For those who might not know – that’s a quote from Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction”. A scene where the gangster Marcellus Wallace lectures the aging boxer Butch on “the hard motherf**king fact of life” that ability doesn’t last.
Back in October 1994 when "Pulp Fiction” was released in Norway I was 18 years old. I had raced mountain bikes for two years and was coming off a rather successful final year in juniors, placing second in DH at the national champs, and picking up my first victory at a national points series round. Fast forward a couple of years I had a stint from 1997 to 2001 where I raced a lot, including World Cups, and ultimately had to make peace with the fact that I was “one of the many”: One of the many who are quite good but not quite good enough. As opposed to one of the few who have the full package of skill, fitness, and mental ability to succeed at an international level.
By the end of those five years, I was quite burned out on racing. For about three weeks… After that, I regrouped and spent the next 8 years having heaps of fun racing the Norwegian nationals alongside studying to become a psychologist and, from 2007 on finding work as one. 2009 was my final year of racing the DH nationals, and at 33 years old I was already somewhat of an old-timer on the scene. From then on, time seems to have simply flown by with two kids, increasing job responsibilities, etc., but still ride whenever I can, and race the occasional enduro when time allows. So yeah, 46 years old now, riding and racing mountain bikes (as a privateer) for 30 years. How is my ass aging...?
Riding with your friends never gets old.
That Pulp Fiction quote, and my musings around it was the inspiration for wanting to make an edit showcasing how for my buddy Svenn and I riding as middle-aged persons is a lot about finding the balance between accepting that ability will wane while still celebrating the childish joy and pride we feel whenever we stick a tricky line, send a scary jump, or just corner that little bit faster than on our last run.
For viewers of my own age group – I hope you find elements you can recognize and identify with. For younger viewers I have the ambition to inspire and instil a “hope for the future”: Over the years I have myself encountered older riders who still ripped and through that showed me that life as an “extreme sports athlete” does not have to end at 35 or 40 or whatever age my 18-year-old self may have considered “ancient”. If through this edit I can be that older rider to someone, that’d be very cool!
Two days of riding and filming in Hallingdal Norway.
Oh – and there’s one thing that’s very different when you’re 46 and want to make an edit versus when you are – say 21: As an adult, I didn’t have a friend with a camera and lots of spare time on his hands ready to come along to film and edit just because that’s a fun thing to do. So to make it happen, I recruited the talents of Magnus Grönberg (filming/director) and Lars Storheim (filming/editing). Hallingdal Rides, Vertical Playground, Sweet Protection and Plan A Sykler all chipped in so that the guys got paid for the job. Thanks to Tveit Eiendomsutvikling for lending us a beautiful cabin for the weekend. Big shoutout to everyone involved!