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  1. #1
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    Rampage: The good, the bad, and the ugly

    Good: Awesome views, incredible riding, Claudio.

    Bad: Hate subjective judging, I prefer a stopwatch, finish line, or yardstick.

    Ugly: A couple broken arms, a broken back (condolences to Paul Bas, his family and friends), broken leg (I think), a few broken ribs, and probably several unreported concussions and many other miscellaneous "minor" injuries.


    For me it's a surreal and somehow primitive viewing experience, I know a lot of sports are extremely dangerous but this event strikes me as exceptionally brutal and unforgiving. I love watching it but I really don't want to see one of these kids die in their quest to one up the competition.

    What y'all think?

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    Just like the Isle of Man TT

  3. #3
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    I think someone is making money off of these young fellas risking their lives. If they want to ride like this, have at her, but I have next to zero interest in this kind of thing. I wonder how health insurance for these guys works in the US as a broken back is expensive. I don't watch sports on tv or follow any form of cycling competition so I'm not typical.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    I think someone is making money off of these young fellas risking their lives. If they want to ride like this, have at her, but I have next to zero interest in this kind of thing. I wonder how health insurance for these guys works in the US as a broken back is expensive. I don't watch sports on tv or follow any form of cycling competition so I'm not typical.
    Problem is, when you are as young as these guys are, you think it's worth it. 10 or 15 years later, you say "hell no!". Human brain in males isn't even considered to be fully developed until about 25yrs old or so.
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    I know how my body feels after 5 years in the Army. I can't imagine how these dudes feel when they wake up each morning at 30+ years old.
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  6. #6
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    I love watching people push themselves in this kind of even, and although it is inherently dangerous I think a lot of it us up to the individual to decide on their capabilities.

    What I didn't like at all was seeing them allow Nicholi Rogatkin (link) to continue his run, including hitting a clear-it-or-die 72' canyon gap, moments after having a serious crash and taking a fairly massive knock to the head. One-upmanship is all fine and good when you're riding well, but this sort of macho "I crashed but I'm still going to finish" BS is going to get someone in a lot of trouble. If he had started seeing stars on approach to that canyon gap, doing 40-odd-mph and completely committed, the consequences could have been disastrous. IMO regardless of how you feel at the time, I don't believe you can have clear enough judgement to attempt something like that after such a massive crash, and it was irresponsible of the officials to allow him to continue.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post
    What I didn't like at all was seeing them allow Nicholi Rogatkin (link) to continue his run, including hitting a clear-it-or-die 72' canyon gap, moments after having a serious crash and taking a fairly massive knock to the head. One-upmanship is all fine and good when you're riding well, but this sort of macho "I crashed but I'm still going to finish" BS is going to get someone in a lot of trouble. If he had started seeing stars on approach to that canyon gap, doing 40-odd-mph and completely committed, the consequences could have been disastrous. IMO regardless of how you feel at the time, I don't believe you can have clear enough judgement to attempt something like that after such a massive crash, and it was irresponsible of the officials to allow him to continue.

    I completely agree, couldn't believe the medics allowed him to ride on after that. In addition to what you mentioned there were many other potentials for disaster there, including the possibility that his spine was damaged. That episode was foolish and irresponsible to say the least.

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I know how my body feels after 5 years in the Army. I can't imagine how these dudes feel when they wake up each morning at 30+ years old.
    Can't remember his name but one dude there was 34 y/o, and I guess he's been doing it awhile. I just can't imagine.

  8. #8
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    The highlight for me, kind of sums up how knarly it is there when a pretty good rider almost poops himself taking the easiest ("walking" trail) down the hill-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWQEAvruO9M

    and another view from the 3rd place finisher-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34By_kZ8aOM

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    The highlight for me, kind of sums up how knarly it is there when a pretty good rider almost poops himself taking the easiest ("walking" trail) down the hill-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWQEAvruO9M
    I think this one was a bit of a joke, I could be wrong. He sounds like the Pewdiepie of biking.
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  10. #10
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    Those guys r crazy. I'm out. I hurt bad enough daily

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    The highlight for me, kind of sums up how knarly it is there when a pretty good rider almost poops himself taking the easiest ("walking" trail) down the hill-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWQEAvruO9M

    and another view from the 3rd place finisher-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34By_kZ8aOM
    Claudio was awesome!

