Must Watch: Gee Atherton is Back with 'Ridgeline II: The Return'

Oct 4, 2022 at 6:19
by Ed Spratt  
Photos: Dan Griffiths | Moonhead Media

bigquotesWorld downhill champion Gee Atherton has always ridden at the very limit of what is possible on a bike.

It’s his can-do attitude and the crazy locations that Gee sees as an irresistible personal challenge that have enabled him to push the boundaries of the sport time and time again.

Gee’s daring is world famous and in recent years millions have enjoyed spectacular edits such as The Ridgeline and the Slate line, but the risks involved in these “Big Mountain” projects are horrific.

In June 2021 when filming “The Knife Edge” Gee had a horrendous crash with a huge list of injuries…

Gee's recovery was a long process with no guarantees that he would ride again but the thought of “the new Ridgeline” (built way back in 2021 before his horrible accident) was a huge motivation

Gee said “I have to admit the first day up on the new ridge was challenging, I’d been riding chilled bike park laps and suddenly I was back at the top of a Ridge with all the knowledge of what had gone before. But I do these projects purely because I love it. I’ve always enjoyed that creative side,.. the freedom to build things as hard as you want. There are no boundaries, and I always end up making them a little bit harder than I should. As soon as I dropped in I was back where I belong"

Find out what the future holds for the Ridgeline's as Dan Griffiths gives us the exclusive inside into the minutes of fear and months of recovery after Gee's horrific crash when filming "The Knife Edge" in June 2021.
The Athertons








131 Comments

  • 403 2
 "I think the thing that draws me to building these lines on these exposed big mountain ridges, is just the freedom it gives me......". - Well said Gee and awesome line! We all live Freeride.
  • 181 0
 Thanks Wade!
  • 114 0
 @athertonbikes: I love witnessing the evolution you guys are leading; Hard Line, The Fest Series, super gnarly lines like The Knife Edge.......keep sending it!!!
  • 14 0
 Freedom: To have a line with no turns and no pedaling. Freedom to do nothing but haul ass and go straight and fly off jumps for distance not height. Gee makes this look so fun. Pure gravity fed speed, but just watching this makes me anxious. That speed is ridiculous.
  • 3 0
 The equivalent of mountain bike Flight of the Navigator Raw speed
  • 20 1
 I am just commenting so I can be in the same comment string as mountain biking royalty like Wade and Gee. Looks like the recovery went well for Gee! Sometimes it is harder to get your head back in the game more than fix the body. Lol I am still I recovering from a hurt shoulder golfing last weekend.
  • 2 0
 @powderhoundbrr:

heal up, shoulders can be tricky! I strained my big toe at home yesterday. Still fit in a 45m ride this morn between work meetings (minutes not miles).

and nice work to G-man and the crew!
  • 26 0
 Let us pray for those who downvoted the Godfather, they know not what they do.
  • 4 0
 @gemma8788: Guess they don't live freeride?
  • 3 0
 @wadesimmons: i think the godfather of free ride and the athertons should be consulted to create an event similar to hardline; like “hardline-world cup-rampage racing”, and it should be just like “the ridge”, not another bike park.
  • 2 0
 @gemma8788: name and shame them!
  • 77 3
 Gee seems to be on a mission to out Chuck Norris Chuck Norris!
  • 92 2
 Chuck Norris' order for a AM.200.M is currently in the printer...
  • 128 1
 Chuck Norris once had a near-Gee experience.
  • 44 0
 Gee can do a wheelie on a unicycle…..
  • 37 1
 Chuck Norris once rode a bike, then he watched Gee ride. Chuck hasn't been on a bike since
  • 9 0
 Isn’t Gee the closest rider to completing the trifecta?

