Cam Zink - Is It More Than Just Bike Riding?

Jun 28, 2013
by Cameron Zink  
At what point is it more than bike riding? If you are reading this, you should know of a rider by the name of Trond Hansen. He is one of the most naturally talented bike riders I have ever seen. He came onto the scene hard with an attitude to the contrary. Rather than the traditional come up of being young, hungry and serious, he was in his mid 20's, had fun, enjoyed riding with friends and organically turned into a big name pro without really “trying.” His attitude was always,”It's just bike riding man.” He and Andreu had coined a phrase or maybe even just a word: “Shakalamero.” Two guys, A Spaniard and Norwegian who were always smiling, with no worries, came up with a word to simply describe life just being good. And they both lived by it. Andreu is a little more spun out than Tron, to say the least, but Trond came on to the scene fast, picked up two of the most coveted sponsors in Specialized and Rockstar, filmed legendary film segments, was on the cover of numerous magazines, nearly landed the biggest 360 ever done on dirt, and eventually left just as quickly as he showed up. It had turned into his job, but was still ”just bike riding man.”


Trond Hansen, scrubbing with style.

He stayed a legit pro for a few years and eventually quit. He didn't fade out, or milk a salary like he could have, he turned down offers and told his sponsors that he wasn't a pro bike rider anymore. The last time I saw Trond, he had left professional bike riding and seemed happy, like always. He will be fine with or without bike riding. He will always be fine and one of the coolest people I have ever met, but something was missing. He still rides and thought leaving the profession behind would leave just that, but there was a lot more that had come in those years. He left behind a group of friends, relationships, and a lifestyle. He had become a mountain biker. That shit just doesn't leave you.

No matter if you are a weekend warrior or World Cup vet, there are people you ride with that you would have never met or probably never gotten along with without mountain biking. We have posters, garages and yards dedicated to our favorite hobby, sport or whatever you consider it to be. We dedicate days off, trips and afternoons to riding bikes and hanging out with people that share the same passion you do for it. It is more than just a friend that you have experienced some things with; a riding buddy is a much bigger bond even if the only time you hang out is when you ride together. Not everyone that has ridden a mountain bike is spoken for, but at what point is it more than bike riding?

I firmly believe mountain biking creates one of the most addicting and pertinent lifestyles of all sports, even though the marketing of it is little to none. We have hardcore addicts, kids with after school slopestyle and racing training programs, the guy who spends more time buying and installing ti-bolts for his 29er than riding it, daredevil nutcases, technicians, purists, snobs and some of the most genuine people on the planet.

Cam Zink Kurt Sorge James Doerfling and Cam McCaul searching new lines in British Columbia
Good friends, exercise, exploration, family bonding, no matter what reason that brought you into the sport, you are left with far more.

My dad got my brother and I into mountain biking as an activity that we could all do together because he had really bad arthritic hips and couldn't play baseball or soccer with us. Seemed to work out pretty well, and I can almost guarantee that I won't be able to play baseball or soccer with my kids after the shit I have put my body through. Hopefully my kids think mountain biking is as cool as I did because listening to Prairie Home Companion in our motorhome on our way to Northstar, Mammoth Nationals, and across the country for other races are the best memories I will ever have with my dad and brother. Mountain biking brought us closer together than anything else could have. Win or lose, the trip itself was always the best part. We would not have had those trips if it weren't for our love for mountain bikes. Then, it turned into a lot more than just a bunch of family trips...

Bike riding is a way to explore. In particular, mountain biking is a way to explore nature and the world. I would not have been to a quarter of the places I have been if it weren't for mountain biking, and everywhere I go the bicycle is still just as big of an asset and it's value translates into every culture around the world. Life Cycles said it best,”The bicycle, man's noblest invention.” It is the most economic, and cleanest form of transportation. Any hippie who wants to shut a trail down should be thrown in a compost pile because, other than walking, there is no better way to experience nature without damaging the environment than the bicycle. Bicycle riders truly take care of the environment and enjoy living in it. It is more than just riding, it's a catalyst for experiencing the outdoors. We have organizations such as IMBA, but any trail builder and respectable trail rider knows the importance of taking care of the planet.

