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Video: Grant Allen Absolutely Rips His Adaptive MTB for 'In Fantasia'

Apr 10, 2024 at 1:07
by Jack Fletcher  

Words: Jack Fletcher

In Fantasia is a story of the evolution of Grant Allen on his Bowhead RX adaptive MTB over the winter of last year, shot and filmed by Jack Fletcher. A story of his love for riding in the magical pine forest that is Kangarilla or Gate 19 in Adelaide. Kangarilla is a place that Grant spent many days riding in his younger years aboard two wheel bikes. The forest itself is pretty special in the way that it produces some colours and images that truly seem out of this world. Warm colours against a damp and wet backdrop of pine trees and steep trails of fluff and dark brown chocolate dirt.

Many years ago, the forest was littered with big gaps and hits that Grant and friends enjoyed carving into the hills. A lot of those hits are still there now and some have been swallowed up by an ever changing forest.

Grant's riding and progression on the Bowhead RX adaptive MTB is something that has been pretty cool to see. Riding with close mates from years past that he used to ride on two wheels with and to now see him back and able to do the same things as before despite a life changing spinal cord injury back in 2011 is certainly full circle stuff.

Photo - Jack Fletcher
Photo - Jack Fletcher

Progressively pushing boundaries and redefining limits of what's possible on an adaptive MTB just the same way as he did back in the late 90's and early 00's on two wheels. Finding the groove, being at one with this new bike and leading the charge is certainly territory he's familiar with.

Grant being Grant led to one really special day in the forest this winter. A solid crew of old mates coming together to get out and literally just ride and rip led up to this all time moment. With the level being upped constantly and with the help of others, Grant has been able to not just get down some incredibly tech trails and take on some solid features.

One of the trails in the forest leads to a spot where a number of road gaps hits exist. This spot uses the same landing zone for a number of hits and is home to a really big technical hip that Grant was the one to pioneer many years ago back on two wheels. With Grant able to make it down one of the technical trails that led into this zone, the question came up: Would this be doable on an adaptive MTB with Grant piloting it? An adaptive MTB under pedal power it should be noted as well, no throttle. It was something that much thought was given to and more than a few speed checks taken.

Photo - Darren Mallard
Photo - Darren Mallard

Grant was of the thought that this could work and could be done. A smooth and wide take off with a wide and banked landing to slightly hip into making it that much more technical again. The crew assembled jumped to action and were able to buff a few things to make it safer and feel right for Grant. With all being prepped and readied, Grant was ready and keen to make it happen.

A pretty damn big deal. Natural terrain road gap with a technical trail to navigate down the hill to even get to. The assembled team waited and watched on as Grant pedalled his own way up to the top of the climb to drop in on this gap that plenty of able bodied riders will happily bypass.

The forest can be pretty eerie when it's quiet and this was really one of those moments. A guy on an adaptive MTB ready to drop in on a sizeable hit and find out about just what is possible aboard one of these bikes. Unchartered territory...

Grant had done a number of speed checks and he was confident he could feel the speed was correct and the crew of other experienced riders around him felt he was on point too. Still the nervousness is always there and never a bad thing. These are the things that keep us safe.

With all his mates watching on, seeing him absolutely in his element charging into this thing with style and grace was something pretty special to see. Taking off and positioning the bike perfectly in the air, tweaked and leaning for the slightly banked landing, front wheels touching down in absolutely textbook position on the landing and rolling away happily letting his back wheel step out and kick up roost in the loose, wet and mulchy grass while the assembled crew broke out into cheers and tears of happiness and excitement. What a moment...

Photo - Jack Fletcher
Photo - Jack Fletcher

Not content with just a single hit, time to pedal back up and drop in again and clean it up even further. Seeing him come at it again full of confidence and ready to blow minds even further, everyone knew something even more special was about to go down. Taking off from the lip and immediately laying the bike over and leaning it out into a full table. This was something Grant was always known for doing on two wheels and now we were all seeing it again, full circle, despite all the setbacks and bad times, here he was laying down some amazing new good times on three wheels and blowing minds. Listening to the tyres buzz on his frame as he clicked the bike out to full lock and seeing the back wheel leave a path of utter destruction as he let it swap back and forth on the run out was more than a moment. A statement of sorts. I'm back...

