The Syncronicles II, The Ramp – Video

May 5, 2017 at 13:48
by Sebastian Doerk  
The Syncronicles II

The Roots of a Dream

It all started 1988. I was a seven-year-old kid when we moved from Prague, the Czech Republic to Germany and I got my first BMX bike from my mom for my birthday. It had lights, fenders, and reflectors all over and I was the happiest child you could imagine. The park nearby was my playground to skid and race around the blocks with all the other kids. I had this BMX and I knew from all the pictures and TV that these bikes can make me fly. I started to use some old wood and built some small jumps to get a few inches airtime under my wheels. From that point I have been a daydreaming kid, drawing BMX jump-lines in my schoolbooks and imagined where I could jump around on my bike. That cycling thing got me and helped me through difficult times as my mom died of cancer a year later. I grew up in an orphanage and riding my bike has been more than just playing around. It helped me to deal with frustrations and symbolized freedom.

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Ten years went by, I was 17 and meanwhile working in a local bike shop after school. I started competing in a couple of European Dual Slalom races. Soon I had a few small sponsors from the bike industry who supported me with some bike parts. At my first World Cup, I met and raced against my heroes like Brian Lopes, Dave Cullinan, and Mike King. It's been a new world that opened up for me and all I wanted is be part of it. Every day after school I went to the local skate park and jumped the ramps for hours and hours. Some friends of mine from the racing scene had a mobile ramp set-up to do some shows on different happenings in some small villages around. We made some cash which helped us to pay our expenses for the races. A year later I got my drivers license and dreamed of a life in a van, travel around, ride and race bikes all day long and make some money through shows with my own mobile ramp set-up.

Lost in the Adult Life

After I finished school another three years went by and I made my degree in wholesale and foreign trade. When I left the office on my last day, I never turned back to this job. I knew I would find a way to make a living by riding bikes. I sold everything I had except my riding gear, my bikes, surf, and snowboard, and moved with the few things I owned into my 890, Euro VW T3 van I bought on eBay. I traveled, raced and lived my childhood dream. But I made my money as a bartender in Munich and not with ramp shows. One year later I finally got my first proper contract with Specialized—it was 2003. I got a new, faster van, made money and had to pay bills. All of a sudden I found myself in the adult life.
Somehow along the way, I lost that ramp-idea. I guess I grew up. Life got accelerated. I hurried from event to event and got lost in the business world of the bike industry. I lived a life in the fast lane and set focus on other things in this competitive world. Two years later the fast new van broke and I moved back into my old, slow one. I quit the job at Specialized and re-organized my life around the values that really motivated me to ride and so I moved on.

Amazing years followed. I got the chance to travel the world, I rode some of the finest trails on different continents, met amazing people and learned a lot about other cultures. I‘m so thankful for every single experience and opportunity to travel and more than happy I can still call it my job until today.

Now, I‘m a 35-year-old man with a beautiful family, a restored adventure mobile, and an almost forgotten childhood dream. I knew one day I had to build it. As a freeride athlete I always look at landscapes and imagine what a rideable line could look like. I see ridgelines, natural spines, wallrides or landings everywhere… The only thing missing would be a massive mobile ramp.

The SYNCRONICLES II The Ramp making off

The SYNCRONICLES II The Ramp making off


The Ramp: A Bike Connection Project

When I started restoring my Syncro van, I knew it was time to turn that dream into reality. I felt the excitement again like the 7-year-old kid I used to be. I had this idea to use the van as the solid ramp element. With its great 4x4 abilities, the van could be placed wherever I find a natural landing. I came up with some ideas and involved my riding buddy Sebastian Happ, who is a genius when it comes to extraordinary construction and ramp design. He calculated and measured my crazy ideas into a building instruction for a super kicker made out of stainless steel and aluminum.

The Syncronicles II The Ramp making off

I involved another friend of mine I used to race with in my early Dual Slalom races; Nicolas Thrun. His family business is specialized in the production of stainless steel food silos and he helped us with all the transition parts and bending it accurate to 5.5-meter radius we needed. I bought twelve offroad sand sheets to connect the transitions and use these as my grippy and solid riding surface.

Then I needed to find a transport and mounting solution. For that, I use my roof rack with multiple attachment points on top. I connected the single ramp parts in a way that they also work as out folding "wings".

The Syncronicles II The ramp making off

I needed some custom made stainless steel bushings, made by another bike buddy, Flo Bleyler who is a precision engineer. That way I can use it as an awning on one side and for my hammock on the other when not in use as a ramp. For the awning, I got help by one of my closest friends Leander Angerer who I started racing with back in 1998. He sew a custom fabric for me to fit the transitions in his "Racing Atelier" workshop. At last, I found a solution to transport all the aluminum sand sheets under the car to have the additional weight central and low distributed.

The only thing missing—a landing. It was deep winter in January when I had everything finished. I‘ve set up the ramp only once before to see if the construction itself works, but I haven't jumped it yet. Nevertheless, I packed my new built Evil Wreckoning bike and everything I needed for a three-month road trip adventure all the way down to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. It has been a destination I always dreamed of visiting with my own car.

