Video: Raw Carnage at EWS Northstar's Gnarliest Rock Garden

Aug 24, 2019
by Pinkbike Originals  

The track at EWS Northstar is proving to be one of the toughest yet. With loose conditions and monster rock gardens like the one on stage 5 bikes and bodies are taking a beating. Check out who made it through and who ended up in the dirt.


137 Comments

  • 79 0
 I got 6 flats watching this video. Blank Stare
  • 41 1
 Right...UCI DH needs some gardens like this..
  • 4 4
 @abueno: more like needs an entire trail of this. would be awesome to watch 4-8min of gnarly rock gardens and people just plowing through no problem, or eating all the shit. can we get this please!!??
  • 2 0
 Trailbuilders were busy preparing for this week DH round and they noticed trail is for EWS.
  • 2 1
 @abueno: Absolutely! It was inspiring seeing riders on 150-170mm travel enduro bikes traverse through this section, but I'm interested to see how someone on a full-on DH bike would fare.
  • 4 1
 @seraph: Noticebly smoother with less noise and fuss.
  • 46 0
 I love the sound of the bikes when going full speed on rock garden
  • 9 1
 Yeah! AND I love the sound of plastic bouncing off rocks too.
  • 6 0
 @Orangesicle: carbon and metal, *TINGG TINNG, THUNCK, TINGGG*
  • 3 0
 DOING!
  • 3 1
 Bouncy bouncy, OOH SUCH A GOOD TIME.
  • 2 0
 The sound makes me cringe! But that's just my bike mechanic side reacting. Eek
  • 1 0
 @seraph: $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $
  • 37 0
 Impressive what bikes actually can handle! These days nearly every bike is a good bike. We see tests and the the differences are marginal. Riders skills make the real difference. Maybe pinkbike should show us more content with riding techniques?
  • 4 0
 Agreed... how to ride fast loose off camber turns etc.
  • 10 9
 How to? Ride off camber loose turns, then keep riding more off camber loose turns until you can explain how to ride off camber loose turns. @mtbikeaddict:
  • 5 3
 @mtbikeaddict: get a DJ bike or BMX, 20 cones and head to the parking lot...
  • 22 0
 @WAKIdesigns: love a good 20 cones and heading to parking lot
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: @Ryanfitz81: Well sure, I’m working on that, but what about for others, or just in general, or those who can’t frequently access the terrain, or... there’s a reason stuff like RLC and YT vids are so popular
  • 3 0
 Now that you said it, I realized that maybe the last time I read a skill and riding techniques content from pinkbike are from two years ago

m.pinkbike.com/news/zeps-how-to-mythbusters-downhill-corners.html
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Also... parking lot asphalt offers a lot more grip than blown out loose moon dust and gravel over hardpack, and I find it way easier on the BMX with the smaller size and low center of gravity. Now, how to ride the actual terrain in question on my old 29er XC hardtail with high standover, really long stem, narrow bars, and narrow low profile tires? That's a different question altogether, and a headscratcher at that
  • 1 0
 This nasty section favors coil and Horst link, judging from the 2020 Enduro at 3:25 and Dailly's La Pierre about a minute later, presuming it's the same setup from his bike check of March 6. If he's using Zipps, their marketeers should be all over it. Cones: irrelevant. Bench pressing: relevant.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: good start but it‘s a totally different story when it‘s gettin steep... my problem is always lettin go of the brakes and trust my bike and skills Frown
  • 3 0
 @mtbikeaddict: riding cones on asphalt engraves movement pattern into your body so when you want to nail a rut in the mud you nail it every time. The point is to remove thinking about body position from your head and make it automatic. You can also take cones to a sloping gravel field. S turns, cutties, everything. I mentioned 20 because that allows for setting up a diversity of turns, like 5 longer turns, then fast rhythm. Bmx and dj bike with fast rolling tyres allow you to do more laps per session. Body later adapts to the geo of big bike with suspension rather well.
  • 2 0
 @mtbikeaddict: I’m on RLC, will do a draft of parking lot drills for cornering this winter. Ryans cornering course is great to show the complexity of cornering but we miss that pattern of movement thing. If we get 50-70yr olds to send steep kickers, we’ll get people to hit and rail berms too. Just as with jumping, 90% of the success is establishing good pattern of movement and then learning to time it right on the terrain feature. You will never learn to jump well without being good at bunnyhops. In the same way, you will never be good at cornering if you can do some decent slalom on the parking lot.
  • 2 0
 @striveCF15: for starters, you need to dare to lean forward. It will solve most of your problems. You can’t take such big compressions and holes like in this video while being too far back, there will not be enough range of movement for you to allow the bike to ride through this stuff while body stays relatively balanced.
  • 1 0
 @gonzoracing: I love heading to the parking lot in search of 20 good cones
  • 3 0
 @ceecee: my cones take umbrage at your comment
  • 2 0
 @Garethccc: upvoted for use of the word Umbrage. Beer
  • 29 0
 The guy frustrated at the start literally gave me everything I wanted out of this weekend. Love seeing the real pro's grapple with those trails - not an easy place to go fast.
  • 9 0
 Ha Haa!! Eat em up Dogbone!!
  • 7 1
 @rarrity: i remember riding this trail in gnarly conditions when I was like 14 and thinking how sketchy it was. Good to see that it wasn't just a matter of perspective at the time haha
  • 23 2
 Sam Hill is like the greatest there has ever been at stuff like this. His star in WC DH only began to fade as tracks moved further away from this and more toward high speed sections, big jumps and drops.
  • 3 0
 Everything is moving towards slopestyle. Pretty soon EWS is gonna start giving points for backflips.
  • 22 2
 Enduro racing needs more of this.
  • 4 0
 "last man standing" as a final stage
  • 1 0
 At first when I saw how much elevation gain was in the race I thought it was a joke...now I see why. Imagine having to run stages like this then having to climb a good 2200’ after..
  • 1 0
 @abueno: and they are riding at 8000' not a whole lot of up left.
  • 1 0
 @trizachblak: touché good sir
  • 22 6
 In this case rocks are afraid of Richie. Cheers
  • 37 38
 One of the rocks failed a drug test after he touched them.
  • 8 7
 The rocks be like: we hope you even bench.
Richie be like: you lucky I even cush core
  • 16 0
 Sam Hill so smooth!
  • 6 0
 My thoughts too - Smooth Sailing for Sam.

