There are a lot of people who feel mountain biking is an activity that puts you at ease, and creates an aura of being at one with nature. While this statement is usually true for most people, it can be quite the opposite for others. Some are constantly battling, punishing, and beating themselves every time they ride and it's this constant struggle that keeps them coming back for more.
Watching Kenny Smith ride details just how extreme this struggle can get and exactly how good some people can become at the battle. Kenny rides some of the gnarliest parts of Whistler and is always fast and loose. He is constantly riding a fine line between control and disaster; winning all the small fights that keep the rubber side down. When most people can only describe you as "hardcore" or "scary fast" you have likely earned that right with practice, patience and only riding your hardest every time you swing your leg over the top tube. Clearly this is Kenny's style and the way he chooses to live his life. He isn't concerned with being peaceful, or homogeneous with mother earth, more so with finding ways to thrill himself and find the fastest line down the hill. When one sees him ride it's clear that in his mind there are only two elements at play in the world: him and the mountain. So far he seems to be winning.
My part of this video can be described in a similar manner to Kenny's. I don't know that I faired as well as he did though, only a few lines into shooting the mountain struck back. They say it happens when you least expect it, and that is very true. Having already shot a few times on one of the fastest parts of the mountain we decided to shoot from a few extra angles and before I knew it a tree had placed itself right in front of me. Luckily the mountain was forgiving, and must have just wanted to give me a reminder of who I was messing with. I continued the shoot with a bloodied bruised leg, and nature continued to tell us that it wouldn't go down easy with a lighting storm that shut down the chair lift, and rain that left us under the trees. We fought back and finished the shoot strong though pitting nature against itself by using trees for cable cams, and the dirt as our playground. Unfortunately, you don't come out of every fight without a few scrapes, but the footage we got was equal to having the ref raise our hand at the end of a bout.
Do you think we won? Sound off below!
A big thank you to Spank Industries
for supplying Kenny with his Subrosas, and ultralite Spike Race28 wheels which obviously can take a beating. Also a big thank you for supplying me with all my major components on my bikes.
Thank you to TNL Photography
for their help with both photos and cinematography.
Many of our photos were also supplied by Steve Riffle of Riff Stills