Wins in WCDH, Rampage and Hardline.
  • 6 1
 Gee rode Chuck Norris down the hill
  • 5 0
 @WasatchEnduro: AFAIK Cedric Garcia is the only one who has won Rampage and a WCDH, to be fair Hardline did not exist back whn he was riding.
Gee has been 2nd at rampage a couple of years, but I'm not sure if he'll ever comepete there again, hopefully, his lines are always a pleasure to watch.
  • 2 0
 @Herrdok: Cédric G"ra"cia AFAIK
  • 2 0
 @JeanChristopheB: absolutely! my bad!
  • 1 0
 @Herrdok: He competed in the last Hardline and came 5th!
  • 6 0
 @Herrdok:

Yup. And when does Goldstone get his Rampage invite? He could be a strong contender to pull it off one day.
  • 46 1
 I like the trick he does where he changes the colour of his fork lowers mid jump.
  • 4 0
 Looks like he did the whole run on two bikes, and it definitely makes sense to bring a spare to a line like that, especially remembering the lucky bail he had in the first Ridgeline. (that there are two now is stunning) Maybe choosing which set-up to take to Hardline the following month?
  • 37 0
 @pockets-the-coyote: Good spot! Gee was playing around with different sizing of the AM.200.M - we have 12 different standard sizes so getting that perfectly fitted bike is a must, especially when sending lines like this!
  • 2 0
 @athertonbikes: No doubt, although I doubt I can comprehend it, I'm sure even small changes are glaringly obvious at this level. Credit to @chwk for the spot, i watched it twice without noticing, their comment brought me back for a third. Glad you're well and shredding the limits!
  • 3 0
 @pockets-the-coyote: two bikes, not way captain... that is for sure new FOX clour changin fork there Big Grin
  • 7 0
 I guess it would be useful to have the short bike to fit in the takeoff transition, and a slightly longer one for stability on landing.
  • 1 0
 @valrock: wouldnt that be great?
  • 1 0
 @valrock: thats what loics hidden lever was for, fox finally licensed it off Ohlins
  • 36 0
 Me to myself, "And here we were thinking that Red Bull Hardline was his first time back to riding "gnarly" stuff".
  • 39 2
 He can't be serious. Now this is a comeback! Mad respect!
  • 11 2
 Comeback of the year.
  • 6 2
 @tbmaddux: Long live the KING!!!!!
  • 4 0
 @tbmaddux: comeback of the decade!!! head-to-head with bulldog!
  • 3 0
 He is serious. And don't call him Shirley
  • 34 1
 Don't call it a comeback. Gee's been here for years.
  • 5 0
 Remember when he did a suicide no-hander over the banner jump at Fort Bill in his race run. Think it was his first elite race or something. And he used to race WC 4X the same weekends as DH.
  • 19 1
 "You Did It. The Crazy Son of a Bitch, You Did It!"
  • 1 0
 Grey's bones: "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!"
  • 13 0
 I once read an article that listed 6 materials that are harder than diamonds. There are actually 7 as they forgot to include Gee.
  • 10 0
 Way to get back on the horse Gee! Just a curiosity: why are neck braces and back protection so rarely used, even by the pros? Not a critique, just truly wondering. I want to keep watching these legends ride and walk for decades to come.
  • 12 0
 Amazing feat. Pure insanity to do it the first time, but to do it again after such a heavy crash is off the charts.
  • 12 0
 You’re not right mate.
  • 11 1
 steve would be proud and ride it down with you! your FOLLOW ME segment in NZ is the best ever
  • 10 0
 Scare yourself a little bit, every day. Gee obviously gets that. Thanks for the inspiration.
  • 5 0
 Definitely Gees mentality!
  • 9 0
 MUST WATCH (from behind the couch).
  • 8 0
 Awesome to see you back shredding Gee! True resilience, guts, skills and passion!
  • 3 0
 Cheers Tippie!
  • 8 0
 Got scared for mountains when I read the headline.
  • 7 0
 Freeride is the best ride. The atherton bros are some of the realest freerider / builders too.
  • 11 8
 Land access in Britain must be completely different than here in the US...you'd be lucky just to hike up NF, BLM or private land without the land Nazis shutting you down let alone building a new trail. You can get away with it someplace hidden under canopy but never an exposed ridgeline like this without some Karen noticing.
  • 24 0
 Land of the free!
  • 5 0
 Yes, it's quite different. But this trail is private land built with permission of the landowner.