Amazed at how some of the riders, Women and Men sailed over the rocks whilst others stalled or Scorpioned.

Katie so cute

Do we get to see some of the Rock Garden Spit Outs next Friday in Friday Fails? Pro's got to be part of it too ya know.
  • 5 0
 He is like a cat,so quiet you can hear the fork rebound working and his bike never hangs or stall. He looks "slower" than the other guys,Zen ridding style....Other riders looks like a tinny bulldozer.
  • 3 0
 @homerjm: the art of floating and unweighting.. Master jedi
  • 4 0
 I've always appreciated how he stays so stable-smooth while his bike goes nuts, he did this in DH days too.
  • 13 0
 Reminds me of riding here in Arizona! The faster you go the easier it actually gets. It's a bit of a mind-f*ck tho, for sure!
  • 2 0
 Totally thought of Geronimo on South Mountain as I was watching. The whole trail is this!
  • 2 0
 Yeah, no brakes and charge it.
  • 1 4
 @BiNARYBiKE: Do not conside gnarly rock garden trials? but sorts out who can ride this & who is going to hospital, not that want that to happen, but trying to ride this type gnar it will happen?
  • 2 1
 Haha, so true. I blast through the gardens around here when I'm alone. When I go with my bike riding girlfriends I'm going a lot slower and it's hard as heck and I crash a lot!
  • 2 0
 Just got to send it through those SOMO rock gardens!
  • 2 1
 I just loved seeing the pros make a series of doubles out of that line, it would take some serious study time and commitment to have three to four touchdowns and be through that section!
  • 5 1
 @JohanG: same with me. I also double the big jumps when alone and smoke Richie Rudes Strava times when alone (but not carrying my phone). :-)
  • 14 0
 Can a bike feel pain? We're about to find out...
  • 9 1
 I like my rock gardens like I like my women...
  • 30 0
 Fast, loose and laughs as she breaks your heart...
  • 5 0
 dusty? lol
  • 2 1
 Flat?
  • 2 0
 Hard ?
  • 8 2
 I don't get this at all.
  • 18 0
 @scott-townes: women? yikes.
  • 8 0
 Short and bumpy
  • 4 0
 Chunky and dirty???
  • 8 0
 Big and chunky, and I agree!
  • 4 0
 Shady and dangerous - me too!
  • 10 0
 Stoned?
  • 2 0
 Nonexistent?
  • 17 1
 Dirt in between the lumps, difficult to ride & a possibility of breaking bones by the finish.
  • 5 1
 Dirty & rough
  • 4 1
 Vital & Raw!
  • 3 1
 messy and neurotic?
  • 2 1
 Bouncy and fast
  • 3 2
 @JohanG: Ready to smash?
  • 3 1
 ...with a heart of stone?
  • 4 0
 Over the counter at Starbucks?
  • 7 0
 It's like rodeo - when the bike and rider start moving in opposite, non-complimentary directions, they're in trouble.
  • 1 0
 Bucking broncos.
  • 8 0
 I think I heard a rim strike or two
  • 9 1
 Poooor bikes.....
  • 19 0
 What good are they if they're sitting pretty in a garage? They are built to be abused!
  • 14 0
 You are both correct.
  • 2 0
 @joebmx88: me and my bike's relationship are kinda rocky now
  • 5 0
 do your pushups people. everyone who stalled or OTB'ed did so because they were pushed to the front of the bike and couldn't re-center.
  • 1 2
 Or because their fork was too soft, putting them in that push-up position
  • 1 0
 @LaXcarp:

