MUST WATCH: RJ Ripper - Joey Schusler's New Film About Nepal’s Fastest Rider

Jun 25, 2018
by Joey Schusler  

Kids and bikes; wherever you are in the world, they go together. The chaotic streets of Kathmandu may not seem like a typical breeding ground for world-class mountain bikers, but then again nothing is typical about Rajesh (RJ) Magar. Since learning to ride on a beat-up clunker, to becoming the four-time National Champion at age 21, RJ’s story is one of boundless childhood dreaming and unstoppable determination, forged from junkyard scraps and tested on the rugged trails of the mighty Himalaya.

Please consider donating to help support RJ and his dream to race in the Enduro World Series.

If you're doing a trip to Nepal, you can ride with RJ and Mandil.

Photos by Joey Schusler & Ben Page.

Photo by Joey Schusler

Photo by Joey Schusler

Photo by Joey Schusler

Photo by Ben Page

Photo by Joey Schusler

Photo by Joey Schusler

Photo by Joey Schusler

Photo by Joey Schusler

Photo by Ben Page

Photo by Joey Schusler

Photo by Ben Page

Photo by Joey Schusler

Photo by Joey Schusler


RJ is the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.





Director:
Joey Schusler

Co-Directors:
Ben Page & Aidan Haley

Producers:
Mandil Pradhan & Joey Schusler

Cinematography:
Joey Schusler & Ben Page

Editor:
Aidan Haley

Assistant Editor:
Ben Page

Sound Engineer:
Keith White Audio

Art Direction:
Good Fortune Collective

Motion Design:
Shotgun Infinity
Colorist:
Dylan Hageman

Location Support:
H&I Adventures

Language Coordinator:
Jessica DiCarlo

Nepali Translations:
Mandil Pradhan, Richa Shakya, Yukta Bajracharya, Shristi Shrestha

Supported By:
Yeti Cycles, Fox Shox, Outdoor Research, Enve Composites, Smith Optics, Clif Bar, Maxxis Tires, and H&I Adventures

Music:
“Big Om of Tibet” Tibetan Monks, Traditional
“Reshamm”, Nepathya
“Atmos VI”, A Winged Victory for the Sullen
“Taal Ko Pani”, Nepathya
“Daydream (feat. Ashwin Srinivasan)”, Nitin Sawhney
“Mountain Song”, Assaraimasko Dabdabhelio
“Mountain High”, Bipul Chettri



104 Comments

  • + 140
 Let me be clear: In the decade or so I've been reading Pinkbike, this is the most engaging piece and video I've ever seen. It's actually the best mountain bike video I've seen, period.

RJ's story is almost incomprehensible; EVERYTHING we take for granted, the fortunate draw of where and to whom our birth has placed us, he has had to not just work for, but invent the ways of working for it. I wish I had 10% of his passion and drive.

The video itself not only transcends but elevates videos in our sphere of passion; it's gorgeously shot and lush, woven together with RJ's passionate but factual interviews making it just a piece I want to not only keep watching, but get everyone I know to watch. Even the end credits are just beautiful.

Kudo's to Joey and his team for the amazing work, and Mandril for giving back. Love. Love. Love
  • + 3
 this!
  • + 4
 @bikegreece: Couldn't agree more, so good! Would love to see this guy racing EWS. Donated $10 to help him out!
  • + 1
 perfectly stated! Rad x 100!!!!
  • + 124
 Congrats to everyone involved in making such an amazing film! Good luck RJ and hope to see more young rippers on mountain bikes around the world. This rules.
  • + 5
 Ramro sanga janus! Good luck RJ.
  • + 15
 Props to Asian enduro series for giving Asian kids the opportunity to prove their talent on i international events.
  • + 10
 I got nothing but respect!!!
  • + 11
 yeah, that's full on outdoor film festival material. Great little film!
  • + 6
 Wow. Epic short film of a great story. Yeti in Nepal, too! Perfect.
  • + 4
 Ya Joey! that was really good!
  • + 6
 Mind Blowing !! RJ such a moving film, so glad you followed your heart ! Bikes for life !!
  • + 48
 RJ was our tail guide when we used Mandil's guiding company to check out Nepal. RJ was absolutely sending it on a horribly clapped out bike, but every time we stopped he had the biggest shit eating grin on his face with how stoked he was. The trip was unreal, but getting to share the trails with this kid having the time of his life made it even better. So stoked to see how far RJ has gone and can't wait to see what the future holds for him! Also, everyone should take at least one trip to Nepal with Mandil's guiding outfit. It's still by far my favorite riding trip I've ever been able to do. For me the quality of people, landscape and trail in Nepal can't be beat.
  • + 51
 Thanks for the kind words buddy. That trip was the first trip RJ ever came out on with us, and also where he got his name RJ Ripper. He really looks up to you guys a lot and that trip contributed a lot in how the rest of his short career has shaped up. It's his dream to travel up to BC and ride with you again, hopefully we can make that happen at some point.
  • + 0
 @mandil: That would be too good! You can even drink the shower water here without exploding from both ends. Smile
  • + 3
 @mandil: It would be great to have you and RJ here in BC one day! We'd love to show you around!
  • + 29
 wow.... when i think of the hurdles i plan to jump to do the full EWS next year i think i'm hard done by...and then I see RJ here literally having mountains to leap. I am humbled. Never take anything for granted. Will be putting my money where my mouth is for a dream to be realised for this dude. wish you all the best....and fantasic filming by the way
  • + 22
 More stoked to ride my bike after watching this than any other MTB video! This guy deserves everything he gets and I wish him all the luck in the world!
  • + 10
 Fellow MTB'er please go and donate to RJ's Gofundme so he can secure the Visa's necessary to chase his dream and race on the worlds largest stages. Anything you can give is welcomed. Just drink a few less beers or run that balding tire for an extra few rides so you can chip in a few $$$$
  • + 2
 Gofundme link please?
  • + 7
 @nozes:https://www.gofundme.com/rj-ripper-rajesh-magar-fund
  • + 4
 Lets get this guy to the EWS! I'm not sure if there's a more deserving person.
  • + 9
 I’m waiting to see if anyone in the pinkbike peanut gallery will suggest RJ is a dentist seeing as he’s on a Yeti.

