Kade Edwards is one of those riders who makes you want to jam… jam at the dirt jumps and jam out to your favorite tunes. Lyrics 003 is a homage to all things Kade: his favorite riding spots in the U.K., the English punk rock that influenced his style and attitude growing up, and the limits he will continue to push as one of the sport’s greatest, but most down-to-earth, riders who does it for the love of two wheels.
PLAYING TO HIS ROOTS
Kade Edwards needs no introduction to the bike industry. At 23 years old, he is a fan-favored fixture in over 200K followers' Instagram feeds. Loose, outrageous, and down to have fun on any size of wheels, Kade's infectious style is only spreading as his presence at Darkfest, Red Bull Hardline, and as a hopeful Rampage contender becomes more prolific.
Born and raised outside of Huddersfield, U.K., Kade grew up 20 minutes from High Green, Sheffield, where the Arctic Monkeys band formed in 2002. This same year, Kade started riding a bike, and that’s where his life-long obsession with riding began.
"I don't think I've ever spent a day off a bike since I was two years old. It's my life," says Kade.
GEN Z INSPIRATIONS
Music influenced Kade’s riding style from the very beginning, and his dad’s taste in music influenced what Kade listened to. At 10 years old, Kade tuned into the Arctic Monkeys for the first time while riding in the car with his dad on the way to hit the local dirt jumps. The lyrics from Arctic Monkeys became the backdrop to many riding sessions for Kade as he progressed his riding day in and day out.
Fast forward 13 years, and Kade has a rolodex of accomplishments across all disciplines and scads of tricks up his sleeve. A former Junior World Champion, Kade is equally at home spinning slopestyle tricks and hurtling down a World Cup race course. But Kade never strays far from his roots, his tastes in music, and striking the balance between competition and soul riding.
When his competitors are out training, Kade is hitting the biggest jumps on the planet (just for fun). When given a blank canvas to design a kit and bike, Kade comes back with psychedelic oil slick. When asked what would be the one song he would like to make a shreddit to, Kade turns on Arctic Monkeys’ “Brianstorm”.
"My taste in music is very wide, but this song shows off my personality, where I'm from, what I'm about. It just goes with the tempo of my riding style." – Kade Edwards
BUSINESS UP FRONT, PARTY IN THE BACK
Following in his dad's footsteps, Kade took to racing at a very young age. Tying on his first number plate at 6 years old, Kade started out on motocross and trials bikes, but eventually dedicated himself to downhill racing to ride and train with the world's best talent coming out of the U.K.
Meanwhile, the Arctic Monkeys released "Brianstorm" in early 2007, climbing to the top of the U.K. Singles Chart and Scottish Singles Charts. The song became one of the band's most successful singles worldwide, showing their fans they meant business on their follow-up album. With defiant and raucous energy, the Sheffield band played to no one's rules and played across whatever genre they felt inspired by: alternative, indie, hard rock, pop, post-punk revival.
And just like his music influence, Kade never put himself in a box with riding. While on the upward trajectory of becoming a World Cup racer, Kade never abandoned the skate park, dirt jumps, or favorite trails for training. He would have his cake and eat it, too.
"I’ve always been a racer and I’ve always gone to the skate park. I bike because I enjoy all types. I want to win but I also want to have fun." – Kade
DON’T THINK. JUST RIDE.
Kade's ability to throw massive tricks and big air without pause can undoubtedly be attributed to the tens of thousands of hours he has spent on a bike. But he also surrounds himself with some of the most talented riders in the world. Session the Hardline course after breakfast? Totally normal. Learn a new trick after lunch? If Kade had an Outlook calendar, it would be on there. But the thing is, he doesn't spend time scrolling Instagram, checking emails, or overscheduling his life to keep up with what the world expects of high-profile athletes. He has figured out what makes him happiest, surrounds himself with others who possess a similar ethos and dedication, and doesn't bother with the rest. While bikes may be the escape from life we are all seeking, bikes are just Kade's life.
"Sometimes, you need to remember how gnarly it is what you’re doing. But at the same time, you need to forget and think it’s normal." – Kade
GETTIN’ JIBBY WIT IT
Kade's custom Trek Fuel EX is loaded with Lyrik Ultimate and Super Deluxe Ultimate, the perfect combo for pumping backsides and spinning tricks. While his race bike is all about optimizing speed, this bike is all about being flickable and playful. Eagle AXS keeps the cockpit clean for x-ups and turnbars, and Kade's Reverb AXS ensures every ounce of energy goes directly into the runup with zero distraction.
"My custom Fuel EX is super playful, super short, super steady. It just feels like whenever you tell it to do something, it’ll do it. I love that vibe." – Kade
BREAKING THE INTERNET
While some say the Arctic Monkeys forever changed the music industry by gaining fame and popularity through the rise of online social media, it is their exceptional lyricism and eagerness to evolve that kept them relevant for the past two decades. While every riding clip that Kade drops seemingly breaks the internet, we have a feeling there are a few more tricks up his sleeve that will mark him as one of the sport's all-around greatest. Until then... be like Kade—stop looking at your phone and go ride your bike.
Video filmed and edited by Kuba Gzela. Photos by Ross Bell. Words by Sarah Rawley.