  • 1 0
 Depends on where you are. Folks are building out in the desert almost every day. But there are certainly areas where you can't build that. I love this vibe, the riding etc.. but not knowing what happens to that trail moving forward should make you ask questions.
  • 1 0
 Sad but true.
  • 24 8
 It's a shame to drive into a state like Utah and see the evidence of redneck golf cart tracks as far as the eye can see. The mentality some people have that they're entitled to do whatever they want with wide open spaces is short-sighted and stupid. You complain about the NF, the BLM, etc, because you can't build a rogue trail, but you sure as fuck wouldn't pitch in to put out forest fires or manage the ecology of the land to make sure you're not the last generation that gets to use it before it goes to shit. You're probably also the same person who points a shotgun at anyone who walks onto your private property and who would be opposed to freedom to roam laws like the UKs'.
  • 1 0
 Land rights are a bit all over the place here, In Scotland its open access apart from where its definitely not, England is very much owned by the ramblers and farmers, not sure about Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • 2 1
 @mtb-jon: the least free democracy on earth
  • 1 0
 @fatduke: Wales is very similar to England, nowhere near as progressive access rights as Scotland. There has been a consultation going on to change Welsh access laws but doesn't seem to be moving very quickly... Others may know more..
  • 2 0
 @portablepiper: Yeah, In England we were hoping that Wales would also move forward on access rights thus hopefully getting any thing in England to get moving. Out of all the home nations England sucks for land access progress.
  • 2 0
 @fatduke: I believe NI is probably worse than England, but fingers crossed things start moving again on Wales at some point. I was a bit involved in the campaigning and I know that all hope was not lost, but there's a question mark over the political will for it now.
  • 5 0
 @fatduke: Tbf open access doesn't include building trails.
  • 1 9
flag jeffnm (Oct 5, 2022 at 7:21) (Below Threshold)
 @pgomez: Whoa, slow down there captain virtue signal. Did your boyfriend #$%^ your breakfast burrito or are you always this much of a jackass?
  • 1 0
 @dingus: I know but in terms in access to ride in open area's is more relaxed.
  • 1 1
 @jeffnm: @jeffnm: popular opinion seems to say you're the jackass. I'm pointing out the self-centered, hypocritical way people treat land that doesn't belong to them vs land that does belong to them. You just randomly decided to show up and start gay-bashing someone who isn't even gay in an attempt to insult me. Have something worth saying if you're going to take an opposing point of view.
  • 2 0
 @fatduke: the Scottish situation isn't without issues. Paths popular with riders are getting destroyed, especially now e bikes allow more to access delicate mountain environments. Wouldn't be surprised if ebikes are removed from right to roam legislation in a future revision.
  • 6 0
 I'm guessing going back to "the section" was out of the question...and I don't blame him one bit.
Epic build and ride.
  • 5 0
 Seriously at the point of transcending the sport. He needs to be featured in some of like extreme outdoor sports documentary series.
  • 7 0
 Those Continental tyres hooking up beautifully. - Sis
  • 4 0
 The word “Legend” is appropriate here. Your riding is simply thrilling to watch. We mere mortals can only dream of what it must feel like to be able to ride like that. Gorgeous edit.
  • 2 0
 Remember when you were a kid watching a puppet show? You see the bad puppet come on stage and start yelling at the good puppet to watch out? I had exactly that excitement seeing him sending this stuff. Bursting out 'Don't do it man, this is nuts!!'
Love it. This man is a hero.
  • 2 0
 The drone filming going through that proper fast rocky roost at just the right height to feel like your chasing and hangin to keep up is just incredible! Very well done - mad respect for Gee & pilot/filmer.
I could honestly feel the excited fear and sheer skill shining through in that run - just bloody brilliant!!
  • 6 0
 Legend
  • 1 0
 100% Legend
