Interview: Vero Sandler - "The Way Forward is to Prove We Can Ride With the Guys"

Jul 30, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  

Vero Sandler

Vision represents a bit of a landmark for freeride mountain bike films - it's the first one to centre around the story of a woman. Except, Veronique Sandler, its protagonist, doesn't want you to see it like that. She says, "For me personally, raising the bar for women in action sport is not about separation, it is about earning our place alongside the best in the game... It is important to me to drive inclusivity at the top of our sport and earn our equal place through skill, passion and determination, both on the bike and with a shovel in hand."

As a result, her film is hugely inclusive of all riders. From revisiting Brendan Fairclough's Madeira Deathgrip line with the man himself to taking Joey Gough on her maiden visit to La Poma Bike Park, Vero travels around some of the most iconic spots in mountain biking to end up at Revolution Bike Park, with her dream line built and some of the world's best riders shredding it together. The finale sees riders as varied as Casey Brown, Kade Edwards, Matt Jones, Steve Peat and many more all enjoying a massive session on the huge freeride line. We caught up with Vero to find out how she went from World Cup hopeful to Instagram dominator to landing a starring role in her own film.




The story starts with you falling out of love with racing. Can you talk through the reasons you stopped racing?


I started riding when I was 14 and obviously the only thing to do back then was race really. So I started racing locally and then nationally and then when I was in my second-year juniors I came overseas to race Worlds at Champery in 2011.


Talk about a trial by fire!


Yeah, it was straight into it. It was sick but gnarly times for sure. It was amazing so I wanted to come back over after I finished school. I started working a lot and saved up enough money to come back over. We were just a crew of Kiwis, cruising around in a van, racing World Cups and I did that for five or six years. I was like, “oh, I'll do a year of that and then go to uni” but it was so addictive and I had so much fun I sacked uni off just did that.

I think I got progressively better over the first couple of years and then I got to a point where I wasn't really progressing with my results. I was stuck around the tenth to fifteenth mark and it was frustrating. I didn't have any pressure from sponsors, because I didn't have any, but I had high expectations of myself to improve my results at each race but it just wasn't happening.




Why do you think that was?


I've never really had that race head that people have. I get really nervous in the start gate and I feel like I lose all my skills all of a sudden. I’ve never been able to put it together in my race run and that's something that was really frustrating. I've worked on a lot of different things to try and get over that but everything I tried didn't really work

Obviously, it was still fun being at the races but I definitely really wanted to do better than I was doing. It was also quite frustrating because I was working really hard to do something that wasn't really giving back to me.

So I was taking a step back from racing and just riding to have fun. I started riding with my friends, having a good time and sessioning stuff with my friends, rather than riding the trails as fast as I can to improve at the next race. My riding progressed a lot more than it ever has through racing, my skills really went through the roof and I started making little videos on Instagram and people were stoked on it I think.

Jamie from Wideopen hooked me up as a media rider and I guess there aren't many girls that do that sort of thing so I started getting more and more emails from people, which was sick. When I was racing, I'd email people like, “Yo, can you sponsor me?” and no one was keen and suddenly people were hitting me up, it was awesome.




So you didn't necessarily quit racing as a "career move"?


No, not at all, I didn't even think it was an option to be honest. I just knew that racing wasn't really that fun for me anymore and there wasn't really that much point doing that same thing year in year out so I took a step back from it all and it came naturally. Yeah, I never thought I'd be riding professionally at all and it's just fallen into place, it's sick.

bigquotesIt's so cool to see the Deathgrip line but almost sad to see the state it's in


You talk about the stresses of being a World Cup racer but there must be stresses that come with having a big social following too.


I don't really feel pressure there. I genuinely never feel like Instagram is stressing me out because I really enjoy creating content to post on there. People get really wound up over the whole algorithm but I genuinely don't even know what an algorithm is. People were trying to explain it to me and I still don't really understand.

I just go out and ride most days and if there's something cool that I end up getting a video of I'll post it. It doesn't stress me out , which is cool. I can see how it does happen to some people but I just really enjoy it

There are definitely negative sides to Instagram, like it makes people's lives look way better than they are blah blah blah, but I don't really change up anything I do for it so it doesn't have any negative effects for me.

I have noticed that the more followers you have, the more negativity you have as well. I find it quite funny to be honest because every now and then I'll get some negative comments about something that just makes me think, “what are these people thinking?”




