Photo Epic: The Calm Before The Storm - Proving Grounds 2021

Sep 11, 2021
by James Stokoe  


The itinerary for Fridays' schedule at the 2021 Proving Grounds had been set a number of days ago; a couple of hours of practice, followed by lunch, then a couple more hours of practice seamlessly flowing into a jump jam in the evening on The Megladon - the last jump on the course and it wasn’t named ironically, this jump is huge. However, the gods had other ideas. We’d be warned about the weather coming in starting Thursday night / Friday morning, although the only people taking it seriously were the people who had cell service and could access The Weather Channel app.

The rain came right on schedule. It lasted from the wee hours of Friday morning and went until mid-morning. It let up just long enough for the athletes to get their riding gear on and their bikes ready, then we heard a laugh from above and the heavens opened again. Fortunately for everyone who had made the trek to Prineville, Oregon, the sun did come out to say hello, but not until mid-afternoon - at which point the schedule was shot.

As the course makes its way down the hillside the type of dirt changes quite drastically, and as a result, the moisture played havoc with the top section, but left the bottom half of the course with a consistency that was similar to “hero dirt”. And although everyone in Oregon had been hoping for this storm, it unfortunately only left the riders with the lower features available for practice on Friday, so although there was no official “Jump Jam” all the girls and guys came out to session a couple of the available features, encouraging one another, leading each other into the features including the massive flat drop and providing the spectators with a show they won’t quickly forget. The evening concluded with an all-time level of stoke, and anticipation with a load of excitement for what’s in store on competition day!

Prove it.
Prove it.

The rain caused quite a delay for the day. Puddles were present in the parking lot and on the course.
The rain caused quite a delay for the day. Puddles were present in the parking lot and on the course.

Pack it in pack it out is that how it s supposed to work
Pack it in pack it out, is that how it's supposed to work?

Official shoes of the event. And official mud as well.
Official shoes of the event. And official mud as well.

Moisture
Moisture

It is always a pleasure seeing a living legend such as Zink on location and an incredible pleasure watching him ride.
It is always a pleasure seeing a living legend such as Zink on location, and an incredible pleasure watching him ride.

We told Dylan that if he flapped hard enough he d be able to sore with the birdies...thank goodness Dylan is really really good at riding bikes the poor lad.
We told Dylan that if he flapped hard enough, he'd be able to soar with the birdies...thank goodness Dylan is really, really good at riding bikes, the poor lad.

Fist bumps for Hannah.
Fist bumps for Hannah.

And this is the way the athletes were getting the mud off their tires...hitting them with a stick...they definitely did not look like neanderthals at all.
And this is the way the athletes were getting the mud off their tires...hitting them with a stick...they definitely did not look like neanderthals, at all.

Hannah is a force out here we re excited to watch her in the final.
Hannah is a force out here, we're excited to watch her in the final.

Brook going big
Brook going big!

It started to become the Jaxon Riddle show on practice day. In this shot he is actually nose-bonking the flat drop
It started to become the Jaxon Riddle show on practice day. In this shot, he is actually nose-bonking the flat drop?!?!

Just a couple of buddies pulling each other into the features
Just a couple of buddies pulling each other into the features,

Haz takes her Trek and joins the birds as she boosts each feature on the course.
Haz takes her Trek and joins the birds as she boosts each feature on the course.

We imagine that Kyle looks at this drop the same way we look at going off a curb.
We imagine that Kyle looks at this drop the same way we look at going off a curb.

Once Sam figured out how to put her number plate on the world was her oyster.
Once Sam figured out how to put her number plate on, the world was her oyster.

Nicholi doing what he does best.
Nicholi doing what he does best.

Local lad Kyle made the short drive over here to introduce his new kid and show the fans some style.
Local lad Kyle made the short drive over here to introduce his new kid and show the fans some style.

Seriously though Brooke is 15 and she easily rides better than the majority of you out there that have 10 years on her.
Seriously though, Brooke is 15 and she easily rides better than the majority of you out there that have 10 years on her.

Reed caught us all off guard when he threw a 360 off the MTB Hopper. Just to reiterate what he did he did it again on his next cruise down the course.
Reed caught us all off guard when he threw a 360 off the MTB Hopper. Just to reiterate what he did, he did it again on his next cruise down the course.

If you were there you would have heard Ethan and Carson singing O you take the high road and I ll take the low road... to one another.
If you were there you would have heard Ethan and Carson singing, "O you take the high road, and I'll take the low road..." to one another.

You can t quite tell but Brandon was in such a rush to get from his rental car to the course he forgot to tighten his stem - just some in-flight adjustments.
You can't quite tell, but Brandon was in such a rush to get from his rental car to the course, he forgot to tighten his stem - just some in-flight adjustments.

Boggsy - he so fast.
Boggsy - he so fast.

Brandon taking a break from rally cars to get back on things with two wheels.
Brandon taking a break from rally cars to get back on things with two wheels.

The riders cheering on the local rippers.
The riders cheering on the local rippers.

Brandon made a surprise visit to check out the course and ride some laps with the girls and guys.
Brandon made a surprise visit to check out the course and ride some laps with the girls and guys.

Jaxon Riddle was all over the bottom half of the course. Here you see him checking out the MTB Hopper.
Jaxon Riddle was all over the bottom half of the course. Here you see him checking out the MTB Hopper.

Ethan Nell climbed to the top of the takeoff on Megladon to take in the view then he saw his buddy Jaxon doing his impression of Clark Kent s alter ego.
Ethan Nell climbed to the top of the takeoff on Megladon to take in the view, then he saw his buddy, Jaxon, doing his impression of Clark Kent's alter ego.

