Freedom 55

Freeriders, like running backs, have short career spans. Whether it’s age, injury, or maturity, eventually they transition into a new career, or they’re forced to retire. That transition can be graceful - the athlete focusses on trail videos and photo shoots - or depressing - they’re pushed out of a job by younger, hungrier, riders with limitless talent and a fresh set of knees. The end is inevitable: we’ll never see a 50 year old winning Red Bull Rampage (with the possible exception of Cam Zink).

Along the ridge
Along the other ridge

bigquotes I was part of a group that went exploring to some very remote big mountain lines 15 years ago, we filmed deep in the Purcell mountain range (with Byron Grey, who now owns the bike shop in Invermere BC, Darren Butler owner of Endless Biking, and Jeremy Grant of Freeride Entertainment). At the time, the bike community didn't know how to make sense of it and it was even discredited to some degree. To us it was free riding not 'freeriding.' Now these kind of lines are sought after and you see everyone out searching the globe for it. I can't help but think that we have helped spark that movement.

Mike Kinrade

Start the trail off with a fat whip
I don t think I need to say it again the scenery out here is breathtaking
Big old fade away


Mike Kinrade has been a professional rider since 2000. During that time he’s finished 4th, 5th, 8th, and 9th, at Rampage, appeared in numerous films including the Kranked series and Where the Trail Ends, as well as created, produced, and rode for the Stund series. Kinrade is a pioneer of big mountain riding and one of the most influential freeriders in mountain bike history.

Just messing around
Shale corner
Natural light

Smooth Operator

Kinrade grew up in Nelson British Columbia, surrounded by a crew of riders like Robbie Bourdon and Joe Schwartz, riders who would go on to become stars in their own right through riding in the New World Disorder series. You can imagine how friendly rivalries would develop as they strove to outdo the others each season. Bigger roof drops, steeper chutes, and taller and narrower skinnies were the order of the day. Kinrade is 33 years old now and lives with his fiance Robyn in Nelson. He has a dry sense of humour and a businesslike manner, he’s constantly engaged in trail work, and the management of time and people. Kinrade is no longer a full time freerider. Although he still rides professionally for a number of sponsors, his day job title is ‘Head of Mountain Bike Operations’ at Retallack Lodge. Retallack is a legendary cat skiing nirvana and is typically sold out of rooms one full year in advance, during the winter. The Retallack job is part of a pioneering effort organized by Kinrade, Riley McIntosh, Phil Pinfold, and Chris MacNamara (the Retallack braintrust) to see if a cat ski lodge style of business can work for mountain bike tourism. Kinrade has helped design and build the lodge’s trails and sculpt the experience for clients. It includes a heli drop for riders which is face-meltingly awesome.

One way to get up a mountain
The Delica died.

The Delica

Our shuttle vehicle while filming was a Mitsubishi Delica (the Delica moniker coming from a contraction of delivery car). Thankfully, clients aren’t subjected to rides in the Del because this one was a decrepit example of the species. The Delica’s ride quality was reminiscent of a lumpy mattress, or one of those Big Box Store bikes with strictly ornamental suspension. The four wheel drive worked... occasionally. However, the Delica was an integral part of our shoot and carried us to the top of Reco Peak successfully each day. After wrapping our final sunset shoot, the Delica died and we were forced to coast down the logging road without power steering or proper braking. Kinrade piloted us safely down the hill until we ran out of momentum and had to be towed back to the lodge.

Two buds hiking up
Big old step down again

bigquotes My whole mission for this segment was to get lost for four days in the backcountry and document the search for... well I wasn't sure what we were going to get. That's the point of getting lost. Eh?

Mike Kinrade

Last light
sunset corner


Kinrade is still confident on the big mountain lines which made him famous, but these days he’s more interested in making the sport safe, fun, and accessible for those who don’t have Rampage-podium aspirations. He’s spent hundreds of hours working on new community trails for the city of Nelson, and many more in the alpine of Retallack working on the next evolution of mountain bike tourism. Kinrade has countless first descents to his name etched into the mountains of BC and Argentina (he does semi-annual trips to South America with photographer John Wellburn). He no longer feels the need to risk his life for a video segment, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t forgotten the simple joy of riding a bike.

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That sunset
Back at camp. That s pretty much what the eye can see.

