Carson Storch is a standout competitor on the Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour and an up-and-coming talent known for his style and spins on a bike. He will be one to watch at contests like Red Bull Rampage and Red Bull Joyride for years to come.
Carson was born and raised in the mountain town of Bend, Oregon, a place that seems to breed athletes. He got his start riding a BMX bike, racing motocross, and snowboarding in the winter.
“I was just riding for fun,” says Carson, of his mountain bike beginnings at the age of 10. “Soon I started filming with my friends. And eventually, I stopped competing in other sports and decided to stick with mountain biking.”
Being from Bend, he says, helped shape him into the athlete he is today. “Bend is a great base for all the action sports,” explains Carson. “And one of the main reasons I’m really comfortable doing spins on my bike is because of my snowboarding.”
At the age of 17, then a junior in high school, he decided he had what it takes to try to go pro in mountain biking. “I had that fire and I was having so much fun,” says Carson. “Since I was 17, I’ve been committed to trying to make biking my life, my career.”
Carson graduated high school and spent a couple of years studying business marketing at a college in Bend, but eventually, his bike contest schedule got too hectic and he decided to commit himself fully to his mountain biking career.
He had some early success in local Bend contests like UpSide and UnderGround, where he placed fourth in 2012, and soon he was riding with some of the best freeride mountain bikers in the world. In 2013, he landed on the cover of Bike magazine, a feat that vaulted him into biking stardom.
By 2014, all of Carson’s hard work in contests finally paid off: he qualified for finals at Red Bull Rampage, and scored top 10 results at major contests like GoPro Mountain Games, Swatch Prime Line, Red Bull Joyride, and Red Bull District Ride.
“It feels like it’s been a slow process,” he says. “But in 2014, I had all the right people supporting me and I was able to get into the big contests – those were huge highlights for me.”
No athlete’s career is without challenges. For Carson, those challenges came in 2015, when he broke his collarbone at Red Bull Joyride and spent months in physical therapy to get back into shape.
He was back on his bike in time for Red Bull Rampage in 2015, but during practice, he suffered a bad crash and injured his ankle, again benching him from competition.
“It’s tough, but you’ve got to accept it and move on,” he says. “I’m just trying to stay positive about the situation and look toward the future.”
When he’s not competing, Carson, who still calls Bend home, spends time filming with friends, snowboarding at Mount Bachelor, and riding his motocross bike. Mainly, though, he’s working to constantly push his mountain biking to the next level. “I want to continue to improve my overall riding,” he says. “There’s a long list of things in my head that I want to make happen.”