Photo Story: The 2020 Adaptive Gravity Tour Hits Up Big White for Some Bike Park Laps

Aug 21, 2020
by Niall Pinder  

Gravity Tour 2020
Kootenay Adaptive // Big White
Landon McGauley on the Bowhead Reach // Smith Optics // Sensus Grips

And now for something completely different: This past weekend, Kootenay Adaptive Sport Association (KASA) hit Big White for some Adaptive DH laps. This was the second stop on the Kootenay Adaptive Gravity Tour, as a dry run for a larger DH tour that will happen in 2021, COVID permitting. The big goal of this tour is to get the bike resorts up to speed for Adaptive riding and show the world that Adaptive MTB is here in a big way. AMTB is progressing fast, both in skill and technology, and the riders can hit black trails, rock gardens, drops, gap jumps, most of the same features a 2-wheeled rider can ride.

The idea is to get to a point where an Adaptive rider can hit a gravity resort and have the same experience as anyone else. There's a long way to go, but the resorts are working to make it happen.

Tanelle Bolt is an Adaptive rider with a long history in sports, speaking about her first DH aMTB experience:

bigquotesThis weekend was the first time back going fast downhill in the summertime with an adaptive three-wheeled mountain bike and completely paralyzed from the chest down. My first run at Bike Big White was perfect; fast and face-first down the mountain with a crew of trustworthy buddies, there to flip me right side up when sh*t went upside down. My second run ended in a truck ride after breaking my first mountain bike (not my body, so successful I would say).

Then there were the big boy toys! And three more adaptive riders whose skills put many able-bodied riders to shame and definitely my amateur self. You know what I’m talking about…those friends who leave you in awe.

The four of us were brought together to shred by Kootenay Adaptive Sport Association (KASA) at Big White Resort in preparation for next summer’s Gravity Series 2021.

Tanelle Bolt riding the Sport-On Explorer


Cole Bernier on the Bowhead Reach bike






Big White always delivers the goods


Landon McGauley picked up cheap flight tickets


McGauley demonstrating why his tires are bald


Tech: not a problem.


Big White trail and shop staff were psyched on Adaptive and went way above and beyond to make it a great weekend





A few pain in the ass realities of life, one we all share, one we don't.



This turned into debauchery pretty quickly after a few postgame beers




Once the lifties get good at Adaptive loads, the speed is pretty close to a 2-wheeled bike.


Post-ride analysis or just watching lightsabre vids


Tanelle Bolt on the way down, en-route to destroying her bike


Tanelle Bolt: focus on the way up


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46 Comments

  • 38 0
 Yes! There's also an adaptive MTB page on Instagram called @mtbadapt run by one of a group of Norwegian adaptive riders. I'm paralysed from the neck down and ride using an electric buggy and chin control too.
  • 3 0
 So stoked you can still get out and ride! Their insta page is really good
  • 8 0
 @npinder2002: I'm @peatylloyd if anybody is intrigued as to how it works.
  • 5 0
 Thanks so much for the insta suggestion. This is something that, for some reason, has really resonated with me lately. I'm really interested in developing our adaptive scene in this area, as I think we already have a ton of flow trails that are wide enough and well suited for it. Will definltely follow! Keep on shredding, man!
  • 5 0
 THIS!! Where these shredders lack in body function, you guys make up in HUMONGOUS balls! Keep on throwin' down!!! Mad props
  • 3 0
 @Hogfly: Kootenay Adaptive can connect you with resources and info if you want. Sick to have you on board!
  • 11 0
 Check out the @bowheadcorp insta page if you want more info. We endeavour to make the outdoors attainable for all levels of ability. It’s rewarding to be part of such an amazing Pinkbike community.
  • 1 0
 I've seen @katonwheelsscotland's Reach and the engineering and attention to detail is really impressive. Got lots of respect for your work and how capable it is, especially with shocking engineering and tolerances being prevalent in mobility equipment. And yes, the videos of great riding on your page are so impressive.
  • 2 0
 I’ve seen three of your bikes at Sun Peaks this year. People are pumped to have them!
  • 2 0
 @Jvisscher: We were there two or three weeks ago during Stage 1/3 of our Gravity Tour
  • 2 0
 @adaptivemike: with Coco and the guys from Williams Lake?
  • 2 0
 @Jvisscher: Not with that group, but I believe they were there a week after us and then another group last weekend as well.
  • 1 0
 @Jvisscher: They're killer bikes.
  • 6 0
 The Bowhead Reach is an amazing piece of engineering. I had the pleasure of meeting Christian and filming with him earlier this year. It would be sick to see some reviews on some of the best adaptive bikes out there!
  • 4 0
 This is definitely worthy of consideration for the next 'Share the Ride' run by Pinkbike. I imagine the bikes are not cheap so providing a resort / charity / etc the means to get people out there would be a big step to improve accessibility.
I've no doubt there are lots of people out there who would be super keen to do this (injured military personnel or outdoors types come to mind as an example) and there's bound to be a market out there...
Oh, and here is a good use for ebikes!
  • 3 0
 We're open to that Pinkbike! Wink

