Red Bull Hardline Canyon Gap: The Bike World Reacts

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When photos first emerged of the canyon gap at Red Bull Hardline over the weekend we all gulped. Since then, quite a lot has happened. Here’s a round up of what’s what so far:

What Is That Canyon Gap?

For those who have been under a rock this weekend, here’s what the fuss is about.

Who Is Riding At Hardline Wales 2024?

Who is lined up to tackle the course, and that gap? Here’s the men’s start list for Red Bull Hardline, Wales 2024:

Adam BraytonUK
Alex StorrUK
Bernard KerrUK
Brendan FaircloughUK
Brook MacDonaldNZL
Charlie HattonUK
Craig EvansUK
Dennis LuffmanUK
Edgar BrioleFRA
Gaetan VigeFRA
George BranniganNZ
Harry MolloyUK
Jim MonroUK
Jono JonesUK
Josh BrycelandUK
Josh LoweUK
Juanfer VelezCOL
Matt JonesUK
Matteo IniguezFRA
Matteo IniguezFRA
Ronan DunneIRL
Sam BlenkinsopNZ
Sam GaleNZ
Sam HockenhullUK
Sebastian HolguinCOL
Szymon GodziekPOL
Taylor VernonUK
Theo ErlangsenSA
Thibault LalyFRA
Thomas GenonBEL
Vincent TupinFRA

Tahnée Seagrave, Cami Nogueira, Hannah Bergmann, Louise-Anna Ferguson and Vaea Verbeeck began training on Monday.

That Canyon Gap – The Reactions

Josh Bryceland reacted with a kit addition:

First Hits

Bernard Kerr tackled it first.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Bernard Kerr (@bernard_kerr)

Then Matt Jones.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Matt Jones (@mattjonesmtb)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Matt Jones (@mattjonesmtb)

Then Jim Monro.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jim Monro (@jimbomonro)

Sam Reynolds didn’t like how it looked, and he wasn’t wrong:

Sam does the ‘OK’ in inverted commas, and indeed, is a concussion OK? Yes, it’s better than falling into the actual canyon, but a brain injury is still an injury.

Got spat out of this one pretty hard but somehow came away with just a concussion, thanks everyone for the help off the hill 

Jim Monro – Instagram

Brendan Fairclough is apparently less worried:

Dean Lucas thinks it’s all gone too far:

There’s a bit of debate over on the Forum about what’s driving this. Is it progression or attention seeking? Will people do this stuff anyway, or is it pressure for attention and sponsors? What’s the difference between this and Red Bull Rampage?

2p From Me

For me, the key difference between Red Bull Hardline and Red Bull Rampage is twofold. One: Nothing at Rampage is mandatory – even the built features that are provided don’t have to be ridden. You dig and build your own thing, to your own tune, to your own strengths. There’s no ‘here’s a thing if you think you’re hard enough’ pressure to add into the mix. Two: Hardline is a race. Riders aren’t just aiming to clear the features, they’re aiming to do it at speed. I’m unconvinced that switching between red-mist race brain and Nitro-Circus level feature clearing is a great combination.

I’ve have many debates with people before about the ways in which I think Red Bull Rampage manages to tread just the right side of controlled risk taking vs glorifying self destruction. I don’t think I can step to the defence of this feature in the context of Hardline.

2p From Mark

He’s lucky to be alive and the problem I have is that the cost of entry to trying something like this is a bike, some wood and a massively dangerous drop. The first death from this is probably likely to be someone copying it in their local quarry.

Caveat: I’m 53 years old.

Back in the ‘olden’ days impressive stunts like this were common on the tellybox. Saturday night TV was full of it. But there was always a big fat notice or a presenter who said, ‘Don’t try this at home…. professional this and that blah’. Not that this made any difference to whether kids went into the park and spannered themselves but it at least showed that the producers were aware of the risks and the danger that showing it could cause. Red Bull don’t seem to care at all as long as it gets the clicks and engagement. I have a moral issue with this stuff and the fact the driving force is weighted too much towards commercial interests with questionable care given to the consequences. The policy seems to be, go bigger than we did last time, which is kind of how it’s always been in all endeavors but at some point there’s going to be a limiting line and the price of crossing that line was almost paid in full by Jim here. If they really cared there would have been a net up right from the start, although it would not have helped Jim. They got really lucky. The Risk Asessement doc must be interesting read, if there is one.