As long as you don't hard bottom out, softer settings are usually better for stuff like this. If the fork has more time to compress, the wheel has less weight over it, which means it can roll out of the gulley. Stiffer forks work better for pumping, but you better be prepared to take those impacts with your hands.
  • 1 0
 @phops: yup, that works well for amatuers. Pro level:stiff to win. Watch the video and who's fork is Pogo sticking through it. You're arms gotta be active through this kind cant expect the fork to eat it up. There is a reason that pro dh guys say "set it up stiff and keeping riding faster til it feels good."
  • 1 0
 @LaXcarp:

Yes, the spring rates will be higher for the Pros, but they are still using all the travel with the front end diving.
  • 6 0
 Regretting not putting Adrien Dailly on my fantasy team now...
  • 14 0
 "He doesn't count."
  • 4 0
 @scvkurt03: You know a line/ rider is next level when Cody Kelly is saying that!!
  • 2 0
 Maes: "you must be careful,not ruin your ride here..."
3 seconds later: Maes is smashing the rock garden like no tomorrow


Rude looks to me like a little more refined,but he is like a bulldozer. Very balance,just let the bike go an keep a central position,wow.
  • 4 0
 Looks like Northstar is really frustrating a lot of riders. Hell its been frustrating me for years, so I guess you could say I’m a bit of a Pro Rider myself.
  • 4 1
 Martin is using those goggle flapper things, that you can flip lever and they release off your face-anyone seen a review of these, or asked Martin about it?
  • 2 1
 I always wondered what they was
  • 2 0
 They are called Airflaps. Just google them and there are plenty of reviews/videos
  • 4 1
 These are no rock gardens, these are boulder gardens. You can't really muscle your way through. Good line choice is the ticket.
  • 5 0
 I kinda like find a line and go for it. Great advice Richie! lol
  • 9 5
 Not one for the carbon wheel brigade...
  • 4 1
 Pivot Factory runs I9's laced to Reynolds Carbon
  • 3 0
 @MrDiamondDave: smashing..
  • 5 0
 That’s the line....
  • 3 0
 Glad it's not just me out here hahaha. Gnarstar in full effect in this video
  • 1 1
 As someone who rides this a lot... Stay off the brakes in those rocks.. Also it’s better if you don’t miss arm day! ????


Soo happy to see riders on our home soil or dust or moon dust or whatever you bathe in.. lol
I’ll be up there in the morning cow bell ringin!
  • 3 0
 "This is so hard to walk up as a midget with a bike" ???? best comment in a while..
  • 2 0
 Bet this time they use insert foam into their tyres, to protect a bit more rims ...
  • 4 0
 "what the hell Martin"
  • 2 0
 Night and day how some riders ripping through it smooth and other getting bucked.
  • 3 0
 Rae Morrison bars, someone cut them, please.
  • 1 0
 Why?
  • 3 0
 I would hope in die by fear of the rocks before my body would touch them
  • 3 0
 Wow Richie made that look easssyyy
  • 3 0
 To conclude: "What the hell Martin!"
  • 1 0
 Got allot of those types gnarly stuff locally. Even more sketchy when wet. But when it is this gnarly. And basically no bodyarmors in sight. I dont get that.
  • 3 0
 ALN, ALN, ALN, ALN... ALN... STEVE, STEVE, STEVE, STEVE, STEVE, STEVE
  • 2 0
 Would take me 4 minutes to get through that section.
  • 1 0
 i rode my enduro bike there a few weeks ago. i totally wished i had my dh bike. that place is gnarly!
  • 2 1
 Most riders just fly though it but then a hand full of riders look like they should even be riding a bike.
  • 2 1
 Weard that people are call that a trail, thats just gnarly not a trail at all!
  • 2 0
 #deathstar can’t beat it
  • 1 0
 yeah the key is definitely to stay on the bike mate. Getting off the bike would not be the key at all....
  • 1 0
 Hmmmm, looks like if you're a bee's d!ck off your line you're catching the one-way express to pound town!
  • 1 0
 Imagine throwing thousands of dollars of bike into rocks... I don’t think I can *afford* to be that frustrated
  • 1 1
 Duststar. I love Dustwire, but Boondust and Dust-and-stones are good. ...except for the dust.
  • 1 0
 some of those lines were just so gnarly!
  • 1 0
 Takes me back to Coed y Brenin in the 80s on rigid bikes!
  • 2 0
 fooookin hell
  • 1 0
 3:38 the sound of carbon bouncing along rocks.
  • 1 0
 Get your Mynesweepers guys!
  • 1 0
 This doesnt even looks cool to ride lol
  • 1 0
 People on Enve wheels probably pushing their bikes down
  • 1 0
 was this on Karpiel or DogBone ?
  • 1 0
 At 4:36...yeah, he doesn't count!
  • 1 0
 used to hate racing there
  • 4 4
 This would be a blue trail at Mountain Creek
  • 1 0
 That looks uncomfortable

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