Author Archives: "Joe Parkin"
Where’s Brandon Semenuk? Joe speaks with him at Eurobike and sets up a time to go fishing, but believe it or not, he gets stood up. Weird.
Coming from a cycling-crazy country like France, it’s easy to imagine Oton as a little kid racing a tiny road bike around his local église, or perhaps sending a small-wheeled mountain bike down the trails just outside of town. But this wasn’t the case. Instead, Oton, whose father raced motorcycles, gravitated toward throttle twisting, and raced “enduro moto,” until picking up mountain biking seriously just five years ago.
For my money, the back page of a magazine is often the best part of a magazine. I’m not talking about the back cover but rather the very last, single-page of content that’s created by the magazine staff. And bear with me here, I’m not suggesting that your favorite part isn’t great. Most would argue
Born and bred in ‘the 909,’ Southern California’s motocross mecca, the Intense M1 capitalized on the notion that with more usable suspension travel and a proper combination of handling and reliability, a rider could take on faster and gnarlier lines. To downhillers who were used to riding ‘DH’ bikes that at the time weren’t much more than glorified XC machines, the ‘little motorcycle’ feel of the Intense seemed truly magical.
Her riding style is playful and natural, and her smile is so bright it seems impossible that Lorraine Blancher ever has a bad day on the bike. Watch her in action or talk to her just a little bit, and it’s safe to say she rarely if ever does. She’s been riding mountain bikes for more than half her life, but with the wide-eyed exuberance usually reserved for someone new to the sport.
Like so many mountain bikers of his generation, Kirt Voreis fell into the sport kind of by accident. Growing up without a dad, his dream career, motocross, was out of financial reach. Dirt jumping and skateboarding, though, those were attainable activities, and Kirt was naturally gifted. Add to the airtime a penchant for pedaling 30 miles or more on his mom’s 10-speed mountain bike looking for lizards and rattlesnakes, and you’ve got a fairly decent recipe for success in the fat-tire world.
As this article goes live, Jeff is living the dream and traveling the country promoting the upcoming Geico ¬– Hotbike Power Tour, which is no doubt slowing the progress on his many motorcycle and classic car projects. And if you’re wondering…yes, Holt still is known to throw a leg over a pedal bike and, in fact, still has a bit of a collection that would make most bicycle folks jealous.
Kathy Pruitt has an infectious smile and a demeanor disarming enough to make you forget that she’s spent almost two thirds of her life competing at high speed—first on motocross bikes and then racing downhill—and that she is, in all likelihood, faster than you.
If you aren’t already familiar with the Mark Weir, he once logged more than a million vertical feet of pedaling in a year, which is just shy of 3,000 feet per day—and he didn’t even need the whole 365 to accomplish his goal. A few years ago, the home he shared with wife Suzy and son Gus went up in flames, but Weir bounced back with his signature mustachioed smile. More recently, though, the Cannondale OverMountain Team Rider was seriously injured in a freak accident that would’ve likely sent a lesser mortal straight to the morgue.
To the mountain-bike community, Kyle Strait needs no introduction. On the bike, he was an absolute child prodigy, and entered his first Rampage when he was just a young teenager. In 2013, after landing a massive Suicide No-hander off the Oakley Icon Sender, Strait became the only person to break the Rampage curse, and won the for a record second time.
Parked in the motel’s lot, along with a half-dozen or so border-patrol vehicles, was a 1979 Volkswagen Westfalia camper van. Other than it being old and pretty rare, the Westfalia wouldn’t have been cause for much notice—had it not been for the fact that one of the U-23 team riders, a guy named Greg Randolph, seemed to be living in it. Later that year, the free-spirited Randolph represented the United States in the Olympics, as a member of the road team built around Lance Armstrong.
Unless you’re new, have been living under a rock, or just plain believe that the study of history—any history—is a waste of time, mountain-bike legend Marla Streb needs little introduction. She wears the body art of a Single-Speed World Champ (twice), is a multiple-time U.S. National Champion, has stood on the top step of the World Cup podium, graced the cover of Outside magazine and, as she hones in on five decades of being alive, she’s still looking forward to racing season—she’s just not going to be going at it every weekend.
Cullinan’s incredible worlds-winning run is the stuff of legend. It happened five years before Philippe Kahn decided to connect a digital camera to a cell phone and broadcast the birth of his daughter, so the course was absolutely void of iPhone-toting spectators documenting every angle and second of the event on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and Vimeo. And the Red Bull Media House wasn’t even a faint glimmer in an entrepreneur’s eye back then. So, Cully’s rainbow-winning performance is much more mysterious and under-documented than, say, Danny Hart’s astonishing Champery ride in 2011. It was, nevertheless, something extra special.