Builder World Tour
World Premiere - Monterey, California, USA - April 17
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - April 23rd
Corvallis, Oregon, USA - April 25th
Mt. Buller, Australia - April 25th
Victoria, BC, Canada - May 6th
Sooke, BC, Canada - May 8th
MSS Bike Park, Quebec, Canada - May 8th
Prince George BC, Canada - May 9th
Vancouver BC, Canada - May 15th
Kaupanger, Norway - May 15th
Kendal, Cumbria, Uk - May 15th
Whistler BC, Canada - May 16th
Mission BC, Canada - May 16th
Squamish BC, Canada - May 17th
Boulder, CO, USA - May 18th
Quadra Island, BC, Canada - May 22nd
Merritt, BC, Canada - May 22nd
Coleman, AB, Canada - May 22nd
Extreme Zone Cycles, Santiago, Chile - May 22nd
Banbridge, Northern Ireland - July 2nd
Cordoba, Argentina - May 22nd
Moscow, Russia - May 22nd
Krakow, Poland - May 22nd
Angelfire Bike Park NM, USA - May 24th
Campbell River, BC, Canada - May 26th
Novato, California, USA - May 29th
Valemount, BC, Canada - May 29th
Rossland, BC, Canada - May 30th
Bristol, England - June 4th
Hood River OR, USA - June 4th
Bracknell, England - June 8th
Revelstoke, BC, Canada - June 11th
Bellingham, WA, USA - June 11th
Penticton, BC, Canada - June 19th
St Louis, MO, USA - June 24th
Koblenz, Germany - June 24th
Silverstar Mountain Resort - June 27th
Glasgow, Scotland - June 27th
Stowe, VT, USA - June 27th
Juneau, AK, USA - June 30
Innsbruck, Austria - July 7th
Canmore, AB, Canada - July 8th
Crankworx Les 2 Alpes, France - July 11th
Monthey, Switzerland - July 11th
Taichung City, Taiwan - July 25th
Tucson, AZ, USA - July 29th

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MENTIONS @pinkbike @trailforks @scottsecco @Hayescomponents @intensecyclesusa @KNOLLYBIKES @FiveTen @Maxxis @Contour @SRSuntour @iXSsports @mountainequipmentcoop @Margus @parisgore @bhawley @RedfernMedia @cmac @BangBangTheMovie @claw @EeehhZink @stephen @thomaswalker @mattmacduff

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Must Read This Week


  • + 75
 The 50 Year old cam zink will 720 backflip the icon sender and then we will all turn into smurfs
  • + 70
 Incredible. I just wanted to say, that if you claim that you are into bikes, live in BC, have no kids and don't visit all those places regularly, Retallack, Nelson, Kamloops, Kelowna, Squamish etc. - then... you deserve to be put in a place in hell where you will be tied to a chair and listening to two teenage girls talking about Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus - for eternity! Because you are a waste of stoke!
  • + 4
  • + 31
 You have bc all wrong hahaha there's lots of communities here where theres trails right out the back door and don't have much need to 'travel' to those places. Maybe I have no desire because I have lived in each of those places for over 3 years. (minus retallack which counts as nelson)
  • + 2
 makripper - you are so going to hell for mongering diabolical envy!
  • + 27
 I'm already in heaven Wink
  • + 1
 lol look at my instagram account for the opposite of that! it's in my profile. I dont wanna plug like a sucker
  • + 2
 I live in Indiana and have a kid, and someday I'll make it to at least one of these places.
  • + 6
 Retallack looks sick and all, but at rates like $378 - 539 per day, no thanks.
  • + 2
 WAKI your rapier like delivery is just simply the obvious truth here - simply stunning images.
  • + 1
 makripper is right
  • + 4
 Spoken like someone who possibly doesn't fully understand how big BC is haha
  • + 0
 Waki I rarely agree but this time you have it in spades. I feel like ass for not Retallacking.
  • + 4
 I have kids and this year will be the year my soon to be 6 year old gets a bike with gears so we can all go ride as a family. BC is fun!
  • + 6
 Adsjabo I made a post complaining about being stuck up outside of fort St. John in BC and everybody is posting about how big a dick I was for complaining about being in BC with whistler being here and all. It's all good but I'm 13 hours away from whistler.
  • + 1
 Yeah mate, it takes a long time to get anywhere round here when you're driving. All those pesky mountains in the way Big Grin
  • + 2
 The worst is people in bc that are lazy and just play video games. While I would kill to live in bc they just take it for granted.
  • + 1
 I've been too all but Retallack, and I'll fix that with in the year
  • + 1
 @adsjabo - I actually checked driving distances, possibilities of getting to different places if I ever manage to get my arse to BC for two weeks or so. I do a lot of travel-masturbation using Google Earth... so quit your btchn, get yer arse together and hit the road, darn it!
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns he lives in fernie. He has no reason to leave. Fernie is one of the best place to ride in BC
  • + 2
 took me many years to get to Fernie. Now I don't want to leave!
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns I'm Australian so I am no stranger to long distance travelling, just a shame those pesky things called full time jobs get in the way of those 11 drives to Whistler for a road trip (which I have already done 2 summers in anyway Big Grin )
  • + 1
 I think you guys take my words a bit too literally... I am sure there are areas in BC that take 24 hours to come to Whistler...
  • + 16
 These are the best photographs I've seen in a very long time. Amazing job guys, I am setting my new wallpaper set Smile
  • + 11
 Builder movie in April. Can't wait. These stories are great way to build the movie hype. And not giving it all away.
  • + 7
 Builder -- we don t even see a shovel !!!!
  • + 1
 I was hoping to see some of his creations for inspiration for my own builds.
  • + 4
 I still remember early Drop In and when kinrade did that huge grassy hill gap crash. The big old norco frames of yesteryear were a pleasure to watch creak and moan and Eventually snap
  • + 1
 That was the graveyard in nelson if im thinking of the right one. Love to see that again
  • + 2
 There was a time when there were, truly, just a handful of you pioneers, and that was'nt long ago, now it feels like a movement and everyone wants a piece of the action. Some of us can be thankful, that we had the opportunity to watch you progress this sport, while others reap the rewards, thats how the world turns. I've been watching for a long time and would like to thank you for your dedication and hard work, you've inspired me and I'm sure many others.
  • + 1
 I have always been stoked to see Kinrade ride. In the early Drop In series, the boys come to a large gap on the trail, Well someone cut 10ft off the 20ft takeoff and Mike still hit that shit. So Gnarly!! Full respect to Mike. Shred on!
  • + 5
 we will never get enough of this amazing pics.
  • + 1
 The "Delica" we have lots of those here, my brother in law owns one, rides like a boat hahaha, 4x4 system was built for traction on icy slippery roads in Japan and not really for offroad use due to very high center of gravity.