You're right though, this equipment is very expensive, which is why we offer rentals. It's also a means to Try before you Buy.
  • 2 0
 E-motors on these (and all) Adaptive bikes are a game-changer. Arm power only gets you so far on big climbs, so its sort of the best use ever for e-bike tech. Sooooo stoked for some of the e-bike powered stuff we're gonna shoot in the next year with these folks.
  • 2 0
 Thanks Pinkbike for the feature of our greater vision and thank you @npinder2002 for your photos and words!

If anyone wants to learn more or follow along with the rest of our DH season give use follow @kootenayadaptive or visit our website www.kootenayadaptive.com

For anyone who wants to learn more about our adaptive MTB rentals, coaching and programming, give us a shout as well!
  • 3 0
 Good work dude! Some rad photos of Cole in the Can’t Quit jersey too
  • 3 0
 Ummm...as someone still capable of riding a normal mountain bike...is it wrong to really, really want to have a go at one of these adaptive MTBs? Because that lots like a shitload of good times.
  • 3 0
 Having everyone use them means hills could stock them as rentals meaning it becomes more accessible to people who need them and want to try them out.
  • 2 0
 They are fun, we test trails on both standard and three wheeled MTB's, we also rent these bikes to able bodied riders as well. Normalizing adaptive MTB is part of our mission.
  • 3 0
 Nah, thats the best response we could have. Super cool!
  • 3 0
 Get yourself over here to NZ mate! I have a Bowhead Reach that you're welcome to go for a rip on!
  • 2 0
 I run an adaptive bike non-profit in SC. We have an off-road hand cycle (Lasher Sport ATH). If you have a lower limb disability, are in the area, and would like to hit some of the trails around WNC. Message me on Facebook “the Heathers Ride Program/Facebook”. We will get you out there!
  • 2 0
 Nice to see another group out there making rentals happen! Do you guys have an Instagram page as well?
  • 5 0
 Shredding! Great photos!
  • 1 0
 Cheers Eric!! It's been such a fun tour so far!
  • 5 0
 Inspiring! Both athletes and engineering!
  • 3 0
 This was an amazing time!!! THANKS YOU for stopping by Big White, you all amazed and humble me The bike patrol for the picture LC
  • 3 0
 Maybe our favourite patroller of all time!
  • 1 0
 You made that weekend way better!
  • 2 0
 I was up at Big White the weekend they were there. Damn those guys shred so hard. They can tear up all the toughest trails and jump lines. I'm glad nothing stops these guys from doing what they love.
  • 2 0
 Working with resorts on the trails and in the village to make the experience even better year after year. Stay tuned for 2021
  • 2 0
 @darryltait came and did the volcano on @Bowheadcorp on your rig....
Amazing journy and grateful experince to be apart of.
  • 1 0
 Those bikes look sick! Even though I'm not paralysed, I would really like to ride such a bike as well because it looks super fun.
  • 2 0
 i even started a fundraiser for bowhead gf.me/u/ydbr25

not gonna get it very soon though Frown
  • 2 0
 Any chance to have a vid ?

Great pictures otherwise !
  • 1 0
 Just some very short clips for the MountainbikingBC takeover that I did. If you're interested just reach out to me @the_pinder_experience on insta and I'm happy to share them. Cheers!
  • 2 0
 That's absolutely awesome
  • 2 0
 that no hander is fantastic!!!!!
  • 1 0
 Thanks man!
  • 1 0
 He goes bigggg
  • 2 0
 CUSHCORE HOOK THEM UP!
  • 2 0
 Seconded Wink

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