James Doerfling Out of Red Bull Rampage, Bas Van Steenbergen In

Sep 7, 2017
by AJ Barlas  
James Doerfling poses for a portrait during the Red Bull Rampage in Virgin UT USA on 12 October 2015. Christian Pondella Red Bull Content Pool P-20151014-00017 Usage for editorial use only Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information.

In an unexpected turn of events, James Doerfling has removed himself from the upcoming 2017 Red Bull Rampage. Doerfling, who lives in Williams Lake B.C., has been fighting the fires that saw the town evacuated earlier this summer and while the evacutation order was lifted in late July, fires are still blazing around the area.

bigquotesIt has been one hell of a summer for me up here in Williams Lake, Canada—with the wildfires burning around my hometown. Throughout the last few weeks, I have been helping fight the fires alongside my community, and I haven’t been able to ride my bike much. I am going to pull out of this year’s Red Bull Rampage. Probably one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, but I hope you understand the situation. I hope to come back for 2018.James Doerfling

Jame Doerfling rides during Red Bull Rampage in Virgin UT USA on 13 October 2016. Christian Pondella Red Bull Content Pool P-20161014-00364 Usage for editorial use only Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information.


It sucks that we won't get to see what Doerfling would have come up with for the 2017 contest, after all, who can forget some of the insane features on his line from 2015? Nevertheless, it's an incredibly admirable thing that he is doing for his community up in Williams Lake.




Bas Van Steenbergen of Canada competes during qualification day of the tenth edition of the Red Bull Rampage Virgin Utah USA on October 15th 2015. Dean Treml Red Bull Content Pool P-20151016-00079 Usage for editorial use only Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information.

Bas van Steebergen In

With Doerfling stepping aside to help the community that he grew up in, Bas van Steenbergen has been called from the reserves list and will now suit up to take on the challenging terrain. Bas's last time at the event was in 2015 and his run included some unique takes on the use of the available land, mid-run crankflips and all.



MENTIONS: @redbullbike



Must Read This Week

77 Comments

  • + 307
 My hats off to James super noble thing your doing for all the people affected by the wild fires. Sucks we won't see you at Rampage though. Cheers Be safe
  • + 36
 Genuine. Human. Being. Stay safe. Hope the fires are controlled soon.
  • + 58
 Give him an official invitation for 2018 NOW, Red bull!
  • + 15
 a true mounatain biker, so much respect!!! Stay safe!!
  • + 4
 Also a good reminder for people to help relief funds for these fires since the media only cares about hurricanes (not that they shouldn't but they almost completely ignore forest fires)
  • - 3
 In fairness, hurricanes tend to impact more people because we're stupid and build large cities where they are more likely to hit. I'm still astonished at the total lack of coverage though.
  • + 141
 Fu*king hero, best reason i have ever read.
  • + 112
 Props to James! One of my favourite riders ever to watch shred a mtn bike! Stay safe out there bud and good luck to Bas!! Rip it up!!
  • + 75
 We support this decision! Well done for you work with the community.
  • + 25
 @SRSuntour: You've got a true sporstman and great ambassador for your products right there...
  • + 12
 @gapos999: Yes we do.
  • + 56
 Man, I was so looking to Doerflings line choices. Gutted to see him out, but mad respect for him helping his community. What an example to us all!
  • + 47
 Massive massive respect.
  • + 39
 For those of you who don't know...our BC province is twice the size of California and more that 10% of it is on fire at the moment. Hats off James.
  • + 13
 *1%* - still a huge amount (and the worst fire season ever in bc), but the province is almost 100 million hectares, and fires are covering about 1 million hectares. Good on James for killing it for the puddle this summer - they've had a really rough go so every bit helps.
  • - 1
 What is shocking, is how California has more "old growth forest" than BC. Both the Atlantic cod fishery and BC forest management have been a black eye on Canadian reputation. Seismic lines in both countries are another story.
  • + 26
 @SithBike: If you don't mind, I would like to clear some stuff up regarding BC forest management...

"Old growth" forests are amazing, however they are not prime examples of forest sustainability. Naturally, forests would burn down in forest fires sparked by lightning. This would reset the eco system, and completely re-vitalize the soil. New vegetation would start growing, creating habitats for a lot of different animals such as deer, bear, rodents, etc. As the forest grew up, it would bring new habitats for birds, and other forest type animals. The deer and bear would move to the next fledgling forest, and the cycle would repeat.

Now days we are so efficient and effective at stopping forest fires, that there isn't enough "recycling" going on. This leaves forests susceptible to other plagues such as the pine beetle epidemic. Thankfully, a lot of our forest fires lately have been burning these useless dead forests down.