DJ saw a young puppy having trouble learning how to use the bathroom so he said Hey pups watch what I do and copy me.
DJ saw a young puppy having trouble learning how to use the bathroom, so he said, "Hey pups, watch what I do and copy me."

Cam Zink watching on as Dylan spins his way to a smooth landing.
Cam Zink watching on as Dylan spins his way to a smooth landing.

This is Jaxon. Jaxon has style for days.
This is Jaxon. Jaxon has style for days.

Camila checking out how the jump before Megladon is running - she greased it.
Camila checking out how the jump before Megladon is running - she greased it.

One of DJ s biggest fans Ethan Nell check s out DJ showing us how his dance moves work much better when he s defying gravity.
One of DJ's biggest fans, Ethan Nell check's out DJ showing us how his dance moves work much better when he's defying gravity.

Dylan is seen here doing a backflip but instead of just backflipping on the gargantuan feature he figured dropping a hand off was a good idea. He landed this perfectly.
Dylan is seen here doing a backflip, but instead of just backflipping on the gargantuan feature, he figured dropping a hand off was a good idea. He landed this perfectly.

We just love Dusty s video dude face of confusion. We re confused too Dusty we didn t know physics allowed such things.
We just love Dusty's (video dude) face of confusion. We're confused too Dusty, we didn't know physics allowed such things.

DJ doing what DJ does best laying it out there
DJ doing what DJ does best; laying it out there!

Semenuk laying a tabletop flat enough to have a quaint tea party with the queen.
Semenuk laying a tabletop flat enough to have a quaint tea party with the queen.

Carson heard someone behind him so instead of looking over his shoulder while on the ground he took the time in the air to have a spin around and see what Semenuk was up to.
Carson heard someone behind him, so instead of looking over his shoulder while on the ground, he took the time in the air to have a spin around and see what Semenuk was up to.

Reed really needed to go pee I think.
Reed really needed to go pee I think.
Cam getting corked.
Cam getting corked.

Cami with a speed tuck.
Cami with a speed tuck.

Followed closely by Sam.
Followed closely by Sam.

Brook
Brook
Samantha
Samantha

Holy toledo that one massive suicide.
Holy toledo that one massive suicide.

Nicholai really wants to fly I swear he almost had it on this one.
Nicholai really wants to fly, I swear he almost had it on this one.

Cami getting after it.
Cami getting after it.

Samantha hit the big booter for the first time today she looked right at home.
Samantha hit the big booter for the first time today, she looked right at home.

Cam McCaul hopping around. Get it It s because they re hopper ramps.
Cam McCaul hopping around. Get it? It's because they're hopper ramps.

Jaxon is from another planet. it s confirmed.
Jaxon is from another planet. it's confirmed.

No dig no ride and KJ dug and then some. We re all happy to see him enjoy the fruits of his labor.
No dig no ride, and KJ dug and then some. We're all happy to see him enjoy the fruits of his labor.

Cami flying into the sunset.
Cami flying into the sunset.

Jaxon stole the show today all the athletes were impressed.
Jaxon stole the show today, all the athletes were impressed.

David looking back up the course.
David looking back up the course.

Ethan and David doing synchronized offroad mountain cycling aerobatics.
Ethan and David doing synchronized offroad mountain cycling aerobatics.

Brandon Semenuk showed up to ride with the crew and hang out for the evening.
Brandon Semenuk showed up to ride with the crew and hang out for the evening.

DJ thinks his pedals are lava.
DJ thinks his pedals are lava.

Kyle wanted to give Cam a hug behind him unfortunately Cam wasn t there.
Kyle wanted to give Cam a hug behind him, unfortunately, Cam wasn't there.

I honestly don t know what this is called it s a riddle.
I honestly don't know what this is called, it's a riddle.



21 Comments

  • 29 1
 Place looks epic, can't wait for the footage. Captions are very cringe PB.
  • 13 0
 Must be the new intern from Outside. hahaha
  • 18 2
 Worst captions ever?
  • 5 0
 Rad photos and great to see more coverage of the People's Rider but Dylan's no-hander caption needs work:

Herpes sore, but birds "soar".


"........ he'd be able to sore with the birdies........"
  • 16 0
 The captions were rough top to bottom... "young puppy learning to use a bathroom" wtf? Am I missing a super inside joke or are these the cringiest captions ever on PB?
  • 5 0
 @lepigpen: hard agree. Hoping whoever wrote the copy reads this feedback. Also I feel like there’s a weird lack on continuity in how they’re referring to riders (first name only vs. first and last names) - it would be a little confusing for someone who’s getting to know who the athletes are.
  • 3 0
 @lepigpen: captions being generated by bot probably
  • 4 1
 amazing photos and riding, its been said above but captions are really not the best work to come out of PB and do not do the pics justice sorry to be negative PB and we don't come on here and praise you enough when you do a good job but we have come to expect better
  • 4 0
 The only thing missing here is the R Dog. The NW vibes that I've been missing are strong with this one. Reminds me of the Post Office from 10 years ago...
  • 3 0
 And Kurt Sorge and all Europeans. Still looks damn cool though.
  • 5 1
 yeah, the captions, for the most part, read like they were done by someone that doesn't give a....but this is oregon, right?
  • 1 3
 the communist state of oregon?
  • 3 0
 Pics were nice. Captions sucked like an open chest wound.
  • 3 0
 This is madness.
  • 2 0
 here I was thinking the captions were brilliant
  • 2 0
 Heavy line up. Game on!
  • 1 0
 This looks amazing! Thanks for the coverage PB
  • 2 0
 Who is this Dylan guy?
  • 1 0
 Haha you Pinkbike commenters are the best. Love you all
  • 1 1
 captions rougher than henry quinney video. not really
  • 1 1
 Captions were great, not sure what you all are on about

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