sspomer's Likes

Liked a comment about news blog Bernardo Cruz Wins Down Hill Taxco 2015, Filip Polc Series Champion 11/22/2015 5:40 PM
Liked a comment about feature 13 Bikes That Will Give You Nightmares 10/31/2015 2:55 PM

Not a single Ellsworth on the list? I'm disappointed.

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Liked a comment about feature Opinion: When Does Risk Outweigh the Reward? How Red Bull Rampage Changed Our Perspective 10/19/2015 1:41 PM

Agreed with most written aside from the insurance bit. The Rampage falls under the FMB Tour, in which riders cannot compete without insurance. In no other sport, action or otherwise, is an event's title sponsor responsible for providing insurance to the competitors. That's not their responsibility and it never was. All they do is provide a venue at which these riders can compete if they want to. There's a lot of misplaced anger about that and if anything, be pissed at the rider's SPONSORS for the lack of travel cash or providing insurance/medical coverage.

Also here's some perspective... The FWT, a world tour big mountain circuit for skiers/snowboarders. Over the years multiple people have died competing or being part of this event. There are no massive outcries about who should be paying who, how much, etc. because everyone understands its an inherently dangerous comp. with little extrinsic rewards. You can either compete or not, its ultimately up to the rider and what line the rider risks.

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Liked a comment about feature Opinion: When Does Risk Outweigh the Reward? How Red Bull Rampage Changed Our Perspective 10/19/2015 9:33 AM

First I hope all the injured riders are okay, particularly Paul with regard to his very serious back injury. With regards to your piece Brandon; you have clearly written it in a state of heightened emotion and though understandable your views are biased. All around the world there is imbalance, primarily between the corporations and media, and us mere mortals. People risk their lives every day seeking the ultimate thrill of feeling alive. Some are paid. A lot. Some are not. Some are supported, others go off away from cameras and spectators and do their own thing. I cite a couple of examples. Guy Martin is a well know motorcycle racer. One of the very best. And he works with his Dad mending hgv's. He has survived massive accidents. And he continues. He often says when he doesn't feel that thrill of being on the edge of life he will give up. He mostly races in the road series, and the infamous Isle of Man TT. Poorly rewarded financially, something pushes him on. Only he knows what this is.
Base jumpers risk their lives every time they jump. They cannot make a mistake. If they do they die. And they continue.
Big mountain skiers make money. Maybe 10 or 20% do. The rest, no cameras, no commentators, no spectators, just them, their friends, and the mountains.
And there are many more examples. And we could rage against the machine. Or we can rationalise why these people do these things. Take away Red Bull and their infrastructure, their cameras and live feeds. What are you left with. A sports community free to ride where, when and what they want. Sounds fantastic.
As a spectator, should I stop watching these guys that I admire so much. I can only imagine, dream what it must feel like to be so at one with your kit, whether bike, ski's, wingsuit or rope and harness that you feel anything is possible. And you do not, cannot allow yourself to consider the what if's. This is what sets them apart.
Yes there is clearly a massive disparity between the risks and the monetary reward in many events such as these. And the giant corporations will continue to make extraordinary profits. I am told "that's life".
People will continue to push the boundaries and limits of what is possible in all sports. Whether they are paid for it or not. Whether the cameras are rolling or not. This is their life and they tread a path us mere mortals cannot comprehend. And that is their reward.

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Liked a comment about feature Opinion: When Does Risk Outweigh the Reward? How Red Bull Rampage Changed Our Perspective 10/19/2015 9:30 AM

I attended Rampage this year. From every aspect you could tell that Red Bull was putting their own interests first. As a worker, a spectator, and from talking to the riders and team support, there were complaints from every end. Aside from the utter chaos of the disorganization, the priorities seemed backwards. Riders should always be first, then workers, then spectators. Red Bull seemed to only care about media coverage.

