Throwback Thursday: Nathan Rennie Almost Gets Taken Out By a Rolling Log - 2006 DH World Champs

Dec 15, 2022 at 11:39
by Mike Kazimer  


It looks like Nathan Rennie has been digging thru the archives, and he's posted up a treasure trove of DH racing clips and interviews on his YouTube channel. This one is from the 2006 World Championships, and features a cast of legendary riders including Sam Hill, Chris Kovarik, Steve Peat, and Rennie himself.

After winning qualifying, Renny was on a mission, but a log was rolled directly into his path mid run (you can see it at 10:40, and again in slo-mo at the end of the video). He ended up finishing third, but the incident still raises the "What if?" question.

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Member since Feb 1, 2009
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76 Comments
  • 77 0
 Narrow part of the course. The guy next to the ladder bridge motioning something. This has all the makings of a conspiracy. It couldn't have been just a single log roller hidden behind the tree. Was there a second log roller behind the grassy knoll?
  • 16 1
 Maybe it was the Kiwis trying to get payback for the infamous underarm bowl incident www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnMSxXc8dHg
  • 23 0
 Back....and to the left.
  • 1 0
 @skiandmtbdirtbag: It was probably Woody Harrelson and his Dad at the race! faroutmagazine.co.uk/woody-harrelson-father-killed-john-f-kennedy
  • 26 1
 I was on the opposite of the track when it happened, bunch of teenagers tripping off there faces, giggling at everything, they scarpered like rabbits yelling "the dinosaur made me do it !! "straight after when some adults yelled at them Saw them an hour later sitting at the top of trees like Koalas lol
  • 2 1
 Sounds like shrooms.
  • 1 1
 @Bomadics: how did Far Out neglect to note that Oliver Stone directed JFK as well as Woody Harrelson?

Summarizing a 'cocaine-fuelled standoff with the police': “At the same time I said I had killed the judge, I said I had killed Kennedy, which might give you an idea to the state of my mind at the time"
  • 2 0
 @konaworld: I didn't know Jack Moir was playing cricket before racing (00:42): youtu.be/nnMSxXc8dHg?t=42
  • 1 0
 I heard the log rollers were acting under orders from the CIA.
  • 67 0
 DH was fucking rad in those days. Wild tracks tiny bikes was so good to watch.
  • 12 0
 There should so be a throwback/retro DH class or event, all the current pros on old tech!
  • 6 0
 The bikes look so out of control compared to today. Not sure that's a good thing.
  • 1 0
 Bikes weren't really *that* small. Rennie is just a hecking monster!! There was a time when you'd need to be 6'3 just to get a look in from the Syndicate!

Comments from a skinny kid that used to occasionally race against him as a junior.
  • 1 0
 @ReubenSandwich: A 2022 small V10 has longer wheelbase than a 2006 large v10, pretty tiny compared to today's standards. Side note got the opportunity to meet Rennie we were both shitfaced at crankworx 2005 absolute legend.
  • 47 1
 this must be fake. Look at those shitty bikes... how do they even ride this fast. Are 26" wheels even usable? No way this shit is real
  • 19 0
 Remember that everyone was rocking wide 675mm bars to help though
  • 30 0
 Next redbull event :
Indiana Jones DH
  • 26 1
 Donkey Kong Downhill
  • 23 0
 Rennie was amazing back then.
  • 36 0
 There's a long-circulating rumor that Rennie put out over 2,000 watts during a test with the Australian Olympic Committee during his peak years. Not only did he beat Australia's best track sprinters handily in testing, he also allegedly broke the bolts that hard mounted his stationary bike to the concrete floor during one effort. #silverback
  • 12 0
 @DirtCrab: that rumour also says he was offered very good money by the AOC to ride track, but turned it down as "dh was way more func. I'm sure he speaks about it on someones podcast...
  • 8 0
 @DirtCrab: not sure about breaking the bolts out of the floor, but he did over 2000wt on flat pedals
  • 2 0
 @c2crider: Rumor has it that Rennie let all other riders win... Wink
  • 3 0
 @DirtCrab:

