Video filmed by Logan Nelson // words and video editing by Jeff Kendall-Weed
“29ers can’t do barspins.” “Mountain biking is serious business.” “You should always go as fast as you can.” “You need to be a rich kid to get into the sport.” “There’s only one way to be a pro mountain biker.”
Kirt Voreis has been a staple in the sport of mountain biking since the mid-1990s. Over the last 25 or so years, he has proven all these cliches wrong--and in turn, he has really improved our sport. Kirt has an interesting story
, very different from my own
. Since I was a kid, I’ve watched his career closely.
With my own background in racing, I always thought of Kirt first and foremost as one of the top racers in the sport. He’s stood on world cup podiums alongside some of the best racers of all time. While I saw that when I was at a formative age, and it’s forever burned into my own psyche, we tend to best remember the winners when it comes to racing. And while Kirt has won plenty of races, he hasn’t won a world cup* (yet- it’s too early to count Kirt out) or big championship. When he was seemingly at the height of his racing career, the crash of the US bike industry in the early 2000s, followed by the crash of the US economy in 2008, meant racing opportunities for US-based racers were few and far between.
Fantastic sequence from Mike Albright @ThreadKiller from the 2014 Oregon Enduro Series race at Cold Creek. Kirt won, and I finished fifth. Clearly, racing is serious business.
South Mountain, located just south of the Phoenix Metro area, is considered sacred by the Akimel O'odham and the Kwevkepaya band of Yavapai. The park is the largest municipal park in the United States. Petroglyphs and other artifacts can be found throughout.
But Kirt wasn’t just a racer. Ironically, Kirt got his first big break when he sent a videotape of himself jumping and stunting to the former owner of Yeti. Through that, he was able to hit the race circuit with Yeti’s support. About a decade later, when he tired of racing and went more full-throttle into freeriding (for lack of a better term) the timing was spot-on. When other racers had to find jobs, Kirt created his AllRide tour.
Kirt’s ledge ride might indeed be an “NBD”- Never Been Done. And the little hip on the top of the trail? So fun!
I’ll never forget when Kirt mentioned he had watched and enjoyed one of my own videos, one that Elliot Wilkinson-Ray put together. I had actually been a bit embarrassed that we had filmed that stuff, as it wasn’t anything too crazy hard. But that was some serious validation. Now that I’ve spent a few years making content full-time, and logged over a decade in various white collar sales jobs, I appreciate Kirt’s tenacity and perseverance more than ever. The dude is an absolute legend on and off the bike. These days professional riders often dominate a specific field, but Kirt blends good skills in a bunch of fields. He crafts together a whole new genre, done with a signature style that can’t be beat. Well, one of these was flat...
This video was a lot of fun to put together. Our ideas and lines were so different! I haven’t done a barspin in well over a decade, and don’t really plan on doing those again. However, I don’t mind coming to a halt, using the brakes to control something, then trying to smoothly ride away. Kirt has the skateboarder balance and looser vision of what’s “clean,” which is pretty cool! You can take the BMXer off the 20” wheels, but the trickery will always remain!
I know I always hit that play button when I see a Kirt video, and you know what? You should too!
@jeffweed / @voreis / @loganpnelson