I've had a couple of complaints for pulling the fingers or something in an Instagram photo and that makes me think you have to act a bit more professional when you grow your following, but it's kind of annoying because you want to be yourself on Insta. It’s a fine line and I'm still learning where that fine line is.


How did the Vision film come about, was it something you pitched to Adidas?


CJ, my team manager at Adidas, spoke about doing a video together. I thought it would be a normal edit like I usually do, 2 to 3 minutes long, me probably in a random field, building a couple of jumps with a spade but every time we spoke about it, the scale went up and up and before we knew it, it was an insane idea and I wasn't going to say no to any of it.




How important was it for the line to be open for the public after the film is released?


It was the most important aspect of the whole thing for sure. It's so cool to see the Deathgrip line but almost sad to see the state it's in. It's such an iconic spot and so many people say it's the best thing ever, and then you go and it's like “what's happened to it”? You can tell how many people would be able to enjoy it and have the best time if it was maintained so the biggest factor was building something that people could ride and enjoy.


You're keen for this not to be viewed as a women's film, it's all about bunches of people riding together...


Yeah for sure, obviously it's a touchy topic still people are very opinionated about it but I'm strongly of the opinion that we're all just people riding bikes and there doesn't have to be any segregation or even any labels put on anything. So many women out there say it's intimidating riding with the guys but if they didn't have the view that there are guys and girls, it would just be so much more chill I reckon.

It's a tough one but I think the way forward to push the women's side of it is to prove that we can ride with the guys, we can do the same stuff and we can have just as much fun riding big jumps. Hopefully, it just encourages more guys to ride with girls and more girls to ride with guys and everyone to just ride together, have a sick time and not worry about who's who and stuff like that.




You can tell watching the final segment, you can feel the progression.


Yeah, Tahnee, Vaea and Casey all did their first suicides it was so sick. They all just dropped in and did them in a train. It was so sick, so cool.


Did you learn to flip as well?


Ah, this is a touchy topic. I really wanted to learn a flip for the video but it was such a busy time filming I just had no time to learn one basically. I'd been to the foam pit a few times and done some sketchy ones on my jump bike and I was thinking on the last day I'd just go for it in case some miracle came round.

When I crashed, I sacrificed everything, it’s almost like in protecting myself I subconsciously landed on my head because I didn’t want to break any arms or anything so my head took some big hits. Learning to crash safely is also a big part of progression and something I have to work on. I definitely needed some practice and then a couple of weeks later I went and did one on a different jump on my jump bike just to prove to myself I could. I really wanted to use it for the film but it didn't tie in properly so they didn't use the footage but I'm going to have to use it for something, it's pretty gnarly.

I spoke to Martin Soderstrom and he was like, that wasn't the best jump to try on so that was good to know but it was good to have done it anyway. I was so gutted to not have done it for the film. I know next time I'll need to put some proper hours into it.




What's your favourite part of the film?


I really like the home section in Wales, which I thought was going to be the worst one because we filmed it in a really short period of time and none of the trails were in really good condition. But the vibes that were brought out and the energy of that section is just really cool and quite special to me.

Edit: Article updated to clarify Vero's comments on crashing.


91 Comments

  • 72 15
 "When I crashed, I sacrificed everything to land on my head because I didn’t want to break any arms or anything so my head took some big hits." Just WTF? Bones heal up, a brain injury on the other hand...
  • 47 7
 She has a MIPS helmet, don't worry about it
  • 24 5
 I realize PB is simply reporting her accounts in the interview, but CTE and cervical-spinal injuries are more serious than any banger you can upload to YouTube, or any dollar you can milk out of this industry. #SacrificeYourHead
  • 16 7
 I'd say somewhat of a bone-headed remark.
  • 19 4
 It's with a distance the weirdest things said by a professional on Pinkbike.