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    wow! Aggasiz was only third? That was an insane run.

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    I wish they would show it without the super wide angle lens, makes it look like you have a tire's width of track with 600ft drops on both sides because of the distortion, I would like to see what it really looks like. These new damn lenses are ruining the realism of helmet cam footage.

  14. #14
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    I wont support it anymore. Its getting stupid. I dont want to watch someone die....cause its coming. These guys feel the one up game is the way to get noticed. Every year its goibg to get more gnarly.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by machine4321 View Post
    I wont support it anymore. Its getting stupid. I dont want to watch someone die....cause its coming. These guys feel the one up game is the way to get noticed. Every year its goibg to get more gnarly.
    IMO, ending up a vegetable is even worse..or maybe the same, either way, yeah...
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    That is NUTS!

  17. #17
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    This is an interesting article about the Red Bull Rampage, especially the part about not mentioning injuries.

    http://www.vitalmtb.com/features/Opi...aign=spotlight

    There was no mention that when he crashed Paul Basagoitia had broken his back badly and would require nine hours in surgery to try and regain feeling in his legs during the commentary of the event.

  18. #18
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    I'm just incredulous that some of those guys, nay, most of those guys ride without insurance.

    Pretty foolish if you ask me.

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    7 of 42 riders taken to hospital this year.

    1 in six.

    Calculated or not, those are not good odds. I love rampage and have huge respect for these riders...but I really think something has got to change. Heck, even the riders are starting to show serious signs of...I don't know, risk fatigue? If they're questioning why they're doing this themselves something isn't right.

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    Shock can mask a lot of stuff. The video of Nicholi taking that header and tumbling, and then getting back on for the canyon jump? The administrators of that event should get fined.

    Shock and adrenaline has been known to leave its victims able to walk around with broken limbs, backs, severed limbs, etc. Case and point there was a car accident several years back where a guy had his arm out the window. Someone rubbed his back tires causing him to spin and roll. Guy got ejected. Medics arrived at the scene and found the guy walking around. When asked how he was doing, "Surprisingly great!" The medic was confused as the guys arm from the elbow down was still at the crash site. The guy had no idea.

    Naturally that story is a lot more obvious from a medics standpoint, but broken vertebrae is harder to see. Only takes a few moves for that broken vertebrae to pinch/sever the spinal court going from walking around to permanently paraplegic.

  22. #22
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    Good: What these guys do is just insane
    Semenuk by far won the "people choice" vote over 50%.
    Kyle Norbraten got engaged to his girlfriend! Right after his Rampage run!
    Remi riding clips...that's crazy!
    So much talent and skill, every rider gave it their all

    Bad: Red Bull's marketing is almost entirely based around people doing dangerous shit and walking away unscathed.

    Ugly: 7 out of 42 riders had to go to the hospital is not right

    I prefer courses that give opportunities riders with amazing talent who go for it, rather than a course which adds in the possibility of life-changing failure at every turn. I like watching the sport but I don't like seeing people risk death for fame.
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  23. #23
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    subbing to watch videos later.

  24. #24
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    It's a problem throughout the pro adventure sports world. It used to be hard to get in front of a camera and be seen pushing the envelope. Essentially, you had to already to be at the top of the game to be in a film and there were limited ways to get there, the pool was small. Now, anyone with a gopro and big balls can get worldwide exposure and potential sponsership deals if they pull off something crazy enough, which just pushes those who already are making a living, or semi living to go bigger or be replaced. And, honestly, most of them don't do much better than gas and rent money, it's not like ball sports....

    I can see why ClifBar dropped it's climbing sponsorships, who wants to bear part of the responsibility of an young athlete's death?