In all seriousness though, awesome film as always by Joey. I was in Nepal in 2005 and kept wishing I had taken my mountain bike with me. Wishing RJ all the success he deserves for all the hard work he has put in.
  • + 34
 He's got good teeth. I'm suspicious.
  • + 10
 He said in his interview that he is not the brightest student, but dude you are the most brightest of them all when you built that downhill mountain bike of yours.
  • + 0
 Sadly, asian kids are "brightest" if they score well in school. So a dumb kid with good memory will be the brightest.
  • + 2
 It is unfortunate sometimes how intelligence is defined and measured, because this kid is clearly smart and has a good head on his shoulders. Regardless, it appears he has something far more important than smarts- tenacity by the boatload.
  • + 9
 That bar drag at 13:00. Hoping for some followup coverage on RJ if and when he manages to hit his first EWS. As always, exceptional stuff from Joey.
  • + 5
 Napoleon: Do you ride the bus to school?
Pedro: No, I ride my bike.
Napoleon: What kind of bike do you have?
Pedro: It's a Sledgehammer.
Napoleon: Dang! You got shocks... pegs... Lucky! You ever taken off any sweet jumps?

I think Raj built the original Sledgehammer
  • + 8
 An amazing and inspiring film. I loved every second! Huge props to everyone involved in the creation of that masterpiece.
  • + 4
 Amazing... amazing story... Congratulations RJ and may you find continued success. Joey and team, thank you so much for continuing to push the boundary of film making in this industry. I love that you guys have found a place to represent the few in a sea of constant influx of various media of MTB from developed/western countries. This is a masterpiece that stands out amongst them and I appreciate the coverage and exposure to other parts of the world. Thank you!
  • + 7
 Much respect. Well done Sir
  • + 4
 wow, that's the kind of humanity that change the world, so inspring. And the story + film was stunning. Keep it in the way RJ, your good vibes just got stronger sharing your passion.
  • + 4
 Well shot, what a story, awesome stuff, if only there were some mountains to train on!

Happy to donate hopefully RJ you can make it to the small hills (that I struggled to climb) down in Tasmania in 2019!
  • + 6
 WOW!!!! I'm gonna donate and I'm the cheapest person I know. Mtb in its purest form.
  • + 3
 I had the pleasure of teaming up with a Nepalese guide from Kathmandu to lead a group on a 10 day MTB ride in Nepal, the struggle to just keep a bike rolling is huge, he hadn't had any damping in his fork for over a year but he still rode everything at speed and with a huge smile. Good luck RJ, great story that we can all benefit from. Thanks for sharing it so openly.
  • + 7
 Inspiring, one of best MTB film
  • + 7
 Such an amazing story, & well presented! Way to go RJ...
  • + 3
 Excellent work to all involved in this project, especially RJ! I'll be looking out for RJ on the EWS and when he makes it I'll be cheering you on man. Super inspiring, keep chasing your dreams!
  • + 2
 Fantastic filming and a great story to hear about! I love how he just built his own frame. I hope we see/hear a bit more of his story in the future Smile .

