Video: This 3x World Masters DH Champion is 71 & Still Shreds the Whistler Mountain Bike Park

Sep 25, 2018
by Rick Meloff  

World Masters Champion AGAIN
Celebrating victory at Val Di Sole
World Masters Champion in Val Di Sole
Dr. John is a True Canadian


Dr John dropping into hi Clinic
Dr. John dropping in his Clinic

Taking direction to walk back up and do it again and again Sorry John
Getting ready to hike back up and ride it again


- Born 1947: Computers hadn't been invented

- Most Extraordinary Life Events: Two children, two Grandchildren

- Most valuable Life event: Marrying a beautiful, understanding woman

- Race History: 3x World Masters DH Champion/1x Canada Cup Masters Championship

- Favorite Whistler Bike Trail: Freight Train into Dirt Merchant into Lower A-Line into Hornet

- Most Troubling Bike Trail: Lower Joy Ride

- Short term challenge: Avoid thinking like a 26-year-old as I drop into Dirt Merchant

- Long-term challenge: Knowing when to sell the DH bike

- Philosophy to live by: "Good judgment comes with experience, experience comes with bad judgment"

- Most frequent question: How old are you....."Old enough to know better, young enough not to care"

- Worst Injury: Bilateral wrist fractures/separated right shoulder on Whistler's Clown Shoes


123 Comments

  • + 114
 Nice to know if whistler I am slower than kids and pensioners too.
  • + 86
 That guy definitely has the right outlook on life. I'm 53 and only got into DH about 3 years ago, including starting racing. People say to me "Shouldn't you be slowing down at your age?" and I tell them I've no intention of giving up biking, at least until I'm physically unable to ride.
  • + 46
 Right on! People who bust out comments about "what you should be doing on a certain age" have lost the game already. Rather than chasing what makes them happy, they're using an excuse to give up. Keep ripping!!
  • + 8
 Yea man, I am turning 52 next week, I used to race DH, I still ride park and I am hoping to start enduro racing in '19! Sooo many people question my judgement and by far the most common question is (making their own body issues obvious) how my back holds up? Gotta admit the twin boys do go a bit numb on long rides though!
  • + 7
 @Bomadics: I love this stuff. I see old riders on the trail and say to myself that I want to be like that when I'm 70.

As for sleeping boys, get a better saddle. It is worth the money if you are a frequent rider. I've also found that shorts that have too much padding can cause that as well....
  • + 1
 @Bomadics: Look at an ISM saddle. They look funny but they work.
  • + 8
 Ditto here. 53yo as well. Got into MTB at 47. Raced several rounds of the Eastern States Cup this year with my 12yo boy. Coaching a NICA team as well. I will be more focused on enduro and DH next year. Because I do this I have to train, weight lift, pay attention to what I eat. I’m stronger and fitter now than I’ve ever been in my life. I’ve no intention of hitting the rocking chair anytime soon. #stillgonnasendit!
  • + 3
 54 and still lovin the big big more than the little one.
  • + 3
 I’m 55 and been mountain biking since my Muddy Fox courier in ‘86. Been riding Whistler park for last 15 years and Revolution in Wales. Flights booked for Whistler 2019 and no plan to stop any time soon. Still feel like a 20 year old when I drop in - biking keeps your mind young.
  • + 1
 @WelshClemo:

I am almost 57 and still shredding the place up

I had to ENCOURAGE John to hit the big creek last year and this year but he can clear it with ease!!!!
  • + 1
 I'm *only* 44, been riding lots of disciplines for years and still suck, but riding the biggest and baddest stuff of my life. Don't plan to quit anytime soon, but I have to admit injuries take longer to heal than they used to, and I've had enough to not think about them before trying something scary for the first time...
  • + 43
 What an inspiration !! I'm 63, just got home from Whistler, hope I am still riding when I'm 71
  • + 22
 I wonder if he does any form of strength training to support the riding. He looks fit, judging just by the way he pushes the bike, how he sits on the bike on the pic. The posture, everything looks better than half of 40yr olds I see around. He also rides with bent legs all the time so he can support himself without getting overly leg pump. FASCINATING and IMPRESSIVE.
  • + 4
 people always underestimate the value of resistance training.
  • + 3
 Strength at the hips !!!!!!
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: Praise Rip!!!
  • + 1
 He doesn't look a day over 50 either.
  • + 16
 Made my day!
I’m 54 and wandering how long i can shred?
We’ll blow me,i’m just a little ripper. ????
  • + 16
 Bloody awesome mate, if and when I eventually get to Whistler I must meet this guy. Ride and have a beer,;
  • + 3
 looking forward to it Smile
  • + 1
 @onecutmedia: rehab going slow mate, my physio says 'of the 4 tendons that make up the rotator cuff, I've only got one, and that's been repaired'. Bought a Whyte Glencoe gravel bike, as my new commute to work on. First full ride out today, fitness is down a bit. But regular commutes to work (11 mile round trip) should soon sought me out, doin' everything I can to get my shoulder strong. Painful at times, but gotta keep at it;
  • + 13
 When you are awesome, you are awesome, age doesn't matter. Unfortunately I will still be shit at 71.
  • + 14
 Shred till ya dead
  • + 1
 In motorcycle circles, the saying goes like this:
"I refuse to tip toe through life, only to arrive safely at death."

