Video: Paul Basagoitia is Back On the Bike

Jan 23, 2020
by SR Suntour  
Views: 13,306    Faves: 39    Comments: 8


At the beginning of 2018, Paul Basagoitia, former professional Slopestyle and Freeride Mountain Bike athlete, found himself less than 3 years out from a life-changing spinal cord injury suffered in competition at Red Bull Rampage, once again standing in front of a bike. Despite the very dim initial odds of ever walking again, Paul had managed to get back on his feet through determination and rigorous physical therapy - now walking with the assistance of a cane. A flurry of excitement and terror filled his emotion at the prospect of riding again. For the majority of his life, he would have looked at his bike seeking to be the very best in his field. This time, the thought shifted to, “Can I actually ride this thing?”

If unfamiliar with the details of Paul’s story, the HBO Documentary Any One of Us is an in-depth glimpse into Paul’s life immediately after his injury at Rampage, and the many harsh realities of spinal cord injuries.

For Paul, the thought of ever riding a bike again seemed absurd in his post-injury world. If you can hardly feel your feet, how can you ride a bike? How would the pedal stroke work? Will your feet stay on the pedals? What happens if you crash? It is worth it? The inner debate raged, with a clear answer seemingly evident: No. Not safe, not possible, not worth it. Carrying on with life and recovery removed from his greatest passion in life, as well as from the mountain bike community he had been so deeply connected to, seemed inevitable.

The persistent itch to ride only remained, and he found himself finally coasting downhill, feeling again the joy of riding a bike. Pedaling being the real trick, having spotty feeling in his lower legs and feet making him feel unstable and insecure about riding. When a friend presented him with the opportunity to try an electric mountain bike, he found a greater stability and confidence in his control of the machine, and a wide door of possibilities reopened.

In “Back On The Bike,” Paul shares his journey returning to mountain biking and his new future.

Enjoying the ride on a perfect day above Lake Tahoe
Paul riding his local trails in Reno, NV

Cautiously pushing his limits on technical climbs, pedal assist making all the difference.
Catching air and riding with buddy, Kyle Warner
The sun sets on a long day of riding, a brief rest until continuing again tomorrow. And the ride goes on.
Brought to you by SR SUNTOUR. With special thanks to Envelo and Park City Bike Demos.

Riders: Paul Basagoitia and Kyle Warner
Videography and Photography: Hoshi Yoshida and JP Gendron
Video Editing: Whyex Productions


92 Comments

  • 182 0
 I'm c6 complete quadriplegic and I almost lost hope to experience that some day. Almost. Paul, pedal, a lot
  • 38 0
 Ever since you had the accident, I've been following your recovery, and it would make me genuinely happy to see you ride again someday. I think I may shed a tear when that happens
  • 12 5
 He's the perfect ambassador for this new wave of pedal assist bikes.
  • 6 5
 You can downvote Waki into oblivion,but he stated the truth. E-bikes first started to be marketed to people who can't pedal like they used to,now we all know who is buying them.
  • 3 1
 Wrong placed comment,sorry.
  • 1 1
 @nozes: embora, fecha a tua boca
  • 100 25
 Let's hear you hate on ebikes now. If they get people back out riding then they are a good thing.
  • 83 120
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 23, 2020 at 5:29) (Below Threshold)
 I have not more against E-bikes than I have against any other type of bike, (I actually despise heavily upforked XC bikes with Minions more than most E-bikes...) but saying: look what it did for Paul it's great for everybody - is a stretch... that's like saying: look what pain killers do to people after surgery - we should all take them!
  • 19 4
 Bravo for e-bikes, for this and similar applications.
  • 71 14
 @WAKIdesigns: what a ridiculous analogy
  • 15 3
 imagine being so hateful and twisted that you would think this isn't a great use for e-bikes.
  • 45 3
 oh @WAKIdesigns: maybe just give it rest for a bit and like everyone who watched that, just feel good for Paul being back on a bike, surely we could all learn from his incredible spirit and attitude to riding bikes, what ever kind they may be or who ever you think they good for or not..
  • 8 2
 @WAKIdesigns: guess when hatred for bikes that are not like yours is your fuel, you kinda don't need the extra fuel of a battery
  • 28 44
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 23, 2020 at 7:46) (Below Threshold)
 @Uncled: you are kidding me right? Did you read the first comment? Nothing more than a “bladifakin bla, what do you say now haters? What do you say now huh? Feeel stupid you haters?”

Yea the simple message is: it’s great to see Paul on a bike, damn it’s amazing and we should all be happy for him, and humanity in general. Ehat a bloody Warrior. No doubt about that. His smile on the bike, the bike going sideways, it’s touching.

