Thanks to a renegade group of like-minded riders, who, much like the pioneers of freeride before them, became weary of where their sport was going decided that enough, was enough. Raising their middle fingers to the masses, they went back to the mountains from which they came and the FEST Series was born. Reinvigorating the publics appetite while simultaneously changing the perception of what freeriding on a mountain bike means and looks like, events like the FEST Series and the Red Bull Rampage are leading the way for one of mountain biking's most progressive elements. The riders leading that charge represent a creative, passionate and highly driven force with a plan to push the boundaries further and deliver something to blow the minds of both the fans and the industry alike. One such FEST Series regular who personifies all of these traits and more, is Nick Pescetto... Who is Nick Pescetto?
A freelifer. Where are you from and where do you live?
I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, before moving to Genova, Italy when I was 4-years old. I then moved to Barcelona when I was 19 to study at university and ride dirt jumps, but for the past 3-years, I've been travelling all over the place. Right now, I'm in Bali (Indonesia) and I feel like I'm going to base myself here for the next months. Who do you ride for?
For fun... Oh, and ION, Hope Tech, Scott Bikes, the Chatel Bike Park, Melon Optics, CPGANG and I really want to thank the Bali Bike Park and The Chillhouse Bali for all they have been doing for me lately! Where are you happiest?
Wherever I can ride good jumps, surf, party and have nice people around me that give me good vibes. I'm pretty happy here in Bali... What’s been your favourite race/contest venue?
Every FEST Series stop is way better than any other contest and the vibe can't be compared to anything else. Where are your favourite trails?
I like to ride Kamloops, Retallack and all around BC. The La Poma Bike Park in Barcelona has the best hard-tail dirt jumps out there and lately I've really enjoyed riding in the jungle here at the Bali bike park. I like any trails as long as there are jumps, berms, good flow and it's not too rough. What are your strengths?
If I'm motivated to do something, I'll give it more than 100% - I get energy and motivation from many things other than biking and I always try to stay positive no matter what the situation is. I learned that not having a calculated plan for everything and following the natural flow of of things, makes life that much better and way more enjoyable.
Who’s your favourite riders? What are your weaknesses?
I can be disorganised and sometimes I forget things, especially when I focus on too many things all at once. Sometimes I don't like it when people tell me what to do too... What’s been your worst crash over the years?
I broke my collarbone at Nine Knights 2-years, 3-weeks before going to my first Red Bull Rampage... What’s been your luckiest escape?
I had a huge crash riding a chute in Spencer Bridge, BC. I was going too fast, went over the bars and I ended up inches from this hard rock wall at the bottom of the chute. The crash was like a ski tomahawk and it actually didn't hurt too much, but when I saw the photo and the video later on, I got really scared! Which bike from over the years, conjures up the best memories?
All of the bikes I've used at FEST Series events. What is your bike set up right now?
I just keep my forks and rear shock pretty stiff, so it's easier to ride jumps on and to carry speed through compressions.
Andreu, Aggy, Sorge, Matty Miles and Louis Reboul. Who or what inspires you?
People that are always happy and bringing the good vibes with them. People who are motivated, stoked and work hard for what they want. What do you enjoy doing away from bikes?
I surf, ski powder and play golf. I also do a lot of filming, editing, photography and running CPGANG with my best friend, Luis Biscaldi. CPGANG started about 10-years ago when we were 14-15 years old and it was originally just our crew of riders back in Italy. Now we make clothes, which we sell online, create videos, photoshoots, have parties and we kick it with whoever rides hard and likes what we do. It’s fun to see where it's going because we just do it for ourselves and we show our own vision of bike riding and living life.
What are you listening to right now?
Wiz Khalifa. What’s your favourite movie?
Scarface. What’s your favourite non-bike website?Stabmag. What’s your favourite motto or saying?
It's not a motto, but I say "dude"
a lot. What grinds your gears?
Very beautiful ladies... What makes you happy?
Big flowy jumps, throwing whips, flatspins, glassy waves, good parties, smoothies, powder (snow), cliff jumps, sunsets, good food, stars, happy people,
Antoine Bizet, good music (not necessarily all rap), big mountains, sweet wine, big waves, travelling, movies on planes and very beautiful ladies. If you weren’t a pro mountain biker, what would you be doing?
Probably try to be pro at another sport like surfing or skiing I guess… Oh, or maybe a rapper! If you were in charge of the sport, what changes would you make?
I would put all the big budgets into FEST Series and CPGANG. Jokes aside, I think that most of the big companies have lost their faith in freeride and it's very hard to get support from them. Even if the value of video views, social media and media coverage is high, they don't seem to care about it and they rather invest in enduro or downhill. In my opinion, the FMB helped kill freeriding because they tried to represent it by organising dirt jumps and slopestyle events - which I have nothing against and I think the trick level is amazing and I respect those guys so much, but these events have little to do with freeride and the bikes used are not what the main market would buy since they are all on hardtails or some prototype slopestyle bike you can't buy.
Rampage and FEST Series are successful and well followed, not only because the riding is insane, but also because the riders use full suspension bikes that the fans can recognise themselves making it easier to get more motivated to ride. I think the FMB should change its name to the SMB (slopestyle mountain biking) World Tour - it would make much more sense and it would match perfectly with the events they organise.
The enduro hype has a lot to do with it too. Companies should realize that enduro is just a very successful form of competition and that no one is gonna get stoked watching an enduro video or photo, since you can go much bigger, faster and look way more radical on a long travel full suspension bike, sailing over huge jumps at speed. Enduro is just mountain biking in its very essence - you go up and you go down - and if you wanna make a cool video about it, you need a story behind it that will make people wanna ride... Like an adventure or an expedition to a remote place.
People might hate my opinion, but this is what i think. I hope the FEST Series and the smaller companies that are coming up can really make a change and bring freeride back to the spotlight. I think mountain bike freeride is a very young sport and this is still a transitional period. What I see coming, is that new companies will rise and focus only in freeriding. I guess there is one bike company that has been doing that these past few years and they have been quite successful. I actually have so much more to say, but I'm gonna stop here. When you hang up your riding shoes, how do you want to be remembered?
A happy guy that was having fun. What does the future hold for Nick Pescetto?
A 9-foot swell coming tomorrow, filming at the Bali bike park in 2-days and then flying to Japan in 3-days to ski powder for a month. I've been working on a video part from Bali, which I'll release at the end of February.
@cp-gang / @SCOTT-Sports