The Syncronicles II The ramp making off

The time has come to finally live my childhood dream. It seems like it took me a lifetime to get there. But finally, I arrived where I always wanted to be; In my own imagination of what Mountainbike riding means to me—infinite freedom (and the possibility to launch myself into orbit)

The Syncronicles II The ramp making off

The Syncronicles II The ramp making off

The Syncronicles II The ramp making off

The Syncronicles II The ramp making off

The Syncronicles II The ramp making off

The Syncronicles II The ramp making off

A massive thank you goes out to everyone who helped me building this. You guys rock. I want to see all of you this summer hit the ramp at the lake jump!

And thanks to ION bike, Evil, and Spank for supporting this journey! I owe all of you a beer or two…

Last but not least, thank you, Sebastian Doerk for joining me on a trip of a lifetime and capturing the epic shit.



MENTIONS: @IONbike / @Spank-Ind



Must Read This Week

89 Comments

  • + 75
 Rob/Sebastian, thank you for always producing inspirational works. It was awesome to watch this journey. Also, it was interesting to see you do those free ride scenes and massive jumps on a 29er, Evil bikes are amazing. Aloha my friends...
  • + 9
 He's a great coach too!
  • + 4
 "It helped me to deal with frustrations and symbolized freedom." Who do I want/need my next beer to be with?
  • + 1
 Thanks mate. Good to hear from you, often think back to the good times we had on the island ...
  • + 1
 @infinitetrails: Yes, good times... The works that you have put out has been nothing short of amazing... Keep it coming... I hope to visit your side of the world some day... La Palma is calling me...
  • + 57
 That's the richest man in the world right their. He is "literally" living the dream of all mountain bikers, from Bender to Peaty, Bearclaw to Cedric. Great vid, one of the best I've seen in a long time. Peace!
  • + 26
 so satisfying! work life sucks hard...
  • + 21
 You're not gonna show us the kid jump his ramp?
  • - 1
 I think that's the most evil part of this video, a kid works hard building his jump but the man never allows him to. That's the reality. we are being sold a lie by the bike industry that 29er will set us free.
  • + 20
 Inspirational, thanks !
  • + 17
 life is short, this is the way to live
  • + 9
 And the ages that we can rip hard are even shorter
  • + 12
 Awesome video, and van. Buy some jack stands though, crawling under that thing while it's balanced on the high lift doesn't seem like a good idea.
  • + 4
 Video and van were both sweet. Only so much you can carry at a time unfortunately. I've never seen someone carry stands off road personally. The tire and suspension were still in place, so danger was pretty minimal. I was impressed he had a spare axle with him though!
  • + 7
 @lostlunchbox: My axle started making noises on my way down already. So I organized a spare one in Spain to have it with me just in case my old one would give up - well, it did.
  • + 2
 @Rob-J: Come to Norway for a visit! We carry both Evil and Spank!
  • + 1
 @JBSDesigns: Sounds awesome Wink Where about are you?
  • + 10
 Great video. Besides the riding sequences, loved the backcountry half-axle replacement!
  • + 4
 Fantastic series. My wife and I recently went through a similar lifestyle change. We sold our big house, 95% of our possessions, and hit the road, exploring the US in our 4x4 diesel van and our Airstream. We'd love to connect in person one day and ride a trail or two, but there's no way I could keep up with you for even 30 seconds. Fantastic production value, great story, great music, great riding. The whole package. Keep up the great work.
  • + 7
 Rob, you figured out the puzzle of happiness, congrats!
  • + 7
 Must See!
  • + 4
 Wow, what beautiful scenery, riding, kit and car and ALL! SO sick! Thanks for this...
  • + 6
 i hate my life
  • + 6
 It's never too late... right?
  • + 4
 @twelvemonths: i'm paralyzed, too f*cking late for me bro Frown
  • + 1
 @nikifor88: you mean like paralyzed paralyzed? In a wheelchair paralyzed? Or just paralyzed because of being bound to a job or a person?
  • + 2
 @mazze: yeah, like broke my neck jumping crabapples and in wheelchair paralyzed
  • + 1
 @nikifor88: oh man... I'm so sorry to hear that. I'm honestly struggling for words to express it.
I think I speak for most of us on here, when I say that this has always been my biggest fear of mountain biking and all the risks that come with it. I have had my fair share of broken bones, torn muscles and other everlasting injuries but it all seems so irrelevant compared to an injury like yours. I guess my fear of something similar will keep me from ever hitting huge jumps like the ones on crabapple.
I really hope you can find a way to cope with your situation and maybe fill your life with a new meaning and new motivation, like teaching something or compete in the Paralympics or whatever it is, that fits you. I wish you all the best! Stay hungry! That's all I got... :-/
  • + 1
 First song: Somali Yacht Club - "Up In The Sky". Love the vid, great images, great music. I think it will be nice title-connected, if you paste in next vid "Super Van Vacation" song made by 1000mods.
  • + 1
 Spare driveshaft in the middle of nowhere!....Bloody hell Euro car parts have really upped their game! Love this video, But it actually makes me sad living the rat race when i should be doing this.
  • + 1
 Such a nice video! Yeah. But call me a pussy, i think this 360 and flip were really bonkers considering he was in the desert without anybody there . like ambulance or something. Wink But great stuff of course
  • + 6
 Thanks dude, you're totally right. We were only the two of us, two days drive away from the next doctor and without reception and the attached van in the ramp set-up. An injury would have turned into a nightmare + it was the first location of our film-trip, too. Thats why I didn't try to stomp that 360 again and I was happy about my flips and called it a day. I am looking forward to push my limits here with a safer set-up and environment for the "just-in-case" scenario.
  • + 3
 As a fellow vanner, let me say, there is some rad ingenuity happening on that thing.
  • + 1
 This the living the dream for sure. A man and his van travelling around riding his bike, would love to be able to do this, but reality is a bitch!!
  • + 3
 What an amazing van you have!
  • + 2
 This dude rips !!!!! Rad ideas and great style! Hope we get to shred someday.
  • + 2
 His last video made me buy a T3 syncro. I do not think i can watch this one......
  • + 1
 haha, sorry for that!!
  • + 2
 @Rob-J: fortune for rusted hulk, sheet fab, lift kits, powder coatings, bigger wheels, racks - its a money pit Wink