I used to be part of a certain group that had a lot to do with people at the AIS and VIS way back then. I definitely heard this through the grapevine. Late 90s, early 2000s...what a time to be alive.
  • 19 0
 I remember riding practice at a state race at Fontana (2003 or 04?) and the Iron Horse Madcatz DH team were there in preparation for the National at Big Bear. There was a smallish rock cropping about 3’ hi by maybe 6’ long towards the bottom just before the “wall”section that was used in the course that most would roll, and some would jump as there was really no clean lip for takeoff. As I caught up to the rider in front of me (flat section), I could make out the “Madcatz” jersey as he was coasting into the rock jump. As I was using the go around line, Rennie executed the quickest, tightest back flip to perfection literally 4’ away from me, not trying to impress anyone as there was no one really around but my self that would have noticed this. I have flashed back on that move numerous times over the years. It was so cool!
  • 19 0
 How in the literal f*ck is there better coverage on this race than our modern races?!
  • 14 0
 The golden era.
  • 9 0
 Man seeing Greg feels surreal, 16 years later and he is still there fighting right at the top. Few athletes in human history will ever come close to what Greg has done!! Just sucks that Honda never made it out of its cage grrrr!!
  • 1 0
 He didn't even have his best seasons on the Honda. And I don't think it went for Brendog and Lehikoinen either. So did it give a competitive advantage? Being able to shift without pedaling may come handy at times, but I'm not sure whether that offsets the added drag of a constantly spinning gearbox. And was bicycle suspension made by motorbike suspension designers so much better? Sure many of the suspension brands at the time had some history in MX but also already a lot of experience with bikes. RockShox wasn't doing worse than the brands with some MX cred, Sam Hill was definitely killing it. To this day, brands are struggling to make a competitive USD DH fork. The most successful USD fork I can think of in mountainbike racing is the Cannondale Lefty.

But yeah, the Honda stuff was incredibly exciting, I don't question that. So much stuff others don't have and customers would never have. That's special.
  • 5 0
 @vinay: Greg won the first World Cup he took the Honda to, by three and half seconds, and he also won the World Cup overall on the Honda. He's also only won one overall on the Santa Cruz in 15 years. Matti won 2 World Cups on a Honda, his only two. Not sure your opening comments stack up. But I agree with your final comment.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: hello there.
I think the lack of a credible USD fork is because weight is given as much importance as performance. It’s fine to have mechanics at the races stripping forks down every three hours, because it’s cheaper than making thousands of forks with 200ml of oil in each side.
It’s a funny situation. The old Marzo forks that don’t need to be serviced and don’t wear out have lost favour and I don’t think that’s on performance grounds myself. The bottom line drives the marketing which drives the engineering.
  • 2 0
 @captain23: Yeah, it is tough to discuss race results from that long ago. I think overall he did very well on the Syndicate. Lots of times, very very close to an overall win. Of course he's had fewer seasons on Honda so having had a few not so good ones may have skewed my impression. As for Matti, one of his wins was in Champery. I think there is no question that he did well and also that he kind of had luck on his side that riders who had qualified better had to race in worse conditions. Then after Honda, had was constantly plagued by (pretty horrible) injuries.

Look, I'm not here saying the Honda bike was bad. But I don't think it was necessarily better than the conventional bikes on the circuit.

@jaame: Yeah, it is daft as for me as a customer (no racer), reliability and durability are more important than weight saving. Especially if weight is being saved on sprung weight whereas the USD forks win it on unsprung weight. Never ridden an USD fork though, can't tell whether the lack of torsional stiffness would bother me so much. I think it would bother me if the stiffness was such that it starts to vibrate/oscillate, but just flex is ok. My whole bike flexes, I'm at peace with that. Intend makes nice forks. I might save up for one of these for someday. Until then I'd happily ride a 32mm stanchioned fork. If people could ride 32mm stanchioned 200mm travel Boxxers, surely I wouldn't need more on my 120mm travel fork.
  • 3 0
 @vinay: Lol arguing with @captain23. I hope you realize who you're pontificating against.
  • 10 0
 smh please dig a hole if youre going to take a sh** in the woods. unbelievable
  • 9 1
 None of us mullet riding, wide bar handling, token adjusted forks with shock spacers, slack head angled, proper DH tire for conditions jokers could come close to these guys today.
  • 1 0
 I remember getting my NS district bar a few years after this. The graphics on the bar literally say "the wide one" as it was basically as big as any bar got in that era. 27 inches wide, aka 685mm. That was WIDE back then. People were wondering how possible barspins were with these massive bars. Those were the times.
  • 6 0
 Headline should read "Log almost gets taken out by Nathan Rennie".

