhasactual Luckil massive one can pop. is riders ly onlride point five or four y that e on the track doubl the end of the night Dan Atherton has beaten all comers At set up what will become the start of an historic toweekend.
- Race day: Sunday Although the pit area at World Cups is somewhat bigger
XC the areas After seems at odds. in Oz,thetodayXC something than pitthat their down havepits.broken teams yesterday, the me to odd Seems the in s e hol aving e l t i spl and ofthe thehill event. the theatre to helptheir on the Sunday isn’t spectators XC and the way up are making Anyway, sounds of horns and bells fill the air. end and at the comes and goes juniors week seeding toughTamryn afying After qualifying toppedthethefinalAussie has qualitop of . s in the 80 and will contest to wanting rider Wil for any. Rhys breakthrough is goa massive This lemse highestthelevelcut racinghasatalsthe of afor make just showing missed o Tomac racing s the final end of Last At the is.imbed this competition hards position how year as to 72nd. have a clgood will had Tamryn’ and his progress year Button Josh Junior rubbing finishedWil37th He sport. watch.in the haswithbeensomegreatbig tonames rider ashoul Reishbeth l Cups disersquietl his business in theWorlwind over Sam about so 79thy going alfinishing Athertonthetook Geesmashed today. women’s competition to st his sister Rachel whil complete a family threesome. Awesome! to cap off a are in order celebrations few head a We Tonight bar andletslookfly around s Cedric to Cedric’ downfestive week. big withwho when Things are onlquite town. NathananceRankin by Ambul lowedgood. folNot to be y his stage ydiving some called is lands on head. unfortunatel and we walk away to the sound of a siren.
Morning: Next Open one eye and then the next. Sit up and decide that
his packing we astart upNot Allikeex aturns is OK, lojust. everything to time me? great gave cram. drink oks Oh shit, this van. Gracia green mountain thattwisting WhatVallnwas crammed. be passes with to ordofongreen out ofaffects imbing Clever isvannotis going this drink, increasing the and out ttens a fl y l eventual road The n. a plmuch better. We cross the boarder into France andcoping y luckil and is in lufront crew monster The through. areget waved we of re The on. drive We the contents of van spills Unlucky. pulled over.draws they in andmaccas useuro den thearches gol the and a jug of black road. Some ontolater, out things are looking up. doctor
hours later: Four It’s five hours before the Fast Riding People van drops us
Mont the shadowA ofrather Under base. Chamonix. next arrive our into accommodation. newhow atI our we are cottage. Blsmalancl brown We kindintoof we will wefit. wonder wonder Next morningoptions. First stop l not do.accommodation thisoutwilother do,and but just scopeshop. town bike community G. Thethemountain Zeroe around localLikebikeminded peopl the minded likeVert WorlDaxd doing rocks. atweLemake to visit we gous out made and ADax,call anis Aussie things. so mucharound with athe sorted . our base for two hotel Dax ships weeks. hotel ed in at LebikeVert. soon are we and up picksem uswith this time of year settl andprobl van that most is weeks. The Get e ofdown the Les another coupl for Morzine aren’t open parks road,thebut is. just around the riding and Chamonix in Here cruel in a pl just lifts it’s without lifts open tomorrow.
following day: The We meet up with some locals from Zero G and take the
weso press rain but with y. It’is s a pouring up thewithvallerain train better here Iron life overfrom way toof Romano Living on. Horse thanks it. A big usedfortosorting get time my for Sunday a s whinging (he didn’t like me out with y Despite the weather Ital Tom’ and here. it endingareupforat 20 get ofthrough weMost bit) rocks slloicalppery the the t kickers park. jump dirt the around long. hang didn’ inches and we were soaked so we
day: Next The suns out. This place rocks. Mont Blanc, right there
peak.upWethe s highest large asandEurope’ looms atlearnnearlthey 5000m we cleanChamonix so todayepicentre, tomorrow ft opens licheck A etourist the town.peopl out beautiful and full of bikes and with themanyEuropean chockers isfootbal people inhasGenevre up theLe road just trip. l cuptheon side a pool table, cable Vert making are TV and free internet so everyone is happy.
Another next day:
More riding. Josh Button and Will Reishbeth come and join to make a party of seven. We ride most days cuttingus new old. Dax throws in a couple of Shuttl es tracks to helpandus riding get some ride time on different trail s . Tamryn keeps the l o cal bike shop happy breaking things dail y . Zero G has turned out to be a dream, giving us half off everything. Tom’s hat collection gets bigger and further investigation of the l o cal shops turns up pen knifes and fireworks - Well whatya know! get us up to the top of Mont Blanc. I make aOurhabittickets of taking gondola rides up there most mornings. Most ofthethelongtime it is a complete white out, but I go in hope of seeing it clear. In ten or so days this happens twice. At 4000m you are in a different worl d, a cloudy one. Amazing. Other highlights in Chamonix include waiting for the postman to arrive each morning. Anighcarefully planned morning brew on the nearside table at on 8.30am would ensure an uplifting experience and close view each day. On one particular morning she came in so hot before right into the LeVert entrance. I’ve beenskidding in loveandwithdrifting even since. One day I will mail mysel f to Le Vert and her propose mid drift. On the l a st day here Al e x and I to make a three hour drive to pick up hisleavebikeeverybody trailer. We’ this to get everyone to Val e De Sol e . Whil st in thisl need country town somewhere in the south east of France littlwee happened upon a road bl o ck or two and get caught up in a road race. Not a little one either. For within hour Ichannel was yelling Go Cadel. Funny how sometimes youan just stuff l i ke that. Today was a sad day to l e ave plsome ace and I urge anyone looking for a tops as spot tothisspend time, summer or winter and call Dax at Le Vert in Chamonix. You’l love it.
The morning we go to the Worlds:
Alex and the Fast Riding People van turns up with a trailer. Yeah, more room. After the trans French squeeze fest I scan the teams faces and can see the relief. There is light rain this and postal service it morning seems liand ke aafter good the timegreat to splweather it.
5 or sixlater:hours and numerous bottom burps We finally start
up a Mountain Pass from the freeway north ofheading Trento. I see a sign that says Vale Di Sol e 1 5 km which is a very good indicator that we are near, short of rol l i ng the van (touch wood). Alas we roll into town and surprise, surprise it l o oks like there might be a bike race going on. Our accommodation at the Hotel Val di Sol e is a coupl e of km from the race site. At this stage we wil l join up with the rest of the Aussie team. Santa Cruz is al s o staying there which is al w ays good as they are great mates.
Later that day:
We all head off to inspect the track. A short walk from the gondola and we are at the start. Everything looks pretty good, then Holy Shit! One hundred meters from the start this beast just goes straight down. I’ve never seen anything it. The word going around is that it’s too much and therelike needs be some changes. By the end of practise, the track hastoeaten some of the sports biggest names. Matti Likinin, riding injured has found conditions too tough and Andorra 4X winner Dan Atherton breaks his collarbone and is out. Of our guys Matt Vincent has fallen and injured his hand. This will hamper his performance come final s time. The Other juniors are finding conditions tough, but you see the speed building.
As training continues the riders actually start coming to grips with the tracks treachery. Now after a couple of days of s one of the best Worlds tracks I’practice ve seen. I’Itm isthinking still clait’iming y but at the end of the day there wil l be a victims worthydailWorl d Champ. Whil s t wal k ing down the track I’ m perfectl y positioned to see Bryn Atkinson go over the hangers at probabl y the fastest part of the track. He should not have got up thankful ly he did.
Meanwhile in the pits:
I drop in to see how Sam is travelling. (He is very unique in his training. Most of the time he is riding with Brendon. the course of practise he’l stop and have aSolgood lookOver at sections the options. At Vale di e I see him only doandas discuss many runs he needs to. Not nearl y as much as you would think. I’mas standing on the track at the bottom woods section 1 0 mins from the end of the final day of practice and see Sam skip effortl down. He was going at about 75% just hitting all his elisslnes.y There thing.) was no one around him, not wanting to give away a He’s feeling confident in what he needs to do. It’s been a very competitive season and Sam wants to revamp his mantle of Worl d’s fastest rider. It’s a hot day and I’m enjoying the Val e . touch base with the Junior Team and all of them haveIdone well to get to the end of practise in one piece. It’ s easy to get excited and on a track like this, you pay heavily for any mistake. We pack the van and head home.
