rider: Wade Simmons location: Moreno Valley, CA, USA photo by John Gibson/NWD
rider: Wade Simmons location: Moreno Valley, CA, USA photo by John Gibson/NWD

Wade Simmons Moreno Valley Gap 2002

The year: 2002.  In freeride mountain biking the big jump movement is at its peak. Things are escalating and this genre of bike riding has become a game of one big jump bigger than the next with no end in sight. It’s an absolute free-for-all and freeride is exploding...

From Dirt Issue 126 - August 2012

By John Gibson

The question at this moment in time was … who is going to step up and land that really big jump separates himself from the rest of the world? That man and the answer to that question would be Wade Simmons.

Alex ‘Axl’ Fostvedt, Director of Photography for the New World Disorder movie series was on a mission back in 2002 to find a jump that would really put the upcoming NWD 3 movie over the top. Outside of Moreno Valley in California, right next to the highway he pulled over and realized he’d just found what he’d been looking for. Staring back at him was a massive moto step-down jump that lined up perfectly with a long, smooth transition for the landing.

“I was on my way to visit my grandma in Palm Springs." Fostvedt remembers today, talking on the phone from his home in Nelson, British Columbia. “And I just saw this jump that was a big sender step-down. It was good to go!"

The phones started ringing. Soon after, the NWD film team, the crew from Marzocchi and their big truck all convened next to the highway on a bright, blue California morning.

In short order, Simmons stomped that jump twice then called it a day. Right next to the highway he put his signature on the mountain bike world. From that moment in time things seemed to veer away from jumps of this size.  Soon after, riders such as up and coming freeride star Darren Berrecloth introduced bmx style tricks in classical terrain as the next big thing. However, what is old has become new again. Today, some of the young bucks are back hitting massive jumps and flying high again.