To replace the naturally occurring forest fires, logging is the next best thing. When a forest is cut down, all of the branches, roots, stumps, foliage, and cut offs are left to decompose, which puts good nutrients back into the ground. Then the forest cycle can reset from there.

In the old days, clear cutting was a thing, and obviously bad. Modern logging cuts down forests in "patches" almost like a 3 level checkers boards. This leaves forests standing ready to be cut, next to patches of forest mid way through it's regrowth cycle, and then freshly cut forest, all layered throughout the area. This gives all of the wild life great habitats to live in, while refreshing the soil. After a cut area has had a chance to rest for a bit, new trees are planted. This, combined with the natural seeding from the fully grown forests nearby, allow healthy new forests to grow up quickly. A large area of forest is permanently left around any creeks/lakes etc or any special habitats for fish and other wild life. All of this leads to healthy, sustainable logging.

If you've ever spent much time in any old growth forests, you would notice that, while the trees are bigger, they are generally dying. If you cut down an old growth tree, most of the inside is rotten and dead, while just the outer foot or two is actually alive. These trees end up just falling down, or get hit by lightning and burning anyway because the rotten wood inside isn't full of moisture.

The fact is that that we need wood. We need it for so many things its crazy. Things we don't even think about. This wood has to come from somewhere, and BC is bristling with forests that would otherwise burn or be infected with pine beetle or whatever else. They are a renewable and sustainable resource, so why not use them? Most of the forests that are logged and everybody complains about, will only ever be set foot in by the people logging them. I would far rather use our forests well, than be pumping the earth full of chemicals and burning away our ozone layer with a "use once and discard" resource such as oil.

Some of the most beautiful forests around BC, a lot of which the general population think are either old growth or second growth, are actually more like 3rd, 4th or even 5th growth. There are huge misconceptions around logging and forestry, but the reality is that BC forests are some of the best managed forests in the world, and something to be proud of.
  • + 5
 Also, just for the record, I am not saying I think forest fires should be left to burn. We need to stop them, as they are destroying good forest, and endangering humans... I hope I didn't come across that way! I purely wanted to comment on the forest management side. It is very commendable what James is doing, and I am very thankful for all of the men and women committing their time and risking their lives for this province.
  • + 2
 @redridesrule: You took the words out of my mouth. Well said.
  • + 2
 You guys are spreading the same BC forestry propaganda from 50 years ago. Yes people do need wood, but I would like you to acknowledge that we could have managed the forests much better.

-Fresh forests burn faster than pine beetle ravaged forests. So that bio fuel theory is under speculation now.

-One ecosystem if very valuable and precious because of the "dead decaying old growth forests" and it's rarity. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there is "too much" 2nd, 3rd, etc. regrown lumber patch forest ecosystems all over the province.

-People would know that they are not looking at a 'old growth forest' if they ever got the chance to see a real one.

My point was. California is commendable for being able to keep more of it's "old growth forest/ecosystem" (which has not burnt down yet according to your theory) than BC. And Canada needs to do a better job to make sure BC logging does not cut that remaining 1 percent of "old growth forest' down in BC, which is still under threat because of the ignorant pro BC forest opinions seen here.
  • + 31
 James, dude. What you are doing is most commonly called 'being a man.' Well done sir.
  • + 3
 sometimes there are more important things than riding a bike...legend
  • + 15
 Bas was IMO the most comfortable rider at Loosefest. He's gonna kill it at Rampage. Huge shout outs to James, hope he stays safe fighting fires.
  • + 7
 Agreed. Bas has been sending it hard—stoked to see what he brings to Utah this year.
  • + 2
 @brianpark: Surprised he was not included allready, the agressivity he rode the double drop line impress me the most. That was pure raw genuine rampage style we want to see.
  • + 8
 Not having James at the event sucks, but I feel like Bas is a solid replacement. I always felt like his line from from 2015 was sorta slept on. Hats off to James tho, must have been a tough decision to make and an even tougher summer facing those fires.
  • + 9
 Redbull should send him his wildcard invite for next year right now.
  • + 9
 Respect!
  • + 3
 I'm going to miss watching James. Props to him for helping his community.

