FINALLY WITH THE RAIN GONE PRACTICE IS HERE
It’s quite possible that this is the pinnacle of burl in the dude-o-sphere. It has to be. There can’t be anything more dangerous than this. And it all starts with the digging, the chipping, the sculpting, the hauling, and that dust. Thousands of hours of it. This is the true essence of Red Bull Rampage - in the eyes of the riders at least. Take a blank canvas, envision your line, build it, then ride it. Which constitutes perhaps one of the most unique challenges in all of mountain sports. What looks like an individual sport, is actually quite the opposite. And so, in the three official build days leading up to the qualifying day, scores of peeps got busy mining for gnar. Not nugs, although we all got a nose full of those, gnar, hopefully of the wick variety. Because when you’re here, in the flesh, and you see what these guys are doing, where they’re doing it, it’s savage. F*ck*ng crazy if you ask me.
Working under the top two cliffbands in an area that will see Aggy, Gully, Antoine Bizet and Semenuk air above a certain death canyon, we have to first build a platform just so we can freaking stand, slowly carving in singletrack that no one would ever want to ride ever. Except for some crazy Frenchman. All over the course, guys fill sandbags and build rock walls, chip away at sedimentary rock one quarter sized chunk at a time, all the while dealing with savage dust storms that literally block your nasal tubes with booger build up.
If you live in a mountain town, there’s a good chance the economy of your community came from gnarly dudes whacking away at rock in search of gold and silver. Out here, in the desert south of Virgin, Utah, a host of international mountain bikers and their building brethren inadvertently do the same. It’s gold they’re looking for and it gets super freaky when they find it.
|We met up on Sunday and got out here Monday morning super early before the sun even rose. Brandon decided to ride the same line as last year, just with a couple of different switches at the top, throwing in another new air and hopefully a trickable drop. We all had a good say on how the line should go, then we put our heads down and go to work together. Brandon's in it with us digging just as hard as we do, although for sure he has a lot more on his mind than us so he has to take a step back sometimes. We wouldn't be able to do it without him and he wouldn't be able to do it without us, it's pretty cool. Now the rain has just turned the dirt into epicness and as builders, we're walking around with boners - Kyle Jameson |
|I'm here with two of my best friends from home, Olly Wilkins and Liam Mason who I managed to persuade to come out here and help me. They both know what's possible and what's not, which is useful...coming out to the desert on your own building your own sh*t you get easily deluded. Everyone's built their own stuff according to their strengths which is good to see other ideas, but sometimes it's nice to look at other people's stuff and be thankful you don't have to do their line... Anyway I spent five days building this jump last year, but unfortunately snapped my ACL and never rode it. I guess you could say this is the main feature of the line, over this 50 foot canyon Brendan Fairclough |
|My line is almost done now, I have a few ideas, a few tricks I can't say for an interview! I built all the features I need to do them. Let's hope in the finals I can put it together and send the big ramp. Last year I dug my lines alone, this year I have three Kona guys to help. We've worked hard together to make big jumps and big features so for sure it's going to be a better line - Antoine Bizet |
|I got the dream team, Logan, Intern and Kyle J...these guys have been working so hard and basically created a sick line with a pretty sizable air right off the top. It basically drops into this kind of chute to a downhill take-off, over Doefling and Beuhler's lines. We chipped away at the hill for a full day to make this big bench, then lined it back into my canyon. If I can fit tricks in I'm gonna try and do them wherever, but I want to get a solid run down this year so I don't wanna risk it too much. The concern is how steep the upper is, it never really goes flat until the take-off of the next hit - Brandon Semenuk |
|Everyone's just shredding it now, trying their new lines... I never saw dirt this good! Andreu Lacondeguy |
|It surprisingly didn't hurt too much. It broke in 2 places just below my hip and should heal well. And I should be able to bear weight on it soon since I got a metal rid in there now. Mark Matthews |