Simple message nr2, triggered by the first comment: it is fkng stupid to justify general trend based on extremely, EXTREMELY limited number of folks who use these because they cannot use regular MTBs due to injury/ handicap.

Simple message nr3 it has nothing to do with being pro or anti e-bikes - these two things, Paul and ebikes are unrelated. Let’s not add virtue to something that in it’s most common usage has nothing to do with a virtue, rather reaping easy rewards. Which is fkng fine!
  • 17 14
 @WAKIdesigns: stfu you tool!
  • 7 1
 @Beez177: he's such an angry young man haha
  • 7 13
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 23, 2020 at 11:27) (Below Threshold)
 @Beez177: oh the spirit of mountain biking community
  • 2 2
 Glad he's able to get back to it. But his very first comment is to start selling product on his Instagram feed with a sentence saying "ebikes should be allowed on all bike trails ".
No middle ground...just all in on ebikes on all trails.
I just wanted to read that he was happy to get mobility back, not get the ebike preach
  • 9 4
 @WAKIdesigns: You are such a f*cking idiot Waki. Does it EVER cross your mind that you don't HAVE to comment on every single post? You're an attention seeking little prick most of the time, and that's fine most of the time, but this is a post about a guy with a real life problem, don't make me f*cking wish you had one too just so that you might actually gain a real life perspective for once in your sorry arsed life! Just shut up, not everything is a vehicle for your bullshit mate, get a f*cking life outside of Pinkbike you saddo...
  • 20 8
 This is an extremely inspiring story, but the hard segue from Paul talking about his amazing, life-affirming journey back from paralysis to him reciting a Suntour ad left a really bad taste in my mouth. This is the kind of story that should be told without a company trying to sell you something halfway through.
  • 9 1
 Yea, that ad pitch in his story was a little weird. But nonetheless, its great to see him back on his own two feet and on two wheels.
  • 38 0
 It is a bit odd, but he is from the usa so we can only imagine the medical bills he is dealing with now. Can’t blame the guy
  • 5 0
 @the-joe: I don't think anybody would blame Paul. Good for him. It's just an odd decision by Suntour, and the marketing would have been much more efficient if this had been handled with more subtlety. That section aside, it's a great and touching video.
  • 6 0
 Paul's job was a professional cyclist. The fact that he is able to still leverage that and is well enough to make both a mountain bike ad and inspiring video is awesome.
  • 13 0
 Welcome back Bas! You inspire...
  • 10 0
 Wonderful to see! It's a little dusty in here.
  • 8 0
 I have to say, seeing paul pedaling again got me more fired up than his step up flip whip from nwd 9. F’ing fired up
  • 9 3
 This is why E-Bikes have a place in our sport!! Live to ride - Ride to live
  • 4 0
 These are wonderful news. I remember his rampage crash very well (after such a great run) and I was shocked when I heard about his injury. To see him now back on the bike after such a long time made me cry a bit
  • 4 0
 Great story and best wishes to Paul and everyone else recovering and trying to overcome a spinal cord injury or any other life changing bike related injury for that matter. Your determination is inspiring!
  • 5 0
 incredible comeback, incredible place to be back on the bike, can´t believe it
  • 2 0
 Awesome, Paul! My family and friends have talked about your crash and recovery quite often since watching "Any One of Us." So stoked to see your recovery going even further.

Also: I know general mobility off the bike is a chore for you... but you still look damned good and smooth on the bike. You can still send it!
  • 3 0
 This is awesome Paul, welcome back on the bike! What an inspiration and a change of perspective not to take things for granted.
  • 1 0
 A truly inspirational story. This made my day and provides hope and inspiration for others. Will share with my teenage son.

Didn't realize you live/ride in my local area, and hope to see you out on Peavine trails/Tahoe trails.

Regarding e-bikes in the Tahoe area, there apparently is a lawsuit that is trying to rescind Forest Service approval on many of the trails. No matter what one's take on this, I do believe that a medical waiver should always be available for those who have a valid reason to need the assistance.

