by Wil Barrett
October 20, 2016
Ok, so lets get this out of the way. Red Bull Rampage is a highly, highly entertaining spectacle. Most people would testify to that after watching the preview video of the 2016 Red Bull Rampage, and seeing Brandon Semenuk’s insane winning run. It’s not a new thing though. Being able to watch mountain bikers risk their life and limb has been a source of constant entertainment since the sport first began with the first Klunkerz riders. After all, mountain biking is extreme and totally rad yo!
However, the Red Bull Rampage has long been the pinnacle of the extreme side of the sport, with riders flinging themselves off the gnarliest of jumps and down the steepest of drops in the Utah desert. And each year, it seems to get even more and more gnarly as riders push themselves to progress. With some serious accidents in recent years, some riders and commentators have suggested that the event is becoming too dangerous.
In fact, as you’ll see below, Sam Reynolds has stated via his Instagram account that the Rampage course was so sketchy, that he decided to tap out of this year’s event;
A lot of people have been asking why I didn’t drop in at rampage this year and I’ll be totally honest I just didn’t think it was safe! The top was so dangerous with 100ft cliffs off each side and I just wasn’t up for risking it. The decision was not an easy one but hope everyone understands. Sorry for letting down anyone who wanted to see me ride and especially my dig crew @deakinator1 @ryanza671 for building such a cool line that no one ever got to see! Thanks to all my awesome sponsors and friends for supporting me too no matter what!
As we’re all aware though, sweet helmet cam footage of riders doing insane things often gets millions of internet views and it makes sponsors happy. Plus, a photo of you backflipping off a canyon gap makes for a brilliant advertisement in a magazine, so the more of those you can pull off, the happier your employers are going to be right?
So what do you think? Is the Red Bull Rampage too dangerous? Will it take a very serious accident for organisers to think accordingly? Or is it a case of riders being responsible for their own safety? And if you don’t like it, don’t do it?