I've got to say that the H+I adventures guy came across as kind of arrogant though.
  • + 2
 What an incredibly inspiring story! It is very exciting to see up and coming racers from other countries and I hope to see RJ soon in the EWS! So glad to see this kind of high quality content on pinkbike, good work Joey and team!
  • + 4
 Great men! If you want to come to Chile and ride some bigmountains here in the Andes mountain range please contact us! Amazing film! Cheers from South America, Chile!
  • + 4
 I'll be showing this to my two boys who have both got flash new bikes this year. Might make them appreciate what they have a little more.
  • + 6
 This vid rekindled my dream to ride Nepal. Goodluck RJ!
  • + 2
 Namaste chai! What an amazing adventure! Wy wife has lived near Kathmandu, your story reminded her of the many challenges your family face daily. Well done RJ for following your your dream with passion and for being so resourceful with so little. I have no doubt that you will go all the way and beyond!
  • + 3
 Riding in Nepal changed my life without a doubt. Even without that link, this is an extraordinary video. So well shot and thought out. Well done. What if I want to buy & download the film?
  • + 8
 DM your email address and I'll send you a link to download the file. You can consider donating to help support RJ through the link below, but it's not obligatory. Smile

www.gofundme.com/rj-ripper-rajesh-magar-fund
  • + 1
 @mandil: I put $13.00 into Gofundme. That's what I paid for North of Nightfall. I'll PM you. Tx.
  • + 1
 @mandil: Could I get a copy as well? I just donated and willing to donate more for a copy.
  • + 1
 Thanks for the link! Just sent some pennies in.
  • + 6
 Such a well crafted piece! Enjoyed that a lot!
  • + 3
 Amazing dude and story loaded with humbling inspiration and stoked riding. Someone better get Rajesh a world circuit race entry ASAFP!!
  • + 5
 I’ve liked it more than any Brandon Semenuk films
  • + 3
 Beautiful film, the shots of 8167 meter Dhaulagiri were to die for, would love to go ride that trail! Best of luck RJ, you are a inspiration to all of us!
  • + 3
 Inspirational! Support RJ, way it go Joey for making this and getting him the exposure he truly deserves! Best MTB movie of the year!
  • + 3
 Wonderful story. We have pretty easy life here in the first world country. Takes a lot of will to accomplish what he did. Respect.
  • + 4
 Wow, really nice pictures and story.... landscape is amazing. Best of luck Rajesh
  • + 1
 I can't even imagine how pissed I would be if my mom sold my bike for scrap metal. Then this kid goes and builds his own bike, ironically, from scrap metal. Wow! I am impressed.
  • + 1
 Watching your struggles, triumphs, passion and love for your craft in this short film is really a blessing! Truly an eye-opener! Thank you PB for introducing RJ to us. LOVE and RESPECT!
  • + 1
 this is so great. to think this guy has so many hardships yet he still does everything to go ride and get better... got no excuses to go riding. Hope we see him @ ews, regardless of his results
  • + 4
 The best film I’ve watched in a long as time
  • + 4
 Fantastic! Congratulations to everyone involved,that was amazing.
  • + 4
 the things we take for granted..
  • + 4
 I've been following Joey's work for a while and wow this was unbelievable!
  • + 4
 Two things:
1) Rowdy!
2) When is the EWS heading to Nepal??
  • + 3
 the asian enduro series is in nepal. enduro.asia
  • + 4
 The man’s got purpose! Good luck Rajesh!!
  • + 4
 Seriously the production of the year
  • + 4
 that was amazing. really hit home. all the best, great inspiration.
  • + 3
 That's the best thing I've watched in a long long time.
  • + 2
 Masterpiece! such an awesome story. Awesome photography, and the last section is absolutely mind blowing!
  • + 3
 I actually enjoyed it more than the fest series
  • + 3
 A masterpiece. Pure inspiration and great storytelling. Thanks!
  • + 3
 That was incredible! Go RJ I hope to see your name again
  • + 3
 Great footage. One of the best this year !!!
  • + 3
 Next level production! Super engaging & beautifully done.
  • + 2
 This is what riding is all about!! Amazing story, I agree that's it's the best I've seen in a long time.
  • + 3
 And I thought I had it rough
  • + 4
 It touched my heart
  • + 4
 This is fuckin art
  • + 1
 RJ is a really inspiring person. We can all learn from what he did. It's always great to see upcoming riders from more and more countries.
  • + 2
 If i remember correctly, we had RJ as our bike guide in Pokhara, 3years ago....we asked for the steep downhill...he provided
  • + 1
 Amazing video truly inspirational really cool what Yeti has done looking foward to seeing more from RJ Ripper. Does he have a youtube or instagram page?
  • + 1
 @rjripper on Instagram.
  • + 3
 A really pleasure to see this movie.
  • + 3
 Awesome bro...really inspiring.
  • + 2
 Credit where credit is due. This was a hell of a video and story.
  • + 2
 Love it! Someone’s always gunning for top spot
  • + 3
 Gwinner.
  • + 3
 More of this,
  • + 3
 Great film!
  • + 2
 Beautiful!! Like the ocean
  • + 2
 Of course a rider from Nepal has to ride, what else but a Yeti
  • + 2
 Man if this guys can buy himself a bike so I can
  • + 2
 He didn't buy the bike. He is sponsored by yeti.
  • + 1
 Awesome film Joey, Ben, and crew.
  • + 2
 Inspiring!
  • + 2
 Donated!
  • + 2
 Great Story ...
  • + 2
 Incredible!
  • + 1
 Unreal.
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