Barcelona: The dream destination for any dirt jumper and to be honest, the dream destination for anyone. With the beach, the city, and epic trail spots all super close, there's never a dull moment. Some may complain about the extreme heat, or the wind, but with the immensity of choices in activity, it becomes essentially impossible to have an unsatisfactory day in Barcelona. Due to the avid riding scene surrounding the area, there are countless amazing spots and jumps to ride. All of these spots hold a lot of fame, history, and daily work is put into them. However, the spot that everyone gathers to have epic sessions at is La Poma Bikepark. The sessions that go down at La Poma are seriously unbeatable. Despite how chill the line is, the jumps are huge and perfect, permitting absolute insanity to unfold. So somehow, in an absolutely relaxing atmosphere, chaos ensues. The sessions we had there were too good. Essentially, Barcelona is a dream destination, and that fact is impossible to deny for any bike rider. - Nicholi Rogatkin
Frame: Specialized P3 Front Wheel: DT Swiss XR 1501 Spline One 26 Back Wheel: DT Swiss EX 471 Front Tire: Continental X King 2.2 Back tire: Continental Speed King 2.2 Tubes: Continental Supersonic Bars: Spank Spike 777FR Bearclaw Stem: Spank Spike Race Grips: Sensus Swayze Pedals: VP Components Harrier Cranks: Truvativ XO Fork: Rock Shox Pike Brakes: Avid Guie Hydraulic Rotor: Trixer by Trick Stuff Seat: Pluma
North American squad was taking over La Poma. Liam Wallace, Dj Brandt, Nicholi and Reed Boggs were there to shred the jumps amongst others.
Cruising down with style on a mid-line with style and warming up before some serious tricks.
More airtime - more time to stretch.
Midday chills were much needed after throwing big tricks on every ride down through the line.
When his brand new helmet showed up, Nicholi didn't wait even a minute to test it out.
The FOW Compound is epic - wood and dirt combined for a spot with unstoppable flow.
Hugo Montal, founder and owner of FOW, has figured out a perfect set up. Thanks to this spot, pretty much every top pro rider passing by Barcelona has visited him to enjoy a session at this incredible place.
Most definitely, Nicholi was one happy visitor to Hugo's compound and he returned this favour with a rather great show of tricks and style.
Instant replays in slo-mo.
Corking it out - the Sev Bomb never gets old for Nicholi.
No flip single whips... Nicholi went straight for the Flip Double.
You're not really riding dirt unless you eat it.
Barcelona city chill day with the squad.
Pedalling through the old town was a treat. Beautiful architecture, colourful culture and a very tasty food... What else could you wish for?
The city of Barcelona has got so much to offer, yet there was another place calling Nicholi's name.
La Poma is an amazing place, all year round for all riders of any level. A great atmosphere and friendly environment create not only sweet setup of jumps, but a fantastic crew of people and locals who are always up for riding and laugh.
Classic Cashroll from Rogatkin on the last set.
What goes through your mind when you're spinning around your axis in one hell of a weird way doing Cash roll? The cash roll is a trick that took me over a year to learn and perfect. The first times I tried it I had no comprehension of the rotation or what was even going on throughout the course of the tricks. But after persevering through the many failures of trying it I finally was able to perfect it and it has become almost a routine trick for me now. Regardless, when I take the cash roll to the biggest jumps l've ever rode (like the ones at District Ride and Whistler) it becomes one of the scariest and toughest tricks for me to do once again.
During this trip to Barcelona, you even squeezed a barspin into it! Besides you there are only two, if not only one MTB rider who can do this... Why are you so attracted to big tricks? I was stoked to put down the cash roll barspin to dirt. I didn't think it was possible for the longest time because I am a goofy footed rider, so when I do the cash roll my knees become very tucked in from spinning to my inside foot. But, I managed to figure it out and put it down at La Poma so that was a crazy feeling! I have loved big tricks ever since I started riding bikes 14 years ago. Big tricks and new tricks are what inspires me riding everyday. I never had the patience to learn technical tricks, I always just wanted to send it and go as big as possible, so that's what I always do. Big tricks are what makes me love riding bikes so much!