I was lucky enough to ride a YETI Lawwill DH9 for a couple of years, was pretty amazing, and Rennie was an inspiration. Rennie and Kovarik were incredible riders to watch.
  • 1 1
 Except the log is already dead and lying on the ground, so there's little chance of things getting worse for it. Rennie, however... Welcome to my over-literal ted talk.
  • 6 1
 I went to a dh race once. the entire time I was think to myself "be careful stand back, and for the love of god don't slip and fall onto the track during the race"

Somewhere in the world some guy is saying to himself: "shit that was me"

still, nothing can be worse than "allez opi omi"
  • 5 0
 The intent of this video is to warn you about how bad commentary is going to be now that the tides have changed
  • 2 0
 "Let me tell you, these gravity guys do have to work hard" was one of my favorites from this clip
  • 2 0
 Peter Graves was the lead commentator. The same Peter Graves who Rob Warner openly says coined the phrase "look at the time".
  • 5 0
 I'm getting older with them. But they remain young men in my heart.
  • 1 0
 Some of the older footage is gold.
How did Sam win?
Narrow bars, small wheels, Angleset in his bike, different sized bikes to test at races, flat pedals, short range cassettes, short crank arms, Moto foam to silence bikes, tight, lycra clothes... We have come so far but not really very far at all.
  • 1 0
 i did a local xc race mid 90s & it started heavily snowing. seeing i couldnt slow down (cantilever brakes) my friend gareth through a log across the race course in front of me sending me sliding down the hillside. he was laughing his head off, i was cold & soaked..
  • 4 0
 quali on 29 main race on 26
  • 4 0
 It's lo-og, it's lo-og, it's big, it's heavy, it's wood.
  • 4 0
 Unreal footage!
  • 4 0
 Pure gold!!!
  • 3 0
 Footage from 2006 looks so old these days.
  • 4 0
 Was thinking the same. It wasn't THAT long ago. Camera image quality is crap. Looks like 90's footage
  • 4 0
 @bman33: Yeah but if you watch This is Peaty they have some awesome quality footage from back then. Sams 2008 run is glourious.
  • 1 0
 Standard definition (and this may be below that for streaming), is only 25% of the resolution of HD (Which is only 25% of the resolution of 4k). You need to run old footage through an upscaling tool and make adjustments to keep the color vibrancy and contrast accurate.
  • 4 0
 26 ain't dead.
  • 4 0
 Amen
  • 2 0
 Back in 2003 - Regional cup in Italy
www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Yulm-XHqhc
  • 2 0
 I hope Rennie does Gypsytales podcast.
  • 3 0
 So we can learn more about ju-jitsu ?
  • 3 0
 Filthy ride by Sam Hill.
  • 3 0
 Sam Hill is a monster
  • 1 0
 Mick Hannah's hands are basically touching...

I wonder how many of Sam's records still stand?
  • 1 0
 Rennie’s with 5/10’s back in the day made for real…. shred worthy long lasting…. Waytoogo Rennie!
  • 1 0
 I was there, the grainy footage looks like something recorded 40 years ago and those hairdoos!?! Damn I feel old now.
  • 2 0
 This looks so good, almost like group B rally from late days.
  • 1 0
 The article is two paragraphs long and Nathan's last name is spelt differently in each paragraph. That's good proofing.
  • 1 0
 Hill with a huge time gap!
  • 1 0
 looks like richie rude's current bike fit on all these guys Big Grin
  • 2 1
 Y'all didn't even know who Nathan Rennie is
  • 1 0
 Having flashbacks to New World Disorder 9, and Deathrace 2000...
  • 1 0
 There wasn't 6 seconds in it lol
  • 1 0
 Why is this almost 17 years ago... my go I feel old. Feels like yesterday
  • 1 0
 Could the SUNDAY be one of the most iconic DH rigs?
  • 3 3
 Those wheels look cartoonishly small viewed thru today’s lens.







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