#NotBad Rider Interview - Brett Rheeder

Jul 29, 2013
by Mike Levy  
on the Frew Farm in Winton New Zealand Photo by Sterling Lorence
Some rare downtime for Rheeder while at the Frew Farm.

You just took the win at the inaugural X-Games slope contest in Germany, which was arguably one of the most important contests in the history of the genre. On the other hand, you also spent a considerable amount of time in New Zealand filming with the Anthill crew for #NotBad. In what sort of setting do you think riders progress more: contests or riding with friends?

Everyone has their own opinion on this. For me, riding with my friends back home is when I progress the most. When I'm in a contest I like to know in the back of my head that I can 100% do all the tricks that I'm about to throw down in my run, rather than sending tricks that I 'think' that I can do. However, some people like to take the gamble and do their tricks in a contest that they don't know for sure that they can land, which is sometimes beneficial. It's like homework in school… if you do it, then your more likely to ace the test. If you don't, then maybe you'll get a 60% or fail.

on the Frew Farm in Winton New Zealand Photo by Sterling Lorence

bigquotesHowever, some people like to take the gamble and do their tricks in a contest that they don't know for sure that they can land, which is sometimes beneficial. It's like homework in school... if you do it, then your more likely to ace the test. If you don't, then maybe you'll get a 60% or fail.

The open loop air at the Frew Farm looked unreal. Was that the first time you've hit a feature like that? Take us through your thought process - was it a matter of building up to it, doing run-ups, and then pulling the trigger when you were confident, or did you just send it?

Haha, yeah the open loop at the Frew Farm was a pretty different and unusual experience. I had originally built one of these in my backyard just to see if it was possible and comfortable to actually ride, but the one I built was quite a bit smaller and I only got to ride it for a few hours. Come time for New Zealand and I wanted to build the same thing on quite a bit bigger scale. I knew in the back of my mind that if we built it, then I would ride it. It was a bit of a hard process to block out everyone calling me nuts and crazy as I didn't really feel like falling… but when the time came I just did a few run ups, did a fly-out flip out of the middle of the ramp to flat, and then went for it! It took a few tries to nail it perfectly but once I did it was a feeling of accomplishment.

Brett Rheeder goes over vert on the Frew Farm in Winton New Zealand for Anthill s upcoming film NotBad.
Build it and send it. Rheeder doing just that on the open loop in New Zealand while filming for #NotBad.

The Gorge Road jump compound looked unreal. What impressed you most about this spot?

Yeah, the Gorge Road jumps were the coolest jumps that I've ever been to. The thing that impressed me the most was how much time and effort go into these jumps… the people that work there aren't just employees for the town, they live and breathe for digging and grooming at the Gorge Road jumps. This was definitely NOT a place to case any of the jumps haha, which did end up happening a few times in the process of filming the segment.

You're obviously known as more of a slope rider than anything else, but did you get to put some time in on the Session with Brook? Tell us what it was like doing runs with a World Cup-winning rider of his speed.

Riding with Brook was pretty much one of the craziest things I've ever done... he is so fast and has so much bike control, it's insane. For the few days that I got to ride my DH bike with him I learned a lot. At that point I still didn't really know much about riding a DH bike but I feel my progression in that area was helped big time by following him, Brandon and R-Dog. Not only is he a shredder but he is also a really sick guy to have around while filming. I'm really glad that we were able to have him in this segment as he pushed all of us down those Skyline trails.

near Queenstown New Zealand. Photo by Sterling Lorence
Brook and Rheeder on the big bikes.

Do you have a favourite shot of yourself in the film, one that you are particularly proud of?

My favourite shot of myself in #NotBad is the whip to bar on my slopestyle bike over the first jump in the last segment in the movie. This trick was brand new to me at the time and was a big accomplishment for myself. That being said, my favourite shot in the whole movie was the tourist on the Skyline luge who took her hand off the handlebar to give us a high five and crashed into the side, haha! This was one of the many tourists that fell for our trick that day.

A nasty crash at Les 2 Alps has knocked you out of action for a few months. What happened, how is your back doing these days, and any word on when we can see you back in action?

I did take an unlucky crash at Les 2 Alps. I got pitched from my bike and went into the dirt wall beside the landing head first and my back took the impact. I was lucky to have only fractured three vertebra in the thoracic section of my back, but the fractures are only minor and I've been taking it very easy at home. I haven't seen an orthopaedic specialist yet. But on wednesday I will, and he will give me more info as to when I will be back on my bike. From what I hear, this injury its about a two or three month process from start to finish. I'm already dying to ride, and it will kill me to watch the rest of the contests this season, but I will not start riding until the fractures are 100% healed.

near Queenstown New Zealand. Photo by Sterling Lorence
Keep those hands on the handlebar... Rheeder and Semenuk causing trouble at the Skyline luge...

Photos by Sterling Lorence


  • + 19
 Gonna be radical!!!! Longest 10 minutes of my life waiting!
  • + 1
 i know
  • + 0
 What are you waiting for?
  • + 3
 I commented this 10 min before it came out.
  • + 1
  • + 9
 Rheeder For President
  • + 19
 no Prime Minister!
  • - 14
flag Jaydenfarley (Jul 29, 2013 at 9:58) (Below Threshold)
  • + 5
 going to need to see a birth certificate for that.
  • + 1
 Newmarket Ontario Canada
  • + 7
 My Farmer wasn't happy at all, when i shred his fields last time!
  • + 1
 I had an injury almost identical to Rheeder's albeit only 2 vertebrae fractured, its true you'll be back on your bike in 2 or 3 months.... but it took a full year of constant physio and mobility exercises before I no longer had any painful tweaks, stiffness or regained full mobility in my neck and during this time its incredibly easy to crash again because your body isn't as mobile. Hopefully Rheeder will be back on top soon!
  • + 3
 Did he just admit to doing a fly out flip to flat on the open loop? Thats almost more ridiculous then transferring it to the landing holy shit!
  • + 4
 i laughed i cried it was better than cats
  • + 2
 "did a fly-out flip out of the middle of the ramp to flat"? I don't get it. WTF does this mean?
  • + 2
 Liked how chilled it was, finally not such a serious approach, Felt like biking with friends.
  • + 1
 Damnnn that movie was soo rad and so waking up at 9 for! you guys at anthill are my inspiration for film thank you
  • + 1
 I'm not happy knowing who Rheeder doesn't can compete in the next months, this guy is my idol!
  • + 0
 I expected more of this movie... Awesome pictures but music was mostly known from other edits and the movie was too short. And it was more joking around than bikeriding...
  • + 13
 "Once a song has been used in an edit, it is forever banned from being used in any other video" -said no one ever. I understand that some songs get played out but the comment "I've heard that song in an edit at before" gets real old.

I really enjoyed the movie as it captures the essence of mountain biking. You cant take mountain biking too seriously. If you do, you'll most likely end up as a roadie wearing spandex singing "Its all about performance!"

I agree that it was too short but Ill take what I can get! Rad Movie Anthill!!
  • + 14
 If you take mountain biking too seriously, you will end up like "I'm faster than you" and "I only ride park"! Wink
  • + 1
 It's nice to see Semenuk in a happy mood for once
  • + 2
 First time I have seen a picture of him smiling
  • + 1
 Best vid to catch the essence of mtb since Dirt.
  • + 0
 hey highfive! goes for it* BAM crashed into the wall XD or the asian guy what do you think of the bike... noo bad
  • + 1
 i loved it, my new favourite biking movie by far.
  • + 1
 Heal up quick bro!
  • + 1
 Not Bad
  • + 0
 woooop woooop!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 0
 there is no sounddd
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