>> When on a roadtrip through your home country on the search for true Freeride <<
It´s Utah as a location in its endless wides and with all its opportunities.
It´s Rampage as the Mountainbike Freeride event of the year.
It´s the World Tour as a competition to battle for the win.
It´s the Fest Series for the outlaws of the scene.
All that is Freeride in our modern world.
To me it´s more than that though. Way more.
It´s unlimited freedom.
It´s boundless creativity.
It´s absolute authenticity.
And it´s also just that simple daily bike ride as you like it for the moment.
Freeride gives me the chance to be myself. To live this sport the way I see it and way I love it.
To do new things that no one has ever done before. To ride my bike where no one has ever ridden before. To be creative in a way no one even thinks about and to make ideas, that have a special meaning to me, become reality.
It means to think and look beyond the borders and to broaden the horizon in every kind of way.
But it also and at the same time means to learn to have a closer look at my near surrounding and discover new, what is right in front me anyway.
A roadtrip on the search for true freeride.
A roadtrip that took me to places that have been way different to what I ride everyday and to what I´m actually used to.
So steep, So slippery and so loose.
So rocky and so hard to even get to ride it.
Yes, it´s been some tough hikes really.
Tough and hard hikes where I felt the weight of the bike on my shoulders getting heavier step by step.
It´s been either deep and loose gravel that made every step hurt and just move on with 2 steps forward and 1 step back, or super slippery and steep rocks that could have made everything go wrong in just a blink of an eye.
All that just to get to the top and check out the line.
All that just to see that it´s not possible to get down in one piece on some places.
All that again and again once I found a spot I decided to conquer.
And once I was there at the top after all the hard work to get there, the real deal was just about to start.
It´s been about these nerves when I was standing on top and had a look down the hill. On top of a line that goes down steep right through some big rocks and never has been done before. The beat of my heart that I felt before I let go. Let go for the first time without knowing if the line works the way I had a look at it before.
It´s been about the feeling of the speed that I reached just a blink of an eye after the start. The focus and the concentration during the run through the wall to get done what needs to be done right there. These moments when nothing else exists but here and now.
It´s been about that releasing feeling of happiness when I reached the exit of the line. The look back up when I managed to do it as I wanted. The decision to do it again even if I talked about doing this one just a single time because it scared me that much.
And all that just for these free lines.
These free lines that make me feel true freeride.
And in between conquering these lines that sent me up and down quite frightening terrain, there was also time to just play around and have some easier but super good fun on the bike drifting natural berms or kicking some simple tricks on slightly self-shaped lips.
But it´s not just been about exciting feelings to be honest.
It´s been about setbacks as well.
Setbacks so as disappointments.
Disappointments about locations that in the end didn´t deliver what I was hoping for.
Locations I really looked forward to after checking them online but weren´t rideable at all.
Locations that looked super nice from the bottom but did look a 100% different from the top.
Locations I had to move on from without one single line that I managed to ride.
Setbacks so as crashes.
Crashes that didn´t send me to hospital or ended the whole trip, but crashes that could have ended a lot worse.
Crashes that made me think about the next try a lot more than it was helpful for.
Crashes that made me have respect for what I was up to next a lot more than it was conducive for.
Respect that high that I think it´s already called fear.
Fear I had to deal with to get done what I wanted to do.
Setbacks so as super bad weather for days and weeks.
Weather that made it impossible to ride what I was looking for.
Weather that made me postpone and replan day after day.
Weather that nearly made me stop the whole trip.
Setbacks I was forced to deal with every day and setbacks that are part of the game really.
Part of life and part of the trip.
Part of an adventure that is more than just sports.
Part of an adventure that is waiting to be lived out there every day.
Part of the adventure called freeride.
A trip that has been all about that.
All these real moments of being exhausted, being afraid, being relieved and being excited.
But it´s also been these simple moments of freedom during these hassle-free hours and hours of driving my own van through the country on these almost never ending roads that only got to bring me to one single destination, the next riding spot.
A trip that had it all.
Freeride without Utah. Freeride without Rampage and without Fest Series. Freeride without all the big travels and without all the freedom that changed and formed myself over years.
And it´s still Freeride. It´s still freedom. The freedom to live the sport the way I want. The freedom to ride my bike where I want and where maybe no one ever has done it before.
Freeride in my own country.
Scouting and exploring land that was supposed to be known very well, on the search for a new big-bike adventure.
“True Riding” in the full sense of the word.
Free line choice in a land of trails.
First-lines in a land of bikeparks.
And yet they were there. Yet they were hidden somewhere waiting for myself to be discovered. Waiting to be ridden.
These endless sandy hills, these free and super steep tracks, these natural rock faces.
Closed mines, old and abandoned quarries but also totally open terrain in the middle of Europe’s monstrous Alps.
The perfect playground for big guys with the urge to play.
A roadtrip on the search for exactly these places and circumstances. On the search for big-bike action as it used to be at the very beginning of a sport that changed my life.
A lifestyle that will not let you go once you had the chance to taste it.
A feeling of life that can´t be compared to something else really.
The MINE. A roadtrip that delivered all that. That got me to feel that big passion inside of me in my own country without even traveling the world. That got me to realize that Freeride can exist everywhere. Can be lived everywhere.
This is real freedom.
This is real life.
This is true Freeride.
So easy. So simple.
Roadtrip. Freedom. Freeride.
All pics in this article by Christoph Breiner.
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