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Rampage 2021

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10/16/2021 3:31 AM

No way that’s not a life altering injury even with a full recovery. There is no solution to the risks these guys take. Though I wish they’d put rampage on a delay and not show crashes like that at all. Seeing Tom like that is burned into my memory more than the front flip. I don’t think that is good for the sport, riders, or community.


10/16/2021 5:05 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/16/2021 5:13 AM

Tom's injury list reads like something out of war or a head on collision at highway speeds. He's one tough dude, and I wish him the best. Rant forthcoming...

I watched that crash live (I feared the wrost), saw the injury update on pinkbike, have read the comments on instagram, here and PB. Here are some thoughts to what is sure to become a discussion over the coming weeks/months.

Before this event started I asked myself the question: "If I was terminally ill, what would I attempt first, BASE jumping or an "easy" rampage line"? I decided I'd probably have a better chance walking away unscathed BASE jumping, which many would agree is the most dangerous "action sport". I realize I'm missing a whole bunch of nuance in that assessment, but it does put this on the right risk/reward level. Its not akin to most normal mountain biking risk, its akin to 1960s race car driving, lane splitting in traffic, supercross before the tracks were "safe" etc.

A number of comments have suggested the sport is too dangerous, Red Bull should pull the plug, the money isn't worth it, the fame isn't worth it etc. After all, about 1/3 of the participants ended up in the hospital (right?).

While I'm sure there are ways to make the event safer, it'll never be safe. Life changing injuries will be a part of the event. We as spectators get to ask ourselves if we are okay with that. It also seems Rampage pushes riders to test their absolute limit. Is it for money? I don't think so. I think it has more to do with good ole' competition, with pride, with wanting to test yourself and come out the other side of that equation.

You could make the prize money the same for everyone who enters. Could change building standards, could increase the number of days a rider has to make their run (no live audience) etc. But I don't think anything will take away the underlying fact you are doing something that is closer to a video game than it is what most people know to be reality, and that comes with risks.

I don't get the feeling anyone is there for fame, money, accolade from the internet or sponsorship pressure. I think this is very well reflected in the fact Zink and Kyle keep coming back. They are both cemented as two of the best, and have been at this for as long as I have (with much better results lol). A win for either of them does not change their lives or put enough money in the bank they are "set". They've already accomplished everything a mountain biker could ever dream of, and they have families! They are there because they want to be there.

If we as a community decide we don't want to spectate something so risky, that's the only reason Red Bull will pull the plug. Otherwise, just like big mountain skiing, it'll remain. And it'll always be dangerous to the point where athletes are literally putting their lives on the line, one of the only sports where the participants are more akin to the Gladiators of Rome than the ball sports hereos of today.

Its insane. Its almost disgusting we want to watch that. But its also absolutely unbelievable to watch what happens when a rider is able to take something from their head, build it, and put a run down where it goes to plan.

There isn't really another sport like it.

I'm not sure how much I enjoy watching it, but I sure do respect the hell out of it.



10/16/2021 6:46 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/16/2021 6:47 AM

maybe what needs to be changed is the spot. weve had 20 years of utah and things are as dangerous as they can get without people dying. Have the next one in wales or in a 50to01 style uk spot to bring the risk down a notch and to add some style. 😎


10/16/2021 7:08 PM

I get the sense that eventually - say 10 yrs from now - some of these guys are going to be in the same boat as guys like Mick Foley in wrestling, any number of NFL players, boxers, etc. Toughness now is rewarded with permanent limps and permanent brain injuries. How many times has Zink had some massive crash and yet he's cleared by medical to ride the next day, or even 45 min later?


10/16/2021 9:16 PM

I would go with big wave surfing over rampage for most dangerous. Both are way up there in the danger scale along with the big mountain skiing and snowboarding.

I don’t see this stopping either. These people are wired different and need this. If Red Bull stopped rampage those guys would still be out there, maybe not doing quite the same level stuff but still risking serious injuries. You could also say the same thing for the WC DH races though.


10/19/2021 11:38 AM

NorseDave wrote:

I get the sense that eventually - say 10 yrs from now - some of these guys are going to be in the same boat as guys like Mick ...more

I wish TVS the best but I don't see how he's going to be able to recover enough to ride a bike at a high level again with those fractures, and as you point out that's life altering in terms of basic mobility and pain. Pretty sad for a dude in his 20's about to get married with his life in front of him.


10/19/2021 12:26 PM

apparently his surgery was successful, although his left hip was worse than pre-surgery scans showed.