Video: Wild French Freeriding in 'Menhir'

Dec 13, 2018
by RambaudMax  
Views: 18,521    Faves: 227    Comments: 18




The "Menhir" project has been asleep for several years already. We have been building our tracks in this forest for over 10 years and going down this rock has always been a crazy idea. This year we decided to go down it. It was a lot of work, to get on this massive rock, to prepare the slope and the reception.





This video project had been going on in Benoît's head for quite some time now, so he decided, with the help of a couple of friends to create a track and make this big rock in the middle of the woods ridable.

It was a lot of work, because everything was done by hand with the local riders, a beautiful group of enthusiasts who have been digging for years in this same forest in Thollon, France.

Many people said that it was not possible to roll this "menhir". It is a real stone wall set in the middle of a fir forest. But Benoit and some of his friends were very motivated to ride it.




Benoit was very apprehensive about the idea of opening this module. He was particularly afraid of the height and space on the top of the rock, he had to be calm and precise. Errors are not allowed. And in the end, the rock climbs and descends perfectly, with a big impact at the reception, it is one of the most frightening modules he has ridden.








Video & Photos : Maxime Rambaud
Rider : Benoit Gurnel


59 Comments

  • + 52
 Obelix could totally carry that.. In fact, I reckon he can carry two at a time.
  • + 4
 Well done sir!
  • + 4
 Where is *?

Every freeride video needs a dog!
  • + 2
 As long as the sky doesn't fall on his head.
  • + 3
 This video was only possible thanks to his kind help!
  • + 21
 100% have to say I read the title and thought "big deal. I've ridden steep rollers" - But that is NEXT LEVEL steep. Heinously close to being unrideable (beyond that point it's a freefall/huck I guess). Second thought: Someone who can back flip and front flip a DH bike is more qualified than me to decide what is difficult and what isn't Smile Smile Smile
  • + 17
 watch rough af 3
  • + 14
 That was nucking futs...high level work going on there.
  • + 6
 Actually that was hucking ruts
  • + 3
 Vinnie T put up some pictures of them working on it on the ol facebooks a bit ago... the video does it justice.
  • + 6
 maybe I'm too much of a roadie but wouldn't you think someone who can frontflip doubles be ok riding down a rock? Not to say it's easy but risk/speed wise he seems to be doing crazier stuff imo
  • + 5
 Agreed. I'd like to think I could work up to hitting that roll. Any type of flip..not a chance.
  • + 4
 He looked okay with it to me.... I think the clip where he stopped was showcasing the fact that he had to work up to it as @Grunk noted. Everyone's a bit different in their hangups. I am okay with dropping and not so much with boosting. This guy looks right at home boosting doubles and throwing backies but had to work up to the slab roll.
  • + 4
 I think it had to do with how scenic this stuff is and when you build it, it's another experience. If you pump out jump after jump after jump it's a different thing. I know folks who front flip doubles and they would be totally intimidated by it. If you think about it, if you loose your balance on the edge, and this is no easy edge to roll over, you're in for a long tumble and you can mess yourself up properly. Ask rock climbers how nice it is to tumble down such face before the rope stops them.
  • + 1
 @Gmang: well said brotha
  • + 1
 Yeah that's what I was thinking. I could honestly imagine myself rolling that rock; never flipping a gap jump.
  • + 3
 @stalkinghorse: ya, me too, but then I know that the speed at the bottom will be insane and there’s no good way to brake. I rolled at least three different 45deg slabs of this size and it’s not a good time in my books. Especially when despite best intentions and mental prep, my finger starts dragging the front brake in some involuntary unconscious panic mode... This here is steeper than 45deg...
  • + 2
 As someone else said above, I think the guy himself is pretty qualified to say what is crazy or not having the full range of crazy covered Smile Video always makes things look easy and when things work they always look easy too. It looks like a heck of a lot of scoping and building went it to it which is itself an unknown
  • + 6
 Beautiful camera work, loved the ethereal light and the faces lit by the torch fire. You don't see many vids making as much of a feature of the prep as the riding! Instant fave Beer
  • + 5
 Just goes to show how anyone growing up riding the shore has a warped perception about what is an appropriate level of steepness Wink
  • + 7
 how do you say “rough af” in French?
  • + 28
 baguette
  • + 2
 or "Omelette du fromage"
  • + 8
 Sacrebleu af
  • + 2
 We had this.... 'this' being land we could build on.
RCF aka "The Farm" --- it was the bomb. FreeRide stunts out the waazoo.

RiveChase Farm in VA --- property was a money pit so the family sold it but man, it was fun while it lasted.

sadly, new land owner bulldozed everything we built. we had wood features all over the place, 300+ foot long elevated skinny, gaps, drops, doubles, you name it, we built it. even had a fire pit jump for those who were more daring
  • + 13
 Ok
  • + 1
 So what is the liability on doing this on your land I kinda want to
  • + 6
 Holy shit, really nice video and some nice cinematography.
  • + 4
 Very nice...especially the wood/rock A-frame..beauty line!
  • + 1
 Solid video. I miss west coast Canadian freeride so much. It was like some goons got together, and figured out how to work a camera.
  • + 0
 So nice really makes me want to go trail building!!! I noticed for a while now videos from youtube don't have the option to like them, I'd throw a thumbs up for sure if it was an option!
  • + 4
 Benwah balls.
  • + 2
 Freakin cool!

May I ask a qiestion. What was the purpose of using the blowlamp? Wood gets prone to weather or smth else?
  • + 2
 Looks like wood of spruce and that thing wet is like ice...
  • + 1
 @winko nailed it. Also the slats are all saw cut so a smooth surface and adds too the slickness. I like to hand split slats but it's tough to find the right wood and it can take a lot more time.
  • + 2
 That video F$&@:ing sick!!! Awesome trails sick riding.
  • + 1
 VOD, also, awesome trail, love to ride it, building something similar, just without that rock Big Grin keep diggin bro!
  • + 1
 I am not as intimidated by the rock roll as I am big gaps , depends on what you spend most of your time riding ,
  • + 2
 this guy needs a wild card to Rampage
  • + 1
 Great video. I didn't expect the drop at the bottom of the rock.
  • + 2
 tres bien
  • + 1
 Rrrrrrrooooohhhh ce morceau de caillou quoi !!!!Terrible !
  • + 1
 Akrigg do it whitout ramp Smile
  • + 1
 And without scraping it clean of the moss !
  • + 1
 Maybe it looks steeper in person?
  • + 3
 It always does right?
  • + 2
 Ca va.
  • + 1
 Wicked building and edit. Great job guys!
  • + 2
 Top du top !
  • + 2
 amazing! you killed it
  • + 1
 The tech-ish part is to calculate the speed at the top of the boulder
  • + 1
 Skills to pay the bills - makes it look sooo EASY..! :O
  • + 1
 so fucking sick
  • + 1
 Fantastic stuff!
  • + 1
 Continuez ainsi Benoit.
  • + 1
 cool rock.
  • + 0
 Would've been impressive had the moss not been scraped from the rock.
  • + 1
 So sick
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