Sometimes its painful to follow this mantra (I have the scars and metal to prove it) but the rewards sure are worth it.
  • + 1
 @Poulsbojohnny: motorcycling, and every pseudo inspirational instagram feed. Followed closely by "live life to the fullest".
  • + 8
 This gives me hope. I constantly think about the end of my DH riding. I am 48 now so I do think about how much longer I can hit the jump line, do the drops and crush rock gardens. I say realistically I have another good 10 years, then another 5 years to wrap up the DH riding and stick to the XC riding. My body is already feeling the effects of a life of hard riding and harder partying. I need a full knee replacement but the Drs want to wait until I am at least 50. My lower back is suffering from years of abuse. It takes longer to recover from injuries now but I still love riding. I know that I could probably do things like yoga and stretching that could help extend the life of my body. I could maybe have 3 beers instead of 6 beers on those nights. I could may be take the middle drop instead of the bigger drop on the end. But I don't want to, I don't want to slow down. I live in the moment and I live for the now. I always have, and I always will. Tomorrow is not promised, only today is a guarantee and even that can be void at any minute.
So I will continue to do what I do, ride how I will, and live how I am. I am going to ride DH until they physically block me from getting on the lift. I will ride until I can't pedal anymore then I will get an E-bike and ride until I don't have the balance anymore and then i will ride one of those E-Trikes with knobby tires. Oh, and I will keep drinking the double imperial IPA stouts at 15% ABV until my wife pries it from my hands.
This dude should give everyone hope because even if you are 18, 28 or 38....time doesn't stop for anyone. The older you get, the faster time goes. When I was 20 ten years was half my life and now it's just a measure of time.

Time seems to slip away everyday until one day you find ten years have got behind you no one told you when to run you missed the starting gun. So you run and you run, to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking racing around to come up behind you again. The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older now, shorter of breath, and one day closer to death. -DG, RW
  • + 2
 Yes
  • + 5
 Here is some perspective.....I Raced the world masters at Val Di Sole with a good friend and close riding buddy with a 5 year old knee replacement. A great DH rider and competitor. I had a full radical lumbar disc removal in 1987..... all of this is to say don’t give up or sell yourself short. Ride til you drop....then get up and ride some more. Riding breathes life into our soul. BTW......Love the Pink Floyd quote, one of my favourite lines. Dr J
  • + 1
 @JohnRideout:
Thanks....I plan to ride as long as I can. I've been riding all my life and it's all I know. I couldn't imagine a life without riding in it. My body is like an older bike with all kinds of mixed parts on it, It still rides good even though there is some things that are patched up here and there. Thanks for the inspiration and the knowledge I can still do it. I was afraid if I got the knee replacement I wouldn't be able to ride at the level I do know. I asked my Dr and he said I could ride but he didn't thing DH was a good idea.
  • + 1
 @JohnRideout:

Damn John. I seem to keep dropping
Wink
  • + 10
 So who’s the gravity grandad now @b4uwereborn? You have competition. Just good to see people of all ages and abilities riding bikes and having fun. Inspired ????????
  • + 5
 Met John and his wife at Val di Sole in 2016. Amazing people. I was trying to get my head around the road gap at the top and John just lined up and sent it with no hesitation. He certainly deserved that win and it's awesome to see he's still at it. Keep on truckin' John!
  • + 7
 Just another example for all those people who love to say "I can't." Ride on, Dr. John!
  • + 5
 Thank you.. I am just about to hit 40 and have been having minor attacks of "the end is near" syndrome. Have been put firmly back in my place. Awesome.
  • + 3
 I met John at 2016 Worlds in Val Di Sole... Solid dude for sure! We all made some new friends that week, loved the company, the food, and the track! ....Which was a challenge for all of us, but we worked together to figure it out. Thanks for those memories John, I imagine I'll see you in Quebec next summer... cheers!
  • + 1
 I am also going to MSA, I am going to WIN! Wink
  • + 3
 Yea buddy!!!! This is the best thing iv'e seen in a while! I'm 35 and just getting into DH, and loving it. I'll be thinking of this when I talk to other guys my age when they say "ha, that sounds fun but id like to show up to work on Monday in one piece" Keep on rippin John, Yheeeew!
  • + 4
 Started MTBing' in my early to mid 20's, I'm 46 now and still going strong!
  • + 2
 Ha made me laugh, the injury list reads all too familiar. The good doctor has four years on me so I can sorta relate. I have resolved a few steps toward riding into oblivion.
1. Move to a trails you like. By this age you will have moved somewhere so choose wisely.
2. Gym or shovel? If you follow step one you'll get the shovel.
3. Get in in your head that a few decades on you will have less power. Say you lose ten percent power and twenty percent mass, are you better or worse off?
4. Go harder than you think is good for you.
  • + 4
 When you get too old for DH we'll be excited to see you transition to ENDURO. Best of luck next season and if you can't tell everyone loves your article. Nice riding.
  • + 6
 Incredible!!!! To be riding at his age is all a dream for us
  • + 6
 "Computers hadn't been invented" ... fake news
  • + 6
 *Personal Computers
  • + 11
 You could count the number of computers on one abacus.
  • + 2
 Awesome read.. would love to meet this guy .I’m 60 and still buildin’ and ridin trail with my friends, ages 63 and 58.. Headed to Outerbike Bentonville in a few weeks ... our goal is to return without a hospital bill..
J Smith
Mt. Zion Trails
Mississippi
  • + 3
 Thanks for all the med advice & help at Cove Bikes back in the day Dr Rideout, never icing without compression will stick with me for as long as my memory lasts!
  • + 3
 I just started riding 3 years ago. If i live up to this guy that means i still have 43+ YEARS of riding or 93% of my riding career left. That makes me so damn happy.
  • + 4
 Fucking hell, this guy is next level. 71... seriously everyone, let that sink in for a moment.
  • + 1
 Agreed. Thinking about how my grandparents were/are at 71, this guy is amazing!
  • + 1
 i 've always ended up riding with people 20 or so years younger than me. that alone has helped me keep fit and stay motivated. yep, you got to do some training, but you dont have to be a nazi about it...its mostly taking some risks, learning from the young guns and lots of practice..by that immean sessioning...most valuable aspect of my on the bike training. sesssions on trails to break it up into parts, practicing the lines, smoothing out the body english...stuff i learned from riding with younger people.
  • + 4
 Nice work Doc! I'm 20 years younger than you and you are a true inspiration.......keep it up!
  • + 3
 70 used to be old because we thought that way.
This guy is 70 years young.
I'm taking up lawn bowling when I'm 90
So I have another thirty years of riding Smile
  • + 1
 HOLY!! what a perfect example of health, both mentally and physically! Knowing your limits is paramount, and John is clearing in tune with that.. I am now 55 and gave up DH riding about 5 years ago and concentrate on road cycling now, but still crave the gravity!
  • + 1
 I gave up road cycling to mountain bike. Until last year my worst crash was on the road in a crit. But now it was the massive crash on Crapapple last summer. Video is in my bio. But I still send it big. Just not crapabble anymore.
  • + 1
 Oh. I’ll be 57 in 2 months ????
  • + 3
 Worlds gold medal in Val di sol with grey hair...there's still hope to reallize my childhood dream! Thanks for all the great vids Rick!
  • + 3
 i'm 30 and i need like many many years and one miracle to get better from paralysis so this gives me hope to shred dirt merchant again someday when im 70
  • + 4
 Rode at Whistler this year for the first time at 49. Glad to know that I have another 20 years...
  • + 1