On a side note - what's with the photo of him charging down the mountain? It looks completely mutilated. People are climbing all over the place and trails just end.
  • - 4
flag TheYetiHelpsMeDig (Sep 7, 2017 at 15:22) (Below Threshold)
 Mutilated? It's called Rampage... You know, where riders have to build and test their line before the ride it? Ever heard of it?
  • - 1
 @TheYetiHelpsMeDig: Yeah I know what Rampage is, but really look at the photo. It's jacked up.
  • + 1
 @TheYetiHelpsMeDig: I'd be curious if you would be such a punk face to face?
  • + 3
 @RichPune: The two upper trails are hiking trails that were used for digging. The bottom trail is a gap and a secondary line that was there as a bail out. Aggy and doerfling rode this chute, and gapped that lower line.
  • + 0
 @RichPune if anything, this photo truly shows how gnarly and technical Rampage really is. I highly disagree that this photo is mutilated. Cheers.

@thejake why don't you whine a little more, it really adds to the conversation. RichPune didn't understand why there were people climbing all over the mountain so I reminded him.. It's Rampage...
  • + 5
 My favourite rider. People don't realize how bad the fires are and how many people are affected. Cudos to a true king of style.
  • + 3
 Good on him for sticking with it and helping out his hometown fight the fires, they'll always be next year. Also I forgot about his 2015 line at rampage, I got sweaty palms just watching that.
  • + 7
 Respect.
  • + 3
 I was sad to read the headline, until I read the reason behind it. A legendary human being both on and off the bike. Huge respect, looking forward to seeing him in 2018.
  • + 1
 super bummed to hear james is out, like many here i love to watch him slay the big mountain lines like rampage,
Does anyone know if there is a list of alternate riders ? with a event like the rampage, many times riders get hurt preriding the event and new riders get a shot last minute , just was wondering whos on that list.
  • + 5
 Way to go! You are a true hero.
  • + 3
 I was looking forward to see James ride his insane lines, now I´m stoked to see Bas with his clean style, altough I would love to see Vink or Tupin ride at Rampage as well..
  • + 2
 It's a real shame for James, really wanted to see him kill it! But meh, the man has honor! On the other hand, Bas has been riding top notch and Im sure he's gonna pull it off BIG TIME!
  • + 1
 DOERFS GOT ROBBED!!! Fire sucks! Montana just passed over 1 million acres burned up this year. I feel you, my Canadian brothers! Respect. I'm sure the money is better than Rampage too. That's a crime in itself also.
  • + 3
 Just when I thought this guy couldn't get more badass. Respect!
  • + 3
 Rampage isnt everything. Life happens
  • + 3
 Good decision and for a marvelous reason. Hats off to you mate.
  • + 1
 One of my favourites to watch hands down, and much respect to him pitching in to his community. I hope RB gives him his rightful places alongside the others for 2018.
  • + 2
 NOOOOOOOOO!!! (but i understand, but nooo.) i'll sacrifice a tank top in his honor.
  • + 2
 I hope your community is okay and will stay okay, best of luck to you James.
  • + 1
 So much appreciation and respect for all those who have been battling the wildfires in BC this summer trying to keep our communities safe. Stay safe James and good luck Bas!
  • + 1
 Argh when you only get to see your fav rider once a year. hats off to the best true big mountain dude
  • + 2
 Send this guy the People's Choice award now.
  • + 2
 Sweaty palms watching that. Wow.
  • + 2
 moms spaghetti.
  • + 3
 @gonecoastal: knees weak
  • + 1
 @slayersxc17: moms spaghettis
  • + 1
 Way to go above and beyond James, stay safe out there and hope to see you next year.
  • + 1
 Such a bummer.... Frown but it's rad to see the Van Steenbergen's are gonna be ripping it up!!!!!!! Wink Smile
  • - 2
 As a firefighter and admirer of all the Red Bull Rampage super althletes.... Doerfling you are a true Mench. Thank you and stay safe.

.....Doerfling, you need some extra hands out there fighting those fires?? We will send you all the piece of shit useless NFL players who take a knee during our national anthem. Put em to work, and feed them your leftovers.
  • + 2
 What a stud. Well done, stay safe man.
  • + 1
 My favorite free rider in the world, just became mt favoriter
  • + 1
 Family trumps fleeting glory. Well done James, well done
  • + 1
 Not enough props for James.
  • + 1
 Why downvoted for giving the guy props and respect?
  • + 1
 props to James! a noble call.
  • + 1
 But why? you make me so sad...
  • + 1
 Thats one of Tom's dig crew!?!? lol
  • + 1
 RESPECT
  • + 1
 X2, to the buzzilionth power.
  • + 1
 Hero
  • + 1
 James is the real MVP
  • + 0
 Doerfling is my god
  • - 1
 Does this increase the chances of us seeing a front flip at Rampage?
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