    Clif Bar - A Letter to the Climbing Community

    I used to love the Rampage and still do in a lot of ways, but once the gaps started getting massive I started to cringe. Watching the footage we all see floating around the interweb, it's inspiring to see what riders can pull off now, but it's impossible to ignore the heavy consequences of failure. FWIW, I Crushed T-12 myself when I was a young guy chasing results and sponsorships in another sport, I know things go wrong in a flash. Luckily, I recovered Ok, but my body reminds me of other mishaps from those days all the time.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    Remi riding clips...that's crazy!
    Why is that Crazy? I ride with clipless, granted I am not doing Rampage type things, but I hit jumps n drops and prefer the connected feeling I get with clipless, always have.

    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    The highlight for me, kind of sums up how knarly it is there when a pretty good rider almost poops himself taking the easiest ("walking" trail) down the hill-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWQEAvruO9M

    Claudio is a major jokester, he did a video like that last year.


    As far as the sport itself goes, young guys will do extreme and dangerous things with or without the spotlight and tv coverage. It is not for me, and I think the guys who do that are def not thinking about their own future if something goes wrong, but I am not going to stop them. We all have free will.
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  26. #26
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    Personally, it doesn't take long for a series of stunts to get boring to me.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    I'm just incredulous that some of those guys, nay, most of those guys ride without insurance.

    Pretty foolish if you ask me.


    I also wonder how many insurance companies are actually willing to insure these guys. Why would they want that sort of liability?

  28. #28
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    It's tough because it's the exposure and magnitude that set rampage apart. You can see better tricks at a slope comp and better cornering and overall riding in a host of videos or a world cup downhill. You can put nets up at cliff edges, but that wouldn't have stopped Paul's crash. Rogatkin's crash was an uncommon occurrence, with most injuries coming from failed tricks and hard landings on huge gaps, drops, and stepdowns. These cannot be safeguarded unless they're riding in bubble wrap.

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    I guess that is why I have always been a fan of time trial based sports and/or team sports based on points.

    I was a diver in highschool for a brief period and while not nearly as dangerous as rampage is, its the same type of escalation going on. Soon as I was finally able to rip 2½ pikes? They start doing 3½. That one kid who likely should have been in college sports as a highschooler set the bar for everyone else. Now everyone has to hit a 3½ or face plant trying. After a few concussions from drilling the water with your face or popped ear drums from a twister gone wrong? Yep, not the sport for me. I got to doing 2½'s because it was what I wanted to do. That is why I got good at them. When the competition forced me to start trying 3½'s which I was clearly not good enough to do, I didn't want to tuck tail and quit, so I tried doing them and get repeatedly injured.

    So I still partake in alpine skiing and mountain biking and probably am 10 times more dangerous in doing so, the difference is I am making the choice to be that dangerous. If I am not feeling it? I don't just throw it and hope for the best because I will lose a sponsor if I don't.

    Have I gone down the public freeway doing 165mph with my sport bike? Maybe, maybe not. Is that borderline suicidal? I would say so, now that I have a bit more moral decision making. Doing it to know what it feels like is very difference than doing it because someone dared you to blackmailed you to.

    (Thats what these sponsors feel like these days. Blackmail artists. If you can't do this death defying stunt, we are going to drop you from our label!)

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    Personally, it doesn't take long for a series of stunts to get boring to me.
    Agreed

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    Claudio is a major jokester, he did a video like that last year.
    He's awesome, I've been a fan for awhile now. After seeing his post ride interview I don't think there is any doubt that he was genuinely terrified on that run though.


    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    Personally, it doesn't take long for a series of stunts to get boring to me.
    Me too but these guys go way beyond stunts IMO, literally riding straight off cliffs that no one else ever has before. Straight up Evil Kinievel $hit all day long. It's not totally my thing, almost too cringeworthy. In a weird way it sort of reminds me of watching O.J. on tv 20 odd years ago, you almost can't believe what you're seeing and it's hard to turn it off.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    This is an interesting article about the Red Bull Rampage, especially the part about not mentioning injuries.