My list of reasons why it is just more than bike riding can go on for pages and I'm sure you would further be able to make additions. The point is we all have it in our blood and if I didn't ride tomorrow, I would still be a mountain biker.

While writing this article, (it usually takes me a couple weeks of reviewing to finish...) I saw Trond at Red Bull Bergline, where he was judging. You will be happy to know that he is back riding on the regular. After telling him the premise for this article and asking if he still believed it, he said,” It is more than bike riding. It is.”

- Cam Zink

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Member since Sep 14, 2010
10 articles

  • 180 2
 "Any hippie who wants to shut a trail down should be thrown in a compost pile"

  • 7 0
 Haha loved that line. Big Grin
  • 17 0
 The best part about Zink is that he tells it like it is.
  • 14 66
flag kilgore-trout (Jun 28, 2013 at 14:56) (Below Threshold)
 "It is the most economic, and cleanest form of transportation"... yes, except when you're clear-cutting paths through the forest to create trails for leisure riding. It is the most economic and cleanest form of "functional" transportation to go on your necessary travels for work and etc... The hippie line couldn't be any less correct or stupid. I'm a mountain biker at heart and I love Cam Zink's riding but I'm also an advocate for the environment and conservation and I believe that conservationists and mtn bikers can co-exist and, in some cases like my own, be one and the same. I'm a hippie mtn biker and I'm proud of it. When I ride my road bike instead of driving my car, it is the most economic and cleanest form of transportation. When I shuttle with my dh bike for fun up and down a hill in a truck... its not so economic and clean.
  • 47 3
 Then walk it
  • 12 47
flag kilgore-trout (Jun 28, 2013 at 15:09) (Below Threshold)
 missing the point dude
  • 18 11
 ObyGoby- SHUT IT YOU HIPPY BEFORE WE TOSS YOU INTO A COMPOST PILE! That was a great read. Cannot wait to see Cam's insane footage from this year.
  • 19 6
 Take it easy Scott. The man has a point and Cam has a point. We're all in this together, no need to abuse him.
  • 5 1
 Mate you're kidding yourself. I've written 3 different paragraphs to describe how conservationists and Mountain bikers just don't work together and i just can't. It just doesn't work. too hungover for this.
  • 15 1
 I think you missed your own irony, in order for you ride your road bike to work we cut down trees, laid stone and paved a path/road. The trail through the forest is nothing and most trail builders make a point of not cutting down live trees.
  • 2 1
 i think you missed the point, dude
  • 16 1
 Gentlemen, I believe we found the hippie.
  • 3 1
 trees are still going to get cut down regardless of you riding your bike or not.
  • 60 1
 If its true what they say about scrubbing making bitches wet... Trond Hansen will need a large boat
  • 49 0
 ^ ... and Ian Morrison would be the new Noah !
  • 18 5
 amazing how much bitches love boats.
  • 32 0
 This is defiantly one of the best articles on here! Normally I see lots of writing and move in but I read this and really enjoyed it!
  • 26 0
 I should show this text to my girlfriend, she hasn't completely understood that message yet.