AWhatlittlcane Ibitsay, ofGraves4X:who has dominating the event all
but stripes, the rainbow himself other guaranteeing was weekend the found Aussies offwithagain.the The ripped then was going l al d Worl the of cream a bit tough going throughso thegaveheats progressed gold. Caroline aBuchanan for the Sheby alcoming e 5th. veryightscredibl endedoneupofwith and from night of the the a highl crowd to straight pro the on e doubl and hitting massive behind go from zero to hero passing everyone in the air.
ifying comes and goes: Qual The weather holds out, in complete contrast to the start
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day: Race Today Sharples holds the fort up the top of the hill. This
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It’s 4:30pm on Friday afternoon. The soft tapping of keyboards in unison echo through the office silence. Blueprints are strewn around the room. Each one a symbol of a nine to five life. Tick 4:37pm. The arms of the clock creep around at a painful pace. This is when Jack’s mind starts to wander, he fiddles with his pen. Workers whisper of parties and weekend drinking expeditions. Tick 4:44pm. Jack feels his shirt tighten around his neck, his suit feels heavier on his shoulders, has his tie been this uncomfortable all day? He clicks the save button on his computer, afraid his concentration lapses will filter onto the pages in front of him. Tick 4.50pm, engineering feats of the days before are slipping into distant memory. His mind strays more than ever and now his blank gaze is noticed by his boss in the next room. The big man wonders what this silent achiever is like at home. Why does he continually look at the clock, and always seem so distant in the afternoons? Now Jack stirs, Tick 4:59pm. He eyes the bag on the ground by his tidy desk. He knows that he’s defined by what’s in it. As the little hand edges closer to the 12, Jack slowly unzips the bag, and unleashes Mr Hyde.
By day, 24 year old Jack Foster works endlessly to create civil structures. In the morning peak hour rush, he blends in like every other bloke in slacks and a shirt. But unlike the rest of those white and blue collar blokes working their 40 hour weeks, Jack would rather have a dirty collar. By night, he is Adelaide’s menace on a bicycle. His second personality, Mr Hyde, is the one which stands out from the crowd. It’s when he’s most comfortable, stealing the spotlight as he shreds the local urban scene, back in his jeans and t-shirt. A quiet unassuming guy, Jack goes about his every day life doing the very things that allow him to ride. Ever heard the term work to live? Jack works to ride. I met Jack a few years back when a mate told me “this sick dude at uni jumped off the roof at the skate park on his bike”. Back in the ever-popular hucking days, I immediately thought he was one gnarly dude. The first shoot I had with Jack was a city night ride, and his depth of local knowledge was insane. He knows Adelaide’s urban scene like the back of his hand. Driving around to get the shots for this article often required a fair bit of travelling, and no matter where we were, Jack would always pipe up with something like “oh, there’s a cool tree over there I can stall on” or “yeah, I’ve wall ridden that place”. Yes, Adelaide’s not exactly the biggest city going ’round, but the list of tucked-away urban spots he’s discovered, and conquered is phenomenal. After spending a bit of time with Jack, it’s easy to start to think of him as representing urban Adelaide all on his own. Not only does he live and breathe riding, but he thrives off new locations and is always on the scout for more. Jack’s perfect weekend pretty much comprises of a hot fresh discovery.
Even during his ‘straight personality’ side; Doctor Jackyll, he sneakily utilises his handy work resources. With mapping systems of the city at his fingertips, plus plenty of knowledgeable work mates who he can probe for locations, Jack is in the know like no other. And why wouldn’t he use that to his full advantage, when he can scout unusual locations like Adelaide drains. Told ya he’s mad. Jack’s two lives are so completely opposite, I’d have never known what he even did for a crust if it weren’t for the fact that he went to uni with my mate. When you see crazy guys like this on a bike, they are so far detached from their work side that they become a totally different person. I’ve seen it in a lot of people, and I guess this is the equivalent to “white line fever” on a bike. Jack speaks very little about his nine to five life unless probed. Even then you wouldn’t get much out of him. But just go ahead and mention that thing with two wheels, and watch his eyes light up. Now it’s hard to determine who’s the best on a street machine. It’s not like you can pop a timer on the bike and find out who’s the quickest. It’s all about style, grace, fluency and skill. There is not too many things that Jack can’t do. We have some pretty amazing riders here in Adelaide, and I would say a few of them are up with the best around. Jack might not be the most skillful of any of the riders around. He doesn’t double bar spin gaps, he doesn’t tail whip bunny hop. But what he lacks in technical perfection, he makes up for with a great big pair of balls.
Not wanting to kill the guy I’m about to shoot, I generally want to be reassured by Jack that he feels comfortable enough to pull off whatever he’s about to attempt. Never once has he said he can’t do it. That said, it’s fair to say he’s hit the turf a few times, yet he tends to bounce back, ready to go again. You may have seen him in the last issue in the poster section performing a crazy 270 wall tap - well he actually bent a frame on that shoot when he attempted to go just that little bit bigger. Wasn’t the nicest crash to look at and he gave his ankle one hell of a twist. He just doesn’t know when to quit. Usually guys of his age tend to level off a bit when they know a crash can affect the ability to earn a living. Not Jack though. That’s white line fever for ya. Not only can Jack identify the city’s hot spots, but he’s also keen to hit them anywhere, anytime. One of the craziest shoots we did together started with crawling out of bed at 5.30am in the horrible wintry Adelaide weather. I had to drive through hail to get to the spot, thinking the whole way that Jack would be calling me soon to say “shoots off dude, can‘t ride in this stuff”.
That call didn’t come. Instead I got a text saying that he was super pumped and ready to rock. Ridiculous I thought, but I wasn‘t that surprised. I get to the location knowing that there’d be some fence scaling was involved (I hope this article doesn’t result in prosecution) and found Mr Hyde standing next to a 9ft barbed wire fence. He’d even brought the back door mat for a more comfortable fence jump. A nice touch. So after getting over the first hurdle, we find the usually empty pipe storage section quite lively, with workers running around like madmen. Jack decides that workers 50m away isn’t much of a problem, so I roll with it and start to set up for the shoot. Jack kicks off like his usual self throwing straight into the big lines. There’s a lot of trial and error in his riding. If he falls it usually means he has gone a tad too big. So we get shooting while the skies are clear and nail a few banger shots with Jack going bigger than expected. Then the clouds gather again, the sky darkens and bang, down it comes. Now to make matters worse, we spot one of the workers just a few metres away from Jack, not yet aware we’re there. Nearly busted, but not quite.
We continue to reel off a few more frames while the worker dude shifts some gear, but when a second bloke makes his way over to see what’s happening in the pipe, we decide to pack up quick smart and haul ass. Now we’re busted. But thankfully no cops, no prosecution, no worries. Another quick jump back over the barbed fence and we were clear. In all the fuss, Jack still remembered to bring home the doormat as well. When asked about sponsorship, Jack isn’t exactly stoked by the idea. The prospect of pressure riding is not what he’s after. He rides for fun and thinks that the added pressure of companies needing results or exposure isn’t ideal. But, if he was to be able to ride among the best riders in Oz and overseas, he would jump at the chance. A couple of years ago he rode with freak American, Aaron Chase, in Adelaide, and puts it up there with one of the best riding thrills of his life. To ride alongside someone of Chase’s calibre gave him a totally new take of viewing lines and tackling new sites. Like Chase, Jack can see himself shredding new landscapes in the future, that will take him away from the urban scene where he’s comfortable. South Australia has some of the most magnificent outback and rural scenery in this vast continent of ours, and Jack, in his effort to continually scale new heights, wants a piece of that too. Shoots to come might start to involve a shovel, a quarter pipe and a mountainous backdrop. Maybe stay tuned for that. Some of you reading this might be turning through the pages on a Friday afternoon. Maybe [R]evo’s half hidden under the ‘Financial Review’. Check out the time, it’s nearly five. Go on, unleash the Mr Hyde in you…
TOP// Somehow you canâ€™t see a house in this shot. Once in the middle on nowhere now in the middle of the urban sprawl. Rykie 360s out of the drain. ABOVE//Cory hits the gap easy as. ABOVE THAT RIGHT//T-Rose was the only one big enough to master this thing.