  • 3 0
 Wow, one the best things i have seen...Gee being back on a bike and how far he has come to film this. This makes me happy...the filming was ace.
  • 5 0
 Wade and Gee in the comments, what a day
  • 4 0
 If the crash was an example of adversity, THIS is the model of reliance. F*** YES! What an inspiration!!
  • 1 0
 thanks man
  • 4 0
 The Athertons and Wade Simmons are chatting together in front of us all. I don’t feel worthy to comment in their space.
  • 2 0
 In Scotland building the access and track in a location like this would be pretty controversial and maybe illegal. Is Wales different?
  • 1 0
 It's in an area surrounded by logging. In the video the trail looks quite ugly I agree.
  • 2 0
 Has to be with landowner permission. Riding bridleways in Wales is legal, and on private land with permission, but broader access to the mountains by bike is much more limited than the Scottish access rights. Defo no building lines like this without landowner permission..
  • 2 0
 @lochussie Not really with permission from the landowner, which Gee & Co. definitely would have had. I'd imagine it's has a lot lower impact on the environment than the new Blue at Fort William for example.
  • 2 0
 Man, I'd kill to have an Atherton DH bike. I'm gonna go over to the corner and wish in one hand and shit in the other. Guess which one fills up first.
  • 12 0
 Just drop us an email to sales@athertonbikes.com and we can make it happen...no need to make a mess!
  • 1 0
 @athertonbikes: you'll swap one for a fistful of shit? Woo hoo , back in a minute.
  • 2 0
 @athertonbikes: Dammit! It's just a question of dollars and cents. I have neither currently. Daughters are using all funds for college and athletics. Beer
  • 1 0
 Mad respect to Gee!! (and Dan) - Both have had such severe injuries and not only got back bike, they've put the work in and got back to being some of the best to ever ride a bike.
  • 1 0
 Gee, can you tell us how much pain you're in when you get out of bed everyday? Do you push through it or do you just not feel it? What a legend, inspiring me to push harder in the gym and overcome my pesky little injurys.
  • 1 0
 Fun fact: A well known movie charater was based on Gee Atherton img.republicworld.com/republic-prod/stories/promolarge/xhdpi/bih0umnfuxcyaotm_1601991126.jpeg
  • 3 0
 Pretty cool..but 4:30 in the morning
  • 5 0
 yeah that part kinda sucks ...
  • 2 0
 Gee is the ultimate example of a machine, on the bike and off. Awesome stuff Gee.
  • 2 0
 Guess who's back. Back again. Fair play Gee and team, awesome to see more edits of the epicness that is Wales.
  • 2 0
 Geesus Christ....don´t know if this is just madness or brilliance - or both at the same time. What a Legend.
  • 1 0
 we are right with you...
  • 2 0
 Incredible story: His recovery, the line and the speed / jumping he carries.
  • 1 0
 Radical. Glad to see him back on a bike. Honestly I cant watch if he tries the knife edge again, this line is gnarly enough. Just thinking about it stresses me out.
  • 3 0
 SO MUCH YES!!!
  • 1 0
 The video is just beautiful. Even that short cut with making sure all the sponsors are features felt somewhat OK Big Grin
  • 1 0
 real stoked about watchin’ anything Gee is up to. he’s a fortunate man, makin’ rad memories!
  • 2 1
 Love that half the photos are deleted.
  • 3 1
 Can't stop, won't stop!
  • 2 1
 Bravo Gee, amazing stuff. Just please BE CAREFUL up there now.
  • 2 1
 I'd love to ride a line like this......... just 25% the speed though.
  • 1 0
 Amen to that dude
  • 2 0
 Badass
  • 1 0
 Super impressive! So cool to see Gee back to riding again.
  • 1 0
 Freedom. AF! TOTAL INSPIRATION!
  • 1 0
 "Just the peak of a mountain with big balls either side"
  • 1 0
 Live is too short not to go big!
  • 1 0
 Don't call it a come back, he's been here for years.....
  • 2 0
 fair play gee!!!!
  • 2 0
 Gees up Hoe-down
  • 1 0
 I like it. I like it a lot.
  • 1 0
 Even though you know the hero lives in the end, still scary to watch!
  • 1 0
 You're going to need a faster drone soon! Unreal stuff!
  • 4 4
 lets not go scarring ever ridgeline in the UK tho lads eh?
  • 1 0
 GEE MAN
  • 1 0
 fuck yeah!!
  • 1 0
 Oh Geeee
  • 1 0
 Absolute Mad Man Legend
  • 1 0
 Atherton Animal.
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