I was working a security position up on the ridge. Within the first 10 minutes I began to witness some serious negligence. A few photographers hiked up the ridge past my position. A digger about 50 ft past called out that a rider was coming down the line. I repeated this to the photographers. As the rider was coming closer we all repeated "rider up" again. The photographers stood below a drop completely unaware. One thing led to another and the rider came over the drop, into the photographer, over the bars and down the side of the ridge. The rider was injured and furious.He was unable to attend qualifying. Photographers were okay and moved on. I called over the radio to asses the situation. I was instructed to "do nothing because the photographer had every right to be there."

So why should a rider, his first year at rampage, receive no compensation for his injuries and inability to finish the event because of an ignorant photographer who got off scot free? Because Red Bull puts media first, thats why. and that needs to change.

Just one of the many examples I saw at Rampage...

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Liked a comment about feature Opinion: When Does Risk Outweigh the Reward? How Red Bull Rampage Changed Our Perspective 10/19/2015 9:26 AM

I agree with a lot being said here, but also have to consider the bigger picture. Any MTB event (EWS, Megavalache, Mt Hell) I've entered in Europe it is mandatory to have full health insurance covering DH MTB competition (the most expensive kind) in France you must also sometimes produce a current medical certificate clearing you for the event. No ifs or buts. So I dont think Red Bull need to have medical coverage for individuals. Liability insurance yes for any things that can go wrong that they have direct control over.
But what I do think is that they should be offering a minimum appearance fee. It is an invitational event after all. Let's say 1000-2000 minimum or some figure. From that riders can choose to pay for extra premium coverage event health insurance, gas food travel lodging for them and crews. They are the talent they are the show so I think this is fair over and above the prize money.
Maybe more power to riders to decide how they want things to be run, especially when weather changes move the whole program a day ahead vs a day later leaving 1 less day for perhaps needed practice before dropping into line in contest. That may have had more to do with many of the injuries than anything else. There are so many other things you could do I guess, saftey netting near cliffs to prevent riders falling further etc but where would it all end if you started doing that? But maybe that can be done? WC DH courses are made safer (not easier) trees rocks cliffs that riders could hit OFF THE COURSE are all taken into consideration and made safer.

Of cause it would be awesome if they had their best retainer specialist trauma and neck and back specialists on hand in St George hospital as a precaution over the course of the evebt but I'm sure it's not as simple as that.

I guess if everyone had more time and there was less rush to do two runs in short space of the live feed it would be safer. Surely a well produced 2 hour show a few days post evebt can pull viewer numbers allowing for jam style format. It would result in a better TV production multi angles wind and rain delays etc... And they still have the NBC broadcast later.

Like Zink said you go there first and foremost for yourself and ultimately you choose your line and what you are going to try do.

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Liked a comment about video Rampage Riders Battle Over Limited Land for Lines 10/12/2015 1:25 PM

Agreed with @sspomer - there is limited space to build, and I've judged similar competition formats once upon a time in the big mountain freeskiing realm... My thoughts:
If you built it, you should know every inch of it better than someone 'poaching' it, thus you have no excuse not to ride it better and score better.
If a few people ride the same exact line, the one who rode it better should score better, this is a judged competition. Of course there are politics involved, but this is the basis of a judged event. If you can't handle it, go race where the clock doesn't politic, discriminate, or lie.
Overall, with limited space this is a ridiculous pissing contest. If I was one of these guys getting yelled at for 'poaching', I'd want to ride it out of spite and say "ok here's the deal, I'm going to ride it with your permission or not, so I can either bring my crew to help dig, or I'll sit back and watch you dig, save my efforts, and still ride it."

You know what a real champion would do?? Be a cool calm professional & gentleman; happily let anyone ride it / help if they can, and then go out and throw down the best run without bitching about 'poaching.' Arrive on the top step of the podium with all the riders happy for you, no questions about politics or lines, just knowing you won the day.

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Liked a comment about video Nico Vink Breaks in His New Rampage Bike 10/8/2015 4:41 PM

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Liked a comment about photo e*thirteen TRS Race Tires 10/5/2015 2:58 PM

They have an EXO casing.

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