DVD reviews and the soul riders
F1RST Backlash Productions 1800 799 899 Following multiple story lines, Clay Porter’s latest release, F1RST documents the 2007 World Cup Series and World Championships. It’s a unique take on the standard MTB film format, with more rider interviews than actual race footage. It has a narrator. Personally I think the whole thing really works. As a rider I enjoyed it but perhaps even more importantly, I think this would be an awesome vid for an outsider to watch to understand how MTB racing at the highest levels works. Don’t fret, the riding footage that is featured is all top shelf quality and it’s been superbly shot. RATING 9/10
Stars & Bars Backlash Productions 1800 799 899 Stars & Bars sets out to cover each and every round of the ’07 American National Series, from the Sea Otter Classic opening race, right through to Snowmass. Each race has been well filmed and has a slightly different ‘look’ than the other. In addition to the race footage there’s also half a dozen or so solo rider sections thrown in for good measure. But don’t be expecting Peaty or Rennie or any of those guys. Nope, the solo sections are exclusively for slightly lesser know Amercian riders such as Cole Bangert, Luke Strobel, and their Jr National Champ, JD Swanguen. All in all not a bad movie, but not a great one either. RATING 6/10
TIA Backlash Productions 1800 799 899 There’s a feature on the making of TIA early in this issue, but we figured it’d still be worth reviewing it never the less. This Aussie film is made up entirely of solo rider sections, featuring pretty much every single Aussie racer that’s done anything in the past few years. So all the regulars such as Sam Hill, Nathan Rennie and Chris Kovarik get a run, as well as a bunch of up and coming Jr riders such as Rhys Willemse. At well over an hour in running time, TIA sure is long. Worthy of adding to your collection for sure. RATING 8/10
Evermore Backlash Productions 1800 799 899 From the second you push play, this film has a very European feel to it. By that I mean it’s a little bit quirky, both in style and sound. It features a bunch of street riding, trails sessioning and some DH is thrown in for good measure. To be honest Evermore was a little disappointing. After reading the rider line-up on the back cover, ‘Timo Pritzel, Eric Porter and Greg Minnaar’ I really thought I’d be in for a treat, but unfortunately it just kind of dragged. RATING 3/10
End Search Backlash Productions 1800 799 899 Made by Josh Harrington, a sick rider in his own right, this film is an absolute banger. Unlike a lot of BMX flicks these days, End Search, isn’t stuck in just one riding style. It features a solid mix up of street, park, trails and rails. Filmed at some sick locations around the globe such as Brazil and Mexico, there’s even a heap of footage shot right here in Australia – nice. Obviously Harrington’s got his own section, but for me the 2 standout parts were Rob Darden and Aussie ripper Dave Dillewaard. RATING 8/10
KNOWLEDGE 106 TECH Get down and dirty with Rick Boyer
Tech Q&A ‘Grab some cable ties, a roll of gaffa tape, a six pack of Bundys and a hammer’. All right now we’re ready lets go and sink our teeth into this lot of troublesome tech questions. Take into consideration that free advice is not always good advice and that one test is worth one thousand expert opinions. Send your questions to Rick Boyer at email@example.com
Bent? How can you tell if your steerer tube is bent? I sometimes look at my bike and think that the forks look pretty racked out, but I’m not sure if that’s how they always have been. Do steerer tubes bend, or do they just snap in half? Thanks mate. Brett McCausland QLD The best way to check is to look at your lower headset cup and see if it’s sitting straight in your frame, then check the angle that your headset race is sitting at in relation to your lower cup and the frame steerer tube itself. Now this is all visual and should in no way be considered an effective test. Best get a professional to look at it to do a professional inspection. Sometimes you may see a visual illusion that your forks are raked out, and this is true, because your front wheel usually sits in front of the centre of your steerer tube, this offset can often come at the crown or most likely down a the drop outs. If you have been flat landing and casing jumps, then the chances are that your forks are bent. Steerers do bend and yes they then snap, sometimes not in that order. It is generally from the result of misuse and abuse and not covered by manufacturers warranty either.
26 versus 24 I have a Kona hardtail at the moment with 26” wheels and I’m thinking about changing to 24” wheels. I’ve ridden my friend’s bikes that have them and they feel better for the park/street riding that I do. Can I just change the rims and keep the hubs I have now, or am I up for new wheels? I’m on a budget (a tight one at that) so any advice or brands would be great thanks. How much do you think it’ll cost me all up please? Josh McQueen via email If you have discs, yes, you can change wheels, either complete new wheels or just re-lace new rims onto your existing hubs. BUT and there is a but, it will lower the geometry of your bike making your cranks lower to the ground. Depending on how high your bottom bracket height is to start with, it may lower your bike to an un-rideable height making your cranks hit the ground all the time. Try a 20” BMX and you’ll be surprised at how much better that feels in the skate park than a 26” or even 24” – but you didn’t hear that from me! It sounds like its going to cost you more than it’s worth and more than you have ready to spend.
A question of width? I ride downhill and I run a 2.35” tyre at the back and a 2.5” up front. Are there any benefits to this set-up or would it feel the same (and roll the same) if I ran both ends at 2.5”? Kris Brown via email. This is a response that is going to take some testing on your part. I will tell you that a skinnier tyre will roll faster, yes. But you may also sacrifice traction. Both of these considerations can be negligible and your decision will tend to be based on personal preference. However the advantage would be running a skinnier tyre on a flat pedally track, and a wider tyre on a steeper more demanding track. Rolling resistance is not always limited to tyre bag size or width, it can also be helped or hindered by the tread pattern. This again comes back to personal preference of tyre choice. I have been running 2.5 front and rear for a few years and have not deviated from that. It is something that I have been comfortable with and gotten used to. High Rollers are my tyre of choice, but everyone will tell you something different. As I’ve said before tyre pressure can also have a big affect on tyre
performance as well as different terrains.
Hydro spinarooni? Have you seen or heard anything about those hydraulic gyro’s for mountain bikes? Can we get them in Australia do you know and if so through who? I ride heaps of park and think it would be great to be able to run one on my hardtail. I’ve been trying bar spins for ages and I think running a gyro might make it easier. What do you think? Sam Clarkson Townsville QLD My first thought is to keep your cables long enough to do a couple of bar spins and you can run your front one through a BMX star fangled nut and bolt. But pay attention to how many spins you can go one way, or before you start your run ‘load up’ your cables by spinning the bars one revolution the opposite way to what you’d throw your bars whilst riding, that way it’s a bit safer if you over rotate and you know how many spins you have up your sleeve. The most popular hydro gyro seems to be a ‘Trixer’. I’m not sure if anyone here on our remote island is bringing them in yet. I think Google is your best friend in this case.
Never FOrget the patch Does anyone patch tubes anymore? I’ve been out of the bicycle loop for about a decade or so now, but when I went down to my LBS the other day to grab a patch kit, the kid behind the counter laughed at me? Has something changed and he’s actually got a point or should I smack the little fella out? Kevin Childs via email. Give the kid a good old closed fist slap for me just to teach him some respect. Some people are still patching tubes, but no one really patches tubes these days unless it’s in an emergency. It’s always good to have a patch kit handy out on the trail or in your tool box. I prefer the convenience of a brand new tube fresh from the silver packet.
The wheel deal I’ve built a few now but every time I build one it shits me no end how I always seem to struggle getting the nipples through the holes without falling out and sometimes even going inside the rim... Would you have any tips on lacing wheels, or just getting the damn nipples in easier? Wayne Thomson West Parramatta Practice makes perfect as the wise ones keep telling me. There are a couple of tools that will make life easier. The first is a screwdriver that wedges the nipples onto the end of it, so you can feed it through your rim and wind it onto the spoke without any fuss. If you are after a budget solution, take a spoke and wind a nipple on it in the normal fashion. Wind it on as far as it goes and you should have a few mm’s of spoke thread poking out. Next take a nipple and put it on back wards on the exposed threaded part of the spoke. It should only be on a few threads allowing it to be held in place until you place it through the rim and wind onto the desired spoke.
Hang up I bent my hanger the other day, and managed to tweak it back with a shifter. It’s pretty much perfectly straight again now, but is it dangerous to ride? It’s on my XC/ trail bike. Do you know if you can buy replacement hangers for Norco’s easily? James Herron Perth It should be fine for a while, the first bend is usually OK, it’s the subsequent bends
Rick Boyer and [R]evolution will not be held personally or liably responsible in any way or form for the information contained herein, whether it be misguided, dodgy, uninformative or slanderous!
THE SSXL FRAME
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TESTS 108 BIKE It’s a dirty job but someones gotta do it...
Norco Six One Norco’s Six range recieved a big tweak for 2008, and none moreso that the top of the line Six One. Built to handle nearly every genre of MTB in one package, it’s a worthy contender.