Also for those interested in Paul's role in the documentary "Any One Of Us": www.redbull.com/us-en/theredbulletin/paul-basagoitia-any-one-of-us

Haven't seen it, but will definitely watch this soon.
  • 1 0
 While this is one of the greatest stories I've ever heard and cant even express how happy I am to see someone I have never met overcome this type of injury. Should have left the Suntour stuff out. I was digging the story immensely till the bills had to be paid.
  • 2 1
 Sweet great news, you said it powerful.
Let’s ignore the opinionated haters, great tool and eye opening use of an ebike, and fantastic to see SR Suntour recognising Bass’es value and sponsoring him.
I’m sure most of us will be following future stories put out by him.
Right on!
  • 1 0
 Absolutely the feel good story of the week. Suntour’s marketing was a tad blunt in this one, but fist pumps to Paul Bas for being able to once again do what he loves. Suntour should’ve taken a cue from Spank in this one and simply have just been placed nicely. Wherever he’s riding is gorgeous I’d like to go there.
  • 1 0
 So good to see Paul ripping!! Such inspiring determination. I have a friend who was not able to return to biking after his spinal cord injury from a bike crash, and I know he misses it with all his heart. I believe biking of any discipline has brought us all so much joy, pain, and challenges small to life changing, that it makes it the best thing in the world! Yeah bikes! And keep it up Paul Basagoitia!!!!
  • 1 0
 Would love to meet Paul someday and shake his hand. I also had a serious back injury that lead to having multiple back surgeries.

Like him, I’m fortunate to still be able to ride. His story is always an inspiration to me and I’d love to be able to tell him that and that I’m so glad he’s back on the bike doing what her loves most.
  • 4 0
 Incredible determination.
  • 4 0
 Fantastic to see Paul enjoying life and riding his bike, tough bloke.
  • 3 0
 Two Wheels One Love!!! Anything other then that is hate and hate is unexceptable on any level......
  • 2 0
 So f*cking stocked about this one!! Shout out to all of Paul’s sponsors for making this happen and being with him along his injuries and bad times!!
  • 3 0
 Yes! Dude this is awesome. Keep up the hard work Paul!
  • 3 0
 So happy to see this! Keep up the stoke and keep on riding!
  • 2 0
 Wow amazing news. After a horrendous 2019 let's hope 2020 is the year of comebacks.
  • 3 0
 So awesome to see him riding again!
  • 3 0
 The Stoke is something to never lose. Double f*ck yeah!
  • 2 0
 Very inspiring story and all the best on your continued improvement. Ebikes have a place.
  • 2 0
 Already jumps better than I do! Keep it up
  • 1 0
 So impressive.Still in re-education but he just hits bigger jump than me. Moreover so fast and so smooth ! Well done dude !
  • 2 0
 HELL YEAH PAUL!!! Good to see you riding again!!!
  • 2 1
 My god!! this is a great news!!! a great video, full of hope, its nice to have Paul back on trails.
  • 2 0
 An awesome and inspiring story, glad for you Paul.
  • 2 0
 awesome news!!!! best wishes
  • 2 0
 Really glad to see you back out there on the bike, Paul!
  • 1 0
 @paulbass skills to pay bills, do you remember that?
So great to see you riding again! You rock!
  • 1 0
 What a great reminder. Thanks for sharing your story of gratitude, perseverance, and hope.
  • 1 0
 This has me so stoked on riding. So happy to see you back riding and getting in the air and enjoying adventures!
  • 2 0
 This IS the content I'm here for!!!
  • 1 0
 What? i'm crying? no these are DOT4 oil, i watch this video while bleeding brakes and it squirted on me
  • 1 0
 Basically what Paul is saying.. Dont be soft, earn your turns....
  • 2 0
 Fuck yeah!
  • 2 0
 so stoked for him!
  • 2 0
 Yeah Paul! Keep pushing!
  • 1 0
 so stoked for your progress man, you give everybody perspective!!!
  • 2 0
 So awesome, love this!
  • 1 0
 I LOVE this news....GREAT WORK as Human Mr. Paul
  • 2 0
 This makes me feel lucky
  • 2 0
 So happy to see this Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Such great news. I want to shake his hand and give him a hug!!!
  • 1 0
 Lots of feels on this one
  • 1 0
 So glad to see u back in the saddle. Ride on Paul.
  • 1 0
 so awesome! Glad to see Bas moble again!
  • 1 0
 Best news for the new year so far, go Paul!
  • 1 0
 So stoked for you Paul!!!
  • 1 0
 Great to see ol’ borrowed bike Basagoitia back on a bike!!!!
  • 1 0
 smile and style Smile
good to see his progress
  • 1 0
 just what I needed today. Thanks Paul, keep at it brother.
  • 1 0
 Way to go Paul! Great to see you back on the bike Big Grin
  • 1 1
 Still remember his rampage double huck straight to abyss.
  • 1 0
 Powerful..
  • 1 1
 wrong title! Get well soon Paul!!!
  • 1 0
 hell ya!
  • 1 0
 yew go paul!!!!!!!
  • 1 1
 E bikes for the old and injured ????
Keep on keeping
  • 1 0
 Awesome congratulations
  • 1 0
 So so so happy for him..
  • 1 0
 Hell yes Paul!!
  • 1 1
 PHUK YES!!!!!!!

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