It was a pretty emotional moment, as Grant put it in his own words after pulling off what most would have thought, impossible and unthinkable. "I've sat on the sidelines for so long, wanting this shit and needing it. To finally be back and doing what I love and what I know I'm capable of is beyond words." To see the group of mates from so many years together all hyped on the moment was special. A moment that was about so much more than just one person or one jump. A moment for others to see and aspire to, a moment that some may take inspiration from and a moment that really shows the true spirit of mountain bike riding.

A moment in time that those who were there will never forget and watching this video will give you that same insight and feel for sure.

Photo - Darren Mallard
Photo - Darren Mallard

Where to from here? How long is a piece of string, who knows. The story of Grant riding on this bike and doing what he does seems to be a fast paced and rapidly changing landscape if you keep an eye on his social media. It's more than cool to see what he is capable of on this bike and it's also every bit as cool and perhaps even more so to see what he does to give back to others with these bikes. Whether it's getting an injured rider back out into the dirt or maybe getting a young kid who's never been able to imagine what riding a mountain bike might look like or feel like, he is a person who certainly brings the stoke and is keen to share the passion of getting people on these bikes. You might even see him out on the trails, you'll know about it if he's there. Getting a lap in with him will put a smile on your dial, especially when you see just how fun and rowdy it can get.

As Grant often will say, "Bikes, how good hey."

Author Info:
jackfletcheraus avatar

Member since Feb 20, 2019
12 articles

25 Comments
  • 32 1
 Absolute legend, great vid
  • 17 1
 Most people I know wouldn't take that road gap on "normal" bikes!
  • 10 1
 Beautiful words and images, Jack. Crying over my morning coffee seeing the strength, creativity and resilience of humans to do what they love.
  • 8 1
 It’s great to see videos from all cyclist's. Props to GRANT.
Bowhead sick rides.
  • 8 1
 I could've watched him for 4x longer. MORE VIDS!
  • 3 1
 I used to have a grant Allen poster on my wall, of when he was the only one who hucked the highest line of the scaffold tower drop at what was then I think called Red Bull freeride or something at Jindabyne in Australia. I think this was even before rampage was a thing. He was, and still is a huge inspiration and true legend.
  • 5 1
 "My name is Grunt. I like to stunt."

Glad things haven't changed.
  • 3 1
 Huck yeah!! I hope Grant writes that on the swing arm of his Bowhead because watching him now feels the same as watching him 20 years ago on a kona, that wild flowing style.

It was always a source of pride for me that I got to hit the "flowgo pogo" in Kelowna- a stunt he rode in NWD 3 I think it was.
  • 2 1
 “Wanting this shit and needing it….” Doesn’t matter what you ride, it’s that you’re in the game. I wouldn’t want to arm wrestle this guy!
  • 2 1
 Great vid - Grant is a true legend and such a nice kind hearted bloke. Fantastic to see all the videos of him ripping it up!
  • 1 1
 I remember when you sent that gap the first time! So much experience on in your eyes right before you hit the gap. So happy to see you stick it with style.
  • 1 1
 Grant is one of the best you'll ever meet or ride with - a true champion, brilliant human, goes hard as f.... and does it all so quietly.
  • 3 2
 Amazing! Deserves a MUST WATCH in the title.
  • 2 1
 Cool trike, awesome riding!
  • 1 1
 That steering looks wild. His riding makes me want to go ride my bike. Good fun in this video.
  • 1 1
 That was awesome shredding!
  • 1 1
 Grant f*cking rips! love it.
  • 1 1
 Yeah. Not behd, goes alright. Would look better on television
  • 1 1
 Grant Allen - Bowhead Reach Adaptive MTB youtu.be/ysujnMy6Leo
  • 1 1
 So freaking sick
  • 1 1
 Killing it!!
  • 1 1
 Amazing energy !
  • 1 1
 Legend!!
  • 1 1
 This is so awesome!







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