VITAL STATS FRAME Hydraformed Alloy FORK Marzocchi 66 ATA BRAKE Hayes Stroker Trail RRP $4449 BROWSE www.norco.com CONTACT Sportz Australia 03 9584 5300
At Local Government election time your letter box gets jam packed with propaganda from the eager competing candidates, trying to let you know how much better they are than your current Mayor, and how they’re as excited as the late Big Kev about the ins and outs of your suburb. While fighting for the legalisation of my local trails I found myself volunteering to do a large scale letter box drop for a bike friendly Council candidate. After 3 hours on foot with my dog no longer being able to piss at every letter box, I was less than half way through the drop and little Hamish was desperately searching for water so he could get back to marking his territory. There had to be a better way. So with a hydration pack full of pamphlets reversed onto my front, I hopped aboard the Norco Six One and with ease and efficiency had the rest of my suburb’s letter boxes full of insight toward mountain bike friendly politics within an hour. The start-stop, tightly twisting, balance oriented letter box drop reminded me of negotiating some of Vancouver B.C.’s traditional North Shore trails – Norco’s testing ground - and the kind of riding that their bikes have always been known to excel at. Considering current trends in mountain bike trails and riding, where speed, style and fluidity are taking precedence over head-slapping wheelie hucks, is Norco’s Six One on par with the new school of mountain biking? At another level, with the variability of riding disciplines and the never ending search for a ‘do-everything-bike’, will the Six One successfully stand up to Norco’s confidently all-inclusive category description of ‘all mountain freeride lite’? Norco has put a lot of thought into the details of their 2008 product line and the 166mm travel Six has also had its fair share of design brilliance, practicality and wank factor. The Six One features full length, neat cable routing which keeps the shifting sweet for a long time. A Sram power-link allows tool-free chain removal for cleaning and repairs, and a rear 135mm Maxle provides a very stiff rear end with the easiest wheel removal possible. The double ring Black Spire chain guide provides a gearing range to climb the steepest ascents yet bomb down ragged DH runs without dropping your chain. However, most Aussie tracks don’t require such low gearing as our mates on Vancouver’s North Shore, but luckily the guide could work with a 26-36 combo if you found the stock 22-32 couldn’t satisfy your need for speed. Norco have used a
fluid-forming frenzy of unique tube shapes to give both a great strength-to-weight ratio and provide clearance from the wide Marzocchi 66 crown allowing x-up, bar spin and tail-whip potential, almost. The front derailleur cable also requires simple re-routing to prevent it catching on the ATA travel adjustment knob. The colour scheme and graphics are class, with white and gold being the main ingredients. They are artistically distributed over the frame, custom fork decals, grips, brakes, saddle and pedals (yes, white and gold DMR magnesium V12s). Perhaps for some, the individual gold spoke per wheel is where things verge on pimped out gangsta bling. The great parts spec, functional design and good looks aside, how does this thing ride? With the fork all the way down at 140mm travel, saddle right up at minimum insertion and pro-pedal on max, you’re on an all-mountain bike that gets up pretty much any hill you point it at, though often resorting to the granny ring. The slack geometry does put your weight at the wrong end of the bike for efficient climbing but after 17 half turns of the ATA dial to bring the Bomber 66 up to 180mm travel, this bike is now a descending machine. As soon as you point the Six One downhill it inspires confidence. Propelling this sub 16kg bike along an opening sprint of a local DH track requires little effort from your legs, and once at speed the relatively short travel combined with the overall light weight allows the bike to be jumped, bunny-hopped and manoeuvred over and around obstacles with ease. When the going gets hectic and you’re more concerned about staying upright than stylish line choice, the Six still doesn’t let you down. The Marzocchi 66 ATA matched with the FSR driven Fox DHX Air 5.0 feels perfectly balanced and fully active through the roughest of rock gardens. The suspension on this bike can be dialled in to anyone’s individual preferences but does take some time and knowhow. When getting your style on, the Six One comes to the party as well. Having a short rear end this bike sits and stays in manuals and loves to be thrown around in the air. If you’re as ballsy as Norco’s Ben Boyko, this would be the ideal bike to 360 off 30ft cliffs. All in all, Norco is all over the current status of radically inclined mountain biking and when it comes to a bike that can ride up any hill, descend with the big boys, style down a slope and handle the odd letter box drop, the Norco Six One is a very hard to beat do-everything bike. [Dave Musgrove]
TESTS 110 BIKE It’s a dirty job but someones gotta do it...
Chumba F5 Downhill Chumba started hand making bikes back in ’93 purely so they could go racing. So it’s no great surprise that 15 years down the track they’re still racing and perfecting their race machines. Enter the F5 frame...
VITAL STATS FRAME 6061 T-6 Aluminum FORK Fox 40 RRP $3900 (frame only w/floating disc) BROWSE www.chumbaracing.com CONTACT Plush Rides 0431 840 861
The F5 is their thoroughbred DH sled. In essence the frame as it appears is a ‘mark 5 generation’ which ultimately means Chumba have been relentlessly tweaking, testing and refining the design for the best part of a decade. I think this really shows upon examination of the F5’s frame. Every little feature seems to have a reason and a place, you just get a very strong sense that the Chumba hasn’t just been carelessly spat out of some Asian factory in time for Interbike. Its welds are fat, its gussets are huge and its CNC markings are prominent and proud. You get the distinct feeling that Chumba wants to show off its hand build qualities rather than hide them away under a coat of paint like most other manufactures tend to these days. It’s important to note that this is only a frame test. Plush Rides do offer the F5 as a complete bike, but our test rig is very much a custom build. In fact there was a delay in getting the bike down to us, because James Maltman had to steer it to victory in the last QLD State race. It’s a nice feeling pulling a bike out knowing that it’s already won races. Maltman is a little vertically challenged, so I had to spend a few moments altering his set-up to fit myself. A few headset spaces and a little adjusting here and there and our size ‘M’ test bike was ready to roll. All that was needed after that was a quick check of the suspension and a blap of air in the tyres. The Fox DHX rear shock came with a 300pound spring which seemed to suit my 70kg arse right out of the box. As for setting up the forks, a few clicks of compression and the 40’s were feeling like butter. The heart and sole of the F5 is its motocross style rear linkage. Now from a conventional mindset you’d be right in thinking it’s a single pivot bike, and since the pivot sits right down next to the bottom bracket it would have to pedal like shit. And back years ago when a few companies began playing with this frame design, they all did just that. Pedalled like total crap. Back then the rear shocks were simply bolted directly between swing arms to the frames and no-one was experimenting with adding a linkage into the mix. No one except for Chumba that is. Chumba believed in this single bar single pivot design concept and after years of R&D they’ve managed to create a linkage system that overcomes those previous pedalling issues. In fact having taken the bike out for several days of runs, I’d say what they’ve got here is simply genius. From the very first run the F5’s 8.5 inches of rear travel felt near bottomless. You also get the feeling that the bike has quite a long wheelbase. The other thing you notice straight away is how relaxed the cockpit is. Its 65 degree head angle is certainly on the
lazy side of things and it really feels that way when you’re steering around corners. But that’s the way this bike has been designed. It wants you to lay it over to get it to turn, not stay upright and twist the bars. From the get go you really feel that the F5 has been designed to go fast and hold speed down a race track, pure and simple. After that first run as I waited for the transport to arrive, I decided to take a closer look at the F5’s frame. Personally I straight up love the colour. And let me tell you when the sun hits it, the metallic sparkle gets set off and it looks even sicker! I’m not sure of its official name, but I’ve decided it’s a ‘goblin green’. Underneath the paint lays a custom set of 6061 T-6 tubes, which as I’ve already brushed on, are held together and reinforced with a series of massive gussets (notably at the headtube junction and shock mount). To give a greater welding area for the down and top tube. Chumba have opted for a 1.5” steerer tube. But here’s the sneaky bit, it’s a 1.5” outer, but the actual headset is a 1.1/8” and there’s no reducer cups… very tricky. A wide 83mm bottom bracket adds to the bikes overall rigidity. The beefy swing arm pivots on 2 huge bearings. Our test bikes’ drive side swing arm was heavily wrapped in rubber to help alleviate chain slap noise. It did a good job too, but I’d hate to think how loud the ride would be minus that buffer. Back to riding. The F5’s low centre of gravity (14.6” bb standing still) and super plush rear end literally ate up the two rock gardens of my local track. I usually come into those sections a little cautious, scrubbing speed and then try and stay light to float over the rocks. But not on the Chumba. Instead I found myself coming in quite hot and just pointing and shooting the thing in the right direction. Not floating, no speed scrubbing. The only down side to this style of riding, as I learnt the hard way, is that you become much more susceptible to getting flats. I went through 2 tubes during the first day of shuttles. Another point that stood out in my mind is the bikes floating rear brake, (the F5 comes with the option of a fixed brake if you prefer). There’s no question that a floating brake eliminates brake jack. Under heavy braking I felt this enabled the wheels to stay grounded more so than usual, and also that my back end was more even and parallel to the front wheel as the suspension loaded up. To wrap up I’d say the F5 deserves a good look at next time you’re in the hunt for a new race machine. It’s an incredibly well refined design that’s been superbly detailed and crafted. It’s a bike that is going to be much more at home on high speed tracks such as Thredbo, rather than hucked off tight northshore with slow twists and turns. [JT]
TESTS 112 BIKE It’s a dirty job but someones gotta do it...