    Opinion: When Does Risk Outweigh the Reward? How Red Bull Rampage Changed Our Perspective - Mountain Bikes Features - Vital MTB

    There was no mention that when he crashed Paul Basagoitia had broken his back badly and would require nine hours in surgery to try and regain feeling in his legs during the commentary of the event.
    Seems like riders might benefit from an agent representing them from a finncial perspective. Doing it without insurance or paying your own seems quite risky and unwise.

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    Just to clarify, I saw a video of a crash that also had sequential pictures of the crash. The rider fell quite a distance, then gets up and looks like he has a head injury but he is walking. Then he gets back on his bike and finishes riding, but it was ajust coasting out, he actually rode it out. Is this the rider who is now paralyzed?

    Hiw could the event let him get back on his bike?

    Is Redbull going to aeriously argue that an individual still has their full mental capacity and it isn't their responsibility? So the rider could, for example, lose a foot or be impaled, or lose an eye, but so long as he wants to get back on and ride who is Redbull to argue with such a person of full mental capacity? They are just missing some other physical features for all Redbull can tell.

    For the rider, I hope he regains movement and gets back to health. I also hope that he has some success against Redbull, should he go that route. Hopefully it is a wake up call for other riders.

  34. #34
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    ^The crash you are discribing involved Nicholi Rogatkin whose front tire washed out and he fell down a cliff. He got up and rode the rest of the course


    The rider that crashed and broke his back (Paul Bas) did not get up afterwards. He is currently receiving medical treatment... we don't know the outcome yet. I watched the video of Paul's crash before it was removed from Youtube...it was a bad crash
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    I gotta say it... as much as I'm not a Redbull kinda guy... those guys are freakin' amazing.

    I look at the shit that I puss out on and then watch them effortlessly drop down cliffs doing backflips. I'm not even in the same universe.

    I feel the same with trials riders though. Some of it's just insanely beyond my skill level it's not even funny.

    Then I see some of the wrecks or hear about broken backs and shit... and I remember why I'm not like them. That stuff is real.
    Like a fart in a mitten...

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    Quote Originally Posted by l'oiseau View Post
    I'm not even in the same universe.
    Its the perfect explanation in one of those meme's showing what you think you look like, what society thinks you look like, and then what you really look like, lol.

    Getting out a GoPro with your buddies and taking your favorite kicker or drop and watching it back? It is a bit depressing really. Feel like you are airborne, up in space, flying like a hawk, only 2ft off the ground...

    Its almost hard for the average person to fathom just what its like for these guys.

    (Closest I have done is in ski terrain parks. I haven't had the sack to pull off the 30ft kickers, but I have done 15ft kickers before. Did get video of that one a long time ago, was roughly 25ft in the air over a gap. Nothing like the 60+ft from the slopestyle guys or the crazy canyon jumps. Regardless, I couldn't imagine doing that on a bike...)

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    I watched the video of Paul's crash before it was removed from Youtube...it was a bad crash

    It was horrendous, amazing to me that a human body could survive a fall like that.

  38. #38
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    I feel like a pervert when I watch this stuff; I'll sneak a peek while cloaked in the privacy of the Internet---never would I attend foolishness at this level in person.
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    I agree that Rampage is getting to an insane, unsustainable level but it is pushing our sport of mountain biking, and it seems like overall the guys enjoy and look forward to rampage every year. I have been to the last 4 Rampages.

    Just as a quick devils advocate, didn't someone die in an EWS race this year? I think racing honestly pushes limits just as much as rampage, if not more. You can always be faster in a race, and always go bigger at rampage.

    Heal fast Paul, hope you're riding again soon.

  40. #40
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    I think it sucks that red bull doesn't want to pay for their medical bills.

  41. #41
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    Up until last year, I wanted to plan a vacation around this event, but as much as it churns my stomach to see the videos, I'd be a wreck watching it in person and would have a hard time getting the images out of my brain. No thanks. I've tuned out.

    I know too many people my age partially infirm because of playing football in high school. The kind of trauma inflicted on these riders joints and bones will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

    Maybe I'm just a softie, but seeing people get hurt bothers me a lot, as does the thought of what the future holds for some of them, given the injuries suffered.

