It's hard to imagine in today's era of freestyle mountain biking and seemingly limitless progression, but at one point, the concept of freestyle mountain biking was highly controversial. And the new film The Moment–out today–profiles those early rebels who openly defied the mountain biking culture at the time and helped birth a new sport.
With mountain biking by and large headed in the direction of racing, groups of renegade daredevils in the backwoods of British Columbia were experimenting with a groundbreaking concept: Actually riding the natural features of a mountain, downhill, with some amount of style.
Those early B.C. crews were anchored by freestyle legends like Wade Simmons, Richie Schley and Brett Tippe, pioneers of the movement who used their bodies as currency in advancing the sport.
On bikes hardly recognizable by the high-tech standards of modern times, the early freestyle riders endured wild crashes, countless physical traumas and were at times ostracized for their devotion to the burgeoning sport.
On bikes that look like carrier bikes compared to the technological marvels of today, freestyle mountain biking was born from the devotion of its first wave. The Moment photo.
It wasn't always pretty–the tolls of advancing the sport ultimately claimed the life of Dave Swetland–but the early pioneers ultimately are responsible for the level of riding we enjoy today. Buy The Moment today to learn more about the early days of freestyle.