Eastern Slash 5 Coil Eastern’s single pivot Slash 5 Coil has made it’s way into a second year of action with virtually no changes to the frame. This is most likely due to it filling a niche in the single pivot market; that being an affordable one. Now, it ain’t all that high tech, linkage riddled or to some even that sexy, but at this end of the dualy market, it’s a standout frame.
VITAL STATS FRAME Eastern Slash w/Ellsworth Atlas FORK RockShox Domain 302 150mm BRAKE 8” Avid Juicy Threes RRP $2599 BROWSE www.eastern26.com CONTACT www.dirtworks.com.au
First things first, this bike is at the budget end of the dual suspension spectrum. Or to put it in a better light, this the ground zero that a ‘proper’ dual suspension bike should start at. Anyway, take what comes after this with that in mind. In a nutshell, the Slash is based around the Ellsworth licensed and built Atlas rear end, only instead of the old version the shock mount/tower is now forged and a hell of a lot stronger. I had to do some searching to find the lowdown on the Atlas deal, (as Ellsworth have gone 100% linkage these days...) it’s Anti-Torsion, Lower forward pivot, Active Suspension. The Anti-Torsion being the solid swingarm pivot and big bearing set up that pretty much eliminates any torsional movement. The Lower forward pivot is where the pivot is located, which nails what Ellsworth feels is the ultimate placement for overall pedaling efficiency and big hit compliance. And the Active Suspension refers, well, to the fact that the suspension is active throughout all types of riding. Which to anyone that knows single pivots, will know that this is a downside of the design, so go figure... Regardless of capital letters and long winded explanations, single pivots work and are dead reliable, plus they usually jump well. Which were all probably pre-requisites from the BMX based company. The front end is much more industrial looking, heavily gusseted, with intersected big diameter tubing which is in stark contrast to that sleek handcrafted rear. The X-Fusion Vector RPV shock brings the ying and yang together. It’s a pretty straight forward shock, with factory set compression and externally adjustable rebound, which is about all I can say about it. Hopefully there’ll be aftermarket support here, as you really need to get the correct spring weight on the bike when you buy it. Taking up front end hit duties are the 150mm RockShox Domain 302 forks with U turn to dial ‘em to your preferred height and Juicy Threes grab 8 inch rotors which should take care of most peoples braking needs. These are bombproof stoppers and a great addition to the build. Other than that, the highlights are the sweet Eastern Deceptikon stem and Stealth cranks amongst a smattering of name and non brand parts that make a whole.
So, a 5inch, beefed up single pivot bike, whats it aimed at I hear you ask? Well, pretty much the Slash 5 is most at home in rough, technical predominately downward oriented trails. Throw in some jumps and drops and you’ve pretty much nailed it. That said, the Slash in Air shock form has been spotted racing some of the less BMX track like Fourcross and dual slalom events around the world, so it is a versatile beast. It ain’t a bad pedaller, although with only a 32T on the front, don’t go expecting to make it up any pinch climbs, but it does reward the hardarse on a climb if you’re prepared to work. Just as much as it’ll make you smile cranking it hard towards your choice of gap, drop or set of doubles. It accelerates well, takes hard hits with ease and inspires a nice level of confidence. It’s definitely better at speed in technical stuff. You will get some feedback from pedaling, some of which is useful once in the swing of a single pivot ride, but most of it comes down to that non tune-able shock. The stiffness built into the sweet rear end is a big plus, and you’ll feel it when smashing through rougher terrain or when landing big whipped out transfers. Don’t be surprised if it feels hardtail-esque in terms of keeping itself straight under sideways duress. But then again this sums up Easterns entry into the MTB world: built BMX tough and straight up fun... Ultimately, the Slash 5 Coil is a bike full of compromises if it were to be aimed at specific riding styles. But as an all rounder on the rough end of the MTB spectrum crossing weekend shuttles, dh runs, dirt jumps, this new slopestyle phenomenon (that kinda doesn’t exist out here yet), it’s a capable all rounder perfect for the thrasher on a budget. The ‘no frills’ single pivot set up will provide hassle free riding for ages (unlike many linkage driven bikes at this price point) and is a much cheaper option than your typical Santa Cruz or Orange single. Of course, that rear shock would be the first thing in the budget minded spec to go, but blow it first then look at the offerings from the big names. Other than that, it’s a hella fun bike to smash up on any given Sunday. [Holmes]
PRODUCTS 114 NEW All the stuff you need?
New Products For the newest in new, look no further.... Photos by Tony Nolan
GOPRO HERO CAMERA These micro suckers come in 3 kit options; Motorsports Hero, Ride Hero and Helmet Hero. You get the same camera in each, but different mounting hardware depending on where you want to ﬁlm from. Helmet mount, bar mount, frame mount, windscreen mount, etc. With 3 mega pixels worth of quality and 56 minutes of record time, these mini micro video cameras are seriously shit hot. Did we mention that they’ve water proof to a hundred feet and that they even take still photos? Contact www.goprocamera.com
RACEFACE CRANKS Did you know that Dirt Works now exclusively distribute Race Face here in Oz? They sure do and they’re ﬁrst supplies of stock have just landed at their warehouse. Keen for some sweet new cranks like these bad boys right here? Well you’d better get onto Dirt Works quick smart then, hadn’t you!
FIZIK ZEAK SADDLE Did you know this ‘Zeak’ saddle features a positioning system that naturally mirrors the changing terrain and pitch of a trail, placing the riders weight in the ideal position at all times? That sounds pretty special now doesn’t it! We can also tell you that you can get this sucker with either 7mm or 8mm rails, and there’s one waiting for you down at your local bike shop right this very second! Contact www.ﬁzik.it
DMR V8 PEDALS
PINSTRIPE PADS Rick Boyer has just launched his own brand of knee pads called, Pinstripe. We’d been hearing about them being in the pipeline for quite a while, and so it was awesome to ﬁnally check them out in the ﬂesh. Man, these are comfortable too. They kind of look and feel like a cross between all our favorite pads on the market, rolled into one. Guess that’s exactly what Rick would have been trying to achieve though, eh!? At less than $70 we recommend you get your arse down to your local bike shop and order a set today.
The saying, “they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth,” often refers to someone that is ﬁlthy bloody rich and only ever has the best of everything. So it’s hardly surprising that DMR have recently released their incredibly popular V8 pedals in the incredibly popular limited edition colour, chrome, to cater for those that only use the very best! Contact www.dmrbikes.com
Contact 0409 717 009 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ROYAL RACING 09 KIT When Derek from Sportz Australia mentioned he had just received their Royal Racing samples for next year’s range, we told him we’d kidnap his dog, ‘Bones’ unless he sent us up a set to check out. Luckily for ‘Bones’ Derek did as we asked and here are the results. Too early for RRP’s, but we can tell you they feel awesome and just like this year’s range, they weigh virtually nothing. Contact www.royalracing.com
PRODUCTS 116 NEW All the stuff you need?
FOX DHX AIR And so the long winded argument continues; will air shocks ever replace coil shocks on DH bikes? We don’t know. We don’t even really care to be honest! What we do know is that we were recently invited along to Netti Atom’s new season Fox Suspension launch and we were totally blown away at how insanely trick everything in the range is! Contact www.foxracingshocks.com
661 GLOVES “Simply everyone is running these overseas at the moment, don’t you know darling?” Eh? judging by the hoards of riders that ﬂooded into town to race the Stromlo WC, we’d probably have to agree they are. Certainly on the minimal side, just how a good glove should be, these 661 suckers come in 3 colour ways and cheap enough to buy using the coins laying on the ﬂoor of your car. Contact www.sixsixone.com
FRO NECK BRACE We’re starting to see more and more riders choosing to run these neck protection braces at the races (wow, that rhymes) and for a pretty simple reason too, to decrease the chance of putting themselves in a wheelchair if they crash and land on their head. Simple, eh. These FRO braces look pretty good, ﬁt comfortably and at $500 they’re a bunch cheaper than a lot of the others out there. Contact www.lustyindustries.com
SOMBRIO JERSEY Yet another stylin’ offering from the massive Sombrio range. Is it to your taste? Regardless, we can guarantee you Sombrio will have at least a dozen other colour ways and styles that are sure to make you stoked… See for yourself today. Contact www.sombriocartel.com
PROFILE 118LOW The new generation
Zac Lewis Originally from the jungle strangled mountains of North Queensland, 16 year old Zac Lewis moved from Cairns to Torquay’s famous surf coast in Victoria. The move helped him train in the colder conditions and live with his father, Wade Lewis, Quicksilver’s design guru and one of Australia’s first freestyle mountain bikers. Surrounded by other up and coming pinners like Ayden Wyber and Ryan De La Rue, Zac spends his time in the wet and greasy trails of the massive Otway ranges, Mike Kidds amazing downhill park in Appolo Bay and stunning surf coast beaches. Aiming to compete in the Victorian and National Series, Zac has the full support of the famous Torquay bike shop TCF and FELT bikes, and is surrounded by the surf industry, including pro surfers, shapers and photographers who are now moving into the mountain bike scene. Zac’s dad Wade convinced world famous surf photographer Ryan Haywood, to come shoot some mountain bike photos, a first for Ryan, and the result was simply amazing. There’ll be more of both next issue!