I'm at a loss, this is something that is well known, right? Especially someone like Vero should understand the huge risks?
  • 16 4
 I think what she's saying is the reason she landed on her head was because she didn't instantly put her arm/hand out and she's assuming this is because her body wanted to protect itself from breaking a bone. I've seen this happen many times, and experienced it myself. I don't think I've ever had a crash where I've had the chance to make a choice like this before hitting the ground, so I get it!
  • 5 3
 @bicyclesforfun: My head vs arm crash happened about a month ago. Even though I need surgery and am out for 4 months, I'll take the arm hit 100% of the time.
  • 6 2
 I’ll take an injury to my limbs versus head injury. I went head first into a tree, blacked out. When I came to I was at the truck with the bike loaded. Had no clue how I got back, where I was or even if I was with anyone. Freaked me out. Now have neck issues.
The mark is still on the tree after a year. It was brutal.
What’s the point in saving yourself from some fracture to your wrists if you suffer a severe head/neck injury and can’t move them.
  • 18 15
 Its official, one of the dumbest athlete comments, ever.
  • 26 0
 It's worded poorly in the article, but it's pretty clear to me what she was saying. It's not like when you are doing a backflip for the first time you are upside down, doing a risk assessment on which part of your body to land on. Without experience under high stress you are relying on reflexes which may not be ideal. I had the same problem for many years in BMX where I never let go of the handlebars. I have a picture of myself doing a handrail where my front wheel went over the rail, I slid down on the bottom bracket, my hands are a few inches off the ground still white knuckling the bars, ready for my face to hit the ground. I lost three sets of teeth riding, but never broke an arm. Now after 5 concussions I'm a pinkbike commenter instead of a theoretical physicist, definitely not by choice.
  • 30 4
 That's not the quote. Very misleading to leave a significant word out.

The actual quote is:
"When I crashed, I sacrificed everything, it’s almost like in protecting myself I ***subconsciously*** landed on my head because I didn’t want to break any arms or anything so my head took some big hits."

Really different meaning than what you posted.
  • 16 3
 Petersen is right, you misquoted her. Kind of shitty if you ask me. She even goes on to say, "Learning to crash safely is also a big part of progression and something I have to work on."
  • 4 6
 @peterpen @the-burd: "Edit: Article updated to clarify Vero's comments on crashing."

The quote as fabeltierkater posted it is exactly how it read when the article was posted earlier this morning. So, did Smurthwaite misquote Vero when he interviewed her? Or did Vero realize the severity of her gaffe, whether she intended to say she was 'sacrificing her head' or not, only after being called out on it? Presumably, she saw a draft of the interview before it was published, no?
  • 22 0
 For me, head injuries are something I take very seriously. When doing interviews like this I clearly sometimes don't get my point across in the best way, this was one of those situations. I learnt a lot in this film including the need to learn how to crash safely when learning new tricks. Its almost as if subconsciously in an effort to protect myself from the fear of broken bones I found myself landing on my head, its a whole new experience learning to crash upside down in the air. Learning to crash is a part of progression and I was trying to convey the importance of this- just not very well initially, I would never intentionally land on my head. Massive thanks to Pinkbike for the article and sharing the story and all your support Smile I hope I have cleared this up a little.
-Vero
  • 2 9
flag Matt115lamb (Jul 30, 2019 at 17:47) (Below Threshold)
 @GorgeousBeauGaston: if you through a cat up in the air it will always land on its feet , this woman is either talking rubbish or needs therapy !
  • 5 0
 @muchwhip: You f*ckin rock, Vero, never stop. Good luck not landing on your head going forward.
  • 26 4
 I believe riding is all about looking ahead and beyond - it's about thinking outside the box and try new lines - challenge fear and progress to become a better rider !

I'm yet to meet a biker that isn't stoked to have female riders in his group - but maybe there's plenty "no girls allowed" and I don't know anything about them, maybe because I chose my riding mates more carefully than that, or maybe I don't go out much....

Everyone takes different things from riding.... but I believe if you're making it all about proving yourself to others, you're doing it wrong - but who am I to judge ?
  • 32 0
 Thing is, many times you hear the opposite, girls saying: "I prefer to ride with other girls as we feel less pressure"

Well, I understand that at certain extent, but it is no point to say the opposite is what normally happens. I think it is much more common that male riders want to have more girl friends in their riding group.

That said, I have seen guys that progress quite quickly and they want to ride harded/steeper stuff at higher speeds and they tend to go with people of their level, otherwise they get bored. Many girls would have a more conservative approach (by nature apparently?), and that somewhat makes a gap between genders. Obvioulsly it is not always true.
  • 10 4
 @carldg: girls on average can't go as hard for as long. Nature, you know. It's hard denying it

Most people love to ride with other s and will just take it easier girl or no girl when people aren't going as long or fast as them thought! And of course some girls will in fact go faster than you, unless you're some race champion
  • 11 5
 @bankz: You’ll change your mind when you get schooled by a girl in pixie ponytail on a Giant reign on Dirt Merchant. Total sleeper. She was whip and gone. It was freakin awesome.

