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The ROOST Questionnaire #6, Bryn Atkinson 3

From World Cup DH and 4x pinner to social media superstar, Bryn Atkinson hasn't slowed down one bit over the years.

The ROOST Questionnaire #6, Bryn Atkinson

Bryn Atkinson, age 35, is still a sponsor’s dream come true, even though he no longer races at the world level. In 2003, as a bonafide member of The Second Aussie Invasion, he joined Rennie, Hill and Graves on the MadCatz/Iron Horse team and started scaring people worldwide with his raw-power cornering and flat-out speed. Since retiring from full-time racing, Bryn has maintained his superhuman bike handling skills, but added pro-level filming and photography to his toolkit, leveraging the power of the internet and social media to stay visible while doing what he loves. Widely respected in the world of mountain biking by fans, competitors, sponsors, and the media alike, Bryn is friendly, laid back, approachable, and still fast AF. Here he throws down on Nicolas Vouilloz, Sam Hill, Greg Minnaar, Fabien Barel, and, of course, Jill Kintner. - Cover photo by Brian Chapel

What is your second favorite sport or athletic endeavor?

I like riding dirt bikes flat-out in widely spaced woods. I’m picky.

What is your favorite non-mtb bicycle or vehicle?

Dirt bike.

What is your preferred or ideal post-ride ritual?

A tasty bevy and few laughs after a good ride is fun, but most of the time its just a matter of cleaning up and eating so we can do it all again the next day!

Big Bear berm blazing, 2003.
Big Bear berm blasting, 2004 - this was the year of the DH Mania 4-rider race.

Which mechanical glitch, imperfection, or problem will you tolerate on a ride? Which can you not tolerate?

I pretty much refuse to ride my bike if it isn’t dialed. Just too many years of being spoiled with the best equipment.

What bicycle maintenance procedure do you most enjoy?

Building a new bike.

Would you rather: turn your bike as much as you like, but never again have your tires leave the ground; or jump as much and as high as you like, but only ever ride in a straight line for the rest of time?

Ripping turns on turns on turns!!!

Fun times for Bryn's interview in decline magazine, late 2005.
Jibbing mattered in 2005 : )

Would you rather go for a three hour ride on: a bike with 15-year-old geometry and brand new suspension; or a bike with 15-year-old suspension and up-to-date geometry?

Tough choice. Depends on whose opinion of “up-to-date” geometry. If it’s nothing too extreme, I’d say the up-to-date geo. If it’s on the extreme side of what is out there currently, I’d say I’ll take the up-to-date suspension.

San Jose, circa 2003. Bryn completely crooked with Clay Porter on the VX2100 and fisheye.

What do you consider to be the greatest World Cup or World Championship race run of all time?

Hard to pick one, but runs that stand out to me are Sam Hill’s run from Val Di Sole, he was really on another level there, basically introducing a new style of how a downhill bike could be ridden on that style of terrain. Fabien Barel’s run in both Livigno and France; he was incredible there. Greg Minnaar’s performance at his hometown Worlds was also amazing; to overcome and perform with the pressure and circumstance was pretty inspirational stuff. Worlds is always next level. I’m a fan.

Bryn, long gone at Sea Otter MTX in 2005. I think it's Michael Robinson, Mick Hannah and Fabien Barel in tow.

What do you consider to be the greatest injustice in mountain bike history?

The negative “Wu” adjusted saddle. Makes me cringe every time..

Which is your favorite World Cup race track?

I was always a fan of the faster, big-hit tracks, where the equipment is truly pushed to the limit; tires, suspension etc. So probably Maribor, Mont-Sainte-Anne, Les Gets, Livigno, Norway, even some of the older NORBA tracks like Durango and Vermont. Anywhere fast really.

Bryn at the Durango NCS, 2004.

What is your favorite color for a bike frame?

Pretty much black. But as long as the colors match up with some of the parts, I'm not too fussed.

It’s always a race! ✊??

A post shared by Pro Mountain Biker ?? (@brynatkinson) on

 

What is your favorite vintage downhill bike? (pre-2002 only)

Probably any of Nico Vouilloz’ bikes.

What is your favorite story or legend in downhill history?

Nico Vouilloz. I grew up idolizing that guy.. From the way he was able to perform, to the fundamentals of how he rode a bike (still does), navigated terrain, and touched down on a trail.

Bryn, Mick and Rennie - Australian domination as per usual back then. Sea Otter MTX 2005.

What is the biggest or best gift mountain biking has given you?

I’d be lying if I didn’t say just about everything. From my very first MTB club ride with the Townsville Rockwheelers in ’94, I knew right away that it was the sport that I wanted to be a part of. Through a racing career it taught me how to be structured, set a goal, train, focus and evolve. Along with that, traveling the world, to meeting some of my best friends and eventually my wife Jill (Kintner). Our whole life revolves around the sport of mountain biking, I’m very grateful.

 

Where is the best dirt in the world?

I’m a sucker for the dirt in Australia, I just like that slippery stuff that you can slide the bike around and play with. Of course Washington is all time in the shoulder seasons too.

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