PROFILE 120 LOW The new generation
Ryan Hunt Ryan Hunt is one of those kids that just does not stop smiling or joking around. Even after breaking his arm in the first practice session on the first day of the 2008 National Championships at Mt Stromlo he was smiling and making the most of it. He had one of those stupid crashes that we all have and normally get up from fine. This time he had broken his arm and was not going to ride his bike for a good few weeks. I first got to know Ryan during the 2007 NSW state series races when he was always hanging around and joking. Then I found out what he was really like during the 07/08 National series 4X races. He always made himself at home in our tent, always sat in my seat, used our eski to keep his stuff cold and regularly helped him self to all the good food and drinks. Used our tools and helped himself to what ever he wanted. Recovering from his broken arm was spent riding his bike practicing his gate starts for 4X. He switches on and concentrates hard when required. Ryan’s recent race results show what concentration and hard work can deliver. Taking it to the BMX boys at 4X winning the U19 National Series in his first session in 19s, then going to NZ for Oceana’s and racing Elite Men finishing 3rd and top Aussie. Ryan now has enough UCI points to race the World Cup this year and is an outside chance at making the World team as well. It would be great to see one of our young home grown MTB boys taking it to the world at 4X races, let’s see if Ryan can. [Jeff Hughs]
PROFILE 122 LOW The new generation //siMOn FrenCH
Chris Neil There’s a lot of ways to get noticed on a bike, by riding just plain flat out, by throwing your arms and legs around in the air, or with just plain, relaxed style. For people who have been in the scene for a while, it is often the smooth relaxed style of riding which most appeals. Chris is a rider who certainly fits into the latter category. A regular in the local dirt jumping scene, Chris divides his time between his young family, and riding and digging the local trails. There is no big “bag of tricks” with Chris, but there sure is a massive “bag of style”. Riding silently through the trails throwing lazy flatties and whips, Chris quietly proves the point that there is a lot to be said for the old school of smooth, stylish riding. No bragging, no loud outfits, skinny jeans, or snot rag in the back pocket, just 100% quality riding… [Simon French]
It goes like this...
DVD’s are one of the most important factors in the constant progression of riding as we know it. And if it’s raining outside or you got broke off on some gap, it’s the only thing that’ll get you through time off a bike. evolutions DVD Direct mail order not only cuts the cost of DVD’s but we send ‘em straight to your door! Stoked.
Prices as listed INCLUDING free postage in Australia!
Seasons is a film that follows seven of the worlds top mountain bikers through the course of four seasons of one year. The film explores what it means to be a full time rider as told through the lives of downhill racers, slopestyle competitors, and big mountain freeriders. The main riders in the film are: Darren Berrecloth, Matt Hunter, Cam McCaul, Steve Peat, Andrew Shandro, Steve Smith, and Thomas Vanderham.
HOW ABOUT IT $38.95
One of the finest DVD’s to ever come out of New Zealand. This double disc feature will keep everyone happy, no matter what kind of riding you’re into. One disc is loaded with race footage from the NZ national season and the second DVD is filled to the brim with quality freeride action featuring some stunning locations and killer riders.
The makers of the critically acclaimed Chain Reaction series present Tricktionary, a street orientated free-ride fundamentals DVD starring Aaron Chase and Jeff Lenosky.Instructional MTB films have been the best selling genre within MTB over the last few years, but Tricktionary will be the first film to provide instruction in urban based riding, currently the fastest growing area of the sport.The first of a trilogy of films, Tricktionary provides a grounding in the fundamentals of freeride like how to do a bar spin, how do you bunny hop, all the basic tricks.
NEW WORLD DISORDER 8 $38.95
Another wicked annual addition from the New World stables. 16 of the planet’s best freeride mountain bikers will battle it out for the title of Ultimate Freeride Champion! New World Disorder 8 “Smack Down” promises to be just that, a severe throw down of the sickest moves in the business
BANG BANG $38.95
Take a behind the scenes look at two of freeride mountain biking’s top athletes. Follow their roller coaster ride of ups and downs that make up the day to day lives of traveling, riding, competing and mayhem. Aaron Chase and Cameron McCaul lead you on an unpredictable journey throughout Europe for the biggest contest series in freeriding.
RIDE LIKE A PRO $38.95
Fluidride: Like a Pro teaches you to ride your bike better by breaking down complex movements into an easily understandable format. A mix of discussion, theory, physics, and actual lessons, Fluidride: Like A Pro tackles each section from a variety of angles with excellent trail riding and racing examples to illustrate technique. Intended for riders of all off road disciplines from Novice to Expert.
EARTHED 5 $38.95
With every top rider pushing harder and faster than ever before, The Law of Fives captures each aspect of this incredible ‘07 race season, but when the clock has stopped running the hungry young guns keep pushing the limits just for the camera, and in a last effort to understand Sam Hill’s incredible skill he is put to the test on the 1:04 Dirt Magazine private track.
Aaron Chase’s much anticipated sequel to his first DVD ‘Killing time’ is here and serves up a solid helping of the latest in urban moves and silliness. Aaron and his mates have kind’a always been are the forefront of the whole, street hardtail movement, and they’re certainly not backing down. This DVD has a bunch of crazy footage, runs for a long time and is tied together with a pretty worthy sound track indeed.
Probably the most anticipated DVD of the year, Grounded shows what the Etnies team has been up to since Forward. Featuring all the team riders you would expect including Taj, Joe Rich, Garrett Byrnes, Rooftop, Sergio Layos, Josh Stricker, Jamie Bestwick and Morgan Wade, as well as locations from all over the world, this DVD doesn’t disappoint. You also get a 50 page book full of stories and art from the team as part of the deal.
dvddirect dvd direct The latest and easily the best Ride video production since Thunder follows Dakota Roche, Chester Blacksmith, Darryl Tocco, Jared Washington, Mike Brennan, and Davey Watson through the making of a video part… Some banger sections and a good vibe make this DVD one for the winter months. Dakota Roche has skills. Serious.
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For Australian sales please mail a cheque to: Revolution Pty Ltd, PO BOX 498, Newtown, NSW 2042 NZ sales: Paypal the $ to email@example.com and email your details to the same address. Delivery MAY take UP TO 28 DAYS depending on stock.
