Brandon Semenuk and Cam Zink visit the Rampage site and cultivate Big Mountain riding along the way.
“To each their own,” the old adage goes. And as it’s true in life, it’s true in mountain biking. We live in a two-wheeled universe where the full spectrum of riding includes everything from North Shore unicycling to XCO, to the highly specialized discipline that is modern DH racing. Trials, 4X, fixie-racing bike messengers, and then there’s the incredibly diverse awesomeness you call whatever Chris Akrigg does. Indeed, there are many of us and we each take our own path.
At Rampage, the big mountain arena invites riders from a smaller pool of disciplines, but within that pool float distinct mindsets. In the early days, it was big, burly hits that won. Today it’s tricked out smoothness. Every year, it’s been a full run or nothing. No one-hit wonders. What will this year bring?
Earlier this summer, Brandon Semenuk and Cameron Zink visited the old Rampage site for a Troy Lee catalogue shoot and to prepare for Rampage 2013. They threw down impressive lines and threw some fresh tricks including a nose-bonk-to-suicide-no-hander by Semenuk. It all makes us wonder…will the former champ go tech this year or seek big lines? Will Zink lay it all on the line with a move like 2011’s massive 360, or use the considerable big mountain skills he honed during Where the Trail Ends?
Upon return form the desert, we asked Zink what his thoughts were.
Zink on Semenuk’s nose-bonk-to-suicide-no-hander:
“It’s up to your imagination. He saw [the feature] first and that’s what he envisioned and built. If I would have saw that I might have done something different. It’s whatever clicks for you or whatever you’ve been jonesing for...
You spend enough time in one zone and you can do a thousand different things. But if you’re scouting.
Whatever makes sense. Whatever possibilities you see, it might work. It might not. You need to get out there and do what works for you.”
Zink on last year’s event and Sorge’s Win:
“Last year, coming into Rampage I was so f#@*ing ready. It was ridiculous. We had been filming Where the Trail Ends. My contest season suffered because I had been riding big bikes, filming the sweetest video project ever. Inevitably though, [I was] becoming better at big mountain. Sorge…obviously it showed with him. He dominated. He looked more comfortable on a bike than anyone.”
Zink on Semenuk:
"He’s growing up and more fun to be around. He used to be pretty shy and super focused. Now he’s grown into a bad ass man. He’s laughing and enjoying bike riding more. He is a pleasure to be around and ride bikes with."
Zink on the Zink/Semenuk rivalry:
“I want to see the sport grow first and foremost, and want to see it get huge. If it’s by him doing the stuff he does makes it grow and I just want to be better and win that way. I don’t want to see him crash, or for one of us to win by getting some secret intel on the other one’s run or something like that. I just want to rise to the top by being better. By being the best that I can…I want to see him win but I also want to give him a hard time.”