Words & Photography // Matt Brooks & Steve Riffel
Is Reilly Horan the next big name in mountain biking? This is a question that needs to be considered after watching what he is capable of on a bike. There are a lot of factors that go into becoming one of the greats; raw talent, style, tricks, and results. However, there is a much larger aspect to the success of a rider which is often the decision by the public that a rider is now undeniable.
Much like the ancient Romans, a parallel can be drawn to the bike athletes of today. They must battle, gaining their scars through their countless races or video parts, only the most auspicious ever gaining notoriety. Again, much like the Romans, the notoriety of their gladiators only comes from the power of the people who choose to hoist their athletes to greatness. Spartacus and Hermes are still household names to this day because they were able to captivate anyone who laid eyes upon them.
It takes a particular makeup for people to take notice, however. The ability to ride in an impressive manner and under pressure is an obvious one, but personality counts as well. One needs to be outgoing, yet reserved when it is time to perform. Boisterous enough to gain attention, but humble enough to be approachable and kind to their supporters. Constantly pushing one's self on the bike and still walking that fine line of self-preservation is key. Often our ideal hero is paradoxical, which is what enamours us.
When larger companies begin to take notice it is often a precursor to a riders' eventual enormity. They signal the support of the rest of the community and can act as a beacon sounding off a message of legitimacy. Therefore, aligning with the right companies early in their career can make a massive difference. Maloja has already taken notice in this case and obviously sees the potential, but Reilly largely remains a giant question mark from the perspective of most companies. He, in many ways, has come out of nowhere and with humble beginnings. Reilly recounts his somewhat recent history with riding
So will the bike community support this rider and decide that he is the new soldier they want representing them? Is Reilly Horan the next big thing?