  42. #42
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    Rampage: The good, the bad, and the ugly

    I really don't like this event of pure testosterone concentrate and very little if any conscious thought. It's watching gladiators. We are just waiting for someone to die, what else would be more climactic... I refuse to watch it. ...life
    I only watch reruns of the most interesting stuff (crashes and winners)
    Also don't understand the rating system. It's subjective and therefore useless.
    Spectacle for spectacles sake. Meh.

    Also, I don't think this is the direction I like this sport to be pushed. This is not the thing that gets us more reach when it comes to open trails and governments across the planet taking it more seriously. Quite the contrary I think. Id rather see more serious coverage of the sports and endurance aspect of it... Not saying there is no part for this, but surely it is not the best event to represent why most (!) of us are choosing to do this.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by luxaltera View Post
    Also, I don't think this is the direction I like this sport to be pushed. This is not the thing that gets us more reach when it comes to open trails and governments across the planet taking it more seriously. Quite the contrary I think. Id rather see more serious coverage of the sports and endurance aspect of it... Not saying there is no part for this, but surely it is not the best event to represent why most (!) of us are choosing to do this.
    I think this aspect is worth discussing as well. Rampage may very well be the most visible event in mountain biking to the general public and I don't think it represents the sport very well.

    What does Rampage tell the uninformed about out sport?

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    I think this aspect is worth discussing as well. Rampage may very well be the most visible event in mountain biking to the general public and I don't think it represents the sport very well.

    What does Rampage tell the uninformed about out sport?
    Flat brim hats, Monster/RedBull, "bro"/"brah", wanton destruction of land, etc.

    It's like we're doing the work FOR the Sierra Club, etc.

    Every skid-kid video on PinkBike is doing it already, but those aren't being broadcast on NBC.
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    What does Rampage tell the uninformed about out sport?
    That we're more like moto riders than cyclists?

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    Seriously why on earth would Redbull and NBC show 3 minute runs down a mountain face with riders jumping huge gaps, dropping giant drops and doing back flips, when the sport would be much better represented by watching a guy ride up a hill at 3MPH in a XC race for a few hours... There are about a million GoPro videos out there that people make of real average Joes riding around in the woods for hours. Its a lot of fun to do, and excruciatingly boring to watch.

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    Fair point. Maybe more stuff like documentary filming about epic mtb journeys that can make it on discovery channel or such.
    I don't need that on red bull tv... Frak red bull tv anyways... It's bad for the sport, it's bad for human beings in general. Everything about it. I don't know any serious athletes who actually drink that shit anyways.
    There is a lot of great filming going on these days... There is tons of movies and documentaries about mountaineering since ages... (Ok there is a higher potential of death there, too)

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    Quote Originally Posted by luxaltera View Post
    very little if any conscious thought.
    If you're not joking here, then your are absolutely clueless about what it takes to ride at even 10% of the level any of those guys operate at.

    I've remember watching Nicholi riding BMX as a young kid around here. He was pulling backflips by the age of 9, high over concrete. If anyone thinks this type of riding doesn't require incredible dedication and athleticism, you just fail to understand that not everyone believes that seeing how many times you can turn a crank is the ultimate goal of the sport.
    Sinister Bikes
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    That we're more like moto riders than cyclists?
    Returning to our roots then.
    Good.
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  50. #50
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    I've never been to Rampage but watch all the highlights over on Pinkbike.

    I know I'll kick a bunch of kickback saying I'm crazy but Rampage is just the "next step" in the evolution of Crankworx and for that matter, the DH race courses. With the tricks those guys are doing at Crankworx, it's only a matter of time before one of them lands wrong and then dies. Same with the DH courses. They are getting more dangerous all the time and those guys are hauling a$$. I honestly don't know how somebody hasn't been paralyzed or killed yet because there are some horrific crashes. Ratboy could have easily broken his neck and killed himself when he hit that tree at Fort William.

    I won't shed a tear or protest if Rampage goes away but the bottom line is nobody is forcing these guys to show up, dig dirt, BUILD THEIR OWN ROUTES and then roll down some cliff or crazy drop off.

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