Let me go back to where it all started for you... You made a pretty big stir on the freestyle MTB scene a year ago... What riding background did you come from? I have always had great respect for mountain bikers and for their sport. In 2013, I wanted to have fun riding a different bike, and have a bike to ride at Highland Mountain, which is in driving distance for me. Martin Soderstrom and Geoff Rogers were able to help get me hooked up with a Specialized P3, so huge thanks to them! I would not be riding MTB today if it wasn't for them. The bike definitely took a bit of getting used to, but eventually I started to learn a lot of my BMX tricks on it. My favourite thing to ride was always dirt, and unfortunately so many of the BMX dirt contests started fading away. I saw how epic all the MTB contests were, so I decided to try and compete. My first big MTB contest was the Colorado Freeride Festival. I knew a few of the guys like Martin, Yannick Granieri, and Sam Reynolds from riding Masters of Dirt with them every year since I was 13. All the other riders were super cool to me and I was really stoked on the all around vibe! After that, I've been in the FMB world and it has been unbelievable throughout.
What's your favourite place to ride/train at home and the best place you've ever ridden, so far? I am fortunate to have an amazing setup at home with a lot of ramps, and recently an insane new addition to my yard - a massive airbag thanks to Kali Protectives. I am in process of building a big start ramp for that, so riding that should be too good once the setup is complete. I also spend a lot of time at Highland Mountain, that place is so fun. They have everything - perfect DH trails, massive slope style course, dirt jumps... anything you want if you ride bikes. The best place I've ever ridden is hard to say, but Crankworx New Zealand in March of this year was amazing. It was the best course I have ever ridden. Perfectly built with huge, flowy, trickable jumps, the sessions we had on that course were unbeatable. I can't wait to go back there.
Now, that you're full on into MTB, who's your best riding buddy, both back home and at contests? MTB is such a sick world, honestly I love riding with everyone in this sport. With whoever you ride it's always such a funny, sick session. That's one thing that makes contests and travelling so fun, all the guys are so cool to ride with. Back home my spot is pretty isolated on the east coast and far away from everybody so I have solo sessions pretty much every time I ride at home!
You're an idol to many passionate mountain bikers, but who are your idols in this sport? Growing up with BMX, my first idol was Dave Mirra. He killed everything in BMX, and his riding style was always to send it huge. Then I began to spend a lot of time at Woodward Camp and got the chance to ride with Jamie Bestwick and watch him absolutely destroy the vert ramp everywhere he went. He became a huge idol and inspiration for me, and when I go up to Woodward Camp now I still have the chance to have sessions with him which is always such a good time.
You're absolutely on fire this year in competitions... The level of riding has risen so high that some riders decide to throw doublebackflips in qualification rounds, not to mention insane tricks and combinations in final runs. What's next in freestyle/slopestyle mountain biking progress? The riding level of MTB has gone next level. We've had to throw down finals runs in qualification every time. And every finals, I seriously can't believe my eyes watching, and then have to drop in and push myself more than ever before. It's thrilling and epic every event. The sport is experiencing huge progression, the riding is mind-blowing and riders consistently throw down historic new tricks. For the future, there is undoubtedly going to be more progression, bigger jumps, bigger courses, and overall insane riding.
You know the taste of win pretty damn good... but not always everything goes as smooth as planned... is professional mountain biking a hard work - physically and mentally? Professional mountain biking is absolutely a dream and something that I'm hugely thankful to be able to do. However, things always get tough regardless of how good you are. It takes so much perseverance when you go for something crazy, crash super hard, and have to get up and do it again without complaints. And then when you do try it again and eat shit even worse, it's the same process. So it's gruelling both physically and mentally. Riding MTB is insane in that sense but there's nothing else I'd rather do.
Yes, we love bikes, but there are other cool things to do in life. What is your way of spending free time in Boston? What are your hobbies? There's nothing better than riding bikes! But in the winter when it's too snowy here in Boston, I'm either snowboarding or playing hockey. And in the summer when it gets too hot, you'll find me jet skiing!
Imagine a perfect set of dirt jumps... What is your dream run?! Perfect jumps and tricks are always going through all rider's head, we're constantly imagining the dream run. For me I have a few new tricks in the works, so we'll see if I can make that dream run a reality haha!
Special thanks shout out to sponsors? Huge thanks to everyone that supports me. I am so glad to be able to be partnered with companies that I love and have them backing me up. X Dubai / Specialized / Kali Protectives / Alpinestars / Continental Tire / Spank / VP Components / DT Swiss / Masters Of Dirt / Ninjaz Gloves