Red Bull Rampage Ground Zero: Josh Bender 5

He is perhaps the most controversial freerider in mountain biking history. He is visionary. He is iconic. He is the reason Red Bull Rampage exists. He is Josh Bender.

The man who refers to himself in third-person put Virgin, Utah, on the map long before it became known as a freeride Mecca. With his trademark “huck and hope” mentality, hockey shoulder pads and a bizarre Karpiel 12” travel bike, Bender blazed a path through the earliest days of freeriding, eventually putting out a segment in the New World Disorder video series that stands as one of the most influential of all time.

But Bender wasn’t all crashes and quotable quips — his talent went beyond big airs. He could snipe tricky landings, ride crazy fast and built many of the original Rampage-winning features that other riders used on their way to the podium. Life’s too short to not go big — you gotta go big. Josh Bender In the video above, listen to icons like Cam Zink and Wade Simmons, and even Bender himself, speak about his polarising personality and fast-forward riding style. It’s an insight into why — to this day and forever onwards — Josh Bender will occupy a mythical spot in the annals of mountain bike history. 

“Life’s too short to not go big,” Bender famously remarked before the saying had achieved action sport cliché. “You gotta go big.”

We salute you, Bender — thanks for your contribution.

Credit: Red Bull
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