I know, I know. I sound just like my dad.

2p From Benji

Maybe the riders like doing things like this? I imagine they’ve been doing stupid shit since young, which is how they got where they are. That’s my Devil’s Advocate mode. Not sure if I’m fussed either way tbh!

Add your 2p… head to the comments and/or vote in this poll:

How To Watch Hardline

If you’ve still got the stomach to watch it, Hardline will be broadcastlive globally on Red Bull TV on Sunday 2nd June at 2.30pm GMT. Ahead of the event, the week’s best action from course walk and practice will be on the Red Bull Bike YouTube. 

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  • This topic has 268 replies, 89 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by DanW.
Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 269 total)
  • Redbull Hardline – 2024
  • steamtb
    Full Member
    somafunk
    Full Member

    That’s going to need quite a large crash pad below o)

    1
    qwerty
    Free Member

    Apparently it’s for a ski jump event….

    seriousrikk
    Full Member

    Well that is quite a suprise.
    Looking forward to it even more now. Hopefully not cancelled due to weather this year!

    sirromj
    Full Member

    Seems to be a considerable portion of the track missing!

    bobbyspangles
    Full Member

    What in the wide wide world of sports is that?

    colournoise
    Full Member

    There is a landing too. They were a bit disingenuous with how they posted it, but even adjusted it still looks stupid!

    Rampage canyon gaps go to mid Wales!

    Untitled

    Northwind
    Full Member

    That’s a pretty aggressive kick, considering you’ll be going at a million miles an hour when you hit it

    2
    FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    Hmm getting less and less natural each year.

    Im actually disappointed

    Gribs
    Full Member

    From memory of the site that’s below the cliff drop so at least a third of the course will be different. Perhaps they’ve got fed up of people falling off near the top.

    IMG_20220910_142204

    moonsaballoon
    Full Member

    That’s a pretty aggressive kick, considering you’ll be going at a million miles an hour when you hit it

    That was my first thought, admittedly I don’t know the first thing about building jumps like that so I hope they’ve got it right.

    At the Tasmania one they had Bernard kerr and a couple of other guys out beforehand to test everything but I don’t know if that’s the case here .

    I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting old but looking at that makes me a bit uneasy. I love watching downhill racing but I’m not sure that’s what i think should be in a course, hardline or any other race .

    lister
    Full Member

    There are a few videos on instragram from Bernard and Matt Jones looking at the ramp down to the kicker. No jumps yet but it looks like getting enough speed won’t be a problem!
    I’m looking forwards to watching it but I’m a bit gutted for the women who were probably hoping for the old course to finally clear all the features. It doesn’t look like there can be a ride-around line for this canyon jump so we might not get a full run by a woman. I hope I’m proved wrong though and they hit it – bus just seen that Lou Ferguson isn’t riding as her sponsors want her to focus on the WC races (which is the danger of having this mid-season).

    Mugboo
    Full Member

    Is it possible that the shape of that take off is to encourage tricks?

    lister
    Full Member

    I’m pretty certain there will be a superman over that jump by the end of next weekend.

    1
    twistedpencil
    Full Member

    Gee Athertons latest post on IG is good… a great qualifier in that there is a gap at the top that would ensure I only fell a little way rather than a long way 😀

    1
    big_scot_nanny
    Full Member

    Loved the response from Mr. Gnarr himself on IG 🙈😆

    IMG_0533

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    I know that picture is distorted but is the kicker so severe because the landing is much higher than the takeoff? Could be a massive step up.

    Doesn’t matter to me I’ll be watching on telly!

    frogstomp
    Full Member

    2
    Northwind
    Full Member

    Well of course you can’t just ride onto the thing, that’d be like a chicken line.

    I like that it seems to be painted in some sort of grip paint but also it’s all falling off up the steps they’ve had to build up the side everywhere it’s been touched, that’s a nice addition. You couldn’t get me to <stand> on that thing. Barking.

