This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)
Ever wondered what would happen when the biggest senders in mountain biking and snowboarding ride together? Well now you don’t have to wonder any longer.
For mountain bikers, waking up the day the trails clear of snow in the spring in the United States is like waking up on the first day of a summer vacation. The spring is also when snow begins to disappear on the mountains and it can feel like the end of days for snowboarders.
However, there are a special few weeks in the spring when it’s not too late to get in those last snowboarding runs with just enough snow on the ground to allow you do so. This means you can technically ride trails on your bike and snowboard on the same day, or even side by side.
Riding together, from idea to reality
Mountain bike freerider Carson Storch came up with the idea of riding bikes on a snowboard terrain park a few years ago, but it’s taken till now to make it happen. First a location had to be chosen and then there was the little matter of designing a route where the bikers and boarders could ride side-by-side and switch across each other.
Carson co-opted fellow freerider Jaxson Riddle to the project due to his knowledge of building mountain bike freeride lines. Sean Fitzsimons and Luke Winkelmann came in from the snowboard side. Both are up-and-coming slopestylers who know how to pick out the best lines in the snow.
With some hard work, and digging, the guys created a unique platform. The jumps they built send one course over another, with plenty of airtime to flex on your friends below. The forested sections have them cutting between trees, while the berms that the bikers and snowboarders use almost touch in the middle so they can flick mud and snow on each other as they slide around on their equipment of choice.
A unique experience
Riding is always more fun with someone else – you can learn from and encourage one another, tap into each other’s flow on the mountain. But riding a snowboard next to a bike is far from the normal way of getting a few turns in with your friends. After a few runs on the course, which descended 460m, the guys were cuing off each other like old riding buddies.Carson and Ridlle both know a thing or two about riding down mountains on push bikes.
Storch is a regular at Red Bull Rampage and Riddle grew up just a few miles away from Virgin, Utah, which hosts undoubtedly the biggest, baddest and craziest event in freeride mountain biking each year. Carson is a “big inspiration” for Jaxson. Jaxson still feels starstruck, “riding around him is crazy and surreal to me.”
Snowboarders Fitzsimons and Winkelmann compete in the World Cup and are firm friends. Winkelmann and Storch know each other well too. Storch grew up shredding snow in the winter and bikes in his home state of Oregon.
“I found so many similarities between both, just ripping through trees and picking lines,” Carson explains. “The big mountain downhill element of our sport, where you’re just flowing, popping off stuff, doing tricks, it’s just shredding with two different tools. Bringing the right crew together and finding the right spot for it was the big thing and we did that”
Learning from two wheels
Winkelmann is pretty new to mountain biking, having only had his first rides on a downhill bike last year. He admits it had him “pretty spooked out”, but given he scares himself in his own sport of snowboarding to have that feeling in another sport “you just want more of it.
”Fitzsimons is much handier on a mountain bike, having been riding since he was seven. Line choice is something that’s very similar between the two sports and he credits his ability to pick lines to his experience on two wheels.
“Mountain biking helps me snowboard mainly because of line choice, picking lines through the trees. It all translates.”Save