Got some girls in the NC area that are absolute shredders. Think it’s just a male dominated sport. But I’m stoked to see everyone ridingSmile Never underestimate.
  • 2 1
 @bankz: Don't overstate gender differences, it's not so clear cut. If we look at the "average male" there must a really significant amount of women being as strong or stronger.

Food for thought: drjon.livejournal.com/1335860.html

Homo Sapiens is seen as sexually dimorphic for a reason.
  • 1 0
 @Ronkol: el o el
  • 23 3
 Fucking hell people - stop ruining every fucking thing by picking out some random comment and making it a bigger deal that it ever needs to be - you lot on this forum are more a bunch of whiny twats than those that frequent the Daily Mail comment section!!!! Just enjoy the person, the athlete, the movie and the message - enjoy it .. you know .. lighten up!!! FFS - you lot frikkin ruin everything, really fucking do - who exactly is on this site now, is this like the Facebook of bike forums, just the old farts and boring whingers left.
  • 2 1
 Ha....Perfectly put man (Hi 5)
  • 4 4
 The irony of dropping three f bombs while telling people to lighten up.
  • 3 1
 @tobiusmaximum: That isn't irony. Something can f*cking cool, f*cking rad, f*cking great, f*cking congratulatory. It could be f*cking stupid or f*cking sad, "f bombs" (really, are you worried the bad words are going to get you?) are not negative. Makdthed makes a solid point. Pinkbike give a rad rider some coverage and people take one comment with no thought and lose their minds. Brain injuries are about as f*cked as it gets but all these people action like Vero was saying "Ya, LaNd On Ur HeAd It Is BetTeR" are detracting from the actualy positive message in the article.
  • 2 1
 @LawrenceonaHT: call it what you like then, its amusing to see someone raging with expletives while looking down on people for not being 'light enough'. if you don't get that, sorry. if you don't think the sentiment is aggressive/negative then i don't think you read it properly. its known in the trade as a 'rant'.

as for f bombs, i couldn't give a f*ck.
  • 1 0
 Wish I could upvote you more than once!
  • 17 1
 "Yeah for sure, obviously it's a touchy topic still people are very opinionated about it but I'm strongly of the opinion that we're all just people riding bikes and there doesn't have to be any segregation or even any labels put on anything. So many women out there say it's intimidating riding with the guys but if they didn't have the view that there are guys and girls, it would just be so much more chill I reckon. "

I ride with a pretty diverse group of folks on a regular basis, a lot of which are women. It's really nice having different perspectives and approaches, because my observation is that, on average, most women have a different approach to riding than guys do and it's really refreshing having a mix of both in the group. I've found, in general (again, not always the case) that women are more calculated and precise than a lot of the guys I ride with are, they're also more encouraging and willing to stop to work on sessioning features or checking out the trail, generally being more patient. For guys, a lot of times it feels like it's just a race to the bottom and they plow into things and hope it works out (or when they explain things, they use words like "just do xyz", rather than explain in detail). Both groups are equally skilled, their approach is just really different. I think a mixture of both approaches is really helpful when riding in a group, provided both sides of the group are willing to work together, both perspectives are valuable.

I do find it a bit frustrating that a lot of the womens groups feel the need to segregate themselves, though. I understand it and I think that these two approaches often conflict especially when you have a group of more experienced riders (It's not always just dudes) that just wanna go as fast as they can combined with newer riders (male or female), who may want to stop and work on improving or sessioning. My experience again being that more skilled and experienced women riders are likely to be willing to take a chill pace, ride slower with someone new, and be willing to work things out with them rather than take the lead and just meet at the bottom, which can be intimidating for newer riders (male or female). For whatever reason, men tend to be more likely to just leave folks behind or race to the bottom, which I think is where this intimidation factor comes from especially when you have a less experienced rider. It leaves you with this pressure to perform and doesn't leave room for improvement.

There is also the issue that some guys view mountain biking as a way to meet women and that results in some obvious discomfort and conflict, something that I always worry about when I talk to a female rider. I worry she may have had a bad experience previously and think I'm trying to hit on her.

