Vital RAW - #TBT Gold Hill, Colorado, 2001 19

Take a trip back 15 years to the mountains outside of Boulder, Colorado. A dedicated crew of riders had developed a steep, technical, jump-filled DH trail network on private land with permission from the land owner so they could hone their skills during the off season. Like any great trails, word about them spread despite the vows of secrecy, and eventually the influx of riders led to the location's demise.

These clips are from my first two days ever filming downhill mountain biking, but more importantly to me, the footage is a visual scrapbook of the first time I met a lot of these riders - incredible humans who became life-long friends and weren't afraid of being guinea pigs as I learned how to shoot photos and videos. It's a fine thing to see how so many of these riders have become influential in our sport today with their trail-building visions.

Here's to the good old days of winter-time shuttles at Gold Hill with Big Crank Racing, Santa Cruz Super 8's with 1000-pound shock springs, Manitou X-Vert Carbon forks, Intense M1's, Razor Rock and Rob Sears (RIP).

Riders in order of appearance -Matt Thompson -Dave Ziegman -Judd De Vall -Gale Dahlager -Rob Sears (RIP) -Eric Jean -Mihai Moga -Unknown scraping down the slab -Ross Milan -Bernie Frederick -Kent Setsma #dirtfarm

Credit: gordo
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19 comments
  • Scoots72

    10/28/2016 9:53 AM

    Good times.... It was amazing many people could we cram in Bernie and Mikes old crappy white van

  • trexyz

    10/27/2016 11:36 PM

    Where is Mihai Moga ? The clip is great. I want more !

  • sspomer

    10/28/2016 6:28 AM

    29-seconds, he's on the blue dirtworks w/ yellow vest in front of matt on that step/rock drop-in. classic!

  • Frisco

    10/27/2016 6:04 PM

    Thanks for posting this. I have so many good memories from those trails.

  • dmrides

    10/27/2016 5:51 PM

    Those were the days, so many great sessions were had at the Hill of Gold. Rad video, thanks for the quick trip down memory lane.

  • Scrub

    10/27/2016 2:15 PM

    GOLD!

  • Big Bird

    10/27/2016 12:48 PM

    Man, was my Super 8 that steep in the head tube?

  • big bear

    10/27/2016 11:15 AM

    That's some real shit! Bike park groms are crying to sleep.

  • general lee

    10/27/2016 11:05 AM

    Is that a 26x24" wheel setup on the Lenz?

  • Dave_Camp

    10/27/2016 12:25 PM

    yes. with a concentric bb main pivot. extra hangy-upy

  • sspomer

    10/28/2016 8:09 AM

    same frame as bernie to give you an idea. lenz sport pro descender. i remember seeing this cover and wanting it so bad!

  • TEAMROBOT

    10/27/2016 10:44 AM

    More of this.

  • sspomer

    10/27/2016 3:39 PM

    there will be.

  • profro

    10/27/2016 10:41 AM

    Pretty confident that all difficulty with trail can be blamed on those narrow bars. Egads.

  • toast2266

    10/27/2016 10:18 AM

    I got to ride there once or twice, maybe 2 years after this video was made - super fun trails. Aside from the tech, I remember there being some fairly massive senders, especially by ~2003 standards.

  • Fox

    10/27/2016 10:04 AM

    Super fun times. An amazing situation with a private landowner who gave us permission to use the land. He was a miner, so trail construction was up to us entirely, and we were on a mission to make the gnarliest DH trails we could- the steepness of these trails is not appreciated in the videos- it was really, really steep with a lot crux tech moves and drops. Other locals would routinely try to chase us off the land but we just referred them to the owner. Its really funny to see how short and high these bikes seem to ride. They were the best we could get back then.

  • cofattire

    10/27/2016 9:28 AM

    What a beautiful trail! Those must have been fun times!

  • jeff.brines

    10/27/2016 8:27 AM

    This is so rad

  • phillemaistre

    10/27/2016 8:26 AM

    Lawd, the NOISE those bikes made! I was able to identify noises made by derailleurs, chains, frames, chainguides, forks, rear shocks... I think I even heard the damper blow in that X-Vert! HA! #wevegotitsogoodthesedays