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Please tick desired box SEASONS NWD8 HOW ABOUT IT BANG BANG TRICKTIONARY RIDE LIKE A PRO EARTHED 5 COUNTERPARTS INSIGHT GROUNDED
PROFILE 124LOW The new generation
South Australia Hi all, I am now writing the state check section so if you see me at a race or out on my bike feel free to come over and have a chat. A big thanks to Zoli who has been writing this section, he has moved on and no doubt you will continue to see him on the scene doing his part for mountain biking. Riding in SA is continuing to grow, not even winter is stopping the punters from getting out on the trails. A few events over the past months that have caught my eye include; JT Cycles has opened a new store at Elizabeth and Trak Cycles are now open in Mount Barker. Steve Marsh is back on a bike after his latest knee reconstruction, first race back and (equal) first place! Will Rischbieth in his first year out of Juniors made the Elite menâ€™s team for the World Championships in Val di Sole. He finished a very credible 40TH! Well done Will, talking to him and it was obvious the track was as crazy as it looked! The infamous Waterfall Gully downhill tracks, which are some of the steepest and technical tracks near Adelaide, could soon receive funding from the council. In its initial stages, the plan would include more trails for all abilities and help secure their long term future as a legal network of trails 15 minutes from the CBD. Will is now rocking it in Elite//Dan Peters
Still in the East, and Burnside Council is considering a proposal to build a new skate park in the area which would compliment City Sk8, keep an eye out for any development on this front. [Peter Karass]
ACT With the last World Cup in Australia being held in Cairns almost ten years ago the preparations in Canberra has been off the hook. The DH track there was not what most expected but by the end of the race, the spectators and riders alike were wondering when and where there would be another chance to ride or watch a Glen Jacobs made downhill course again in this country at World Cup level. Glen spent many years working for the UCI making World Cup Down Hill , XC and Dual Slalom tracks, along with helping start the 4x movement with Eric Carter. It is this experience that Glen has making tracks for the Worlds best together with the commitment from Corc and the ACT Government that has brought the glitz of a World Cup race back to Australia. The World Cup has put a lot of racing on the back burner here in the Braa, but we did manage to push out 2 races before the big week. Having had a race earmarked for Stromlo, a change had to be made because the track was still undergoing work for the big race. It was decided to move the race to the Burm Track which starts at the half way bridge on the DH track and then peels off to the left. This is perhaps one of the most popular and highly used tracks on Stromlo. Not being the hardest or highest technical track, most people opted to ride a hard tail or XC bike as a big DH bike would most certainly be a hindrance. As the word got out that the Burm Track was being used for a race, we saw a large mix of different riders attend the day. The winner on the day was Azza Bashford (on a hard tail), who has been stepping it up before he goes over to Europe to race next week. 2nd went to Chris Tucker and 3rd to Michael Andrews, great results for all of them. About a week before the World Cup a test race was held on what was to later be the confirmed track for the World Cup. Not a huge turnout for this even though there were a few Interstate faces such as Alex Swann, Troy Brosnan and Ryan Hunt. Elite was taken out by Ben Cory over Hamish (don’t need practice) Armstrong and Jamie (Baby Maker) Green. Even the Elite group was quite small and it was great to see what has become a regular site with the under 15 boys category being the biggest on the day by a large number. Only a few changes in the world of sponsored boys. Both Tim Eaton and Benji Nylen have left the Yeti Down Hill Team and moved over to the newly formed Banshee Bikes Team, with support from XXIV Imports, Industry Nine Wheels, Sram. Kenda and Straight-line Components it should prove to be a more organised and casual set up for the boys. Ben Cory has put together some great support for his new one man team BCMM Racing, Riding Commencal bikes once again, Smashing back Rock Star Energy Drink, Pimping Dragon optical, E13 chain guides and components, Intense tyre Systems, Manitou Suspension, Troy Lee Designs, Funn and race support from Shimano. With support from some of the big players let’s hope we see Ben overseas again racing World Cups with his Mate Rando. [Moshy]
Going down?//Dan Peters
New South Wales Right at the last second of going to print with this issue our ‘NSW State Checker’ dropped out, which kind of sucked. Luckily our little friend Josh Button had just sent us over a race report from the recent NSW State Champs, which just so happened to have been the biggest race that’s gone down over winter. So BAM, here’s Josh’s report! After flying into Sydney on Wednesday the 6th of August from 3.5 Months racing bikes, there was no time for rest as the following weekend I was back on the bike for the NSW State Downhill Championships. A short hello to my family, quick grease up for my Goose and it was off to Awaba. Awaba is located 2.5 hours north of Sydney, close to Newcastle. My Dad, my mate Dave and I drove up early Saturday morning. Set up a tarp, got a fire going, rego’d and I was off punching out some practice runs. The track here is pretty sick. Some sections were a little bit tricky, other sections were full blown out and dusty. It was so fun riding dust after 3 months of mud and roots overseas. My practice runs went sick, I did about 5 and was having so much fun! Towards the end of the day. One of the riders and good mates of mine ‘Brad Kelly’ Narrowly avoided hitting a B-line rider sending him 20 metres down the steep hill being thrown over massive rocks and giant logs. Around a 1-2 hour wait the Westpac rescue helicopter arrived and pulled poor Brad out. Practice was back on but I decided to call it as it was getting very dark. We got the fire cranking and my old man cooked up a wicked beef stew. A few good laughs and it was off to bed in the back of the Van. Sunday morning came and what a cold night it was. We built the fire back up and the bacon and eggs were sizzling. I went up for my first practice run and changed a few lines here and there and they felt great. I then did a second practice run and put in a bit of effort doing a race like run. I was riding sick and it was heaps of fun doing runs with my mates again. A few burgers for lunch and I got on the Bus for Qualifying. I wanted to do pretty good in Quali’s and stay up in the top 5. That I did. Qualifying 5th with a time of 3:45, and 5 seconds off top Qualifier Ricky Boyer. I went back to the pits and chilled out for a bit until I heard news that halfway through Elite mens Qualifying, someone had crashed really hard and broken both arms. Not being able to walk the rider out due to the gnarly terrain, once again the Westpac Helicopter came to the rescue. 2 hours later they announced that the race was going to continue so we went back up for finals. I was pretty confident at this race and felt I could put something good together. In finals I had a sick run. I pushed it in all places, got really wild in the rock garden, and just peaced it all together to the finish, putting as much horsepower down as I could. I came across the line with a 3:38.38. Six seconds faster than my qualifier and straight into the lead. The rest of the riders came down and I was able to hold onto the top box. I was really stoked to Win and was happier that my old man got to see me do it. My Mongoose was unstoppable all weekend and all my equipment worked perfect. Thanks heaps to Mongoose bikes and our Co-Sponsors for all their support. [Josh Button]
PROFILE 126 LOW The new generation
Tasmania as It’s been a pretty cold and wet winter down south, which traditionally means, harden up and go for it, or just crawl under a rock and wait it out. Thankfully not everyone takes the second option, so there is some news from down south this instalment. By the time you read this though, the days will be getting longer, and it will be time to get out of hibernation and get riding again. Since the last issue our state series and champs have been run and one, with a solid turn out at all events. At this stage no more races have been announced, though shuttle days have been organised at various locations every 2-4 weeks. So get along for a cheap shuttle, show your support, and racing will be alive again soon. See local website www.pedalbite. com for more info. The local club is severely lacking in volunteers to help at events, so if you’re willing to lend a hand email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll pass on your details. In trail news the Wavo Jump Park in the states south is seeing it’s final touches and will hopefully have had an official launch by the time you read this. The park incorporates a funky mix of trails and pump track putting a new twist on the old jump park format. The area has been revegetated, and a water supply is on the way, so the park will last the distance. There are a number of Tasmanian councils looking at mountain bike projects throughout the state, so things are only going to get better. The elusive Clarence City Council Mountain Bike Park has finally received official approval after 2 years of to and fro. Works are planned to begin in September, and should be wrapped up 4-6 weeks from commencement. To refresh your memories, the park will include, dirt jumps/pump track, 4X, dual slalom, downhill, XC, and a skills centre with some north shore style features. The ethos of the park is to provide one area where riders of all abilities can work on their skills, session, and socialise. From the main park area you will be able to view all the action taking place. The park will be the states largest, and will link various trails in the Meehan Ranges to provide one of the most comprehensive trail networks in the state. Thanks must go to Alderman Kay Mcfarlane and the team at Clarence for helping get the project off the ground. For more information on the park contact Simon at email@example.com Well that about wraps it up for this instalment. Till next time round, happy riding. [SImon Frnech] Rob//MarK brOWn
Western Australia Queensland Yo, the important stuff first. WA’s State champs are to be held down at Nannup on the 4th and 5th of October. This is one of Western Australia’s best DH venues, where we held our last national round. This track has it all fast, steep, rough and technical. In September we would have had our State round down at Wellington Mills. This round was saved by the hard work of PDMBC and PMBC working together to put on a round that otherwise would’ve been cancelled. This track is cool, with Sam Hill, Miikael Kinnunun and Glen Jacobs all having a hand in the design of this track over the years. The Goat Farm is coming along very well as a MTB area. With John Carney, the esteemed el President of PMBC assuring me the singage WILL be getting put in as you read this. And the design of the four cross track is a project in action with input from many keen DH enthusiasts. Check HYPERLINK “http://www.perthmtb. com”www.perthmtb.com to see the progress of this project and check out the design concepts as they get drawn up. The DH legs are well hardened up thanks a couple of cool races that also happen to be bloody push-ups. The first being Hi-way Cup at Golden Grove which was well worth the push, being one of the best race tracks of the year. A big thanks to Hi-way Cycles for putting on a great race, as always. PMBC also put on a different format race at Three Chillies Farm. The format was three different tracks with a timed run held on each track. We then added the three times together for an overall time. From this we held a top 50 shootout on one of the tracks. Yeah, this was a bloody push-up too! This year’s races have been awesomely well attended, with a huge contingent of youngen’s coming along. At times, there has been up to 29 U17 riders on the hill, as well as a solid crew of the U15’s. These young girls and guys have been determined, driven and showing some great results. It’s been a great year for the sport attracting new faces, along with parents and helpers that all contribute to make our race days run smooth and fun to be at. A big thanks to all those who have jumped in, offered to give a hand, and help make the DH race season the success it has been in 2008. We hope this level of support from our dedicated volunteers continues for many years. Throughout WA there are some exciting new projects beginning and in their early stages, we’ll keep you posted as they progress. [Paul Neve]
First up the Sunshine Series was held over 5 rounds in South East Queensland. For the first time in a while this race season had a new venue at Kandanga, word was it was a great little track and a good day for riding. Mick and Tracy Hannah were there to race and hang with the riders for the event. With some great racing being had over the 2 months probably the greatest disappointment of the series was Tim Manns failure, again after trying and coming so close last year, to carry Maltman off the top podium and try to dunk him in the nearby sewage dam. The little man can fight damn well and was a great way to end round 1 presentations. By the end of the series Elite men was won by Maltman on 353 points riding for Chumba Wumba bikes, second place was the Mr consistent Lindsay Klien 315pts with Jumping Jay Taylor third on 222pts. Liam Paiaro took out the junior series easily, and Jane Rutter was top of the points for Elite women. Numbers were strong throughout the series with 200 plus riders at each event. The bicycle industry and racing is definitely going strong here for DH and XC, thanks to big efforts from local shops such as the boys at For The Riders, Timmy and Tomac who just opened their second massive shop in Browns Plains in April. State Championships were held in Kenilworth by the Sunshine Coast. Massive props for making a continuous transport loop pulling 250 riders an hour up the hill and leaving no waiting in line all day. This made everyone super stoked to have 15 plus DH runs in a day. When it came down to racing Maltman pinned it to take out elite men with a 3.19, Lindsay second on 3.20 and Tam Murrell third for the day, a second back. Although Maltman just put together his DH steed the day before, young junior rider Liam Paiaro grabbed the fastest time of the day with a 3.18. So that’s a wrap for the season, look out for upcoming Qld 4x series and round 2 of the national series at Illinbah Gold Coast. [Shane Wode]
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PROFILE 128 LOW The new generation Chris Hinson gap to front wheel//siMOn betteriDGe
Where’s ya seat? The World Champs
Bored at work?