Incredible pics BTW.
  • + 3
 Getting to work and build with Mike Kinrade was a highlight of my life. This guy is just getting started on the next epic of his life. Tough as nails and focused!
  • + 2
 I've been a huge fan of Kinrade since Drop-In season 1, and I'm still a fan - pieces like this are the reason why. Great article and great photos, good work Mike!
  • + 1
 Delicas are for dirtbag rockclimbers that won't shell out for a proper set of wheels. No self-respecting mountain bikers should be caught dead in one of those 4 wheeled toasters. Better to take the bus.
  • + 2
 I can't wait to see this segment. Retallack lodge is a very special place. Photos do it no justice, but these ones come close! It's well worth the trip.
  • + 1
 I was halfway through the Kootenay Sufferfest 100k race and I looked up and saw Kinrade heading out at the Retallack rest stop. I was going to give him the "pro call out", but the guys big mountain chops..
  • + 1
 These images are absolutely incredible!! It was kind of fun playing "Where's Waldo" in some of them!
I aspire to this level of greatness someday.
  • + 1
 I want to see this more and more, the idea of making biking "SAFER" for those of us who are not rampage riders "YET", hands down want to read more and see more!!!
  • + 2
 so sick to see stuff like this up. especially when your local shop gets brought up and one of your local icons.
  • + 3
 straight to favorites before i read one word. can't wait to see builder.
  • + 3
 Incredible photos and riding. Thank you!
  • + 1
 I got all the way to the hashtag at the bottom without knowing this was about a movie. I was enjoying the article just fine. Now even more.
  • + 2
  • + 1
 I want to try this "Hell Drop" that the article speaks of haha
  • + 6
 Good catch! That should say heli drop. Hell drop sounds pretty badass though haha.
  • + 1
 "Just living the dream man, living the dream"
  • + 1
 Finally Mike Kinrade gets the credit he deserves
  • + 1
 Nice to see a Delica and Mattoc together! Here's to getting a good Delica!
  • + 1
 Little Ted's big adventure way up in the sky.
  • + 1
 I f*ckin sooooooo much love forests like on the 3rd picture! Awesome!
  • + 1
 awesome rider. And those photos...woah.
  • + 1
 one of Canada's cycling ambassadors we are very proud of.
  • + 2
 nicest bro in MTB
  • + 1
 All I can think when I hear Mike Kinrad is the show Drop In
  • + 1
 Wonderful stuff!
  • + 1
 wow amazing pics ..
  • + 1

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