Your van awesome.
  • + 1
 I still don't get the need to carry that metal hyper-ramp since the wilderness is offering you so many alternatives, I would have chosen a water tank and a shower!!
  • + 5
 Shower and Water Tank were on board as well :-) Nature offers many opportunities to ride. But to build a big jump in this dirt - often impossible without big machines. Setting up my ramp connects the lines nature created.
  • + 1
 because his brain would explode if he didn't make the dream a reality...welded reality.
@Rob-J have you ever looked at Chris Steuber's www.ujointoffroad.com kits?
Not sure how cheap it would be where you are, but a dirt cheap E-series van and his kit would be a lot easier to pull that ramp's weight and maybe more durable than that rig?

Plus, now that you've gotten everyone's minds churning, an E-series $3000 van with air compressor kit would give you room for that inflatable lander that bigairbag.com just came out with.
  • + 4
 beautiful
  • + 2
 I want his bus, I want his bike, I want his ramp, I want his hair - damnit, never been so jealous!
  • + 3
 Two thumbs up.
  • + 1
 great video! production, riding and storyline on point 100%! Like the music too..who is it? Ride on!
  • + 1
 such a cool video and project! i may have to get a ramp built into my comanche project now!
  • + 3
 Sauber
  • + 2
 You're doing it right. All of it.
  • + 2
 Wow, blown away, don't move from this place.
  • + 1
 Yeah nice video) Evil bike Evil WV Sincro)
Dream))))) good jod broo)))))))
  • + 2
 Awesome....inspiring... I"m looking for a van!
  • + 3
 PERF(F*CKING)FECTION
  • + 3
 Journeyman
  • + 2
 congratulations on reaching your dream, this was very well presented.
  • + 1
 Any chance to get the pictures in higher resolutions for wallpaper purposes?
  • + 2
 Anyone know the song @4.52
  • + 1
 Duce Williams - Toasting All My Life Now... you know the one before?
  • + 2
 Anyone know the second song?

Nevermind, found it in a comment below.
  • + 2
 There ought to be more of this in mtb media. Really awesome.
  • + 3
 Sweet dreams!
  • + 1
 Made me want to ride and live
  • + 1
 What's the last song? Awesome effort!
  • + 1
 Duce Williams - Toasting All My Life Now I just need to know what the middle song is!!
  • + 1
 @infinitetrails: ahh thanks man!
  • + 1
 It's like he's living my dream life for me so I don't have to. Bravo.
  • + 1
 got to keep up on your CV joints. Especially on a Syncro.
  • + 1
 What bike is he on? Hard to tell the Evil bikes apart.
  • + 2
 Its the Wreckoning I had with me.
  • + 1
 video of the year right there! Seriously, thank you!
  • + 1
 amazing vid! great riding, great images, inspirational story. love it Smile
  • + 2
 My van is way sicker.
  • + 1
 Anymore details about the van?
  • + 4
 How much time you got? vimeo.com/215186470
  • + 1
 Great riding. Get a jack stand!
  • + 2
 Pure van envy!!!
  • + 1
 What Rooftop tent is that? I need one for my Land cruiser.
  • + 5
 It's from Heimplanet www.heimplanet.com
  • + 2
 So good!!
  • + 1
 So glad i watched that! Thank you.
  • + 1
 Living my life long dream...
  • + 2
 Please track on 3:48
  • + 1
 Just epic !!!
  • + 1
 pure evilness!!!
  • + 1
 Epic!
  • - 2
 Bruuh, is that a mobile moto kicker on top of your rig?!!

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