I’ve only just returned home after a few months away following some of the World Cup rounds and this year’s World Championships in Val Di Sole, Italy. I have to say the atmosphere and setting was incredible. The trials sections were placed a few km’s away from the other MTB disciplines in and around the streets of Malé. Seeing locals standing out on their balconies still in their dressing gowns sipping a macchiato whilst watching guys leap across a section comprised of kid’s cubby houses was definitely something else. Australia’s sole trials competitor was 19yo Nathan Mummery who flew over for the event especially and self funded I might add. After only 3 years in the sport, suffering from jetlag and bike problems Nathan did us proud and will be one to watch in the future. Canada’s James Barton went in as the hot favorite for the juniors and cleaned up with a 2nd in 26” and 3rd in 20”. Benito Ros topped the 20” podium for his 5th time proving he’s still the Spanish Spiderman. When it came time for 26” final, arguably the most popular of the finals, the heavens opened and the so called Valley of Sun became something quite the opposite. In one section riders were faced with a 1.8 metre high hook up a slippery wet tree stump. Belgian rider Kenny Belaey had a good crack and appeared to have it. But he slipped off and that combined with some dubious judging calls put him out of contention . Vincent Hermance (FRA) showed off his side hopping skills with a 140cm up to a slipper log in the driving rain. But it was his fellow Frenchman Giles Coustellier who eventually took the win. Being the only rider who managed to clear the section with the stump.
Your latest dose of trials web vids must include ‘Rowan Johns – FREE’. Hailing from Bristol in the UK Rowan is reinventing the wheel when it comes to street trials. He shows off his long list of stylish tricks and links a lot of them together with his super precise manuals and comes up with some very innovative riding. He even gives riding along thin bits of wire a go. While you’re at it have a gander at his previous vids - ‘Jump’ and ‘Dreams of Glass’ are also classics and ‘Toxic’ shows that he is human. [Simon Betteridge]
Australian National Series Round 2 and 3 of the National series were held on the same weekend giving riders more incentive to make the trip up to Queensland’s Mt Tambourine and Eagle Heights mountain resort. There was a large turnout but Columbian rider Patricio Escobar still managed to top the podium on both days followed closely by Andrew Dickey with Nathan Mummery hot on their heels.
[R]’s trials solutions Tyres & Tubes When choosing tyres the general consensus with trials seems to be a larger tyre at the rear (eg 2.5” wide with dual ply casing) and a smaller one (eg 2.0” wide with single ply casing) on the front to save you some weight. For riding natural terrain look for tyres with lots of tread pattern and a softer rubber compound. But if your riding is mainly urban you might want a harder compound so you get more life out of your tyre. You might have seen pics of trials riders landing on a rail or wall etc and seen the tyre compressing almost to the rim. It’s pretty common to run ridiculously low pressure (anywhere from about 12- 25psi) allowing the tyre to wrap around objects, giving you more surface area and a bit of bounce for preloading for moves . But it does come down to personal preference. Experiment a bit… if you’re getting lots of punctures from the rim pinching the tube on landing (also known as snakebites/pinch flats) or if the rim is folding off on spins etc it might be time to hit up the local service station for some more air).
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130 ENDTRODUCING Last time...
Gee Atherton The Englishman who threw a spanner in the works and dethroned our Sam Hill at the World Champs this year. At just 23 years of age Gee is one of the driving forces of ‘the new breed’ of racers coming through and changing the sport forever. No longer are racers just racers. Riders like Gee are pushing the envelope on all 26” fronts. Have you seen those photos of him flipping a massive road gap on his hardtail, for instance? Pure nuts. Riding for the mighty Commencal brand, Gee has one of the sickest looking bikes and kits out there and the riding style to match. So who better to wrap this issue up than the current wearer of the rainbow jersey, the Gee man…
Last time your sister beat you at something? Playing poker a few nights ago. I loose a lot of money to her. Last time you had to buy a bike part? An inner tube last winter. Last sticker you stuck on your helmet? 661 Last time you read the nutrition info on a food item? This morning to see if there is protein in a bottle of HP sauce. Last time you worked a legit 8 hour day? Canberra WC on Sunday Last time your brother beat you at something? Go karting in Mount St Anne Last mountain bike mag you bought? Decline in Whistler because I was on the front Last time you used an iron? I use it all the time Last time you borrowed something and never returned it? I nicked a RedBull hat off Kyle Straight a few months ago Last sponsor you got? Globe. Last person you talked to on the phone? Sam Wise Last time you wore a tie? On a date a couple months ago Last album you listened to? David Bowie: Best of Bowie Last time you impressed yourself? I hooked up a pretty hot girl in Whistler Last time you cried? Can’t remember Last memory you have of Australia? How lairy all the fans were Last trick you learnt? Rach taught me a card trick Last time you chickened out of riding something? In Utah during the winter Last time you saw a spider that scared you? I’m scared of any spider! Last time you got stitches? Laughing at a joke Last item you painted? Wall in my gym Last time you designed something? That is why I’ve got a smart brother… Last time you lit a fire? A massive bonfire a few weeks ago Last time you climbed a ladder? To help take a zip line down for Clay Porter Last time you made a family member cry? Probably my Mum Last car you got sideways? The rear wheel drive 16 seater we hired for Canberra. Last time you stood on a podium? Canberra as well. Last time you jumped further than 50 feet? That snow jump where I face planted. Last time you got sun burnt? Utah in April Last time you got a speeding fine? I dunno, got quite a good collection of them... Last time you went to the dentist? This morning… Last time you spent more than $1000 (equivalent of about 3 pounds!)? When I lost my deposit on a jet ski a while back Last time you ate haggis? Fuck no! Last time you were in hospital? When I busted a ligament in my thumb Last time you sang karaoke? Never done it Last pet you had? Two cats and one of them is gay! Last time you thought you were going to die? Finish straight, Canberra WC. Last dodgy airplane trip? They’re always boring, never had a bad one though. Last bone you broke? Can’t remember Last good dirt jumps you hit-up? Some rad ones near Narrabeen, Sydney. Last time you bled a brake? On my dh bike some time, can’t remember Last time you were oober hung-over? Racing the Canadian open at Crankworx Last time your bags got lost on a flight? Flying to Disney Land Last time you were a tight ass? Never! Last time you rode a BMX? Last winter Last item of clothing you bought? A headband Last time you were in a car accident? My bro rolled his pickup Last time you had to sleep somewhere dodgy? In a lorry full of bike boxes Last team sport you played? Table tennis!