Behind the lines
In 2001, a select few pioneers of mountain biking’s freeride movement assembled in the American Southwest to compete in the first Rampage. Wind, rain, and time built the landscape, but it takes pickaxes and shovels to make it go big. This is an excerpt from the full story appearing in @trekbikes Stories 02, available for free at Trek retailers.
Perhaps you have driven through the American Southwest and let your eyes wander just a bit from the road ahead. If you looked away long enough, you may have noticed the towering mesas exposed over eons of geological evolution. To you, and certainly to me, those natural monuments are probably awesome examples of humankind’s very small place in the grand scheme of things. And unless you are a student or a scientist, you’re likely to take their wondrousness at face value and continue on down the road.
But for a few dozen of the most talented and creative mountain bikers in the world, this rugged vertical landscape represents a canvas on which to paint the most astonishing mountain bike rides anyone could imagine. The riders represent different subsets within mountain biking’s gravity culture—freeride, dirt jumping, slopestyle, World Cup downhill—but whatever label they answer to, they are all drawn to an area in southwestern Utah. Uniformly, they’ll refer to it as "that zone," as if it has some magical pull or religious significance. The firsthand experience in this zone is so powerful for them that most speak longingly of returning. Yet few spend all that much time there. It’s a punishing place.
Want to read more about what the team experiences in the build-up to mountain biking's biggest show? Stop by your local Trek Retailer to pick up @trekbikes Stories 02 for free.
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