    It’s a really long video but it had me smiling constantly, just really nicely done, informative but funny too, especially every time Gee’s on camera “What’s this called. Do you even know?” “Have you measured this?” “Yep” “With a tape?” “No”. Definitely worth watching if you’re going to watch any of the race I think.

    orena45
    Full Member

    It’s a bit crazy that only after these guinea pig runs, they’ve then seemingly thought it’s a good idea to put catch netting up!

    dafoj
    Free Member

    That is wild, watch til the end………

    chrismac
    Full Member

    I just hope no one gets a career limiting injury

    3
    butcher
    Full Member

    I just hope no one gets a career limiting injury

    Or dies. That’s utterly mad. I’m surprised they can even run it as a legitimate event. 2 out of 3 almost miss the landing in that video.

    frogstomp
    Full Member

    @pothead those reels don’t work for me through a browser – whose account are they on?

    2
    dafoj
    Free Member

    Jimbomonro

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    I’ve always defended events like this against the pearl clutchers but that even makes me clench my bumhole a bit.

    kayak23
    Full Member

    Matt Jones had a go too.

    1
    Stevet1
    Free Member

    Absolutely terrifying.

    The 90 degree wooden feature further up looked insane as well although much lower consequence.

    What do they think those blue pads are going to do, make it easier to collect the body?

    2
    dafoj
    Free Member

    “No broken bones, just a bump to the head……”

    6
    mashr
    Full Member

    make it easier to collect the body?

    they’re to protect the deposit for the scaffolding

    droplinked
    Full Member

    That’s a pretty aggressive kick, considering you’ll be going at a million miles an hour when you hit it

    That was my first thought too.

    I noticed in BK and Matt Jones videos that there’s a guy from ‘Monalith Curved Surface Specialists’ there (he is holding the crash pad at the bottom of the ramp during some of the test run ins).

    The have worked with red bull on some projects before, and they also build skate parks and BMX stuff, so I wonder if they’ve built that feature.

    BMX and park ramps tend to have a tighter radius and kickier lips.

    FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    Matt Jones video just shows how close the last rider came to potentially being killed

    I didn’t like the comment at the end of the vid where they said they are now going to put safety nets up. Maybe put the safety nets up first , and then remove them once all riders have cleared ? Rather than risk life changing injuries or death first .

    Does just confirm it’s getting in to dangerous territory of being a spectacle of crashing being part of it or if there are safety nets that’s makes it a bit full to watch

    BK ‘s crash last year must have attracted more views to the event than anything else. At least one rider has already helped on that front this year.

    Also may as just cover the hillside in concrete berms and ski jumps from how it’s starting to look

    Why hasn’t Brendan Fairclough been asked to test the gap jump, he’s clearly the king of gap jumps, does he sponsorship profile not fit with red bull ?

    Gribs
    Full Member

    Fairclough is sponsored by Monster.

    pothead
    Free Member

    Interesting that 3 of them tried that gap but none tried the smaller one further back up the hill, Bernard Kerr did say on his vid that they wouldn’t have enough speed to clear it so possibly more track changes before the race. It definitely needs a safety net below that scaffold jump though

    Kramer
    Free Member

    I’m in two minds about this.

    I used to ski a quite a bit.

    Part of me thinks that mountain biking YouTube is going through the same thing that “extreme” skiing videos went through about 15 years ago, where athletes were pushing the boundaries to the point that some of the big names in the sport started dying.

    However I’m also aware that when I was skiing off piste I was also skiing lines that could (and did) look unnecessarily risky to less experienced skiers, when in reality it wasn’t that dangerous for my skill level at the time. The same applies to mountain biking, I ride stuff now that when I started I would have thought unrideable. These guys are just riding at a different level to us mortals, so I suspect the danger may not be as bad as it seems.

    FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    Kramer – kind of agree. They are people at the peak of their sport and they enjoy pushing the limits.

    However what was interesting was that these jumps don’t appear to have been designed/built by the riders, which imo makes a big difference.

    G didn’t ride it, Matt said himself on camera that he’s got more in life now to worry about than just messing around on bikes.

    BK still is a big kid so less to loose

    Yes they should push the boundaries and I fully get why they want to, but when a company is making money from it , they should act as the grown up in the room.

    There was a lady with the riders who appeared to be the safety advisor, which appeared to extend to don’t do anything silly until we have a paramedic . A paramedic can’t do much if you have already paralysed or killed yourself

    mrdobermann
    Free Member

    Danny Way done something similar on a skateboard 18-20 years ago!

    I feel more uncomfortable watching this, maybe because I’m 50 now. Stunt show now!

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Hannah Dobson

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I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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