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Interviews

20 years/20 questions – Sam Reynolds

Sinking buggies, poo poems and a UK fest series?

TO CELEBRATE THE TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF DIRT WE’RE SPEAKING TO THE BRANDS AND RIDERS THAT HAVE SUPPORTED US THROUGHOUT THE YEARS. WE’LL BE ASKING 20 QUESTIONS ON THE PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE OF MOUNTAIN BIKING TO THOSE WHO ARE TRULY IN THE KNOW. CHECK OUT OUR 20TH ANNIVERSARY BOOK THAT’S AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER HERE.

Sam Reynolds probably goes bigger than anyone else in Britain. He used to be an FMB tour regular and won events such as Balaton Bike Fest and White Style but now just seems to prefer going stratospheric.

He’s a regular on the FEST Series and won best trick at the 2015 Red Bull Rampage. He’s also one of the brains behind the ridiculous Pure Darkness video series.


We had a catch up with him to celebrate our twentieth anniversary and chat about sinking buggies, poo poems and a UK fest series!

What achievement are you most proud of?
“Competing against childhood heroes and being able to call some friends. Then inviting them to my own event this winter! Maybe called, DarkFEST. What??

Give us a story from your wildest moment in mountain biking?
“Don’t really know if you mean on or off, so I’ll just tell you the off bike moment.  When I first started doing Masters of Dirt (moto/Mtb/Bmx) shows when I was 17, I was pretty keen on the rock and roll life style. 

Me and Yannick (Granieri) took out this off road buggy, shredding around the stadium and thought it would be epic to shred and drift it on this frozen lake. Turns out it wasn’t frozen enough and mid way through our first lap, we of course cracked through the ice and had to jump for our lives!

It’s on YouTube as idiots sink buggy, or something like that; sadly it’s probably my highest viewed video! Needless to say, we got in trouble.”

 

What has been your favourite moment of Dirt’s history?
“That time you, for some reason, published myself and Olly’s poem about adventure poo in full! And I was on the front cover for the real cherry on top!  What a great month, I almost retired there and then!” 

How were you first introduced to Dirt?
“It was screwed up under dirty pants and socks at Brendan’s house and it was all pink and cool, so I checked it out, and sure enough it was awesome!  Had moto stuff, cool mtb stuff, mega photos and enduro hadn’t even been thought of yet.”

What would be the first question you would ask Dirt?
“The Dirt covers were always the ultimate dream to strive towards for riders and photographers alike, so I’d want to hear what your all time favourite cover was and why?”

There’s a lot of choice but Issue 7 would take a lot of beating (Mike)

When did you first start mountain biking?
“Always enjoyed ‘bike rides’ with dad, but properly introduced when riding to school and met these guys who had proper mountain bikes, so I went shredding with them one weekend on my shitter and was instantly hooked!” 

What bike were you on then?
“Was called an Emelle or something! Full sus, 21 gears grip shift and yellow tyres. Boom!”

What rider or person has most influenced your career?
“As a youngun, Cam McCaul, the Claw and Andreu were my favourite to watch, as well as nasty and Stephen Murray from BMX.  And as I got older I would say just hanging with whoever I hung with. S4P boys, MOD crew, Pure Darkness crew, all had a part in shaping me.”

 

What has been your favourite or most memorable race?
Pure Darkness isn’t a race, but I’m always just dreaming of riding those jumps again. It’s the real dream project with no boundaries.” 

Who would you loved to have raced against or ridden with?
“Murray and Nasty in their hay day! Those looked like some insane times. But I wouldn’t change my riding mates for anyone now!” 

What’s your opinion on E-Bikes?
“I thought they were so so lame, but went on one when we were building the Nine Knights course this year and it was the sickest!  You can just ride straight up ski slopes and stuff. It’s like all the sick bits of riding and bypassing the boring bits, like being fit and eating energy gels and nut bars.” 

What’s your favourite wheel size?
“26 but 27.5 aren’t so bad! Yet to try a 29 but that will probably not be through choice if I ever do, they look too big.”

What life lessons has Mountain biking taught you?
“That the world is so huge and weird and horrible and wonderful, but (almost) everyone who rides mountain bikes is stoked on pretty much the same things; fun and good times in nature.” 

Who doesn’t get the credit they deserve in the industry?
“Riders! So often at events the riders are the last priority and least likely to be paid.”

What’s been the most questionable thing to come out of mountain biking?
“Skinsuits were a low point in dh for sure.”

What’s been the best track you’ve ridden?
“Anything that Nico Vink builds is always mega, but his Loosefest course is number one.”

How would you change World Cup downhill?
“Bigger jumps. And let Rob swear and say funny stuff again!” 

What do you still want to achieve in mountain biking?
“My dreams as a kid were to do a backflip and ride Crankworx, so now they’ve both been ticked off for about five years, I don’t know what’s next! Now, I wanna just truly see how big you can go on mountainbikes.” 

What do you want to see more of from the Dirt website?
“Loose fun and gnarly edits always get me hyped to shred!” 

What do you hope the next 20 years brings for mountain biking?
“More big jumps and more rock and roll! And a rich Russian to buy out Dirt so you guys can just make sick mags again and give them out for free!” 

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