As a dude, though, I find the segregation frustrating and wish that women riders didn't feel the need to segregate themselves as much as they do. As I said, I understand why they do it, but I find that my approach aligns closer to most of the women I ride with than the dudes, so it's a bit frustrating to feel left out because I'm male. I think media content could do a better job of this, too, I often read articles aimed at women riders explaining techniques, approaches, etc, where the article applies to the way I think about things, approach learning, and areas I need to improve, the only difference being that I'm a dude and it was written for women. The whole thing has proven somewhat frustrating for me, even if I understand why it is that way, I wish it wasn't and we could all just ride bikes, be chill with each other, and have fun in the woods.
  • 8 3
 are you saying men and women are different?
  • 4 0
 This is a really interesting subject, as I've encountered it from the other side of the men's perspective. I'm in the woods to relax, unwind, get exercise, challenge myself a bit, and have a good time. I like to take breaks and session fun spots. When I ride with a decent sized group of guys the goal is usually to cover as much trail as possible, so I almost always feel rushed.
  • 3 0
 It totally depends on objective and riding type. As was said, if it’s about covering ground, the riding group needs to be based on pace really. Nothing more annoying for both fast and slow riders than always having to wait or never getting a rest. In many cases it’s not about gender. I wouldn’t want to slow down a group of pros or super fit whippets, equally I don’t want to wait for someone who simply can’t keep up. Boy or girl.
  • 1 0
 @tobiusmaximum: for sure. Groups definitely need to agree on a pace for the ride, and maybe certain riders aren't the best suited to ride together if there's a huge difference that can't be resolved. Male or female, if a rider is working on certain skills or fitness they definitely shouldn't feel stressed or pushed beyond their limits. But I bet some discussion in advance would find pacing agreement with enough riders to build a fun, diverse group.
  • 2 0
 @pnwpedal: I hope you’re not saying that people who want to hammer should sacrifice their goals just so a riding group is diverse. Honest question
  • 3 0
 @conv3rt: I highly doubt it. But that being said, if a persons primary, ‘above all else’, objective is diversity then they’ve had way too much Kool Aid and should probably be sectioned.
  • 1 0
 @conv3rt: on the contrary, I'm saying that riders should discuss their goals in advance and state what the ride will be like. Then newer riders, and in the case of this discussion female riders, might be more comfortable joining a ride with guys who will ride with a pace that works for them. Or, if a ride is planned to be a 100% hammer down all day ride, riders who aren't into that (like me) would probably avoid it. And maybe the hammer down rider wants a mellower change of pace for the day, or an advancing rider wants to get pushed and joins a faster group.
  • 1 0
 @pnwpedal: discussion is overrated. Never not hammering! I am kidding of course. I’m accustomed to the usual “uhhh. Let’s just take it easy today.” followed by a 2 hour drag race. We’re considering implementing the use of a safe word actually. As a result people choose not to ride with us. Not because we don’t want them too, it’s just that our version of fun doesn’t include waiting and long chats. To each their own and talking about it first.
  • 1 0
 @conv3rt: I don't think it's wrong for anyone to want to pin it at their own pace down the mountain, that's totally fine (within certain contexts like being responsible on a multiuse trail). I think it comes down to choosing who you ride with, communicating, and setting expectations. I know riding with some folks we aren't gonna stop to look at things, so I don't ride trails with them that I'm not confident I can clean everything without thinking it over too much. I know with others, we're gonna stop and evaluate things. My point was that generally speaking, women tend to be more willing, regardless of skill level or experience, to be patient with other riders and stop to work on things vs just meeting at the bottom, like a lot of men do. I think this is the reason a lot of women don't want to ride with guys and find it frustrating. Their approach tends to be somewhat different, although some men, like myself, take a similar approach, but the alternate approach of just going for it the entire way down can be frustrating for those that want to take it differently. I think that's the source of frustration with women riding with a lot of men and a big reason why they segregate themselves.