  • 2 0
 Haha agreed!!!!
  • 20 1
 DAMN, this article makes me wanna ride 10x more than any video i have seen on pinkbike! WE WANT MOOOOOOOORE MOOOOOOOOOOOORE!!!!
  • 4 0
 Definitely! Makes me want to leave work right now and go explore some new trails
  • 15 0
 Eat sleep ride !
  • 9 0
 Pretty good article... Congrats Cam!!
I think this point of view is the root of all action sports: doing what we like, travel and find new places, chillin with friends and contact with environment and nature (in some more than others). In the "regular sports" all you care about is performance and competition, but as you said in this case people just want to enjoy their lives.
  • 10 0
 Borrowing from Warren Millar If everyone mountain biked there would be no wars.
  • 6 1
 We have hardcore addicts, kids with after school slopestyle and racing training programs, the guy who spends more time buying and installing ti-bolts for his 29er than riding it, daredevil nutcases, technicians, purists, snobs and some of the most genuine people on the planet. Sums up the mountain biking community perfectly and with a hint of humour. I really enjoyed reading this
  • 4 0
 I've met cam sink a few times now, at Northstar and at some local jumps, also got to witness a superman over 60 foot gap. he's always a super nice guy (not like typical pro athletes). Shook my hand bol shitted for a while and always stays true to the laid back life style. Its just awesome to see that people are still human after fame.
  • 1 0
 Cam zink*
  • 5 0
 Mountain biking is the way live. All I do is ride or think about riding. When I'm laid up in a hospital bed it helps quite a bit, haha. Sweet article Cam! Really enjoyed it.
  • 4 0
 nice write up Cam. keep em coming. for me, i know, when i get on my bike after not being out on it for a few days, and i start pedalling and i smile, im doing the right thing. simple as that.
  • 3 0
 My teacher got me into riding when I was about 15. I quickly tried racing and fell in love with it because it took me all over the country to ride actual mountains (I lived in Ontario at the time) and it was always so fun to meet up with my riding buddies from across Canada every other weekend. That bond between riding buddies is ultra special.
  • 2 0
 Cam, thats a great point about how even though you might not win at the race this weekend, just spending that time with your family[team] is a win in itself. I found myself more satisfied after a race weekend if I went with freinds and family rather than going alone and focusing on split times and such. great read dude and thanks for being a great embassador for our sport.
  • 2 0
 For the longest time, I never thought I'd be able to describe this passion, this drive; especially to people that may not understand why we love mountain biking so much. Cam, you put it SO perfectly. Every word completely clicked and hit home. I've met some of the coolest people, seen some of the coolest sites, and encountered some of the most amazing experiences through mountain biking. It truly is an addiction developed from a way of life that just sticks to a certain kind of person; we are those people. Again, I have never been able to put my passion into words quite perfectly, but you described it beautifully, Cam!