 He is amazing I am 60 just returned from Whistler . I hit most all those jumps he did but one of them I did not he hit that gap jump and he did. This guy is my hero would love to ride with him what a inspriation He is. Thanks for posting this PINK BIKE
  • + 2
 That's awesome keep shredding pops! By the time I'll turn his age I'll ride road bike only. So huge respect for what he still does!
  • + 3
 I've ridden with Dr. Ridout and His Son and did not know he was a Champ... pretty cool! Hi to Pia and Morgan from me
  • + 2
 this guy kicks ass. id like to say id be doing the same at his age, but im sure my body will be too buggered by the time that comes around
  • + 4
 Hahaha I have at least 20 years shredding left!
  • + 1
 Haha me too Smile
  • + 4
 Not bad, for a hhhhhhhhhhuman
  • + 2
 I,m 62 with dodgy knees have no intention of giving up my dh bike, My ex wanted me to give up my 3 bikes 5years ago so she just had to go.
  • + 1
 hahahahahhahahhahahhaa so true
  • + 4
 Legend! Thanks for the inspiration.
  • + 5
 that's awesome
  • + 3
 So inspiring! I certainly hope to be in great shape and active at that age!
  • + 3
 Rad.. wanna ride my bike until 90. hahaha.. I have a little problem on obsession on mountain biking.lol
  • + 3
 I’m also gonna ride till I die or my body can’t or my mind but until that happens,ride on
  • + 3
 WOW! Just turned 58 and was thinking I may be too old for this anymore. NOT! Ride on!
  • + 3
 I wish I can ride as good as him!
  • + 2
 Wanna be this dude when I’m 70. Brand ambassador for dong pills and geratol. Sign me up
  • + 4
 Respect
  • + 2
 I can only hope I'd be able to keep downhill riding when I get to his age. Kudos to him!
  • + 3
 Shredding Crack Addict in my 70's just added to bucket list! Awesome!
  • + 1
 Absolutely amazing. Now if I can just maintain my current skills and speed for 23 years, I have a shot at winning something.
  • + 2
 Beautiful..! I still got 28 years to go on the bike then and hopefully more, haha!
  • + 2
 "Celebrating victory at Val Di Sole" - Val di Sole at his age is pretty cool!!
  • + 2
 Met John at Val di Sole in 2016 when he won... I have one more role model since ;-)
  • + 2
 Man, I thought mountain biking was going to be the *reason* my body wont be able to stay active in my golden years lol
  • + 2
 I am getting clearer on my retirement destination. Whistler! I leave Florida and Portugal to the golfers.
  • + 3
 Plenty of rad trails here, and folks of all ages are welcome. Oh, and the ride season lasts 365 days.
  • + 2
 I've ridden with John! He was part of our SGC group on Ride Dont Slide a couple years ago. Keep on givn'r!!
  • + 1
 looking forward to the sweet senior citizen discount for lift tickets when I'm that age. does Whistler have an AARP discount?
  • + 2
 Skiing is real cheap after 70, $200 per season
  • + 1
 I hope I can ride that well next year at 71. but I was never a DH champ..Great to the Mature guys out there..
  • + 3
 Awesome.
  • + 2
 So cool,and lucky to have only those injuries to claim!
  • + 3
 Absolute legend !
  • + 3
 wow amazing
  • + 1
 Awesome. Now everyone has something to shoot for getting older. You only get old when you quit riding.
  • + 2
 Yeah! This is what it's all about!
  • + 2
 "Old enough to know better... young enough not to care!" Love this quote!
  • + 3
 Amazing!
  • + 2
 "Born 1947: Computers hadn't been invented" not true!! @onecutmedia
  • + 1
 Awesome, inspirational! After he retires from DH he can start riding some enduro... Smile
  • + 2
 When I grow up, I wanna be this dude \m/
  • + 2
 Never had an idole in 50 years From now on i have one..
  • + 2
 Good job to keep the shape !!! i'm 36, feeling like 68...
  • + 2
 Favorite bike?
History of bikes?
  • + 6
 First of all is the question as to how many bikes is the right number. Answer: N+1......Where N is the number of bikes you have now. Favourite DH bike is my current ride, Specialized S-works Demo carbon. Took a lot of fast talk to a skeptiical wife to make that purchase . The Demo is a brilliant ride. Rode a Kona stab a winner at world masters in Bromont Quebec. Before that Rode a Rocky Mountain RM9 to a win at Bromont as well. Currently awaiting delivery of a 27.5 YT Capra for Vancouver North Shore trail riding......maybe it should be N+2 Dr John
  • + 1
 @JohnRideout: funny john, I have the N + 1 for cameras and lenses now Wink
  • + 3
 Bravo!!! #lifegoals
  • + 2
 I'm 24 and probably wouldn't hit half those trails, good for him
  • + 3
 excellent!!!!
  • + 2
 This is amazing. So inspiring.
  • + 2
 Props to Dr. John. I'm 44 and about to give DH riding..
  • + 3
 Good work, Rick
  • + 2
 New hero. hands down. Put him in Gamble II!
  • + 2
 Thanks man this is just awesome
  • + 3
 Life goals.
  • + 3
 this is the best
  • + 3
 Legend. Made my day.
  • + 2
 BURLY!!! stoked to go riding now. I guess a lot of bananas and coffee,eh'?
  • + 3
 YT should sponsor him!
  • + 1
 awesome! new young/older talent. funny.whatever it takes to keep the bizz running.
  • + 2
 Yes, love it ???????? Keep on keeping on old fella
  • + 2
 Hell yes, this is so uplifting to see! You rule Dr. John.
  • + 2
 #1 Pinkbike article
  • - 1
 Prognarcore

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