I'll also add that I live in a vacation destination for riding and pretty routinely see couples riding together, where one of them completely ditched the other on some gnarly descent and left them to hang out on their own. I've seen fights over it on the trail and, even when there isn't, I can sense their frustration with the situation. You are partially responsible for the people you ride with, if you end up ditching your SO (male or female) and waiting 15 minutes at the bottom for them while they ride alone, then you either need to not invite them to ride or stay with them. I've ended up riding with these folks a few times and it shouldn't be my responsibility to escort your SO down the mountain because it was more important for you to be ripping it as fast as you could, when you know they couldn't keep up (I use "you" in the collective sense, not targeted at conv3rt). Tying this in with my previous comment, I've been riding with some women that were left behind by more experienced SOs and mentioned wanting to work on some sections, but not being able to because they have to hurry up to get down the trail.
  • 1 0
 @shinook: you may have clearly explained why diversity and inclusivity is a nonsense objective. Most specifically, men and women are different so why is there such a big push to make them interchangeable? Frankly, we would be where we are today without a ‘meet you at the bottom’ mentality on the part of men.
  • 2 0
 @tobiusmaximum: I would say that this isn't a case of "diversity and inclusion for the sake of diversity and inclusion", it's being used to discuss working past cases of uniformity and exclusion. If a primary group of enthusiasts for any activity is uniform in gender/ethnicity/religion/orientation/etc, and other groups feel excluded because of that, it might be time to reflect on why they feel excluded. Are males and females biologically different? Of course they are. Does that mean that an intermediate female rider shouldn't feel welcome to ride with a group of intermediate male riders? Of course not, we welcome new riders because they love riding bikes.
  • 2 0
 @pnwpedal: I totally agree. The issue arises when said entering group pipes up and says ‘this thing you love (and also dominate) that we don’t feel comfortable doing, well we would like you to change it so we can join in’. I’m not necessarily saying mtb is that thing. But I think that the people on the side of ‘let’s all get along’ should consider that a lot of people are sick to the back teeth of the international pc/equality/feminism/diversity brigade trying to change everything and nerf the edges so that everyone can join in.
People should be free to partake in whatever they like. But if a woman doesn’t feel comfortable doing a male dominated activity, maybe it’s not for her?

The bracket ‘loves riding bikes’ is way too broad to even draw conclusions about. Loic loves riding bikes.. flat out down a 1:1. But so does the old lady that cruises the canal towpath at 8mph. Gender and ‘love for bikes’ is not enough information. But trends are apparent based on biology and psychology (for the most part)
  • 3 0
 @shinook: to put it simply I should be able to ride how I want and so should you. If those are too different to do together then we have different riding groups or partners or times. Lots of options. There is no good case for us to be forced to compromise. By choice okay but expected? I don’t see it. This applies to any dimension of difference you can think of but the most important ones should be choice and ability. Man, woman, other...if you don’t want to or can’t keep up then you are free to ride with someone else (unless your main goal is to ride together as a couple which I’ve seen melt down time and again sadly). For instance there are people stronger fitter faster than me who I won’t ride with. I’m okay with it. I practice and strive to improve and don’t need or expect a participation prize or free pass from anyone. Written with respectful intent.
  • 1 0
 @conv3rt: Agreed completely. I think my point was mainly to communicate why some women find it frustrating riding with men in groups. Folks should be able to ride with whoever they want and how they want, bearing in mind that some responsibility is expected when you are in a group setting.
  • 1 0
 @shinook: agreed, and I think we all agree at heart. We shouldn't have to hold back our riding or anything, just that if we plan ahead and coordinate the ride outcome there may be other riders who are capable of and would enjoy riding with us. Male, female, or any other group.
  • 1 0
 @shinook: I can go along with that.
  • 22 3
 I for one welcome our new FreeRide overlords
  • 14 4
 or you just act normal and welcome them as new riding budies...
  • 7 0
 @cvoc: sorry if it came off That way. Wasn't the intention. I'm happy to shred with whoever. I meant in the way. The development of the vision crew and the 50 to 01 gang. Compared to the now old school new world disorder etc
  • 3 1
 @cvoc:
Joke.
Your head.
  • 16 2
 I’ve spoken to her about this crash and it comes across blunt in this interview, but what she said was she had no idea where she was until landing on her shoulder/ head. She didn’t purposely land in a certain way, which is near on impossible in my experience.
  • 6 1
 Yeah, I think it is easy to misinterpret what she is saying. I had a pretty big crash awhile ago, I was coming back from a recently broken wrist and in the air I instinctively pulled it out of harm's way rather than breaking my fall. Landed directly on my head/shoulder, fortunately with no serious injury. I don't think anyone would choose to land on their head but it might happen in that instant that you try to pull you limbs to safety.
  • 1 1
 Adrenaline makes these things possible. I distinctly remember suffering an AC stage 1 sprain/dislocation to my left shoulder after ejecting myself from my bike rocket man style straight into a small tree that fit between my helmet and shoulder joint perfectly. Four or five weeks later I was back riding park with a funny feeling shoulder but no real pain. I came off a wallride at a bad angle and missed the next corner. I found myself rocket man flying through the air once again with my recently injured shoulder heading straight for another small tree. What do we say to the god of death? Not today. In a moment of pure brilliance, desperation, and determination I flexed every core muscle I had and somehow generated some type of twist which allowed me to clear the tree and roll up harmlessly in the dirt.