Ride on!
  • 2 0
 As a mountain-biker that has lapsed,(due to work/family/injuries/life), I agree with Cam whole-heartedly. The friendships built on Mountain-biking have been some of the most enduring and fulfilling I have had in my life. People I havn't ridden with in years are greeted with the same enthusiasm and affection as my daily best friends.

The bond never dulls, never weakens, never dilutes. MTB brothers are little different than my blood brothers, we have different points of view, different tastes in music/politics/whiskies, but at the end of the day, our love for the things that unite us out-weigh the things that divide us.
  • 2 0
 "Bicycle riders truly take care of the environment"

Cam clearly hasn't met the little C@*nts that ride at Swinley Forest, those Fu!#ckers leave huge amounts of rubbish scattered in the woods! They obviously don't give a crap, they also don't realise how lucky they are to have maintained trails to ride...

Anyhoo... Great article, I'm sure we can all relate to this. Nice one Cam!

Welcome back Trond!
  • 5 1
 If im riding whatever and theres a helicopter following so closely... No good news!
  • 2 0
 To mis-quote a saying about smoking, "Everyone can tell you when they first rode a bike but no-one can tell you when exactly they became a mountain biker".

Great article Cam.
  • 1 0
 This is one of those weeks where my best riding bud has his ribs wrapped up taking a week to heal and I'm waiting on parts to arrive so I can get a chain back on my girl. We still talk almost every day about trails, parts, past trips, future trips and just how decent life is as long as we'll be back in the saddle soon. My best friends are those I've met mountain biking or have enhanced our bond through mountain biking.
  • 5 1
 mountain biking has allowed to keep my inner axe murder tendencies in check.
  • 1 0
 This has been my favorite read in a while! My dad got me into biking as well, I practically lived on the back of his road bike in my little booster seat for the first few years of my life, then eventually was able to ride along myself with him, started hitting trails with him and it took off into a life long love affair with mountain biking!
  • 1 0
 Thank you for this piece Cam! I feel like am getting back to where I once was during this morning and this article was exactly what I needed to get me back out there and get things moving and going... pursuing that with what I fell in love with in the first place.
  • 1 0
 We have hardcore addicts, kids with after school slopestyle and racing training programs, the guy who spends more time buying and installing ti-bolts for his 29er than riding it, daredevil nutcases, technicians, purists, snobs and some of the most genuine people on the planet.~ mtb as a whole
  • 4 0
 Could not have said it any better.
  • 2 2
 Personally, I think that a whole book on "Zen and the Art of Mountainbike Maintenance" is looooong overdue. There's tons of literature about trails, maps, repair, travel experience, learning skills, etc. but a halfway decent treatise on the "philosophy" of it has been neglected ever since its inception. And it's definitely not due to the lack of academics, writers or simply "spiritual" folk spending their time on knobby tires... Smile
  • 2 0
 It's way more than riding for sure. No matter how shitty my week has been the moment I'm riding trails all the crap fades away. BTW, great article, love it.
  • 2 0
 Best MTB related article on the interweb right now. A compete 180 from yellow powder baptisms. Refreshing. Really enjoyed that. Thanks.
  • 2 0
 ” It is more than bike riding. It is.” I am getting goosebumps everywhere after reading this sentence. It struck a nerve
  • 2 2
 Don't agree with "Any hippie who wants to shut a trail down should be thrown in a compost pile" whatsoever. Nature is EVERYONES. Not just mountain bikers. Also no just hikers.. or horses, ATVs, etc etc.. There must be balance and compromise to protect everyone's experience as well as the 'nature' that we're all there to see.
  • 1 0
 Sorry, didn't mean to neg you. Fat fingers and a little phone!
  • 2 1
 Completely agree with ObyGobyWanoby. Everyone needs to understand land management from a different perspective than just a mountain biker. If people could do that, we would have so many less trail user conflicts.
  • 1 0
 Man I used to ride with cam at the Gardnerville skate park back in the day.He was the only one there with a 26' bike . The rest of us were on bmx.that guy has sooo much drive. I'm stoked for u Cam
  • 2 0
 That was a Party Political Broadcast on behalf of the Zink Party . . . . I will definitely vote for ya !
  • 1 0
 Fantastic article of the best written things I've read on Pinkbike. Kudos to you and good luck with your 2013 season.
  • 1 0
 Best article I've seen on here in a long time. Really inspires me to get even more involved in the sport and make life long friends along the way. Thanks Cam!
  • 1 0
 It is just biking. But life is just life. And i would not live mine any other way. Awesome article.
  • 1 0
 "...if I didn't ride tomorrow, I would still be a mountain biker." Love it, so true!
  • 1 0
 Brought a tear to my old eye. Love the passion and still searching for tht perfect trail. Ride on and write on!
  • 1 0
 Thanks Zink great article !
  • 2 0
 Cam Zink. Legend.
  • 1 0
 I guess you can have balls and brains. Great write Cam!
  • 1 0
 i only read this because it was the zink man who wrote it. legend for sure
  • 1 0
 So what really happened to Trond Hansen??
  • 2 0
 He's working for Antimedia, the guys that brought you Lines of Lofoten. Still shreds Hafjell, still scrubs and still a allround nice guy...
  • 1 0
 Zink, you're a monster! Screw soccer and baseball! MTB!
  • 1 0
 Really great article! And no less than great Cam Zink!
  • 1 0
 He obviously had some time on his hands.
  • 1 0
 Prairie Home Companion is the shit!!
  • 1 0
 Great article, good job Zink!
  • 1 0
 Nicely said Cam........Ride on!!
  • 1 0
 Cam Zink - spot on man, spot on.
  • 1 0
 Love it!
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 Great read.
  • 1 0
 I love this article.
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