As cliché as it sounds, we all ride bikes for a bit of freedom, but (as annoying as it is) in many areas of our ‘sport’ rules and regulations do come into play…
From Dirt Issue 142 – December 2013
Words by Mike Rose
As cliché as it sounds, we all ride bikes for a bit of freedom, but (as annoying as it is) in many areas of our ‘sport’ rules and regulations do come into play, no matter how much we may dislike it. Racing is the obvious one, there need to be rules: no cutting the course, no banned substances, no engines, etc. Downhill and enduro racers live on the edge and have known to be a little ‘wild’ but they know the score, they know they have to tow the line… break the rules and you are out. Tracy Moseley will be kicking herself for forgetting to pin her race number on her jersey at a round of the Enduro World Series, similar too for Nicolas Lau at the final in Italy (page 74) where he missed his mid–day control check giving him a time penalty that ultimately meant that he lost the race.
So what about the ‘free’ freeriders out at the Red Bull Rampage (page 90)? Well yeah, they were free to do what ever they wanted, but they too have restraints and restrictions. The mountain is limitless but they have to start at the top and finish at the bottom, sticking within the demarcated area along the way. They are also judged, which in itself brings in a whole load of problems. What’s more important, style or amplitude? I am sure that there was a long list of criteria for the judges out in Utah to follow, but that still didn’t stop the interweb going crazy over what some saw as the wrong result. Sure lots of riders didn’t get to do a second run because of the wind, but should the likes of Lacondeguy and McGarry have scored higher? Was Zink’s backflip better than Strait’s no hander? Yeah… but the rest of Strait’s run had more going on. Both were most probably saving something for their final runs, but they of course never happened.
This brings me on to the Run to the Hills photo and video comp. It was the first time that we have ever done this kind of thing: four teams of four riders, a filmer and a photographer got to pretty much do what they wanted for five days and come up with a cool slideshow and video edit at the end of it all. We did have to put some rules in place, but you know what… we weren’t really sure what we wanted or how it would pan out (especially as this was the first time we had done this kind of thing). Would a load of mountainbikers be interested in doing a whole host of challenges and tasks? Should it be a roadtrip or just a free for all? At the end of the day we just wanted great content and some good stories for everyone. It was impressive to watch from a distance how it all worked out. The effort and creativity that went into it was pretty inspirational, and of course watching each team’s individual approach to the week was also of great interest. It was a learning curve for some, and a chance to make dreams come true for others. I should also point out that it was a learning curve for us too… we learnt a lot for next year.
At the end of the day it came down to a democratic vote. The Dirt staff voted on the slideshows and the public (you hopefully) on the videos, then both results were added together to get our winner. The deal was that the winner of the slideshows got the cover of the mag, so you should have realized that Saracen won that bit, but who won the overall… you’ll have to go to page 46 to find out.
So what am I getting at here? I’m not really sure… ha… enjoy the ride.