I remember every part of every major crash I've ever had. That slowmo effect. Except for the worst crash which caused my worst injury. That crash I just was suddenly on my back looking up.
  • 13 1
 Vero is one of the most talented riders out there, that should be the only point that counts. I'd day that close to half of the riders I know as mates are girls, many of whom are way more talented and braver than me. Many of the girls have hit the serious stuff in Whistler, Morzine, Chatel or closer to home at Revs or BMCC. If Vero and some of the other rad riders out there can inspire more girls to get out on the trails, then mountain biking can only benefit from it.
  • 11 0
 So proud of Vero and all the crew on this project. The full movie is available for digital download worldwide today.

iTunes: geni.us/VISION

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Vision-Veronique-Sandler/dp/B07VS4T81C/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=VISION&qid=1564495972&s=instant-video&sr=1-4

Google Play: play.google.com/store/movies/details/Vision?id=cnNCIgtTcZ8

Vimeo On Demand: vimeo.com/ondemand/visionmountainbiking
  • 1 0
 Why is it 3x the price on Amazon?
  • 6 0
 @skycripp: because Jeff Besos has to somehow pay for his divorce.
  • 11 1
 I was riding some local trails a couple of years ago and Becki Skelton turned up. That was a real eye opener of quite how slow and shit at jumping I am! These top lasses are crazy good and have much bigger balls than most men I know!
  • 11 0
 She could kick my arse at riding, even on a kids trike. Nothing to prove, you rock!
  • 5 0
 Well done everyone involved, a very cool story! Big respect to Wideopenmag for early support of Vero, and to Revo’s for making such a cool place to ride in the UK.
  • 5 0
 As far as I've experienced, people just want to ride with other people who can hang with them or push them a bit. I don't get why it has to be more complicated than that.
  • 6 0
 Just people riding bikes. That's all. It really is that simple.
  • 5 0
 Yaaaasss! Going the right way! So happy to see this movie.
  • 3 0
 Pretty much nothing but sick clips on her insta too, absolutely sends it and tries to destroy tires and wheels in every berm.
  • 2 0
 I took a trip to Peru to ride for 2 weeks in some awesome terrain, some gnarly stuff and some tough climbs at altitude and we had 14 people with a 50/50 Male/Female split and it was sick!
  • 4 0
 pretty rad team mate ! awesome role model for many Woman that see what's possible.
  • 4 0
 Very cool!! Very, very cool.
  • 4 0
 Vision is going to be epic. Well done Vero!
  • 2 0
 Stoked for this video!
  • 1 0
 Who can best explain an algorithm for us lay people?
  • 6 9
 I like riding with girls on my spin or recovery days. I like it a lot. I have a couple "biking girlfriends" that I go out with just to ride and smell the roses. When I am out for blood though, I don't know a single female that can keep up. They're good with this, as am I. But there are no illusions that the girls can ride with the boys when the boys are riding. I'm not sure what this strange person named Vero is getting at with the fuzzy verbiage "The way forward".
  • 3 3
 How dare you speak the truth in 2019!! (P.s. did any women enter Loosefest? I’m genuinely curious)
  • 1 1
 So far a lot of downvotes but no takers on quantifying what "the way forward" is. Your programmers must be proud.
  • 3 0
 @JohanG: Maybe its just something about Bellingham, but there are plenty of really fast female riders up here, and lots of mixed groups. For the typical rides, there's plenty of stopping to bullshit, drink beer, or share the stoke anyway. The way forward is probably remembering that bikes are supposed to be fun, first. The fastest people I know are great fun to ride with, and never seem to have a problem waiting to let people catch up.

Most people don't care about our sport, and would struggle to name a single pro, let alone a local dude chasing a KOM. Maybe put less focus on being competitive, and more on being a good ride buddy.
  • 2 0
 @CaptainBLT: this. I ride Bham and I can’t believe how many fast, strong female riders we have here. Hannah Bergemann, Bonnie Burke, etc... I know plenty of guys that can’t keep up with them. It’s rad. As a woman, it’s inspiring.
  • 1 0
 Sick...
  • 1 0
 Use your head first!!!
  • 1 0
 yall dumb
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